Lectori Salutem!

RussianStudiesHu is an open-access online academic periodical covering historical Russian Studies. It uses double-blind peer review and, since 2021, has published two issues a year, with online content being continually expanded throughout the year. Besides being accessible on the periodical’s own website, issues are freely accessible at the Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences’ repository (EDIT), the Electronic Periodicals Archive & Database of the Hungarian Electronic Library (EPA) as well as in many other major international databases, including Scopus. The periodical materials are also made available in printed format by the Publisher.

Manuscripts are accepted in English and Russian, and in rare, exceptional cases, in Hungarian, on condition that the article has not been published elsewhere in any language. RussianStudiesHu welcomes authors who can provide an academic treatment of any issue related to Eastern Slavic, Russian or Soviet history (including their Hungarian and Eastern European aspects), either as a historian or by means of a related discipline, provided they accept the periodical’s Rules of Publication.

Our “Guest Column” is a space for scholars of Russian Studies in the widest possible meaning of the term, while our “Opuscula Prima” column offers a publication opportunity to the winners of the Hungarian national “Russian Studies Thesis of the Year” competition and other Russian Studies scholars just starting out.

RussianStudiesHu does not give preferential treatment to any ‘genre,’ method or trend in historiography. However, the direction of the periodical’s endeavors is clearly demonstrated by its “Historiographies of Russia’s History (2000–2020)” series launched in 2021, a series that spanned several issues. The material in the themed section of the current issue examines the interconnections between Europe and Russia up to 1794.

The russianstudies.hu webpage, which provides the web platform for RussianStudiesHu, was established in the autumn of 2019 by members of the body that succeeded Eötvös Loránd University’s Centre for Russian Studies. ELTE’s History Institute provides the periodical with a professional-institutional base. Exceptional scholars from the world of international historical Russian studies have collaborated in the work of RussianStudiesHu, thereby enabling the journal to move beyond the limits not only of a specific university workshop but also of Russian studies in Hungary, and to serve the cause of universal knowledge. As one author has put it, “this forum serves as a meeting place of various historiographies,” and a mediator between Western and Eastern Russian Studies.

RussianStudiesHu is an independent, apolitical journal that aims always to be governed by strictly academic criteria. It must, however, along with the discipline as a whole, react to the brutal changes in the world that started early in 2022. Society expects to be given a valid explanation of the peculiar development of Russian history, and we, as a part of international Russian studies, are attempting to fulfill this ‘order from society’ to the best of our knowledge and expertise.

The creators of the russianstudies.hu research website, and the online periodical RussianStudiesHu extend a warm welcome to their readers!

Gyula Szvák – Editor-in-Chief

Our history

Ruszisztikai Intézet
  • Institute for Russian Studies (1990-1995)
“I still recall the place and time when the idea of an institute for Russian studies was first dreamt up. It happened in the summer of 1989, during sunbathing on the beach of a small holiday resort called Ronchi on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The blazing sun can wake strange thoughts and lights in one’s head. Around that time, I was chiefly occupied with the dealings of a publishing house called Maecenas, but the business went so smoothly that I had some spare energy and organisational potential. Notably, the system in which I had been socialized, had recently collapsed. Besides a number of drawbacks—which I am not pointing out only now, but I started to write about these in the spring of 1990—there were two advantages, nevertheless. There was freedom of association and anyone could launch even professional organisations; besides, research into the now adversary Soviet Union seemed more and more appreciated—or at least that is how I felt at that time. However, there was an unforeseeable error in my calculations. A scenario not even the most ingenious Kremlinologists would have expected, turned into reality: the Soviet Union collapsed. Funding allocated for its research was withdrawn. In our case, this money was not even invested.

However, by that time we—the hard core, that is, Tamás Krausz, Ákos Szilágyi, Zoltán Sz. Bíró, and myself—had already funded the society called Hungarian Association for Russian Studies, as well as its research organisation, the Hungarian Institute for Russian Studies. This happened in a quaint conference room of the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Humanities on Pesti Barnabás Street, in the presence of an enthusiastic and massive crowd of participants. Of course, our dealings were immediately reported to Ferenc Pölöskei, the university’s dean, but he was sympathetic and provided our association with a room. Armed with a fax machine and Ildikó Lehr, our secretary—or rather, a maid of all work—we started working in the next spring.

I do not want to go into details about the heydays; anyone can get an impression from the series we launched at that time, the Booklets on Soviet and Post-Soviet History, Politics, Economics and Society. The most memorable moment, the case through which our names became widely known, had, however, nothing to do with our academic endeavours. From one day to the other, a Russian TV broadcast that used to be freely and publicly accessible was made unavailable by the Hungarian authorities. According to the quite unconvincing official explanation, there was simply no one to pay the broadcast fee. The Institute for Russian Studies started a fundraising and money was quickly coming in—mostly 500–1000 Forint bills from low-income pensioners. Government communication left much to desire even then; they finally confessed that the broadcast cost only one million Forints. Narrow-mindedness was basking in the glory of its success! It was by no accident that we received considerable support from the otherwise everything but Russian-friendly media. Eventually, someone among the decision-makers woke up and the broadcast fee was paid by the authorities —I still don’t know how much it exactly was. Thus, we had to send back by post the money that had been sent to us in the fundraising campaign, in small bills.” (Excerpts from Gyula Szvák, Kis magyar ruszisztika. Russica Pannonicana (2011), pp. 110–112)
Ruszisztikai Központ
  • Centre for Russian Studies (1995-2006)
“It became clear in no time that an association pursuing academic goals cannot operate as an NGO run by volunteers. Research is a costly enterprise, and the Hungarian capital was not eager to give us a helping hand (not to mention its Russian counterpart). There were complications at the Faculty as well. At that time, Károly Manherz was the dean and he decided to put in order the Faculty that survived the years of the regime change in a run-down state. To be honest, our institute was the odd one out: we were inside physically, but we were outsiders from an administrative point of view. Therefore, the dean proposed to make us into a new organisational unit that answered directly to him, in the form of a ‘centre’, as it was fashionably called then. All this sounded wonderful, but to make it into reality, one thing was missing: funding.

