One of these dramatic episodes in stories Our country is the emergence in 50 of the last century of the so-called Siberian regionalism, the idea of which was proposed by the Russian scientist and traveler Grigory Potanin. In his opinion, the Siberian regions should have been separated from the rest of Russia, because in the capital Siberia is viewed exclusively as something negative, capable of playing a role only as an appendage suitable for exiles and convicts. Such thoughts first came to mind of Grigori Potanin while he was studying at St. Petersburg University with the active influence of the ideas of populism on him. It would seem that Potanin was walking exclusively on behalf of the Siberian people and being guided by the sole purpose of liberating Siberia from feudal oppression and making it the first Russian republic. But it was painfully radical methods that Grigory Nikolayevich was going to use.
The basis of the existence of the new Siberian Free States, namely the name proposed for the new state Potanin, he chose the almost complete rejection of all that had nothing to do with Siberia. If the titular nation, then only Siberians, if financial policy, then with full autonomy of management of funds from the new center, which Tomsk was intended to become.
For obvious reasons, the implementation of such an ambitious project, and even in conditions of absolute monarchy, could not pass without external assistance. This external out-of-place help itself could not appear, and therefore those who are preparing to empower the rulers of Siberia decided to apply for financial and not only financial support to the United States. In this regard, the letters of Mr. Potanin to American financiers with a simultaneous attempt to enlist the support of the American ambassador are very interesting. The letters proclaimed the main idea of cooperation mutually beneficial for Potanin and the United States: you (the United States) help us with organizing a series of turbulent Siberian uprisings with the goal of separating Siberia from the Russian Empire, and we give you, as much as most of Yakutia.
Naturally, such a proposal could not go unnoticed by the American "partners." To help with the separation of Siberia from the Russian Empire in the United States wanted so that the plans could begin to materialize even before they were outlined by Grigory Potanin himself. This once again proves that the American craving for the embodiment of the ancient “divide and rule” is far from being present only today, and this is not even a hundred years old. Yes, and what is the situation with the attempts to separate Siberia with the help of financial support for marches and riots? The whole system is painfully reminiscent of what is commonly called the support of opposition movements in various countries. The analogy is seen quite clearly. And the modern opposition, as well as Grigori Potanin, has a craving for using foreign funds to solve his own problems. But if Potanin promised the American “sponsors” of his project a truly generous reward, which is mentioned above, then what is interesting, the opposition members of the current spill promise for help from overseas. Is it also Yakutia? ..
However, the dreams of Grigori Potanin about the disintegration of Russia and the heading of Siberia, which was cut short after the present for the Americans, did not come true.
First, the epoch-making reforms of Alexander II broke out, which led to the emergence of new sets of laws and, most importantly, to the abolition of serfdom, which (slavery) in the States at that time still continued to exist (oh, these 60s are forever Americans lagging behind Russia: late with slavery, then with space ...)
Secondly, the authorities and special services of that time were less inclined to engage in dialogue with the opposition, and therefore Mr. Potanin was arrested in 1865, and spent several years in Omsk prison. In 1868, Grigory Nikolayevich was subjected to civilian execution and exiled to Sveaborg, and then to Nikolsk, in the Vologda province. In the 1874 year, Potanin was amnestied, apparently realizing that his undertaking with the separation of Siberia and the American help was the usual foolishness of a young man at that time (Potanin was born in the year 1835). Yes, I must admit, Potanin himself, after the correctional "jail", was no longer eager to separate anything, but found for himself a worthy thing for an educated person.
During his long life, Potanin made a lot of expeditions and discoveries, for which his name is still more associated with the benefit of serving the Motherland, and not with the adventure described in the article.
However, the idea of Grigori Potanin about independent Siberia was nevertheless brought to life during the Civil War in Soviet Russia. In 1918, a territorial formation appeared on the world map, which had many names, but one thing stood out - the Siberian Republic. Here the local government began to act, which chose the city of Omsk for its work. In fact, Siberia became an independent state, but the Soviet authorities quickly enough managed to remind the Siberians that their future was part of a single Russian state.
Obviously, recalling the proposals of a century and a half ago, American politicians still today express the idea that Siberia could be separated from Russia. Of course, to such a sweet cake with a huge amount of riches, the hand of foreign dreamers will stretch almost reflexively. I wonder how things are today with the correspondence of the current acceptors of foreign aid with their direct financial donors ...