Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
a former federal union of 15 constituent republics, in E Europe and W and N Asia, comprising the larger part of the former Russian Empire: dissolved in December 1991. 8,650,069 sq. mi. (22,402,200 sq. km). Cap.: Moscow. Also called Russia, Soviet Union. Abbr.: U.S.S.R., USSR

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▪ historical state, Eurasia
Introduction
(U.S.S.R.)  also called  Soviet Union  Russian  Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik , or  Sovetsky Soyuz 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, flag of  former northern Eurasian empire (1917/22–1991) stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean and, in its final years, consisting of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (S.S.R.'s)–Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now Kyrgyzstan), Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia (now Moldova), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The capital was Moscow, then and now the capital of Russia.

      During the period of its existence, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was by area the world's largest country. It was also one of the most diverse, with more than 100 distinct nationalities living within its borders. The majority of the population, however, was made up of East Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians); these groups together made up more than two-thirds of the total population in the late 1980s.

      At its greatest extent, between 1946 and 1991 (the figures and descriptions given below refer to this period), the U.S.S.R. covered some 8,650,000 square miles (22,400,000 square kilometres), seven times the area of India and two and one-half times that of the United States. The country occupied nearly one-sixth of the Earth's land surface, including the eastern half of Europe and roughly the northern third of Asia.

      The U.S.S.R. extended more than 6,800 miles (10,900 kilometres) from east to west, covering 11 of the world's 24 time zones. The most westerly point was on the Baltic Sea, near Kaliningrad; the easternmost was Cape Dezhnev on the Bering Strait, nearly halfway around the world. From north to south the U.S.S.R. extended some 2,800 miles from Cape Chelyuskin to Kuskha on the Afghan border. Nearly half the territory of the U.S.S.R. was north of 60° N, at the same latitude as Alaska, Baffin Island, and Greenland.

      In addition to having the world's longest coastline, the U.S.S.R. had the longest frontiers. To the north the country was bounded by the seas of the Arctic Ocean, and to the east were the seas of the Pacific. On the south the U.S.S.R. was bordered by North Korea, Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. On the southern frontier there were three seas: the Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland sea, as well as the almost completely landlocked Black Sea and Sea of Azov. Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Finland, and Norway lay to the west.

      The U.S.S.R. was the successor to the Russian Empire of the tsars. Following the 1917 Revolution, four socialist republics were established on the territory of the former empire: the Russian and Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republics and the Ukrainian and Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republics. On Dec. 30, 1922, these constituent republics established the U.S.S.R. Additional union republics (Soviet Socialist Republics) were set up in subsequent years: the Turkmen and Uzbek S.S.R.'s in 1924, the Tadzhik S.S.R. in 1929, and the Kazakh and Kirgiz S.S.R.'s in 1936. In that year the Transcaucasian Republic was abolished and its territory was divided between three new republics: the Armenian, Azerbaijan, and Georgian S.S.R.'s. In 1940 the Karelo-Finnish, Moldavian, Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian S.S.R.'s were established. The Karelo-Finnish S.S.R. became an autonomous republic in 1956, leaving a total of 15 union republics (soyuznye respubliki). In addition to these, the U.S.S.R. as of 1990 was made up of 20 autonomous republics (avtonomnye respubliki), 8 autonomous provinces (avtonomnye oblasti), 10 autonomous districts (avtonomnye okruga), 6 regions (kraya), and 114 provinces (oblasti).

      Under the constitution adopted in the 1930s and modified down to October 1977, the political foundation of the U.S.S.R. was formed by the Soviets (Councils) of People's Deputies. These existed at all levels of the administrative hierarchy, with the Soviet Union as a whole under the nominal control of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., located in Moscow. This body had two chambers—the Soviet of the Union, with 750 members elected on a single-member constituency basis; and the Soviet of Nationalities, with 750 members representing the various political divisions: 32 from each union republic, 11 from each autonomous republic, 5 from each autonomous region, and 1 from each autonomous district. In elections to these bodies, the voters were rarely given any choice of candidate other than those presented by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which, until the amendment of Article 6 of the constitution in March 1990, was the “leading and guiding force of Soviet society and the nucleus of its political system.” In theory, all legislation required the approval of both chambers of the Supreme Soviet; in practice, all decisions were made by the small group known as the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, itself strongly influenced by the Politburo of the CPSU, and were unanimously approved by the deputies. The role of the soviets in the individual republics and other territories was primarily to put into effect the decisions made by the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.

