|Author: Jamil Hasanli|
ROLE OF THE VOZHD IN THE FATES OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE OUTSKIRTS AND BEYOND THE BORDERS OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE
The personality and multi-faceted activities of Joseph Stalin, who headed the Soviet State and Communist Party nearly for thirty years, for a long time was the key topic for many historians. As the creator of the political model of Soviet totalitarianism and dictatorship, the feudalizing Bolshevik Stalin, who has left burdensome traces in the history and destiny of both his own people and many others under his control, continues to be the central figure of historical research for the last sixty years, and especially after the collapse of the USSR. The scientific and public interest in the books written about Stalin in Russia, Western countries, and elsewhere in the world is not devaluating; on the contrary, it continues to grow.
Moreover, the opening of new archives after the collapse of the Soviet Union fueled interest in Stalin's personality and activities. As a result, analysts learned of new ‘hidden sides’ of his tenure, and in some cases, even discovered him again by penetrating into the deep layers of Stalin's policies and practices both inside and outside the Soviet Union. Needless to say, we cannot claim that all the recent works about Stalin have substantially contributed to the development of the historical science. Despite obvious deficiencies and gaps, the new studies have largely polished the political image of the Soviet dictator, separated it from divergent myths, exposed his genuine personality embedded in the historical memory in the full sense of the word, and clearly revealed the harmful acts and deeds of Stalin. From this perspective, Alfred Rieber’s book is of particular importance and instigates profound interest. Obviously enough, one might ask on the reason of a strong interest and of the value of this book?
First of all, the author is an experienced researcher with over than fifty years’ established record of researching Soviet and Russian history. Armed with a good knowledge of Russian language, Rieber dived into the archives especially in the libraries of Moscow and St. Petersburg. These key advantages make Rieber’s book a valuable and reliable source. In many ways the book is a continuation of the history of imperial traditions in the light of the chronology and evolution reflected in his earlier published book, The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Empires to the End of the First World War.
The author's experience in writing a series of interesting historical monographs is enhanced by his accessible, readable, and academic research language. As a result, Rieber’s master piece is easy to digest for all interested in history and politics. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia is an enlightening exposure to the geography of the entire Eurasia. The source base of this book is made up of the archival materials. The author has effectively used a recently published collection of rare documents, which refer to the Russian publications, which reveal different directions and dimensions of Stalin's policies. Rieber has been able to closely study these publications, to learn of the evolution of Stalin’s image as a Bolshevik, a Commissar, and a dictator, and to bridge his activities in the broader Eurasia. Rieber refers to the comparative studies in different volumes of Foreign Relation of the United States and The Documents of Foreign Policy of the USSR. He formulates some interesting theoretical and practical generalizations concerning Stalin’s Soviet national policy. The author highlights building of socialism, new tactics of colonialism in the outskirts of the USSR, the gears of the repressive machine of 1937/38, and deals with displacement of different ethnic groups the Soviet borders, as well as other people living beyond the Soviet Union.
Rieber studied a series of very interesting documents from the Russian State Archive of Social-Political History (RGASPİ), the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (AVP RF), and other first-hand historical data in Russia. The collected data illuminates a wide range of dimensions of Stalin's policy and activities. The author succeeded in creating an interesting scientific picture of the changes, processes, consequences, and tragedies the people within and out of the Soviet borders had to face and undergo. These archival documents make Rieber’s arguments convincing, reliable and educating. Moreover, his thoughts and ideas are trustworthy and important. In the introduction of his book, the author rightly notes, “the Soviet Union had inherited the task from the Russian Empire of protecting and securing the longest and most turbulent frontier of any state in Eurasia." Through this concise and accurate approach the author managed to unite different and contradictory historical events analyzed in various chapters of his book in a common storyline.
The second important point of this book is that it embraces a huge geographic area. As we see the author explores Stalin's aspirations to create “friendly government regimes” on the European banks of the Mediterranean under the pressure of the Communist movements controlled from Moscow, we understand that his research covers a broad terrain from Nordic borders, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Trans Caspian, Central Asia, China, and to the Far East borderlands.
