INREES seminar series present ongoing research projects of the scholars of the network and PhD papers with fresh take on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

International Network in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (INREES) is a network-based research-training and mobility programme for doctoral candidates. The INREES offers visiting exchange periods in Finland for doctoral candidates from our partner universities in Europe.

In the INREES seminars, the visiting fellows and the members of the INREES network present their ongoing research projects. The seminars are organized in a hybrid format at the Aleksanteri Institute. The topics address various topics in the field of social sciences and humanities. We would like to warmly welcome all scholars and students of Eurasia as well other interested audiences to join our meetings!   

NEXT: Dr. Renat Bekkin | 27 March |14.00–15.30

Mirsaid Sultan Galiev’s political ideas and the future of Russian federalism after 24 February 2022

Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev (1892–1940) was, perhaps, the most high-ranking Muslim Bolshevik: member of the board of the People’s Commissariat for Nationality Affairs of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), chairman of the Central Muslim Commissariat, and the Central Muslim Military Collegium under the People’s Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs of the RSFSR, head of the Central Bureau of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East under the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks). 

Sultan-Galiev was arrested three times on Stalin’s personal orders: in 1923, 1928 and 1937. A significant part of Sultan-Galiev’s political works, which are of interest today, was written by him in the form of handwritten testimony in prison while under investigation in 1928–1931 and 1937–1939. These documents have only partially been put into circulation and also contain extensive material about the history of ideological and political trends among Muslims in Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s.

One of the problems to which Sultan Galiev paid primary attention was the form of relations between national republics (both autonomous and union) and Moscow. During Putin’s presidency, federalism in Russia underwent a major modification; many rights that had been granted to national republics in accordance with the legislation adopted in the 1990s were eliminated or frozen. Increasingly more politicians from national republics (including those living in exile) urge the need to reconsider the existing relations between Moscow and the subjects of the federation. The report examines various scenarios of how the form of government in modern Russia can evolve based on the writings of Sultan-Galiev.

Sultan-Galiev raised the question of the political, economic and cultural equality of the national republics in the USSR with the Russian regions. Without resolving the issue of equal rights for all peoples of the USSR, according to Sultan-Galiev, the Soviet Union will not be able to survive as a single state. These words were spoken back in the 1920s, when the Soviet state was gaining strength, but they turned out to be prophetic. The future of modern Russia as a single state depends on whether the federal center can build equal relations with the constituent entities of the federation and above all, the national republics.

Chair: Kaarina Aitamurto, University of Helsinki  
Discussant: Professor Uli Schamiloglu, Nazarbayev University

On site: Unioninkatu 40, Metsätalo, 3 krs. C324, Humina
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INREES seminars