      The political system was thus authoritarian and highly centralized, and this also applied to the economic system. The economic foundation of the U.S.S.R. was “Socialist ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange,” and the economy of the entire country was controlled by a series of five-year plans that set targets for all forms of production.

      Dramatic changes, both political and economic, occurred during the late 1980s and early '90s, ushered in by the adoption of perestroika (“restructuring”) and glasnost (“openness”). On the economic side the planned, highly centralized command economy was to be replaced by the progressive introduction of elements of a market economy, a change that proved difficult to achieve and was accompanied by declining production in many sectors and increasing distribution problems. In the political sphere, amendments to the constitution in 1988 replaced the old Supreme Soviet with the Congress of People's Deputies of the U.S.S.R. The new congress had 2,250 members; one-third of these were elected on a constituency basis, one-third represented the political territories (as in the old Supreme Soviet), and the remaining third came from “all-union social organizations” such as the trade unions, the CPSU, and the Academy of Sciences. Voters were presented with a choice of candidates, and many non-Communists were elected. The Congress of People's Deputies elected a new Supreme Soviet of 542 members and also chose the chairman of that body, who was to be the executive president of the U.S.S.R. Congresses of People's Deputies were also established in each republic.

      These congresses could be legitimately described as parliaments, and they engaged in vigorous debate over the economic and political future of the country. From 1989, conflicts developed between the parliament of the U.S.S.R. and those of the individual republics, mainly over the respective powers of the centre (the U.S.S.R. government) and the republics. These conflicts were exacerbated by the resurgence of ethnic nationalism and increasing demands for autonomy and even for full independence. Following the abortive coup of August 1991, in which the CPSU was heavily implicated, the party itself was abolished.

      By December 1991 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had virtually ceased to exist, and the future of its territories and peoples was uncertain. Three republics—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—had achieved complete independence and were internationally recognized as sovereign states, and several others were demanding independence. Attempts were made, led by Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, to establish a new “Union of Sovereign States” with some degree of integration in foreign policy, defense, and economic affairs, but agreement among the remaining 12 republics was not achieved. Whatever the legal position, the union republics had begun to act as if they were sovereign states and were negotiating with each other, bypassing the vestigial central government. This process culminated on Dec. 8, 1991, in the signing of an agreement between the three Slav republics of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus for the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with an agreed common policy for foreign affairs and defense. The CIS later came to include all the remaining republics except Georgia, but great difficulty was experienced in arriving at agreed policies. The future thus remained uncertain, but there could be no disagreement with the statement by the leaders of the Commonwealth that “the U.S.S.R. has ceased to exist as a geopolitical reality.”

John C. Dewdney
      This article contains a history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1917 to 1991. For the geography and history of the former Soviet Socialist republics, see the articles Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Ukraine.

The Russian Revolution (Russian Revolution of 1917)

      Sometime in the middle of the 19th century, Russia entered a phase of internal crisis that in 1917 would culminate in revolution. Its causes were not so much economic or social as political and cultural. For the sake of stability, tsarism (tsar) insisted on rigid autocracy that effectively shut out the population from participation in government. At the same time, to maintain its status as a great power, it promoted industrial development and higher education, which were inherently dynamic. The result was perpetual tension between government and society, especially its educated element, known as the intelligentsia. Of the socioeconomic causes of tsarism's ultimate collapse, the most important was rural overpopulation: tsarist Russia had the highest rate of demographic growth in Europe; in the second half of the 19th century the rural population increased by more than 50 percent. Potentially destabilizing also was the refusal of the mass of Russian peasantry (peasant), living in communes, to acknowledge the principle of private property in land.

