Force, repression, coercion and
violence became the chief means by which Russia was modernized. Her
productive forces were developed by becoming still further enslaved.
This paradox is central to an understanding of the Petrine Reform and
much else of the Russian later development.
incongruity between the progressive aims of the Reform and the
barbaric means by which it was implemented was probably best
expressed by the outstanding Russian historian Vasili Klyuchevsky
who, at the start of the twentieth century, wrote: