The article investigates the projects for creating a self-governing
system in Siberia between the revolution of 1905–1907
and the Russian Civil War of 1918–1920. Analysis of original newspaper
articles and archival material shows that these projects shared
an aspiration for the establishment of a democratic system of self-government.
The Siberian intelligentsia (the oblastniks) believed that
Siberian autonomy would promote the economic and cultural development
of the region, while serving All-Russian interests. It was only
during the deep social upheavals and crisis of power in 1917 when
separatist tendencies became dominant among the Siberian political
elite. Anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia considered the Siberian
outskirts to be a “territory of salvation” for the future democratic
non-Soviet Russian state.