• Arthur MARGULOV PhD hab. (History), Professor of the Department of International Relations and Social Sciences and Humanities, Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs, Ukraine



the Assyrians, USSR, Soviet national policy, population censuses of the USSR, linguistic assimilation.


The historical Soviet legacy presents us with the positive achievements of state building. The issue of the vital activity of national communities in different chronological periods of the Soviet epoch occupied from a leading to secondary place in the state-party rhetorical programme activities. A striking example of this thesis was the policy of the Soviet government in the Assyrian national minority. When having a low educational and socio-economic level, demonstrating an internally consolidated structure and an indifferent attitude to the Soviet realities, the community was doomed to a tough regulatory policy on the part of the state. The purpose of our research is to study the level of mastery of the national language in the projection of the Soviet epoch on the territory of the USSR. This research context was chosen as a direct factor of assimilationist state policy and the artificial change of minority self-identification under the influence of state policy. Determining demographic indicators in a chronological perspective as an indicator of the effectiveness of the state's national policy becomes an integral part of our research task. The methodological basis of the study is a statistical method that allows analyzing the dynamics of assimilation processes and drawing conclusions about the imperfection of the demographic accounting of the Assyrians in the territory of the USSR. The publishing of parallel statistical calculations made by representatives of the national minority and regional state bodies reveals the true intentions of the Soviet authorities towards the community. The Scientific Novelty. Involvement in the scientific circulation of statistical data of the censuses of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, their correlation with archival materials, contributes to the formation of research effectiveness. These aspects have not yet been the results of scientific research.

The author using the statistical and source material draws the following conclusions: the Soviet authorities deliberately reduced the number of the Assyrians on the territory of the USSR, through deportation, ban on entry, dispersed resettlement; statistical indicators in the 1920s and 1930s of the actually available number do not reflect the real picture and are significantly underestimated; the Soviet censuses demonstrate the effectiveness of the assimilation policy in relation to the national minority, for almost 60 years more half of the Assyrians used Russian as their native language, in comparing with the pre-Soviet and early Soviet periods when their self-identification was based on 100% mastery of their native language.


All-Union population. (1928). Vsesoiuznaia perepys naselenyia 17 dekabria 1926 g. Kratkye svodki. Vypusk 4. Natsyonalnost y rodnoi yazyk naselenyia SSSR [All-Union population census December 17, 1926. Brief summaries. Issue 4. Nationality and native language of the population of the USSR]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Alphabetical list of peoples. (1895). Alfavitnyi spysok narodiv obitaiushchykh v Rosiiskii imperii [Alphabetical list of peoples living in the Russian Empire]. Saint Petersburg. [in Russian]

Arhiv vneshney politiki Rossiyskoi Federatsyi [RFFPA – Russian Federation Foreign Policy Archive]

Gatagova, L., Kosheleva, L., Horny, L. & Cadio, J. (2009). TSK VKP(b) i natsionalnyiy vopros [Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks and the National Question]. Book. 2. Moscow. [in Russian]

Hosudarstvennoe Kazennoe Uchrezhdenie Respubliki Adygeya “Natsyonal’nyi Arkhiv Respubliki Adygeya” [NA Republic of Adygea – State Institution of the Republic of Adygea “National Archives of the Republic of Adygea”]

Hosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiyskoi Federatsyi [SARF – State Archives of the Russian Federation]

Isupov, A. (1990). Naselenie SSSR: Po dannyim Vsesoyuznoy perepisi naseleniya 1989 g. [Population of the USSR: According to the All-Union Population Census of 1989]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Itogi Vsesoyuznoy. (1962). Itogi Vsesoyuznoy perepisi naseleniya 1959 goda SSSR (svodnyiy tom) [Results of the All-Union Population Census of 1959 of the USSR (consolidated volume)]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Makarova, O. (1984). CHislennost i sostav naseleniya SSSR: Po dannyim Vsesoyuznoy perepisi naseleniya 1979 g. Statisticheskiy sbornik [Number and composition of the population of the USSR: According to the All-Union population census of 1979. Statistical collection]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Maksimov, G. (1973). Itogi Vsesoyuznoy perepisi naseleniya 1970 goda T. 4. Natsionalnyiy sostav naseleniya SSSR [Results of the All-Union Population Census of 1970 Vol. 4. The National Composition of the Population of the USSR]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Mamuka, K. (2006). Assyrians of Georgia: problems of maintaining identity [Assyrians of Georgia: problems of maintaining identitу]. Central Asia and the Caucasus, 3 (45), 23–35. [in English]

Margulov, A. (2016). Konstrukt istorychnoi pamiati yak znariaddia asymiliatsii assyriitsiv u 1920-1930-ti rr. [The construct of historical memory as a tool of Assyrian assimilation in the 1920s and 1930s.] Bulletin of Mariupol State University.Series: History. Political Studies. 16, 82–87. [inUkrainian]