      In the late 19th century the political conflict pitted three protagonists: tsarism, the peasantry (with the working class, its subdivision), and the intelligentsia.

      The tsar was absolute and unlimited in his authority, which was subject to neither constitutional restraints nor parliamentary institutions. He ruled with the help of a bureaucratic caste, subject to no external controls and above the law, and the army, one of whose main tasks was maintaining internal order. Imperial Russia developed to a greater extent than any contemporary country a powerful and ubiquitous security police. It was a crime to question the existing system or to organize for any purpose whatsoever without government permission. The system, which contained seeds of future totalitarianism, was nevertheless not rigidly enforced and was limited by the institution of private property.

      Some eighty percent of the empire's population consisted of peasants. The vast majority of Russian peasants lived in communes (mir) (obshchiny), which held land in common and periodically redistributed it to member households to allow for changes in family size. The communal organization, composed of heads of households, exercised great control over members. Communal peasants did not own their land but merely cultivated it for a period of time determined by local custom. Under these conditions they had little opportunity to develop respect for private property or any of the other qualities necessary for citizenship. Politically they tended toward primitive anarchism. To some extent this also held true for industrial workers, some two million strong at the turn of the century, most of whom came from the village.

      The intelligentsia was partly liberal, partly radical, but in either case unalterably opposed to the status quo. Radical intellectuals tried in the 1860s and '70s to stir the peasants and workers to rebellion. Having met with no response, they adopted methods of terror, which culminated in 1881 in the assassination of Emperor Alexander II. The government reacted with repressive measures that kept the revolutionaries at bay for the next two decades. In the meantime the field was left to liberal intellectuals, who in January 1904 formed the Union of Liberation (Liberation, Union of), a semilegal political body committed to the struggle for democracy.

      The oppositional groups received their chance in 1904–05 when Russia became involved in a war (Russo-Japanese War) with Japan. Caused by Russia's designs on Manchuria, the war went badly from the start, lowering the regime's prestige in the eyes of the people. The Union of Liberation, moving into the open, presented a program of fundamental political reforms. In January 1905, following the massacre of a worker demonstration bearing a petition drafted by the Union of Liberation (“ Bloody Sunday”), the country exploded in rebellion (Russian Revolution of 1905), which, ebbing and flowing in response to news from the front, reached a climax in October 1905. On October 17 (October 30, New Style), faced with a general strike, Emperor Nicholas II issued a manifesto that promised the country a legislative parliament. The October Manifesto in effect ended the autocratic system. The following year Russia was given a constitution. Elections took place to a representative body, the State Duma, which was empowered to initiate and veto legislative proposals. The population received guarantees of fundamental civil liberties. Censorship was abolished.

      Between 1906 and 1911 Russia was administered by the greatest statesman of the late imperial era, Pyotr Stolypin (Stolypin, Pyotr Arkadyevich). Stolypin both ruthlessly suppressed disorders and carried out extensive reforms. The most important of these were laws allowing peasants to withdraw from the commune and establish independent farmsteads. Stolypin hoped to create a self-reliant yeomanry to act as a stabilizing force in the countryside. He also had other social and political reforms in mind. These were frustrated by the hostility of the court as well as of the opposition parties. He was murdered by a revolutionary in 1911.

      The constitution of 1906 was frequently violated by both the government and the opposition. The former misused its emergency clauses to adjourn the Duma and rule by decree. The latter, especially the radical parties, sabotaged the legislative process. Even so, in its last decade Russia enjoyed greater freedom than ever before. It also enjoyed relative prosperity: on the eve of World War I it was the world's leading producer of petroleum and exporter of grain. Conditions in the countryside gradually improved, and in 1916 peasants owned or rented 90 percent of the arable land.