In the introductory part of his book Rieber attempts to identify the place of the Russian Empire in history in terms of a historical geography and the cultural areal of Eurasia. His proposition is that “some Russians delayed the entry of the Russian Empire into the European state system and its cultural world”. No doubts, it is possible to agree with the idea about the integration of the Russian Empire into the European system of states and cultures, which was significantly delayed. In fact, the delay was caused by a number of factors such as the Mongolian slavery in Russia for two centuries, the adoption of the Byzantine Christianity model, and the conquest of Muslim lands (Kazan, Astrakhan, Siberia, etc.).
Even though the Bolshevik revolution moved Russia away from being an Asian state, still, the Communist Russia and its leader “dressed” as the ‘friend of the oppressed peoples’, began to feel more Asian than European. Rieber writes that Stalin “could take pleasure from time to time in boasting that he was an Asiatic! Paradoxes of cultural identity multiplied”. Although the Bolsheviks made a substantial move in the system of Russian history, they were unable to stay away from the imperial traditions: in a short period of time the Soviet Union shifted the Russian empire and one of its founders - Stalin effectively replaced the Tsar. In consideration of the above, the head of the national Azerbaijan party “Musavat” Mahammad Emin Rasulzade declared from emigration that the national policy of the Soviet Union led by Stalin was absolutely no different from that of Tsarist Russia. There were no essential differences between ‘white Russia’ and ‘red Russia’ regarding the rights of peoples.
According to Rieber, the industrial revolution increased the distance between Russia and the West: so the estrangement of Russia from the European industrial revolution of nineteenth century (perhaps with the exception of military technology and the construction of railroad) resulted in Russia’s defeat in three great wars (Crimean, Russian-Japanese and World War I). Military failures can be explained by the weakness of Russia’s economy in general. Rieber’s discussion of the remoteness of Russia from the European developments is well constructed and well-reasoned. This idea develops throughout the book and all the victories of Stalin, who had risen to the highest elite niche of the Soviet state, remain purely Asian in essence. Actually, at the beginning of his book the author “argues that Stalin's Weltanschauung was shaped by two powerful existential and intellectual influences.”
In the first chapter of the book the author presents very grasping thoughts and statements about the adolescent years of Stalin’s life. Rieber has been able to guide us through the transformation of Stalin (Soso) from a high school (Gymnasium) student in the Georgian city of Gori into a revolutionary champion Koba of Baku, as well as emergence of Joseph Dzhugashvili from Stalin that took place in-between Tbilisi, Batumi and Baku.
The author attempted to analyze regional processes related to Stalin's revolutionary activities, which took place in the Caucasus, especially in Baku, by describing the process of self-consciousness of the Muslims of the South Caucasus against the background of turbulent events. However, it is clear that the author is more inclined to present the process in the context of pan-Turkism and pan-Islamism. In fact, on the eve of the First Russian revolution, through the revolution years and the subsequent periods, the Muslims of the Caucasus gradually shifted from the Islamic community ('Umma) to Turkic nationalism, which by contrast to the pan-Islamism and pan-Turkism promoted the process of self-awareness on a regional basis.
In his book Rieber also talks of the Armenian Social-Democratic movement of the late 19th century, of its development trends and dynamics. At the same time Armenian terrorism in the South Caucasus overshadowed all the socialist ideas of the Russian Empire. It was closely associated with the flow of Armenian armed migrants from the Ottoman Empire to the South Caucasus and Tbilisi. Pursuant to the archive documents Prince Golitsyn, the vicegerent of Caucasus, spoke of demographic changes in the South Caucasus following the advent of Russians in the region earlier in the 19th century. He reported to a meeting of the special committee under His Majesty (Nicola II) in 1900: “When we conquered Transcaucasia, the local Armenian population did not exceed 45,000; now Armenians in the Caucasus are more than 1,500,000.” The growth of the Armenian population was caused by Russian migration policy, including the establishment of the Christian belt on their southern borders of the Empire. In fact, a little later, on page 33 Rieber states, “Stalin and Ordzhonikidze favored assigning the region to Armenia against the strong opposition of Narimanov and other Azerbaijani Communists”, which reflects a direct continuation of the traditional imperial policy. Also, the description of Koba in the midst of the events of the Armenian-Muslim clashes is a part of Armenian migration. The effects of this policy were felt strongly both in Tbilisi and Baku. However, the term "Nagorno-Karabakh" the author employs is rather misleading (pp. 28, 33, etc.) as this notion has not been adopted and used by researches before 1920-1921. As it is well known from history, as an administrative unit with its lowlands and mountainous parts, Karabakh was at the time of these events a part of the Yelizavetpol province (Ganja, Azerbaijan).