Margulov, A. (2017). Assyriitsi Ukrainy v 1920 – 1930-kh rokakh: khroniky protystoian [Assyrians of Ukraine in the 1920s – 1930s: chronicles of confrontations]. Vinnitsa. [inUkrainian]

Margulov, A. (2021). Assyrian National Elites of Georgia in the 1920s: Public Policy and National Cultural Identity. Skhidnoievropeiskyi Istorychnyi Visnyk [East European Historical Bulletin], 20, 93–103. Doi: 10.24919/2519-058X.20.240035 [in English]

Margulov, A. (2021). Represiy kak komponent natsyonalnoi politiki (assyryitsy v Hruziy 1920 – 1930-kh gg.) [Repression as a component of national policy (Assyrians in Georgia in the 1920s – 1930s)]. Vcheni zapysky Tavriiskoho natsionalnoho universytetu imeni V. I Vernadskoho. Seriia “Istorychni nauky”, 32 (71).1, 114–119. Doi: [in Ukrainian]

Mikhailov, S. (2020). Assiriytsyi Podmoskovya: 1920 – 1930-h gg. [Assyrians of the Moscow region: 1920 – 1930s] Moscow. [in Russian]

Mikhailov, S. (2020). Verhnevolzhskaya Assiriya. Istoriya formirovaniya assiriyskih gorodskih diaspor v 1920 – 1930-h gg. [Upper Volga Assyria. The history of the formation of the Assyrian urban diasporas in the 1920 – 1930s.] Moscow. [in Russian]

Osipov, S. (2000). Assiriytsy v Tbilisi [Assyrians in Tbilisi]. Tbilisi. [in Russian]

Polyakov, Yu. (Ed.). (1992). Vsesoyuznaya perepis naseleniya 1939 goda: Osnovnyie itogi [All-Union population census of 1939: Main results]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Rossiiskyi hosudarstvennyi arkhiv ekonomiky [RSAE – Russian State Archives of Economy]

Rossiiskyi hosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsialno-politycheskoi istorii [RSASPH – Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History]

Sado, S. (2017). Martirolog assiriytsev SSSR (1920 – 1950-e gg.) [Martyrology of the Assyrians of the USSR (1920 – 1950s.)]. St. Petersburg. [in Russian]

Troinitsky, N., Patkanov, S., Grebenshchikov, V., Shveikin, N., Brunneman, Yu. & Gilsher, A. (1905). Obschiy svod po Imperii rezultatov razrabotki, dannyih pervoy vseobschey perepisi naseleniya, proizvedennoy 28 yanvarya 1897 goda [A general summary of the results of the development of the Empire, data from the first general census, taken on January 28, 1897]. Vol. 2. St. Petersburg. [in Russian]

Tsentralnyi derzhavnyi arkhiv vyshchykh orhaniv vlady ta derzhavnoho upravlinnia Ukrainy (m. Kyiv) [CSAHASA – Central State Archive of Higher Authorities and State Administration of Ukraine (Kyiv)]

Tsentralnyiy arhiv FSB Rossii [CA FSB – Central Archive of the FSB of Russia] [in Russian]

Vermenych, Ya. (2022). “Radianizatsiia” chy “natsionalizatsiia”: shche raz pro sutnist polityky korenizatsii 1920 – pochatku 1930-kh rr. [“Sovietization” or “nationalization”: once again about the essence of the indigenization policy of the 1920s–early 1930s.]. Ukrainian Historical Journal, 3, 158–175. [in Ukrainian]

Vorobyov, N. (1938). Vsesoyuznaya perepis naseleniya. 17 dekabrya 1926 g. Kratkiy obzor organizatsii i proizvodstva [All-Union population census. December 17, 1926 Brief overview of organization and production]. Moscow, 102 p. [in Russian]

Vsesoyuznaya perepis. (1926). Vsesoyuznaya perepis naseleniya 17 dekabrya 1926 g.: kratkie svodki. Vyipusk 7. Vozrast i gramotnost naseleniya SSSR [All-Union population census on December 17, 1926: brief summaries. Issue 7. Age and literacy of the population of the USSR]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Vsesoyuznaya perepis. (1928). Vsesoyuznaya perepis naseleniya 17 dekabrya 1926 g.: kratkie svodki. Vyipusk 5. Vozrast i gramotnost. Evropeyskaya chast RSFSR. Belorusskaya SSR [All-Union population census on December 17, 1926: brief summaries. Issue 5. Age and literacy. European part of the RSFSR. Byelorussian SSR]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Zhyromskaya, V., Kiselev, I. & Polyakov, Yu. (1996). Polveka pod grifom “sekretno”: Vsesoyuznaya perepis naseleniya 1937 goda [Half a century classified “secret”: All-Union population census of 1937]. Moscow. [in Russian]

Zub (Rudenko), N. (2014). “Turkish Subjects” in the Russian Empire (XIX – Early XX Century) (Based On Materials in the Ukrainian Archives). Shìdnij svìt, (2), 16–22. Doi: [in English]




How to Cite