The article analyzes of the organization of the military service of the Muslim population of Siberia in the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries. The source base for the study was archival materials stored in the funds of the Russian State Historical Archive, the Central State Historical Archive of the Republic of Bashkortostan and the State Archive of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, as well as legal acts regulating the process of military service in the armed forces of the Russian Empire. According on the sources reviewed, the authors concluded that the ongoing reforms did not fully give the desired results. The imperial authorities considered the army as an instrument for the unification of the country's multi-confessional population. From the second half of the 19th century. increased the number of Muslims in the armed forces of Russia. However, the issue related to the organization of their spiritual life has not been fully resolved. Moreover, the Muslim population of Siberia was seen as not entirely trustworthy. This position of the state explained the exemption of part of the Siberian Muslims from compulsory military service. At the same time, the refusal of military service by the Muslim population did not always testify to their unreliability. Muslims feared for the preservation of their religious identity and for the fact that they would not be able to perform religious rites. Despite all the fears, the Muslims of Siberia demonstrated devotion to the Russian throne, both during the First World War and the revolutionary events in the country.
Key words: Islam, Muslims, Siberia, armed forces, mullah, state-confessional policy
About the authors
Petr K. Dashkovskiy – Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Regional Studies of Russia National and State-Confessional Relations,
Elena A. Shershneva – Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor at the Department of Regional Studies of Russia,