One of the book’s chapters called “A Borderland thesis” analyzes the views of Stalin on the inter-ethnic relations on the eve of the World War I. For a long time this issue has been the topic of heated discussions among historians and sociologists, and the biographers of Stalin have tried to identify the distinctions and similarities between the views of Stalin and German-Austrian social democrats on this sensitive issue. Rieber’s approach describes the way Stalin, as a representative of the national margins, highlighted the Marxist doctrine on the inter-ethnic relations in the media and how Vladimir Lenin assessed the views of the latter.
The second chapter of the book covers the civil war and the interventions period. It was the times when Stalin was the Commissar of Nations (Narkomnats). On one hand the Commissariat was carefully watching events taking place within the Western nations, on the other hand, it believed that "the liberation of the eastern peoples from imperialist bondage" was one of the priority areas of its activities. However, it was more applicable to the people of Russia, including the countries on the other side of the border rather than to the "stepchildren” of the Empire. We believe that Rieber has a valid approach to this issue as he evaluates that period, although Iran and Czechoslovakia were not included in the Soviet territories, still the Commissariat of Peoples had Czech and Iranian departments. In the opinion of Rieber, “Stalin reasoned that Russia might dominate the Asian Communists, but never the European.” He presents the activities of Stalin during the Civil War in three basic dimensions: Ukraine, South Caucasus and among the Muslims living across the Volga. The last two geographic spaces are more appropriate to the Asiatic nature and ideas of Stalin. However, it worth adding that Stalin did not want to see the Asian communists as agents of Soviet policy, but simply looked at them as some decorative pieces. The obvious examples of such cases were Nariman Narimanov and Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev. The latter worked in Stalin's office, but was arrested several times, and spent the last years of his life in exile where he was shot dead. As for Narimanov, in 1925 he became a victim of the intrigues and machinations of Moscow, fabricated by his opponents and detractors. Few years earlier, in spring of 1922, Narimanov was first promoted to a senior position in Tbilisi and later in Moscow. These steps were aimed at taking him out of his native country (Azerbaijan SSR). One might ask of the value of Narimanov for the Soviet leadership. A clear answer is available in Stalin’s letter to Chicherin, where the sender stressed that Narimanov was not needed to lead the eastern policy; he was just a flag, as a decor.
Rieber describes how the Muslim communists, the Muslim bureau, attitudes towards the Muslim ideas and dreams about autonomy (Muslim borderlands) against the background of Stalin's relations to Sultan-Galiev. Here Rieber flagged an interesting point by profound assessment of the relations of the Soviet top elite towards the Muslims. As to the question of sovereignty of Soviet Republics, we can track Stalin’s views on the example of a Muslim country, i.e. Azerbaijan. It should be noted that the author could have thoroughly highlighted the position of Stalin on the issue of ‘autonomy’. While turning the new socialist republics into an appendage of Soviet Russia, Stalin's main approach was limited to the following: a communist does not need independence from the other communists. In this context, the relation of Rieber to the question of "Kurdish autonomy" in the South Caucasus is truly interesting. With reference to the work of Russian author Vdovin, Rieber shares a confession of Dimanshtein, then deputy of Stalin at the office of the Commissariat of Nations. Dimanshtein stated, "we are interested in the self-contained development of (our) Kurds who have many co-nationals almost across the border from them. A brief attempt was even made to establish a Kurdish national region in the Armenian republic." Indeed this is an entirely new issue for the Western historiography, most of which for a long time been looking for the ‘Kurdish autonomy’ within Azerbaijan.
According to Rieber, the first contradictions in the Soviet leadership, especially between Stalin and Leon Trotsky, emerged more vividly about the approach to the critical issues as the Brest peace, the Ukrainian question, as well as the western borders in general. The author elaborates on the next stages of development of these conflicts, which might gradually open a process of deepening and transforming them into ideological confrontations. Assessing different approaches of three important political figures to the question the Sovietization of the South Caucasus, Rieber mapped the picture of the tactical moves within the Soviet leadership. With regard to the occupation of the South Caucasus, the Commissar of the Soviet Foreign Commissariat Chicherin called to take into account the current international situation, Lenin opted for diplomacy, but Stalin favored the Sovietization of the region by political and military means. In the view of the author, Stalin’s “activities and even more those of his supporters threatened to embroil the soviet state in conflicts with Turkey and Iran on the periphery of traditional Russian power.” Rieber managed to catch some very delicate points on the issue of Sovietization of the South Caucasus and Stalin. He correctly states: “Stalin's main concern that a Turkish subjugation of Armenia would establish common border with Azerbaijan and threaten Soviet control of Baku.” Rieber is one of the first Western scholars who sensed and dwelled on these very delicate matters.
At the same time, while talking of Stalin’s view on Gilan Soviet republic in 1920, the author, based on the archive documents, managed to put forward a new proposal. We would like to explicate the issue in more detail in the context of the alliance between Soviet Russia and Kemalist Turkey against the policy of British imperialism in the region. For some time Turkey and Russia had shared interests in the fight against the Entente and especially the United Kingdom. As a result, on January 11, 1920 the Turkish “temporary revolutionary government” and Caucasian regional committee of the Russian Communist party inked a secret agreement of sixteen articles. The treaty was aimed against Britain and provided for cooperation in the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Near and Middle East. The document stipulated that the Russian Soviet government and the Turkish revolutionary government had entered into a treaty of mutual assistance shaped to stir the Muslim world - Iran, Afghanistan, Arabia, Egypt, India and others against Britain. For all these purposes, the RSFSR was to assist Turkey with funds, arms, military advice, and so on. On the eve of signing a treaty with Britain in 1921, Lenin, in an attempt to mobilize the people of the East against Great Britain, gave some secret instructions to the Soviet diplomatic corps: “Send special envoys to Baku and Tashkent explaining them that it is necessary to intensify attacks on British imperialism.” The Bolsheviks viewed the relationships with Iran in terms of safety of the Baku oilfields. Speaking about the dangers to the oil reserves of Baku, the author notes that Stalin expected that danger in autumn of 1920 from three directions: Georgia, which was under the influence of the West, Turkey-controlled Armenia, and Iran, which was more sympathetic to Britain.
It is also interesting to learn of Stalin's collectivization policy that led in the 1920s and 1930s to the tragedy in the lives of millions of people. In the view of Rieber, that policy had engendered new waves of immigration of local population in Ukraine, Caucasus and Central Asia. A number of the author's thoughts on the counter-revolutionary movements (Basmachi) are new to the Western readers, as well bring to the fore the issue of Tajik from Moscow in terms of preventing the gain of Uzbek nationalism and pan-Turanism in Central Asia. Tadjikistan, which was still autonomous in 1924 and joined union as a republic only in 1929, closed the route to Uzbekistan for the counterrevolutionary band groups of the Turkistan Basmachi – source of threats across the Afghan borders, and thus deprived them of their homeland.
