Trial access to Russian and Ukrainian e-resources : ‘Niva’, ‘Vestnik Evropy’, ‘Za vozvrashchenie na Rodinu’, and the Donetsk/Luhansk newspaper collection


Niva, Jan. 1900

The University Library has arranged trial access to four new electronic resources on offer from East View.  Please send feedback to by the end of Tuesday 7 February to meet Accessions Committee deadlines.  Resources with clear academic and student support will then be recommended to the Committee for purchase.

Access (available through Raven or within the cam domain) will last until 21 February.  Details about each backfile/database follow, with individual links.  All resources on trial can also be accessed through the general East View entry on this page.

Niva (1870-1918)

  • Link:
  • East View summary: Niva, an illustrated weekly journal of literature, politics and modern life was the most popular magazine of late nineteenth-century Russia. It was published from 1870 to 1918 in St.Petersburg. The journal was widely read by an audience that extended from primary schoolteachers, rural parish priests, and the urban middle class to the gentry. It contained large colored prints of art by famous Russian artists. It also had special children’s section as well as a section on Russian classical writers: Gogol, Lermontov, Goncharov, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and many others. By the early 20th century Niva had a circulation of over 200,000.
  • Access to this backfile would fill a substantial gap in our late imperial collections.  Niva is an important source, and our readers otherwise have access only to a very few random issues (at  T992.a.21.1 and  L756.c.73).
  • The Niva backfile also includes the 1917 Dlia detei (For children) supplement.

Vestnik Evropy (Herald of Europe; 1802-1830)

  • Link:
  • East View summary: One of the first Russian literary and political journals. Together with literature and arts the journal enlightened its readers on problems of the internal and foreign policy of Russia, history and political life of foreign countries. It became conservative in 1815.
  • The UL holds no copies of the original title* except for reprints of articles relating to the Napoleonic Wars in Epokha Napoleona ( C212.c.1924-1925 (v. 1-2); v. 3 is on order, v. 4 is yet to be published).  *Vestnik Evropy (strictly Viestnik Evropy, per pre-Soviet orthography) was re-used for a later journal published from 1866 to 1918.

Pushkin’s first appearance in print, in the July 1814 Vestnik Evropy


Za vozvrashchenie na Rodinu (Return to the Motherland; 1955-1960)

  • Link:
  • East View summary: The newspaper Za vozvrashchenie na Rodinu (Return to Motherland) was established in April 1955 in East Berlin as a biweekly publication. The newspaper was published by the Soviet Repatriation Committee, which was also established in 1955 and stayed active until 1958. The newspaper was principally aimed at Russian emigrants and was an important anti-western propaganda outlet for the USSR. The main objective of the newspaper was the creation of a favorable image of the Soviet Union and the criticism of émigré organizations in the post-war period and during the Cold War. The newspaper was published under the watchful eye of the KGB, and only the most loyal Soviet officials were allowed to work on this project. The present database contains all issues published under the title Za vozvrashchenie na Rodinu, from its very first issue in April of 1955 to the third issue in 1960. During its publication, the newspaper was not available to the public on a subscription basis, and therefore it has become a rare information resource.
  • The UL has no copies of the paper.  We have a couple of titles printed by the same publishing committee – one on American espionage masquerading as the “American Committee” (1993.8.3261) and an open letter to Russian emigrants by the extraordinary figure Vladimir Shul’gin (2009.7.921).

The Donetsk and Luhansk newspaper collection

  • Link:
  • East View summary: This database incorporates 10 rare newspapers from the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk (Lugansk, in local spelling) regions of Ukraine. Both Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic were established as independent state entities after local referendums conducted in May 2014 and organized by the separatists leaders. Although the results of the referenda have not been recognized neither by Ukraine, the EU or the United States, its direct result led to an all out war between the Ukrainian military and eastern Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists resulting in thousands of deaths from both sides … Since at least the Russian Revolution of 1917, rebels of all stripes have understood the power of media in shaping the information field and have made no little effort to control them at the first chance. Therefore it is no surprise that following their declaration of independence from Ukraine, the pro-Russian insurgents have taken over the media, both independent and formerly government-run, both print and broadcast, thereby influencing and controlling the information flow to and from territories under their control. Aside from taking over already existing media, these new governments, and their backers have created new media outlets, with limited circulation, but with a much tighter agenda reflecting the war-time mood .. Newspapers in this database cover the important period of military hostilities between the unrecognized states and the government of Ukraine (2013-2015) and contain valuable research material for anyone studying the development of separatist movements in this part of the world.
  • The database contains sample issues from: Boevoe znamia Donbassa, Boevoi listok Novorossii, Donetsk vechernii, Edinstvo, Nasha gazeta, Novorossiia, Vostochnyi Donbass, XXI vek, Zaria Donbassa, and Zhizn’ Luganska.  None of these papers can otherwise be accessed through the UL.

Again, please send comments on these resources to by the end of Tuesday 7 February.

Mel Bach


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s