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Thanksgiving to Siberia

Siberia – for centuries – has been a synonym for hard labor, inhuman icy space. There was no more tragic ending for real destinies and fictional novels than Siberia, it was used to frighten free-thinkers at the universities of the 19th century or, say, civilians in Berlin in April 1945 – not with mockery and death, but with it – it is more terrible.

In Siberia, there are indeed different degrees of risk outside the walls of the house; not death, but next to it, this is a completely different life, not the most prosperous place for those who were not born here.

And Siberia became the salvation of millions. It's good when you have somewhere to go, hide. Thanks to Siberia, our country has become the largest. And the way she is. The people deliberately increased it so that there was somewhere to run away and not to participate. And the collective unconscious – it has long been not only ours, but also of this endless land with its rivers under ice, snow, Christmas trees, with its weather and gloomy sky.

Siberia sheltered from repression the Old Believer branch (trunk?) Of the Russians, which went farther and farther to the east and north. Or remember Zuleikha, who opens her eyes in Siberia, and thousands of people like her – this is not Yakhina's invention. The commandant of Yeniseisk said that he could organize a branch of the Academy of Sciences from exiles. Researcher Alexei Babiy * added – and a branch of the Bolshoi Theater: in the Yenisei school No. 45, the Bolshoi Theater soloist Olga Mikhailova, Budyonny's wife, worked as a technician and sang at night. And the “repeat” Ananii Schwarzburg organized a city choir, which was attended by up to 500 people (there were 10 thousand inhabitants in all of Yeniseisk at that time). Professors and academics taught local children. The zones and ore mines were cultivated. Horrors as miracles and miracles as horrors – in Siberia, as in quantum physics or the Bible: different logic, different, sparkling algebra, nonlinear connections.

Consolidated choir of Yeniseisk under the direction of A. Schwarzburg. Photo courtesy of Alexey Babiy

November 8 – Day of Siberia. 440 years ago, Yermak's detachment entered Isker, the khan's headquarters, abandoned by Kuchum at night. The flight was preceded by the defeat of his troops. From that day on, Muscovy began to become Russia. So it has not yet become, if we proceed from the Constitution: in it Russia is equated to the non-existent Russian Federation.

The countdown of the common history of Russia and Siberia precisely from November 8, 1581 is the result of inaccurate knowledge (inconsistency in the annals, and they were not written immediately and not by eyewitnesses), but agreements, general convenience – the harvest by this time in the bins, the snow lay down, it's time to hammer pigs. And, accordingly, pour. It is not for nothing that these numbers – the beginning of November – account for so many epoch-making events. Domestic history is cyclical, and then,

that our ancestors were planning to defeat the Chinggisid, the Poles, the Provisional Government by the seasonal end of their usual work, is not at all surprising.

Alexander III is now remembered with a particularly kind word, and we focus on him: he, ascending the throne, decided to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the annexation of Siberia, and he was celebrated for two years starting from October 26, 1881. November 8, new style. The holiday was common until 1919, then it disappeared altogether, in recent decades it has been celebrated only in Siberia, and only at the local level, and, as a rule, purely on the initiative from below.

Would Muscovy become a European country if the ocean was splashing behind the Ural ridge? Siberia, the North – one of the points of the last main domestic discussion: A.D. Sakharov (he, in particular, did not believe in the possibility of effective development of the northern territories) and A.I. Solzhenitsyn (who saw a development reserve in Siberia). And before that D.L. Andreev, N.A. Berdyaev, P.A. Kropotkin, D.I. Mendeleev and others. The dispute between soil and Westerners continues – hopes for the movement of progress, for historical time, rest against hopes and aspirations for land and space: see, for example, Putin's Valdai speech on October 21 and his, of October 13, at the Russian Energy Week …

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