Rieber’s assessment of Stalin’s policy toward China appears vividly in the context of three questions: Xinjiang Uygur, Manchuria and Port Arthur. Of course, the question of Outer Mongolia as a constituent part of that policy was not overlooked by the author. When the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited Beijing in summer of 1958, Mao clearly expressed their view on the Soviet claims to the China’s border regions. He said: "there was a man named Stalin, who concurred Port Arthur and turned Xinjang and Manchuria into a semi-colony..." Writing about the Xinjiang events, Rieber rightly shows that the Soviets had their own goals and interests. In his opinion “the Soviet Union also had to contend with the revival of claims by the Kuomintang to forge a united China, which meant the restoration of the power of a centralized state over the Central Asian borderlands.” Meanwhile, in the 1930's, it was the Soviet aid that served as the main guarantee of the territorial integrity of China and the Chinese government in Xinjiang. Back then the interests of the Soviets in Xinjiang involved the suppression of anti-Chinese Uighur movement rising in the province and the restoration of Chinese rule. At the same time Rieber has some controversial comments related to the period of activity of the Turkish-Islamic Republic of East Turkestan created in the province. Indeed, the government created in Xinjiang by Muslim population existed not from 1934 until 1935, as Rieber claims, but from November 1933 to August 1934. The suppression of the Muslim uprising in the province and Chinese warlord Sheng Shichai, who seized the power with the help of Soviets, "was turning the province into a virtual satellite of the USSR similar to that of the Mongolian People’s Republic."  In the chronological order the author continues this issue a little bit later in the chapter of his book called “Central Asian Frontiers”.
The thoughts and statements of Rieber about the building of socialism started in the 1920s are also very interesting. In his view, Stalin’s idea on the victory of socialism at first in one country "was undoubtedly designed more for domestic than foreign consumption." We agree with Rieber who also contrasted this idea of Stalin with the famous theory of Trotsky on ‘permanent revolution’ with a goal in mind of making his opponent weaker. The author also looked at this idea as a continuation of Lenin’s doctrine about the victory of socialism starting in a separate single country, further in a number of countries.
Rieber constructed a very interesting picture of the Ukrainian events in 1920s and 1930s and the policy of Stalin and Soviets in general across the western borders. In fact, it would be very useful to read this book for understanding the roots of today’s Ukrainian-Russian affairs. The relationships between Stalin and the Ukrainian leaders as Lazer Kaganovich, Vlas Chubar and others have played an important role in the disclosure of a number of truths. The author even highlights relations with Poland in the context of Ukraine, and this approach has been accompanied by the rise of anti-Soviet nationalism wave in Poland's official policy as Marshall Pilsudski led Poland. The author analyzed the main points of the relations of Stalin towards Poland in the historical sequence. In this regard, the author revealed interesting facts about the attempts of the governments of Germany and Poland to use the people of Caucasus, Trans Caspian and Central Asian regions who had their representatives in the Prometheism League movement to the benefit of anti-Soviet goals.
The beginning of the Red Terror in the Soviet Union, the mass killings of the country's citizens, the repression of party, state, government, and military personnel on the eve of World War II have been noted as the point of departure of the Stalin’s policy. According to Rieber, “Historians have reached a consensus that Stalin's fear of war was a dominant factor in unleashing the Great Terror of 1937-8.” Rieber discusses the essence of the Red Terror and its content, touching upon the interesting points of its implementation by appropriate methods. In his view “Genrikh Yagoda was put in charge of cooking up a case.” He suggests that cases of Muslim public figures whose guilt was fabricated and ascribed were not incidental. It was Stalin within the Soviet leadership who knew very well the circle of Muslim public figures. The author says, “in the South Caucasus borderlands, Stalin took a personal interest and played a direct role in the destruction of the old cadres.” In Rieber’s opinion “The Kazakh intelligentsia lost many of its leading figures.” Actually, Rieber’s statement could be applied to the whole of national republics and peripheries.
Along with the signing of the Soviet-German pact at the start of World War II, the division of Poland, the German-Soviet border treaty of September 28, the events in 1939-1940s in the Baltic States, then in countries of the World Pool, by adding Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviets, one would get learn many new facts from this book. Having analyzed the political and humanitarian situations particularly engendered by the border changes in the Baltic republics, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as the questions related to refugees, the author suggests that the Jews made up 30% of Polish refugees. The book provides in-depth and comprehensive analysis of special settlement operations by the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs after the capture of the Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, especially mass arrests in the border regions, post-division stance of Poland, and the political consequences generated by annexation of the three Baltic States.
