The significance of personal contacts between the Russian imperial family and the royal court of Siam in the late 19th-early 20th centuries / Ekaterina Vladimirovna Pugacheva = นัยสำคัญของความสัมพันธ์ส่วนพระองค์ระหว่างราชสำนักรัสเซียกับราชสำนักสยาม ในช่วงปลายคริสต์ศตวรรษที่ 19-ต้นคริสต์ศตวรรษที่ 20
By examining the historical context of colonialism and imperialism at the end of the 19th- beginning of the 20th century, the thesis aims to distinguish the place and role of personal contacts between the Russian Imperial Family and the Siamese Court in the turbulent circumstances of colonial rivalry over Siam. The major goal of the thesis is to enhance a better understanding of the reasons for the inception of close relationships between the Russian Empire and Siam at that period of time and the significance of this friendship in the history of both states. In this respect, the thorough documentary analysis applied in the research methodology is greatly enriched by a vast number of Russian scholarly resources and historical documents that provide valuable information and shed more light on the historical realities in which the countries developed mutual interest towards each other. The research finds that in spite of not having any colonial claims in Southeast Asia, the Russian Empire was still interested in maintaining relationships with the Kingdom of Siam due to Russian realpolitik goals in the world and her desire not to let her rivals, Great Britain in particular, advance further in any region of the globe. At the same time, Siam, having taken into consideration Russia’s close alliance with France at that moment, found a key to Russian support in the anti-colonial struggle against both Britain and France through establishing personal contacts with the Russian Imperial family and relying mainly on the “eastern policy” of the Russian Czar. The thesis analyses the active diplomatic work undertaken by the Russian authorities in relation to the Siamese matters and also the personal intervention of the last Czar of Russia in the Siamese struggle for independence. As a result, the thesis argues that among the factors that allowed for Siam to remain independent in the time of aggressive colonial expansion, one should list not only the active modernization of the country and the farsighted policy of the balance of great powers undertaken by the Siamese monarchs, but also the support of Imperial Russia. The support provided was based mainly on the close friendship between Czar Nicolas II and King Chulalongkorn, who perpetuated personal contacts between the Russian Imperial Family and the Royal Court of Siam until they were broken by the vestigial realities of the Russian Empire which faced the October revolution of 1917.