The Church Union of Brest (1595-1596) resulted from sincere aspiration of both, Catholic and Orthodox Churches, to overcome the schism. However, during the preliminary negotiations and in the very moment when the union was proclaimed, it became apparent that two counterparts had very divergent visions of ecclesiology, as we can see from documents and correspondence that have been analysed in this article. These sources revealed a rather acute conflict of two manners to understand ecclesiological aspects of the union to come. This situation might be regarded as a cultural misunderstanding between Catholic and Orthodox traditions too.
The contest for the legacy of the Russian land between the Muscovite Russian state and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th century is described as restructuring and resematisation of terms of territorial demarcations in historical texts, diplomatic ceremonies and wars. In order to construct a “Russian land” the European, Muscovite, Polish and Lithuanian intellectuals sought to accommodate opinions on what it was and what it is. Their own opinions not only strongly diverged, but in many respects were mutually incompatible. The images of Russian land represent strategies of authoritative appropriation of East-European historical memory and its social and cultural uses.
This article focuses on the question of protonational consciousness of the Ukrainian elite in the second half of the 17th century. In the light of the contemporary sources one may assume that the consciousness consisted of two senses – of belonging to the overall Ruthenian world, comprising also the Orthodox citizens of the Duchy of Muscovy, and to the developing “Little Russian” community, limited to the Orthodox citizens of the Ruthenian lands of the Crown.
The article presents the process of shaping and stabilising of the natives’ statehood, of Tatars in particular, in the territory of Western Siberia at the turn of the Middle Ages and the modern period. As a result of these processes a state of Siberian Tatars was created, which was part of a greater Tatar and partly Islamic ecumene. The state formation processes also encompassed other ethnoses, for example Ostiaks and Voguls (Khants and Manses), who made greater supratribal political associations but under the Tatar control. The states of Western Siberian tribal nations collapsed due to the conquest made by Russia. Russian imperial policy aimed to eliminate the sense of the existence of a Tatar state before the Muscovite conquest, successfully attempting to Russify the lands, also in the cultural context.
The following work presents the role of the East in the formation of the Russian statehood both in the historical and modern context. Taking over by Russia of vast areas of Siberia and the Far East exerted a great influence on this country, which now had a sense of exceptionality on a global scale (slogan: Russia, the biggest state of the world). The conquests completed in the 16th-19th centuries made modern-day Russia a power, particularly in the field of resources and energy, even despite the collapse of the USSR and the loss of the majority of the peripheral territories.