Looking at the times of the Second World War, particularly after the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact (1939), Rieber created an interesting picture of Stalin’s policy focused on Iran and Turkey, the military, political, economic and diplomatic moves of Soviets in the Trans Caspian and Central Asian regions. The author raised the question of the bombing of Baku oil fields from the north of Iran by the British and French armies. It should be noted that this question has been poorly studied in the Western and Russian historical research. Stalin wanted to draw Turkey into the war on the Allied side. However, according to Rieber, later Stalin lost interest in this. After the Red Army’s invasion into Bulgaria in the summer of 1944, “as the Soviet government let it be known that "Turkey's entry into the war would serve no useful purpose and no longer desired." Rieber says that a month after the Yalta Conference the Soviet Union canceled an agreement signed with Turkey, i.e. "Treaty of Non-Aggression". We assume that it was not a "Non-Aggression Treaty", but "the Turkish-Soviet Treaty on Friendship and Neutrality”, which was signed in 1925. Let us elaborate more on this. According to Rieber, although since summer 1941 the main strategic goal of the Soviets was the war against Nazi Germany, “Trans Caspia and Central Asia, Iranian Azerbaijan, Xinjiang and Manchuria played similar key roles in Stalin's policies.”
The Armenian issue in this book is viewed in the context of the Stalin’s policy towards Turkey. At the beginning of his research, Rieber noted that “Relation with the new Turkish Republic, heir to the Ottoman Empire, were exceptional. Diplomatic relations were established on the basis of dividing the Armenian borderland. Of course, it is difficult to agree with the idea of the author on the said issue. For sure, it was not the division of the Armenian lands, but verily the desire to show a unified position against Britain and the Entente as a whole that caused the rapprochement and establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey in 1920-1921. In the next chapter the author, in accordance with the plans of Stalin, wrote of the resettlement of 100,000 Armenian repatriates in Armenia in 1946-1948, and about the intentions, associated with the return of Eastern Anatolia to the Armenians. Referring to the articles by Claire Mouradian, Rieber writes: “Once again the nationalities policy backfired. Faced by a rising tide of Armenian nationalism, Soviet propaganda, evidently under the influence of Beria, shifted its demands for the return of Kars and Ardahan from the Armenian to the Georgian Republic.” Based on the archive documents, we argue that the question was not in fact the way Rieber mentioned in his book. Moreover, he repeated the same mistakes that have been made by Mouradian. Including Beria, the Soviet leadership divided the land, to be taken off from Turkey, between Georgia and Armenia in the summer of 1945. The documents stated: “The total area of the lands captured by Turkey was 26,000 sq. km. Armenian lands comprised 20,500 sq. km, i.e. about 80 per cent of the territory of the Armenian Republic, while Georgian lands amounted to 5,500 sq. km, i.e. 8 per cent of the territory of the Georgian Republic.” As the study of documents witnesses, not Armenia, but the Soviet Republic of Georgia has remained dissatisfied with the rules separating eastern lands of Turkey by Moscow.
Also, we would like to touch very briefly upon the question about Iranian Azerbaijan. Compared to other issues, Rieber has widely dealt with the episode, which had been one of the major polygons of Stalin’s policy. On the basis of numerous facts Rieber was able to create a dramatic picture of Stalin's policies about Iranian Azerbaijan. It should be noted that the author dives into a number of very important issues, such as the Allied entry into Iran, the transfer of Iranian communists to the Tudeh Party, the rise of ideas about Azerbaijani and Kurdish autonomies, national rights of the Iranian Turks, presence of the Soviet leadership in these processes, and the initiation of political crisis under the pressure of Moscow. Concerning the Moscow visit of the Iranian Prime Minister Ahmad Qavam, Rieber, though flatteringly, named him "a master of bargaining". Qavam, as we know, had not been able to get the consent of Moscow on three issues (the Azerbaijan question, the Soviet withdrawal from Iran and the constitution of oil society), which were topics of his talks during the visit. By analyzing those events Rieber rightly believes that the Xinjiang policy of the Soviets and the Iranian Azerbaijani events are identical. We are perfectly in line with this concluding remark of the author.