It was the Ministry that came to help us in the end, as it provided the Eötvös Loránd University with one full-time and one half-time salaried position. That’s how I became the head of the centre, and Ildi Lehr a single-person secretariat. In fact, the Centre for Russian Studies came into being, and has operated to this very day, through my friendship with Tamás Krausz (and our ‘partnership in crime’). I wouldn’t say it was a premature birth, but the centre had, beyond doubt, some handicap.

First of all, our name. In 1989, the Department of Russian Language and Literature still used the name Department of Russian Studies, and so we chose a name that distinguished us from them. [In Hungarian, the Department was called Orosz Tanszék, while the centre’s name was Ruszisztikai Központ.] In the period of the regime change, the Department of Russian Studies was renamed Department of Eastern Slavic and Baltic Language and Literature, but we kept this strange Hungarian name, Ruszisztikai Központ, hardly understood by anyone except the initiated members of our circle. Moreover, our special programme soon to be launched was christened Historical Russistics and Modern Sovietology, in order to differentiate between educational competences. Ten courses were launched, and we taught for free as volunteers, simply because we had a name but no salaried teaching positions. No wonder that people jealous of us were not particularly numerous. Most people don’t like working for free, especially not if they have to sail against adverse winds, like scholars of Russian studies had to after 1989.

The breakthrough came in 1998, when we organised our first international conference (or rather, symposium). Since then, this assembly has been held every second year. Scholars of international distinction came to participate, crossing the Atlantic; the doyen of international Russian studies, Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, was among the distinguished guests, and other globally acknowledged scholars followed in his footsteps. We owe thanks to the connection network of Ruslan Grigorievich Skrynnikov, which helped us immensely during organisation. Dmitry Sergeyevich Likhachov also supported us indirectly, as I was able to meet Professor Riasanovsky at Berkeley thanks to a reference from him. As I look back, it seems that the Centre for Russian Studies gained a foothold at an international level first. No one is a prophet in his own land, and this also applies to scholars of Russian studies.

Creating the Research Group for Historical Russistics in 2002, based on the Centre itself and embedded in the Network of Research Sites of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, was the next major step. First there were only five, later 15 members, and a few additional employment positions, in cooperation with colleagues in Pécs. In these years, this research group provided funding for our extra-curricular activities, such as publishing books. The number of publications in the series Books on Russistics grew steadily in the early 2000s, partly due to this support.

A series of events titled ‘Hungarian-Russian Cultural Seasons’, as well as a general and spectacular improvement of Hungarian-Russian relations in the middle of the decade brought vital changes for the Centre. In 2006, the Foundation for Russian Language and Culture was established.”

(Excerpts from Gyula Szvák, Kis magyar ruszisztika. Russica Pannonicana (2011), pp. 112–114)
Történeti Ruszisztikai Tanszék
  • Department of Historical Russistics (2006-2018)
We had a foundation, in which we had invested 500,000 Forints. And so we tried to make ourselves useful. We started handing out scholarly awards [….] the “Russian studies scholar of the year”, the “Russian language teacher of the year”, the Pro Cultura Hungaro-Russica Award, as well as the Best Papers in Russistics and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The ‘good’—or at least, the stubbornly tenacious—will sometimes really be rewarded. We started reaping the harvest of our hard work in 2007. When Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, then prime minister came to visit Budapest and I put forward the idea of a virtual university of Russian studies, Igor Sergeevich Savolsky showed no interest. However, in December Ambassador Valeriy Leonidovich Musatov expressed to Péter Kiss, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, his support of this plan, and Igor Sergeevich Savolsky also declared similar intentions through diplomatic channels. By this time the original idea was considerably modified, and now only MA courses were planned (with Russian as the language of instruction) within the framework of an enlarged centre for Russian studies; however, we were immensely grateful. Finally, the Hungarian government was willing to make a gesture in this matter; by that time, popularizing the Russian language around the globe had become part of the government programme in Russia. (And, to put it frankly, this is still the cheapest way to make a gesture in bilateral relations.) Thanks to these efforts, the Research and Methodological Centre for Russian Studies started to operate on the 2nd of October 2008 at the Eötvös Loránd University, and had the opportunity to facilitate Russistics-related infrastructural developments. The Russian government contributed to the project through the Russkiy Mir Foundation. Thanks to their donation, the Research and Methodological Cabinet and Library for Russian Studies opened on the 25th of February 2009.”

Launching the Master’s Programme in Russistics was the next step. “To become a scholar of Russian studies, I propose to get enrolled in the Master’s Programme in Russian Studies at Eötvös Loránd University. This programme is unprecedented; it started in the autumn of 2010 at the Budapest Faculty of Humanities. No other similar course exists in Hungary, or anywhere else in the world. No wonder that its creation was a demanding and heroic endeavour.

I started organising this 27 or 28 years ago. First I submitted a proposal for the programme to the re-organised University of Pécs, and at the end of the decade I tried my luck with the Soros Foundation. In 1997 the proposal was presented to the Hungarian Accreditation Committee, only to remain unapproved. Later on I planned to launch a so-called “programme C” at ELTE—besides the then existing “A” and “B” programmes—however, this plan had to be abandoned due to the educational reform. My fifth attempt, four years ago, failed because the partner Corvinus University had little faith in our success. So, if my math is right, success came on the sixth try, and I had to wait almost three decades for it.

