Vadzim Shyshko: THE SLAVS?
(Abstract, magazine “CULTURE, NATION”, December 2014, issue 8, pp. 47-57)
It is discussed the role of Finno-Ugor and Mongol-Tatar tribes, Orthodox and Islam religions in the development of Muscovy state. The involving the term “Slavs” into the history of Muscovy state began in 15-17 centuries when it was necessary to rationalise the war against the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), and to take the territories where lived the current Belarusians (then Krivichi-Slavs-Ruthens). During the 13-year war (1654-1657) almost 300 000 Slavs-Ruthens from the GDL were translocated to the Muscovy state. Then, the same approach was applied while destroying Rech Pospolita in the end of 18 century and as result huge territories populated with Slavs were joined to Russian Empire (Rossijskaja Imperia). The story of Russian state based on Slavs foundation was exploited by N. Karamsin and other Russian historicians to prove Slavic character of Russian Empire, the idea that is now criticised even in Russia itself. It is very important now to distinguish the Belarusians – the ancestors of assimilated Slavic-Baltic tribes, and Great Russians – the ancestors of different ethnic groups including Finno-Ugro and Mongol-Tatar ones.