Despite the minor controversies and inaccuracies, Rieber’s book Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia is undoubtedly a valuable source. The author managed to fully describe the image of the Soviet dictator Stalin in the context of the time and against the background of the contemporary events, by presenting the role of the Vozhd in the fates and destinies of the people who had lived and worked in the Soviet outskirts and beyond the borders of the Soviet Empire. He also identified many political activities of Stalin in a united historical plot. We hope that the seminal book by Rieber will awaken interest among specialists and all history fans.
 Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia’s Secret Archives, (Anchor, 1997); Vladislav Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (University of North Caroline Press, 2007); Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin’s Wars. From World War to Cold War 1939–1953 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); Alexandr Chubar’ian, Kanun tragedii: Stalin i mezhdunarodnyi krizis, sentiabr’ 1939 – iyun’ 1941 goda (Moskva, Nauka, 2008); Sviatoslav Rybas. Stalin, (Moskva, Molodaia gvardia, 2009); Robert Gellately, Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War, (Vintage Books, New York, 2013); Stephen Kotkin, Stalin, Vol. 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928, (New York: Penguin Press, 2014); Oleg Khlevniuk, Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator, (Yale University Press, 2015).
 Alfred J. Rieber The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Empires to the End of the First World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2014).
 Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR. Tom XXII. V 2 knigakh. (Moskva, Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenia, 1992): Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR. Tom XXIII. Kniga 1. (Moskva, Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenia, 1995): Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR. Tom XXIII. Kniga 2. (Moskva, Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenia, 1998); Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR. Tom XXIV. (Moskva, Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenia, 2000); Stalinskiye deportatsii. 1928–1953. Pod obshey redaktsiey akademika A. N. Yakovleva. (Moskva, Mezhdunarodnyi Fond “Demokratia”, Izdatel’stvo Materik, 2005); etc.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia. (Cambridge University Press, 2015), p.4.
 Ibid, pp.5-6.
 Ibid, p.6.
 See: Text of conversastion of Rasulzade with workers of daily Istanbul newspaper “Yeni Shark”. 6 February, 1923. Russian State Archive of Social-Political History (RSASPH), f. 558, r. 11, v.746, p. 26.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.8.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.18.
 Documents of the meeting of special committee created by an order of His Highness. 14 June 1900. Russian State Military History Archive (RSMHA), f. 2000, r.1, v. 6593, p. 14.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.33.
 See: Ibid, pp. 34-42.
 Ibid, p.46.
 Letter from Stalin to Chicherin 16 August 1919. RSASPH, f.558, r.11, v.824, p.4.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.110.
 Ibid, p.59.
 Ibid, p.61.
 See: On the Turkish Rebellious Movement. 1920. State Archive Republic of Azerbaijan (SARA), f. 894, r. 10, v. 145, pp. 6–8).
 Vladimir Lenin’s “Thesis about Grounds to Secure an Agreement with England”, 1921. RSASPH, f. 2, r. 2, v. 1292, pp. 1-2.
See: Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.64.
 The first meeting between Nikita Khrushchev and Mao Ze-dong on 31 July in the Khuayzhentan hall. . 31 July 1958. Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF), f. 52, r. 1, v. 498, p. 59.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.129.
 See: Ibid, p.140.
 See: Dzhamil’ Gasanly. Sin’tsian v orbite sovetskoi politiki: Stalin I musul’manskoe dvizhenie v Vostochnom Turkistane, 1931-1949. (Moskva, Flinta i Nauka, 2015), s.34-50.
 Alfred J. Rieber. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, p.143.
 Ibid, p.93.
 Ibid, 175.
 Ibid, p.126.
 Ibid, p.179.
 Ibid, p.182.
 See: Ibid, p.202.
 See: Ibid, pp.204-211.
 See: Ibid, 221.
 Ibid, p.337.
 Ibid, p.284.
 See: Ibid, p.2.
 Ibid, pp.338-339.
 On the Soviet–Turkish relations. 18 August 1945. Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation ( AFP RF), f. 06, r. 7, fol. 47, v. 762, p. 15; For more details, see: Jamil Hasanli, Stalin and the Turkish Crisis of the Cold War, 1945-1953. (New York: Lexington Books, 2011), 123-133 .