Russian territorial expansion from the 11th to the 19th century:
the conquest of Turanian (Ural-Altaic) lands

The Russian colonial empire, of which the current Russian Federation is the main successor state, committed genocidal, ethnocidal, and environmental crimes on a massive scale since the Russian state began its expansion in the Middle Ages, subjugating and destroying indigenous peoples, their culture and their natural environment.

Russian expansion into the lands of the Turanian (Uralic and Altaic) peoples began in the 11th c., when the Russians began to encroach upon the Finnish lands North of the Upper Volga, from the Eastern Baltic to the Urals, and to the White Sea. Russian rule brought great suffering to the Finnish peoples. The Finnish settlements were devastated, and their inhabitants slaughtered, enslaved, or deported. The Russian conquest and oppression of the Finnish peoples has continued since.

Russian expansion also began towards the East in the 16th c., as Russia conquered the Finnic and Turkic peoples of the Volga-Ural region and Siberia. Towards the South and Southeast, Russia expanded into the lands North of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, and into Turkestan. All these regions had been previously inhabited and ruled by Turanians for thousands of years: Scythians, Huns, and Turkic peoples.

As a result of the acquisition of all these Turanian lands and peoples, the population of Russia not only became highly heterogenous, but furthermore, the Russians themselves assimilated many Turanian ethnolinguistic and cultural elements, so that the Russian language, folklore and culture show significant Turanian influences. Large numbers of Turanians have also been forcibly assimilated ("Russified"), and the Russian ethnolinguistic group itself consists essentially of a mixture of Slavic and Turanian peoples.

Russia needs to respect the human rights, including the right of self-determination, of the indigenous Turanian (Uralic and Altaic) and other ethnic groups living on the territories it has conquered during the previous centuries.

Maps of Russian expansion (click on thumbnails below to view larger maps) [Source: Hammond Historical Atlas]
11th c.13th c.14th-16th c.16th c.17th-18th c.18th c.19th c.


The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict
The term "Ukraine" is derived from a Russian word meaning borderland. This region has been Russia's borderland since the Russian state was founded, and its borders and ethnic composition have changed throughout the centuries as the Russian empire expanded. The current Ukrainian state, which appeared after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, was created from territories which were conquered by Russia, and which had previously belonged to Poland, Hungary, the Khazar Empire, the Bulgars, Cumans, Turks, and Mongols (Tatars).

Ukraine has been oppressing and violating the rights of the ethnic Russians, Poles and Hungarians living under Ukrainian rule, and Ukrainian neo-Nazi armed groups have been perpetrating violent terrorist attacks, such as bombing and burning buildings, and even genocidal atrocities, against those ethnic communities:
- Genocide perpetrated by Ukrainian armed forces against the Polish population in Eastern Poland during WWII
- War crimes perpetrated by Ukrainian armed forces against the Russian population of the Donbas Region
- Anti-Hungarian manifestations and actions perpetrated by the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian nationalist groups against the indigenous Hungarian population of Subcarpathia.

Western interference in the internal politics of Ukraine was instrumental in the coup which put a corrupt, unconstitutional and undemocratic pro-Western and anti-Russian regime in power in 2014. The Ukrainian regime's lobbying for joining the Western alliances (NATO and the EU), which are hostile to Russia, together with the increasing Western military support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian atrocities committed against the Russian population of Eastern Ukraine were direct provocations against Russia and provided a perfect pretext for the Russian military interventions against Ukraine. The continuing flow of Western military supplies into Ukraine has increased the risk of expanding and escalating the conflict. The Western claim that this conflict is about defending democracy is a false pretext. NATO's and the EU's Eastward expansionism has provoked this conflict which really only serves American interests and not those of Europe: American interference and intervention in Europe since the last century has served to divide the continent and to prevent a larger, more integrated and powerful Europe to emerge, as this would threaten American hegemony.

For the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the consolidation of democracy and human rights, the peoples of Europe and of the former Soviet Union need to exercise their right to self-determination without any external interference. Foreign intervention will only aggravate tensions and conflicts in the region. The peoples of Europe and of the former Soviet Union have to resolve the problems resulting from their past conflicts including the questions relating to the current international borders imposed after the two world wars and after the collapse of the USSR, as these borders have been and will continue to be a source of tensions. The borders imposed after the two world wars are in violation of international law, of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the impacted states, and of the right of self-determination of peoples. A peacefully negociated revision of the international borders imposed after the two world wars is therefore the only solution which can avoid further conflicts.

NATO's Eastward expansion, together with the involvement of NATO members in Middle Eastern conflicts, and the EU's policies have been causing increasingly severe international crises and have been detrimental to the security, economic stability, sovereignty, and self-determination of the European Nation-States. NATO and the EU perpetuate the post-war divisions and antagonisms in Europe, and must be replaced by a new integral European security and cooperation system for the whole continent (including Turkey and the former Soviet Republics) without the involvement of any other non-European power, as the East-West division of Europe and the interference of external powers can only perpetuate and aggravate European conflicts. The primary tasks which must be addressed are the revision of the post-war borders and the re-structuring of Europe based on the principles of regional and ethnic autonomy, the right of self-determination of peoples, the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes taking into account the pre-war ethnic distributions and borders, the relocation of displaced peoples to their original homelands, the compensation of states and nations for losses resulting from the two world wars and subsequent border changes imposed by force after those wars, and to eliminate the conflicts which caused the two world wars and the divison of Europe by creating a new political framework for the security and economic cooperation and integration of the larger European space: Northern Eurasia.

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