Who were the Scythians?

Scythians is a group of Russian writers and intellectuals led by the socialist revolutionary Ivanov-Ruzumnik (pseudonym of R. V. Ivanov, 1878–1945) who, with various followers, supported the Bolsheviks in the 1917 October Revolution. They stressed the fundamental differences between Russia and the West and maintained that the Russians were not Europeans but Scythians: that is, half Asiatic and half European. They sought to do away with European influence and purge Russia of it. They had mystical beliefs in the nature and future of Russia and the Russians, and they greatly admired the Yesenin (1895-1925) and Klyuyev (1885-1937), which presented a kind of mystical acceptance of the Russian Revolution as the ultimate destiny of the Russian people.

A number of notable writers were influenced by the Scythians’ point of view, including Alexander Blok (1880–1921) and Andrei Bely (1880–1934).