The curriculum made into reality through such difficulties is called Master’s Programme in Russistics. The certificate itself says, “expert specialised in Russian studies”. We call our graduating students “experts on Russia”, and by the way, a recent decision by the Faculty Council allows us to use this name officially from the next year on. For those speaking Russian, the name is an easy matter: in Russian it is called rossievedenie [россиеведение].

This is a 120-credits programme, just as any other. The MA thesis is worth 20 credits, and the curriculum is based on a tripartite system of introductory studies, basic training, and specialisation. One third of the classes are centred on the periods of Russian-Soviet history, another third on art and cultural history, and the remaining third focuses on the complex study of present-day Russia. Anyone enrolled in a programme on history, Russian language, political science or international relations can come and participate, from any institution in the country that grants BA degrees. Others may also be enrolled on certain conditions.

What do we offer to those who choose the Master’s Programme in Russian Studies and finish the four semesters? Nothing less than the ability to

  • - have a firm understanding of Russian and Soviet history;
  • - do research into any questions of Russian and Soviet history;
  • - orientate themselves and others in questions concerning present-day Russia;
  • - analyse events and developments in present-day Russian society, politics, culture, media, economy, and mentality;
  • - conduct research into and improve the relations between Russia and the European Union;
  • - cooperate with the written press and the electronic media.
The aim of the programme is no less than to foster a generation of specialists who can mediate between Hungary (and the European Union) and Russia, and of highly trained professionals with theoretical knowledge and pragmatic skills, well-prepared to deal with Russia-related business, who will be employed in state administration, at local governments, in cultural and other types of diplomacy, in the media, as well as in the private sector.

To sum it up, the aim is to offer marketable knowledge and a valuable certificate.

This path is difficult and leads through catharsis. Hopefully, the novelty of this programme will last long, and will attract and inspire students as well as professors. In Hungary, no one had ever received an MA degree in Russistics, and this curriculum is unknown in other parts of the world. All involved parties know how special this programme is; this experience makes the department a place of dedication and loftiness.

And it goes without saying that we are working on the next move.” The Russian Studies Doctoral Programme started in 2010.

(Excerpts from Gyula Szvák, Kis magyar ruszisztika. Russica Pannonicana (2011), pp. 106–110, 115–116)

Those who want to know how the story continues, shall visit the centre’s website (www.russtudies.hu, in Hungarian and Russian), and check the News section edited by Zsuzsanna Gyimesi until 2019. A summary of the centre’s scholarly achievements is published on pp. 13–34 in the volume Our Russistics: Studies on 20th/25th Anniversary (no. 40 in the series Books on Russistics).
Történeti Ruszisztikai Tanszék
  • The First Decade

Historical Russistics in Budapest – The First Decade

10 Years in 10 Phrases
1990 – Ten historians and literary historians initiated the Hungarian Association for Russian Studies and its autonomous scholarly workshop, the Hungarian Institute for Russian Studies, under the leadership of Gyula Szvák; the Association was housed in the building of the Faculty of Humanities on Pesti Barnabás Street, Budapest

1991 – The first issue of the Soviet (later, Post-Soviet) Booklets, titled The End of the Perestroika? (in Hungarian: A peresztrojka vége?) came out, followed by three other reports in the same year

1992 – The Institute launched an experimental PhD programme – even before PhD programmes were officially introduced in Hungary – and organised a successful campaign to reinstate Russian-language TV programmes in the country

1993 – The book Yeltsin and Yeltsinism (in Hungarian: Jelcin és a jelcinizmus) was published; it was translated into Russian in the same year, titled Ельцинщина; the book received lots of attention in Russian intellectual circles

1994 – The book Regime Change: A Personal Experience (in Hungarian: Megélt rendszerváltás) was published by Tamás Krausz

1995 – The Centre for Russian Studies was launched (with Gyula Szvák as head of the Centre), hosted by the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University; the first one of the 48 volumes of the Books on Russistics (Ruszisztikai Könyvek), edited by Tamás Krausz and Ákos Szilágyi, was put in print

1996 – Tamás Krausz’s DSc dissertation, titled Soviet Thermidor: Intellectual Preludes of the Stalinist Turn, 1917–1928 (in Hungarian: Szovjet thermidor. A sztálini fordulat szellemi előzményei, 1917–1928), was published as a book and received wide critical acclaim

1997 – A comprehensive history of Russia, the first such study written by Hungarian scholars since 1945, was prepared in the Centre with Gyula Szvák as the main editor; a special programme, named Historical Russistics and Modern Soviet Studies, was launched as a complementary course for MA students

1998 – The first biannual conference, titled Russia’s Place in Europe, was organised in the Centre; up to the present day, eleven such conferences were held

1999 – The three-year-long research programme Fundamental Research into Historical Russistics, led by Gyula Szvák and endorsed by the Ministry of Education, was launched; another four-year-long research project, the Fundamental Research into Soviet Historical Studies, led by Tamás Krausz and supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), also started
Történeti Ruszisztikai Tanszék
  • The second decade

Historical Russistics in Budapest – The Second Decade

10 Years in 10 Phrases
2000Documents on Historical Russistics (in Hungarian: Dokumentumok történeti ruszisztikánk tárgyköréből), a volume summarising the achievements of the first decade and the plans for the years to come, edited by Ferenc Havas, was published; the conference Russia’s Place in Eurasia, featuring ca. 30 guest lecturers from abroad, was held with great success

