Russians in the Horn

  • Paul B. Henze

Abstract

Russian strategic interest in the Horn of Africa has much deeper roots than that of the United States, which is entirely a post-World War II development. Until then, as Chapter 2 has demonstrated, American interest was exclusively commercial, humanitarian and scientific. Russian curiosity about Ethiopia was aroused as early as the seventeenth century by the appeal of an exotic, distant land inhabited by Orthodox Christians who might help the tsars further their imperial interests. Tsar Alexis (1645–76) toyed with the idea of an alliance with the Ethiopians “to arouse a new enemy against Turkey.” Nothing came of this aspiration. Peter the Great’s desire to develop links with Ethiopia, inspired in part by his general of Ethiopian origin, Hannibal, bought as a slave in Constantinople, also failed to materialize.1

Keywords

Sugar Europe Petroleum Shipping Syria 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Sergius Yakobson, “Russia and Africa,” Slavonic and East European Review, August 1939Google Scholar
  2. Richard Pankhurst, “Pushkin’s African Ancestry: A Question of Roots,” History Today, September 1980Google Scholar
  3. Anatoly Gromyko, “Sovetsko-Efiopskie Svyazi,” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1980/1, takes the beginnings of “Soviet-Ethiopian” relations back to tenuous Armenian and Georgian contacts with the Kingdom of Axum in the fifth and sixth centuries AD and claims early contacts even with TajiksGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sven Rubenson, King of Kings Tewodros of Ethiopia, HSIU Press/OUP, Addis Ababa/Nairobi, 1966, pp. 60ffGoogle Scholar
  5. Edward T. Wilson, Russia and Black Africa before World War II, Holmes & Meier, New York/London, 1974, p. 17Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    G. Kreitner, Abissinia, Sotsekgiz, Moscow/Leningrad, 1932, p. 24.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Accounts of the expedition can be found in Czeslaw Jesman, The Russians in Ethiopia, an Essay in Futility, Chatto & Windus, London, 1958, pp. 9–28, andGoogle Scholar
  8. Carlo Zaghi, I Russi in Etiopia, Guida, Naples, 1972, Vol. I, pp. 55–104Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    F. Volgin, V Strane Chornykh Khrist’yan, St. Petersburg, 1895, pp. 54–83.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    V. Fedorov, Abissinia — Istoriko-Geografichesky Ocherk, St. Petersburg, 1889.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    A. H. M. Jones and Elizabeth Monroe, A History of Ethiopia, OUP, London, 1935, pp. 143–47Google Scholar
  12. David Mathew, Ethiopia — the Study of a Polity, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1947, pp. 224–34Google Scholar
  13. Harold Marcus, The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia 1844–1913, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1975, pp. 135–173Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    The most recent account shares this shortcoming but is otherwise comprehensive: David L. Lewis, The Race to Fashoda, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, New York, 1987.Google Scholar
  15. 23.
    G. L. Steer, Caesar in Abyssinia, London, 1936, pp. 321–23.Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    Several scholarly works deal with the Italo-Ethiopian crisis. Those concentrating on diplomacy include George W. Baer, The Coming of the Italo-Ethiopian War, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1967; andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. the same author, Test Case: Italy, Ethiopia and the League of Nations, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA, 1976; andGoogle Scholar
  18. Brice Harris, Jr., The United States and the Italo-Ethiopian Crisis, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1964Google Scholar
  19. 31.
    It still appeals, surprisingly, to as penetrating an analyst of totalitarianism as Paul Johnson; see his Modern Times, Harper & Row, New York, 1983, p. 320.Google Scholar
  20. 33.
    See Lowell R. Tillett, “The Soviet Role in League Sanctions against Italy, 1935–36,” American Slavic and East European Review, 1956, pp. 11–16.Google Scholar
  21. 34.
    Milene Charles, The Soviet Union and Africa, University Press of America, Washington, DC, 1980, p. 36.Google Scholar
  22. 39.
    I summarized the Ogaden-Bale guerrilla war in Rebels and Separatists in Ethiopia, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, 1985, pp. 26–33, drawing extensively on an excellent unpublished dissertation: Gebru Tareke, Rural Protest in Ethiopia, a Study of Three Rebellions, Syracuse University, 1977.Google Scholar
  23. 43.
    Haggai Erlich, The Struggle over Eritrea, 1962–1978, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA, 1983.Google Scholar
  24. 44.
    John Markakis, National and Class Conflict in the Horn of Africa, Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 104–45, provides a vivid account of the Eritrean movements through the early 1970s.Google Scholar
  25. 47.
    To date only one book dealing with Ethiopian university student politics and agitation has appeared: Randi Ronning Balsvik, Haile Sellassie’s Students: the Intellectual and Social Background to Revolution, 1952–1977, MSUP, East Lansing, MI, 1985. In spite of its title, the book does not go beyond 1974. Its limitations and shortcomings are well summarized in a review by Haggai Erlich in Northeast African Studies, 9/3, 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Paul B. Henze 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul B. Henze
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rand CorporationWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations