Eurasianism. An ideological-political movement among Russian intellectuals who emigrated in the 1920s–1930s. Its basic tenet was that the territories of the Russian Empire (Eastern Europe and northern Asia) form a geographical and a cultural-political whole distinct from either Europe or Asia. According to the doctrine of Eurasianism, the Russian people and the Russian Orthodox church provide the spiritual and political leadership in Eurasia, which is historically rooted in the Mongol legacy, tsarist imperialist policy, and the messianic Orthodox doctrine of the Third Rome. The Eurasianists were hostile to European culture and to Western political systems. The movement was also hostile to the Ukrainian national problem and to the idea of political self-determination for the different peoples of the Russian Empire. It even frowned on their cultural independence. According to the Eurasianists, Ukrainian culture was only a regional variant of the general Russian culture. To regard it as a national culture was thought to be harmful to the Eurasian cause. The main spokesmen of the movement were Prince Nikolai Trubetskoi, G. Florovsky, V. Ilin, S. Frank, L. Karsavin, and P. Savitsky and George Vernadsky (both scholars of Ukrainian origin). In the interwar period the Eurasianists published several periodicals, among them Evraziiskii sovremennik and Evraziiskaia khronika.

Mytsiuk, Oleksander. Evraziistvo (Prague 1930)

Vasyl Markus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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