2001 – A volume of studies and documents edited by Tamás Krausz and Eszter Bartha, titled GULAG – A History of the Soviet Labour Camp System, as well as the monograph The Legacy of Ivan IV and Peter I by Gyula Szvák, was put in print

2002 – The first history of the House of Romanov written by Hungarian scholars, a joint publication by Emil Niederhauser and Gyula Szvák, came out

2003 – The Research Group for Historical Russistics of the Eötvös Loránd University and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was set up, with a statistical staff of “1.5 members”; the Group was led by Gyula Szvák and they published 51 books, 133 studies and 4 PhD dissertations in the years to come, until the team was dissolved after nine years of operation

2004 – The Year of Hungarian Culture in Russia (scheduled for 2005) started with a “warm-up festival” in September 2004; Gyula Szvák was appointed as main trustee for the series of events and performances; the Centre for Russistics played a crucial role in organising the festival

2005 – The volume Medieval Russian Sources, edited by Sándor Szili, was published as the first item in a series of source publications (The Selected Sources of Russian History, in Hungarian: Az orosz történelem forrásai); other important publications of the year included Everyday Life under Stalinism (in Hungarian: A sztálinizmus hétköznapjai), a volume of scholarly studies and documents, edited by Tamás Krausz, and a bilingual publication titled Twelve Centuries of Russian-Hungarian Relations; as part of the Year of Hungarian Culture in Russia, a series of conferences on history were organised by Tamás Krausz in Moscow

2006 – Professors on the Faculty of Humanities launched the Foundation for Russian Language and Culture; the TARKI Social Research Institute, on the commission of the Centre and the Foundation, conducted a national poll to survey the Hungarians’ relationship with the Russians; the Centre was renamed as Department of Historical Russistics; Gyula Szvák was inaugurated as an honorary doctor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and received the Medal of Pushkin from Vladimir Putin for his work as the main trustee of the Year of Hungarian Culture in Russia in 2004–2005

2007 – The Russistics awards were handed out for the first time: Lajos Vass was given the Pro Cultura Hungaro-Russica Award; Inessza Vujovits received the Lifetime Award for Russian Teachers; Anna Han was named the Russistics Scholar of the Year; the Russian Teacher of the Year was Péter Dancz, while the Best Russistics Paper Award was given to Enhzaya Sárköziné Vandan; the monograph Religious struggle and the crisis of traditionalism in 17th-century Russia (in Russian: Религиозная борьба и кризис традиционализма в России XVII века) by Szergej Filippov (Sergei Filippov) was also published

2008 – Professional monitoring was initiated at the Department; the Centre for Research and Methodology of Russian Studies was launched. Ferenc Hudecz, the university’s rector joined Gyula Szvák in traveling to Russia and signing a series of cooperation agreements with Russian universities; Tamás Krausz’s lengthy monograph on Lenin, which was later translated into many languages, came out this year

2009 – Early this year, Ferenc Hudecz and Viateslav Nikonov inaugurated the Russian Studies Methodological Cabinet and Library, created with support from the Russkiy Mir Foundation; the first summer camp focusing on Russistics was organised in Balatonfüred; the Fortocska (Fortochka) Gallery opened (with Zsuzsanna Gyimesi as main curator), and the periodical Orosz Negyed (Russian Quarters) was started (with Ilona Kiss as editor-in-chief)
Történeti Ruszisztikai Tanszék
  • The third decade

Historical Russistics in Budapest – The third decade

10 years in 10 phrases
2010 – The MA in Russian Studies, a so-far unprecedented course in the country, was launched, and the Doctoral School of History initiated a separate Russian Studies Programme; the Days of Russian Studies were organised for the first time; the Post-Soviet news e-zine oroszvilag.hu was also introduced; on the 20th anniversary, a large-scale international conference was held, and the Socius Honoris Causa Award was handed out; the Centre hosted the first meeting of “Russian Centres” in Europe, and it also made a debut in Brussels

2011 – A mass event commemorated the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s spaceflight; astronauts Bertalan Farkas, Valery Kubasov and Sergei Krikalev were invited as special guests; the ‘Methodological Saturdays’ seminars, which still continue today, were organised for the first time, led by Irina Oszipova (Irina Osipova); the Centre participated in the European Researchers’ Night; at the conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Russian ambassador spoke up against the forgery of WWII history

2012 – TARKI Social Research Institute conducted another poll on Hungarian attitudes toward Russians; with help from the Russkiy Mir Foundation, ten university textbooks to be used by the MA course were prepared, and the MA in International Russian Studies was accredited; the 2009 book on the twelve greatest Russians, edited by Gyula Szvák, was translated into Russian

2013 – The Russian Studies workshop of Budapest made a presentation in the Russian Centre in Pisa; the volume Clio, the Treacherous Flatterer (in Hungarian: Klió, a csalfa széptevő) was published by Gyula Szvák

2014 – The Cabinet celebrated its 5th anniversary with an event where the managing director of Russkiy Mir Foundation was also present; the PhD programme in Russian Studies organised the first International Conference of Young Scholars of Russian Studies, in which 63 researchers from ten countries participated; two of the Department’s professors were included on the University’s Excellence List

2015 – The Institute celebrated its 25th and the Centre for Russian Studies its 20th anniversary; participants of the anniversary conference planted the Tree of Russian Studies in the University’s Garden (Trefort Garden); the volume Our Russian Studies (in Hungarian: A mi ruszisztikánk) was also published to commemorate the event; a cooperation agreement was signed with the Russian Social Science Research Fund, and Tamás Krausz received the Isaac Deutscher Award for his monograph on Lenin