The February Revolution
       World War I weakened tsarism. The humiliating defeats that the Russian army suffered at the hands of the Germans, who expelled it from Poland, lowered the prestige of the monarchy further. There were also unsubstantiated rumours that Empress Alexandra, a German by origin, betrayed military secrets to the enemy. The opposition, instead of rallying behind the crown, exploited its difficulties to wrest further powers so as to be in a position to take charge once the war was over. The government, for its part, clung jealously to all its prerogatives, from fear that involving public figures in the war effort would make it impossible to reassert strong tsarist authority once peace was reestablished. In no other belligerent country were political conflicts waged as intensely during the war as in Russia, preventing the effective mobilization of the rear. One result of this was disorganization of food supplies. Although Russia produced more than enough to feed itself, economic mismanagement combined with the breakdown of transportation led in the third year of the war to a sharp rise in prices and to food shortages in the cities.

      The final assault on the monarchy began in November 1916, when the head of the liberal Constitutional Democratic Party, Pavel Milyukov (Milyukov, Pavel Nikolayevich), during a session of the Duma, implied the government was guilty of treason. During the exceptionally severe winter of 1916–17, food and fuel deliveries to the major cities, especially the capital, Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) (the name given to St. Petersburg between 1914 and 1924), continued to decline. Dissatisfaction with the government's conduct of the war, coupled with economic hardships, led in late February 1917 (early March, New Style) to an outburst of popular fury. The revolt began with a mutiny of the Petrograd garrison, staffed by superannuated reservists; from them it spread to the industrial quarters. Nicholas II, persuaded by his generals that he and his wife were the main obstacle to victory, agreed to abdicate (March 2 [March 15, New Style]).

      Instead of improving Russia's war effort, the abdication of the man who, however unqualified to rule, symbolized for the mass of the population the idea of statehood led to the rapid disintegration of the country.

      Authority was nominally assumed by a provisional government, issued from the Duma and headed by Prince Georgy Lvov. In fact, it was from the outset exercised by the Petrograd Soviet (“Council”), a body that claimed to represent the nation's workers and soldiers but actually was convened and run by an executive committee of radical intellectuals nominated by the socialist parties. Similar soviets sprang up in other cities. In the summer of 1917, their socialist leaders united to form in Petrograd the All-Russian Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. The All-Russian Soviet assumed responsibility for ensuring that the provisional government, which it labeled “bourgeois,” did not stray from the path of progress. It legislated on its own without bearing responsibility for the consequences. On March 1 (March 14, New Style), fearing a counterrevolution, the Soviet issued “Order No. 1,” which instructed the troops to disarm their officers. Its effect was to cause a breakdown of discipline in the armed forces.

      The regime of “dual power” quickly brought disarray to the country. In May representatives of the Petrograd Soviet entered the government, but this action did not stop the slide to anarchy as peasants seized land, soldiers deserted, and ethnic minorities clamored for self-rule. An offensive that the minister of war, Aleksandr Kerensky, launched on June 16 (June 29, New Style), 1917 in the hope of rallying patriotic spirits soon ran out of steam.

Lenin (Lenin, Vladimir Ilich) and the Bolsheviks
      From the beginning of the 20th century there were three principal revolutionary parties in Russia. The Socialist Revolutionary Party, whose main base of support was the peasantry, was heavily influenced by anarchism and resorted to political terror. In the first decade of the century, members of this party assassinated thousands of government officials, hoping in this way to bring down the government. The Social Democrats (Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party (Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party)) believed such terror to be futile; they followed the classic doctrines of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, according to which the development of capitalism inevitably created a radicalized proletariat that would in time stage a revolution and introduce socialism. The party split in 1903 into two factions, which soon developed into separate parties. The Mensheviks (Menshevik), loyal to traditional Social Democratic teachings, concentrated on developing ties with labour and rejected as premature political revolution in agrarian, largely precapitalist Russia. The Bolsheviks (Bolshevik), who in some respects were closer to the Socialist Revolutionaries, believed that Russia was ready for socialism. Their leader, Vladimir Ilich Lenin, was a fanatical revolutionary, who managed to organize a relatively small but totally devoted and highly disciplined party bent on seizing power. Convinced that workers by themselves could not progress beyond peaceful trade- unionism, he wanted the party to direct the working class on the revolutionary path.

      During World War I Lenin, living in neutral Switzerland, agitated for Russia's defeat. This attracted the attention of the Germans, who came to realize that they could not win the war unless they somehow succeeded in forcing Russia to sign a separate peace. In April 1917 they arranged for Lenin's transit through Germany to Sweden and thence to Russia, where they hoped the Bolsheviks would fan antiwar sentiment. To this end they generously supplied Lenin with the money necessary to organize his party and build up a press.

      Sensing the weakness of the provisional government and the inherent instability of “dual power,” on arrival in Russia (April 3, 1917 [April 16, New Style]) Lenin wanted to launch a revolution immediately. He had to contend, however, with the majority of his followers who doubted it would succeed. The skeptics were vindicated in July (July Days) 1917 when a putsch led by the Bolsheviks badly misfired. They were near success when the government released information on Lenin's dealings with the Germans, which caused angry troops to disperse the rebels and end the uprising. Abandoning his followers, Lenin sought refuge in Finland.

      After the abortive Bolshevik July rising the chairmanship of the provisional government passed to Kerensky (Kerensky, Aleksandr Fyodorovich). A Socialist Revolutionary lawyer and Duma deputy, Kerensky was the best-known radical in the country owing to his defense of political prisoners and fiery antigovernment rhetoric. A superb speaker, he lacked the political judgment to realize his political ambitions. Aware that such power as he had rested on the support of the All-Russian Soviet, Kerensky decided that the only threat Russian democracy faced came from the right. By this he meant conservative civilian and military elements, whose most visible symbol was General Lavr Kornilov (Kornilov, Lavr Georgiyevich), a patriotic officer whom he had appointed commander in chief but soon came to see as a rival. To win the support of the Soviet, still dominated by Socialists Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, Kerensky did not prosecute the Bolsheviks for the July putsch and allowed them to emerge unscathed from the debacle.

      By general consent the decisive event in the history of the provisional government was Kerensky's conflict with Kornilov, which broke into the open in August (September, New Style). Although many aspects of the “Kornilov affair” remain obscure to this day, it appears that Kerensky deliberately provoked the confrontation in order to be rid of a suspected competitor and emerge as the saviour of the Revolution. The prime minister confidentially informed Kornilov that the Bolsheviks were planning another coup in Petrograd in early September (which was not, in fact, true) and requested him to send troops to suppress it. When Kornilov did as ordered, Kerensky charged him with wanting to topple the government. Accused of high treason, Kornilov mutinied. The mutiny was easily crushed.

      It was a Pyrrhic victory for Kerensky. His action alienated the officer corps, whose support he needed in the looming conflict with the Bolsheviks. It also vindicated the Bolshevik claim that the provisional government was ineffective and that the soviets should assume full and undivided authority. In late September and October the Bolsheviks began to win majorities in the soviets: Leon Trotsky (Trotsky, Leon), a recent convert to Bolshevism, became chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, the country's most important, and immediately turned it into a vehicle for the seizure of power.

The Bolshevik coup
      The events of February 1917 merit the name of Revolution because they were essentially spontaneous. October 1917 (November, New Style), by contrast, was a classic coup d'état carried out by a small group of conspirators.

      The Bolshevik Central Committee made the decision to seize power at a clandestine meeting held on the night of October 10 (October 23, New Style). There were considerable disagreements over the timing: Lenin wanted the coup to be carried out immediately; Trotsky and most of the others preferred to convene a national Congress of Soviets, packed with Bolsheviks, and have it proclaim the overthrow of the provisional government. A compromise was struck: the coup would take place as soon as practicable, and the Congress of Soviets would ratify it. This decided, Lenin returned to his hideaway, leaving the direction of the coup in the hands of Trotsky.

      Disregarding the authority of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet, dominated as before by the Mensheviks and Socialists Revolutionaries, the Bolsheviks invited those local soviets in which they enjoyed majorities to attend a national congress beginning on October 25 (November 7, New Style). In the meantime they built up an armed force to carry out a coup. The task was facilitated by the decision of the Soviet to form a Military Revolutionary Committee to organize Petrograd's defense from an expected German attack. Since the Bolsheviks were the only organization with an independent armed force, they took over the Military Revolutionary Committee and used it to topple the government.

