Alexandr M. Pashkov
Petrozavodsk State University
This paper deals with the origin and development of the Russian image of the Vyborg province or “Old Finland” (the Karelian Isthmus and Northern Ladoga region) from the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century. This region aroused the interest of Russia from three viewpoints. Firstly, the area had a developed economy and it was located not far from St. Petersburg. That was why its economic potential attracted Russian scientists. Secondly, the Vyborg province was of interest due to its military-strategic position. The territory was the most important bridgehead close to St. Petersburg. That was why the territory was subjected to close scrutiny by the Russian military officers. Thirdly, from the middle of the 19th century the Russian middle class citizens considered its area to be the part of Europe located nearest to Russia. The Ladoga region became an attraction for Russian tourists. Accordingly, the image of Vyborg province in 19th-century Russia was not homogeneous. The area aroused interest and was of importance for Russia due to various reasons and aspects. The formation of the image underwent considerable deformation after 1917. Nonetheless, it should still be stated that the variety of images of Vyborg province, which were formed during 19th century, did not disappear but continue to develop even at present.