2016 – The last of the eight volumes of the Canadian-American Slavic Studies, dedicated to the memory of R. G. Skrynnikov, was put out, partially edited by Gyula Szvák; ten years after the first poll, a third survey was made to see how Hungarian attitudes towards Russia had changed; the research results of the last decade were published in the Post-Soviet Booklets series

2017 – The international conference commemorating the centenary of the 1917 Revolution hosted 48 papers, presented by scholars from 22 cities in 13 different countries; the Lenin monograph by Tamás Krausz was translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil; a three-year-long research project kicked off in cooperation with the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences

2018 – After almost 23 years of service, Gyula Szvák resigned as head of department; József Juhász became the new head of the Department of Historical Russistics; a volume of collected studies honouring Tamás Krausz’s 70th birthday, titled Tertium Datur, was published; The Political History of Medieval Novgorod (in Hungarian: A középkori Novgorod politikatörténete) by Gábor Gyóni also came out this year

2019 – The Department of Historical Russistics merged with the Department of Eastern European History, the new unit was named the Department of Eastern and Central European History and Historical Russistics, and within it, the Russian Studies Centre was set up; the Centre launched the open-access online journal RussianStudiesHu; the ʻVasily Klyuchevskyʼ Seminar was established on the initiative of Gyula Szvák; the international conference titled “Russia and Hungary in World Culture: The Source and its Interpretation” closed the three-year-long research programme conducted jointly with Russian partners
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Ferenc Hudecz

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György Bebesi, Attila Kolontári

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Gyula Szvák

Holders of the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’

The title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ has been awarded to those representatives of the Hungarian and international science community who have given the most effective and efficient contribution in any field to the development of the Institute / Centre for Russian Studies.

On May 8, 2020, at the 30th anniversary of the Institute for Russian Studies, the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ was awarded posthumously to
Ruslan Skrynnikov

historian, Professor at the Saint Petersburg (Leningrad) State University for his school-founding activity in developing the Russian studies in Hungary;

Emil Niederhauser

historian, member of HAS, professor emeritus at ELTE (Budapest) for his school-founding activity in developing the Eastern Europe related historical researches;

Nicholas V. Riasanovsky (1923–2011),

historian, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley for highly effectively and efficiently fostering the international reputation of the Institute / Centre for Russian Studies.

On May 17, 2000, at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Institute for Russian Studies, the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ was awarded to
Professor Philip Longworth,

historian (London), the doyen of British-American academic Russian studies, for his 80th birthday;

Member of RAS Andrei Sakharov,

historian (Moscow), long-time Director of the Institute of the History of Russia of the Russian Academy of Sciences, for his 80th birthday;

Member of RAS Yurii Pivovarov,

historian (Moscow), Director of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, for his 60th birthday;

Professor Károly Manherz,

philologist (Budapest), long-time Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University, for his outstanding contribution to the foundation of the ELTE Centre for Russian Studies.

On April 19, 2011 at the official opening of the series of events ‘Days of Russian Studies’, organised for the second time by the ELTE Centre for Russian Studies,
Corresponding Member of HAS Ferenc Hudecz,

chemist (Budapest), former Rector of the Eötvös Loránd University, was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for his outstanding contribution to the foundation of the Research and Methodological Cabinet and Library for Russian Studies.

On May 21, 2012 at the international conference on ‘Historians and the World – the World of Historians in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe’,
Professor Ann M. Kleimola,

historian (Lincoln) was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for her continuous participation and outstanding lectures held at the biennial conferences organised by the Centre For Russian Studies since 1998.

On November 30, 2012,
Vyacheslav Nikonov,

historian, political scientist (Moscow), Head of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for highly effectively and efficiently fostering the Russian studies in Hungary and the fruitful work of the Research and Methodological Cabinet and Library for Russian Studies in Budapest.

On May 17, 2017,
Maya Petrova D.Sc.,

historian, Head of the Centre for Gender Studies of the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for her outstanding contribution in fostering the bilateral academic researches.

On May 8, 2020,
Paul Dukes,

historian, professor emeritus (Aberdeen) was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for highly effectively and efficiently fostering the international reputation of the Institute / Centre for Russian Studies.

On May 8, 2020,
József Juhász,

historian, professor and head of department (Budapest) was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for his devoted work in providing for the continuity of the Budapest-based research group in historical Russistics.

On September 30, 2021
Dmitrii Redin,

historian, professor (Yekaterinburg) was awarded the title ‘Socius Honoris Causa’ for highly effectively and efficiently fostering the international reputation of the Institute / Centre for Russian Studies.

At the 30th anniversary celebration of the Institute for Russian Studies its former members and current researchers have decided to establish the ‘Medal of Russistics’ to be awarded once a year for fostering the Russian studies in Hungary.
For the first time, on May 8, 2020,
Igor Sergeyevich Savolsky,

ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in Hungary (2006–2009) was awarded the ‘Medal of Russistics’.

For the second time, on September 22, 2022
László Csorba professor emeritus,

the former director of the Hungarian National Museum was awarded the ‘Medal of Russistics’.




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Member of Russian Academy of Sciences Veniamin Alekseev – Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Вranch of the RAS (Ekaterinburg, Russia) • Professor Evgenii Anisimov – St. Petersburg Historical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) • Professor Dániel Bagi – University of Eötvös Loránd (Budapest, Hungary) • Professor Emeritus Chester S. L. Dunning – Texas A&M University (College Station, USA) • Professor Márta Font – University of Pécs (Pécs, Hungary) • Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor Wendy Z. Goldman – Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA) • Corresponding Member of RAS Andrei Golovnev – Kunstkamera. Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) • Professor Hieronim Grala -University of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) • Professor Claudio S. Ingerflom – National University of General San Martín (Buenos Aires, Argentina) • Professor Emeritus Tamás Krausz – Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) • Professor Andrei Medushevsky – National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia) • Professor Emeritus Peter Pastor – Montclair State University (Montclair, USA) • Professor Dmitrii Redin – Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Вranch of the RAS (Ekaterinburg, Russia) • Corresponding Member of RAS Lorina Repina – Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia) • Professor Richard Sakwa – University of Kent (Canterbury, Great Britain) • Professor Endre Sashalmi – University of Pécs (Pécs, Hungary) • Professor Ludwig Steindorff – Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel (Kiel, Germany) • Professor Emeritus Léna Szilárd – University of Sassari (Sassari, Italy) • Professor Emeritus Gyula Szvák – Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) • Professor Igor Tyumentsev - Volgograd State University (Volgograd, Russia) • Professor Andrei Yurganov – Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow, Russia) • Professor Jianhua Zhang – Director of the Center for World History, Beijing Normal University (Beijing, China)

Printed Issues


Ruszisztikai könyvek

Publications in Hungarian

Russian and Soviet history

  • Krausz Tamás: Pokrovszkij és az orosz abszolutizmus vitája a 20-as években (Különlenyomat a Történelmi Szemle 1980/4. számából)
  • Szvák Gyula: Cárok és kalandorok. A „zavaros időszak” története (Kossuth, Budapest, 1982)
  • Az orosz történelem egyetemessége és különössége (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Szvák Gyula; ELTE ÁJK, Budapest, 1982)
  • Szvák Gyula: Iván, a Félelmetes (Gondolat, Budapest, 1985, 1996)
  • Szakszervezetek és államhatalom. Dokumentumok a szovjet-oroszországi szakszervezetek történetéből 1917–1923 (Szerk. és vál.: Krausz Tamás, Béládi László; ELTE ÁJK, Budapest, 1985)
  • Krausz Tamás: A cártól a komisszárokig. Az 1917-es oroszországi forradalmak történetéből (Kossuth, Budapest, 1987)
  • Béládi László, Krausz Tamás: Életrajzok a bolsevizmus történetéből (ELTE ÁJK Államtudományi és Politikatudományi Intézet, Budapest, 1987)
  • Béládi László, Krausz Tamás: Sztálin. Történelmi vázlat (Láng, Budapest, 1988)
  • Szvák Gyula: Hamis cárok (Kozmosz Könyvek, Budapest, 1988)
  • Szvák Gyula: Moszkóvia és a Nyugat (Magvető, Budapest, 1988)
  • Leszállt-e Hruscsov Kijevben? Hruscsov és kora (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Kolibri, Budapest, 1988)
  • Demokrácia, „cézárizmus”, szocializmus. Nyikolaj Ivanovics Buharin tanulmányai (Szerk.: Béládi László, Krausz Tamás; ELTE ÁJK, Budapest, 1988)
  • A száműzött Trockij (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Kolibri, Budapest, 1989)
  • Krausz Tamás: Bolsevizmus és nemzeti kérdés. Adalékok a nemzeti kérdés bolsevik felfogásának történetéhez 1917–1922 (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1989)
  • Furkósbottal Európába? I. Péter: érvek – ellenérvek (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Új Géniusz, Budapest, 1989)
  • Krausz Tamás: Pártviták és történettudomány. Viták „az orosz történelmi fejlődés sajátosságairól”, különös tekintettel az 1920-as évekre (Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1991)
  • Oroszország és a Szovjetunió XX. századi képes történeti kronológiája 1900–1991 (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Szilágyi Ákos, Sz. Bíró Zoltán; Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1992)
  • Krausz Tamás: Oroszországi alternatívák 1914–1928. Forrásfüzet az iskolai oktatáshoz (Korona, Budapest, 1995)
  • Szvák Gyula: Durák (válogatott cikkek, tanulmányok) (Tegnap és Ma, Budapest, 1995)
  • Krausz Tamás: Szovjet thermidor. A sztálini fordulat szellemi előzményei 1917–1928 (Napvilág, Budapest, 1996)
  • Krausz Tamás: Sztálin – 1996. Történelmi esszé (Változó Világ Könyvtár: Történelem 3.) (Útmutató, Budapest, 1996)
  • Szvák Gyula: A moszkvai Oroszország története (Magyar Ruszisztikai Intézet, Budapest, 1997)
  • Font Márta, Krausz Tamás, Niederhauser Emil, Szvák Gyula: Oroszország története (1. kiadás) (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Maecenas, Budapest, 1997)
  • Ormos Mária, Krausz Tamás: Hitler – Sztálin (Pannonica, Budapest, 1999)
  • Szvák Gyula: A feudalizmuskori orosz történelem fő problémái az orosz történetírásban (Akadémiai doktori disszertáció, tézisek) (Budapest, 1999)
  • Font Márta, Krausz Tamás, Niederhauser Emil, Szvák Gyula: Oroszország története (2. kiadás) (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Pannonica, Budapest, 2001) (pdf)
  • GULAG - a szovjet táborrendszer története (Szerk: Krausz Tamás, Bartha Eszter; Pannonica, Budapest, 2001)
  • Niederhauser Emil, Szvák Gyula: A Romanovok (Pannonica, Budapest, 2002)
  • Krausz Tamás: Sztálin élete és kora (Pannonica, Budapest, 2003)
  • Krausz Tamás: Lenintől Putyinig. Tanulmányok és cikkek 1994–2003 (La Ventana, Budapest, 2003)
  • A sztálinizmus hétköznapjai. Tanulmányok és dokumentumok a Sztálin-korszak történetéből (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 2003)
  • Szvák Gyula, Jevgenyij Anyiszimov: IV. Iván – I. Péter (Pannonica, Budapest, 2004)
  • Az ismeretlen fekete könyv. Szemtanúk vallomásai a szovjet zsidók tragédiájáról (1941–1944) (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Pannonica, Budapest, 2005)
  • A középkori orosz történelem forrásai (Szerk.: Szili Sándor; Pannonica, Budapest, 2005) (pdf)
  • Szvák Gyula: Oroszország helye Eurázsiában. Historiográfiai tanulmányok (Pannonica, Budapest, 2006) (pdf)
  • Az újkori orosz történelem forrásai - XVIII. század (Szerk.: Szergej Filippov, Pannonica, 2006) (pdf)
  • Az újkori orosz történelem forrásai – XIX. század (Szerk.: Szergej Filippov; Pannonica, Budapest, 2007) (pdf)
  • Krausz Tamás: A Szovjetunió története 1914–1991 (Kossuth, Budapest, 2008)
  • Krausz Tamás: Lenin. Társadalomelméleti rekonstrukció (Napvilág, Budapest, 2008)
  • Szvák Gyula: Oroszország zavaros időszaka (Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2009) (pdf)
  • A tizenkét legnagyobb orosz (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Pannonica, Budapest, 2009)
  • Szent Orsolyától Iszaak Babelig (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2009)
  • A normannkérdés az orosz történelemben – I. Források (Szerk.: Szili Sándor; Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2009)
  • A nagy honvédő háború (Великая отечественная война). A Vörös Hadsereg 21. gyalogsági hadosztálya 93. harckocsivadász tüzérségi zászlóalja 3. ütege hősi tetteinek krónikája (Hasonmás kiadás) (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2010)
  • Az Ankungyinov-ügy (Дело Т. Анкундинова). Egy európai kalandor Moszkóviából (kétnyelvű kiadvány) (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2011) (pdf)
  • Ruzsa György: Az ikon - Teológia, esztétika, ikonográfia, ikonológia, technika (Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2012) (pdf)
  • Szvák Gyula: IV. Iván és I. Péter mikrohistoriográfiája (L'Harmattan, Budapest, 2019)

Hungarian (and other) aspects of Russian and Soviet history

  • Koronás portrék (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Kozmosz Könyvek, Budapest, 1987)
  • Szürke eminenciások (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Kozmosz Könyvek, Budapest, 1989)
  • Krausz Tamás: Antiszemitizmus – holokauszt – államszocializmus (Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 2004)
  • A magyar-orosz kapcsolatok tizenkét évszázada (Двенадцать столетий венгерско–русских отношений) (Kétnyelvű kiadvány) (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; ELTE Ruszisztikai Központ, Budapest, 2005)
  • Szvák Gyula: Kis magyar ruszisztika (Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2011)
  • Krausz Tamás, Varga Éva Mária: A magyar megszálló csapatok a Szovjetunióban. Levéltári dokumentumok 1941–1947 (L’Harmattan, Budapest, 2013)
  • A doni fotós. Reményi József főhadnagy életútja, háborús naplója és fényképei (Szerk.: Mezei Bálint; Budapest, Győr; 2015, 2016)
  • Szvák Gyula: Mi az orosz? A magyarok (és mások) orosz-képéről (Russica Pannonicana, Budapest, 2016) (pdf)
  • Kvász Iván: Tréflidolog 2. (Scolar, Budapest, 2018) (pdf)
  • Szvák Gyula: „Nem lelkendezhetek főállásban” – Beszélgetések Oroszországról (Gondolat, Budapest, 2018)
  • Gyóni Gábor: A magyarság hajnalán. A magyarok korai története a honfoglalásig (MTA Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Magyar Őstörténeti Témacsoport, Budapest, 2019)
  • Szvák Gyula: „Mi, moszkoviták” – publicisztikák Oroszországról (Gondolat, Budapest, 2020)

