The project deals with Soviet nationalities politics towards Nordic minorities on the Kola Peninsula. The 1926 Soviet census showed that about 20 percent of the population on the Kola Peninsula has belonged to the Nordic minorities. According to the 2002 Russian census the Nordic minorities made up only 0.2 percent of the Kola population. These population losses may reflect Soviet ethnic cleansings.
The main idea of this project is to apply the conceptual frameworks of genocide studies for the analysis of the Soviet mass violence. Theoretical model is based on the ethnic violence approach – investigation of the different phases and dimensions of genocidal strategy. This model has seen ethnic violence as a continuing process that can be divided into several separate but related phases. By dividing the analysis of Soviet politics of mass violence into these related phases, it is possible to pinpoint the similarities and differences between Soviet crimes against humanities and genocide.
Methodologically the project combines qualitative analysis of sources and quantitative studies of statistical data in order to reach a new level of accuracy about the nature of mass violence. Ethnic cleansing of Soviet Nordic minorities remains a “forgotten crime against humanities”, and is in need of investigation. A better understanding of the theme will be useful theoretically for the genocide and mass murder studies and contribute to knowledge regarding the history of Nordic minorities in Russia.
The project is multidisciplinary and combines history, genocide studies, historical demography and cultural geography.