Eastern Europe and Hungary

  • Krausz Tamás, Mesterházi Miklós: Mű és történelem. Viták Lukács György műveiről a húszas években (Gondolat, Budapest, 1985)
  • Válaszúton. „Létező szocializmus” – Politikai átmeneti időszak? Szocializmus? Kapitalizmus? (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Tütő László; ELTE ÁJK, Budapest, 1988)
  • Krausz Tamás: Megélt rendszerváltás. Publicisztikai írások 1989–1994 (Cégér, Budapest, 1994)
  • Önkormányzás vagy az elitek uralma (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Márkus Péter; Liberter, Budapest, 1995)
  • Diktatúrák – diktátorok (Ormos Mária, Székely Gábor, Krausz Tamás, Harsányi Iván, Pankovits József, Erényi Tibor; Napvilág, Budapest, 1997)
  • Rendszerváltás és társadalomkritika. Tanulmányok a kelet-európai átalakulás történetéből (Szerk: Krausz Tamás; Napvilág, Budapest, 1998)
  • Történelem IV. 1914–1998 (A Magyar Lajos Alapítvány által felkért és támogatott munkaközösség, tagja Krausz Tamás; Cégér, Budapest, 1998)
  • A Balkán-háborúk és a nagyhatalmak. Rigómezőtől Koszovóig (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Napvilág, Budapest, 1999)
  • Hajrá, MTK! (Szerk.: Galla Miklós, Krausz Tamás, Szántó András; Ágnes-Press Bt., Csobánka, 1999)
  • Életünk Kelet-Európa. Tanulmányok Niederhauser Emil 80. születésnapjára (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Szvák Gyula; Pannonica, Budapest, 2003)
  • Szarka Klára: Az árral szemben. Beszélgetések Krausz Tamással (L’Harmattan, Budapest, 2006)
  • A Ságvári-dosszié. A Legfelsőbb Bíróság és a magyar jogállam – The Ságvári Dossier. The Supreme Court and the Rule of Law (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; Pannonica, Eszmélet Alapítvány; Budapest, 2006)
  • Kelet-Európa: történelem és sorsközösség. Palotás Emil 70. születésnapjára (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; ELTE BTK Kelet-Európa Története Tanszék, Budapest, 2006)
  • Államszocializmus: értelmezések, viták, tanulságok (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Szigeti Péter; L’Harmattan, Eszmélet Alapítvány; Budapest, 2007)
  • A történetírás új tendenciái a rendszerváltás után Kelet-Európában (Szerk.: Csaplár-Degovics Krisztián, Krausz Tamás; L'Harmattan, Budapest, 2007)
  • Szvák Eszter: A nagy könyv-piac (Szerk.: Szvák Gyula; Pannonica, Budapest, 2007)
  • A játék hatalma: futball, pénz, politika (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Mitrovits Miklós; ELTE BTK Kelet-Európa Története Tanszék, L’Harmattan; Budapest, 2008)
  • Az új nemzetállamok és az etnikai tisztogatások Kelet-Európában 1989 után (Szerk.: Juhász József, Krausz Tamás; L’Harmattan, ELTE BTK Kelet-Európa Története Tanszék; Budapest, 2009)
  • 1968: Kelet-Európa és a világ (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Bartha Eszter; L'Harmattan, Budapest, 2009)
  • Lukács György és a szocialista alternatíva. Tanulmányok és dokumentumok (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás; L’Harmattan, Eszmélet Alapítvány; Budapest, 2010)
  • Rendszerváltás és történelem. Tanulmányok a kelet-európai átalakulásról (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Mitrovits Miklós, Zahorán Csaba; L’Harmattan, ELTE BTK Kelet-Európa Története Tanszék, Budapest, 2010)
  • 1919 – a magyarországi Tanácsköztársaság és a kelet-európai forradalmak (Szerk.: Krausz Tamás, Vértes Judit; L'Harmattan, Budapest, 2010)
  • Bartha Eszter: A népirtástól a történelemhamisításig. Rendszerkritikai megközelítések Krausz Tamással (Eszmélet Alapítvány, Budapest, 2019)

Publications in English

Publications in Russian

Publications in other languages

  • Krausz Tamás: Szovjet thermidor (japán nyelvű kiadás, 2003)
  • Lenin: Stato e rivoluzione (Edizione del centenario con un saggio introduttivo di Tamás Krausz su Lenin e la rivoluzione d’Ottobre) (Donizelli, Roma, 2017)
  • Tamas Krausz: Reconstruindo Lênin: uma biografia intelectual (Boitempo, São Paulo, 2017)
  • Krausz Tamás: Ki volt Lenin? Az életrajz alapvonalai (a "Lenin" c. monográfia első fejezetének tamil nyelvű kiadása, New Century Book House; Ambattur, Chennai, India; 2017)

The ʻVasily Klyuchevskyʼ Collection and Library

A place for seminars on Russistics

Szeminárium szoba
Nearly 3,000 books, xerox copies, and periodicals on Russistics—all of them located in Room no. 236. on the 2nd floor of the Central Building of the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University (6–8 Múzeum krt., Budapest–1088)—have been donated by Gyula Szvák to the Department of Eastern and Central European History and Historical Russistics, to be used without limitations and for free. His only condition was that this exceptional collection should be preserved and made accessible for researchers and students, at its current location.
The collection in question, an enormous contribution by Professor Szvák, former Head of the Department of Historical Russistics, is the fruit of a decades-long endeavour of meticulous collection. It is a uniquely comprehensive selection of Russian and English academic literature available in Hungary, mostly on the pre-19th-century Russian history.

It was the donor’s explicit intention to create a library available for professional researchers, PhD candidates, as well as university students interested in Russian history. Therefore, he made his donation on the condition that the collection must be preserved intact and as a whole at its current location.
In line with these conditions and circumstances, the Department of Eastern and Central European History and Historical Russistics established the ʻVasily Klyuchevskyʼ Collection and Library. The collection is designed to function as a new room for workshops and a library providing professional ʻshelterʼ for researchers, university lecturers, and PhD candidates interested in Russian liberal arts and social sciences (mostly history).

The collection was named after Vasily Osipovich Klyuchevsky, perhaps the greatest Russian historian. In this spirit, the collection and library hosts conferences organised and visited by Hungarians or by Russians and Hungarians jointly. It also accommodates research projects, round table discussions, symposiums, professional colloquiums, and even educational lectures for the wider public, all organised by the Russian Studies Center with a strong involvement of the young generations of researchers.

The ʻVasily Klyuchevskyʼ Collection and Library is supervised by a curator, jointly nominated by the Department, the Foundation and the Donor (or his legal heir).

Lecturer Bálint Mezei was appointed the first curator of the collection, following a nomination by the persons assigned.

The collection’s name, the date of its foundation, and the name of its founder are shown on a plaque.




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President of the Hungarian Republic

To Dr. Gyula Szvák

Chair of the Institute of Russian Studies

My dear Friend,

The historical Russian empire remains to be our neighbor and a power, which determines our history. Therefore, there is a need for the functioning of the Institute. You can certainly count on any moral support that I can give.

Budapest, 12 September 1990.

With warm wishes,

Árpád Göncz

The Department of Eastern and Central European History and Historical Russistics is going to hold a joint orientation session for university students interested in admission to the Master’s Programmes in Russistics and in Balkanology.

Location: Room no. 236. on the 2nd floor of the Central Building of the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University (6–8 Múzeum krt., Budapest–1088)

Date: 13:30, Wednesday, 5 February, 2020