      During the night of October 24–25, Bolshevik Red Guards peacefully occupied strategic points in Petrograd. On the morning of October 25, Lenin, reemerging from his hideaway, issued a declaration in the name of the Military Revolutionary Committee, which had no authority to do so, that the provisional government was overthrown and all power was assumed by the soviets. The declaration referred neither to the Bolsheviks nor to socialism, for which reason the inhabitants of the city had no inkling how profound a change had occurred. Kerensky tried to rally the armed forces to save his government but found no response among officers furious at his treatment of Kornilov. On October 26 the rump Congress of Soviets confirmed the transfer of power and passed several decrees submitted to it by Lenin, including one that socialized nonpeasant private land. It also formed a new provisional government, chaired by Lenin, that was to administer until the Constituent Assembly convened.

      In Moscow the Bolshevik coup met with armed resistance from cadets and students, but they were eventually overcome. In the other cities of Russia soldiers, lured by Bolshevik slogans of immediate peace, crushed the opposition. The march to power was facilitated by the ambivalence of the Mensheviks and Socialists Revolutionaries who, though opposed to the October coup, feared a right-wing counterrevolution more than Bolshevism and discouraged physical resistance to it.

The Bolshevik dictatorship
      Although Lenin and Trotsky had carried out the October coup in the name of soviets, they intended from the beginning to concentrate all power in the hands of the ruling organs of the Bolshevik Party. The resulting novel arrangement—the prototype of all totalitarian (totalitarianism) regimes—vested actual sovereignty in the hands of a private organization, called “the Party,” which, however, exercised it indirectly, through state institutions. Bolsheviks held leading posts in the state: no decisions could be taken and no laws passed without their consent. The legislative organs, centred in the soviets, merely rubber-stamped Bolshevik orders. The state apparatus was headed by a cabinet called the Council of Peoples' Commissars (Sovnarkom), chaired by Lenin, all of whose members were drawn from the elite of the Party.

      The Bolsheviks were solemnly committed to convening and respecting the will of the Constituent Assembly, which was to be elected in November 1917 on a universal franchise. Realizing that they had no chance of winning a majority, they procrastinated under various pretexts but eventually allowed the elections to proceed. The results gave a majority (40.4 percent) of the 41.7 million votes cast to the Socialists Revolutionaries. The Bolsheviks received 24 percent of the ballots. They allowed the assembly to meet for one day (Jan. 5 [Jan. 18, New Style], 1918) and then shut it down. The dispersal of the first democratically elected national legislature in Russian history marked the onset of the Bolshevik dictatorship. In the months that followed, one party after another was outlawed, non-Bolshevik newspapers and journals closed, and all overt opposition suppressed by a new secret police, the Cheka, which was given unlimited authority to arrest and shoot at its discretion suspected “counterrevolutionaries.” The Peasant Union, representing four-fifths of the country's population, which had opposed the October coup, was subverted from within and replaced by an organization created and run by Bolsheviks.

      In March 1918 the Bolshevik Party was renamed the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) in order to distinguish it from Social Democratic parties in Russia and Europe and to separate the followers of Lenin from those affiliated with the nonrevolutionary Socialist International. The party was directed by a Central Committee. To streamline work, from March 1919 onward its management was entrusted to the Secretariat, the Organizational Bureau (Orgburo), and the Political Bureau (Politburo). The Secretariat and Orgburo dealt largely with personnel matters, while the Politburo combined legislative and executive powers.

      One of Lenin's highest priorities on coming to power was ending the war with the Central Powers. He feared that Russian soldiers, eager to return home to share in the distribution of looted land, would topple his regime if it continued the war. He also believed that an armistice on the Eastern Front would spark mutinies and strikes in the west, making it possible for the Bolsheviks to take power there.

      Immediately on taking over, the Bolsheviks proposed to the belligerent countries an end to the fighting. The Germans and Austrians promptly agreed to the proposal. In negotiations held at Brest-Litovsk, an armistice was arranged (December 1917). This was to be followed by a peace treaty. The Germans, however, posed extremely harsh conditions, causing a split in the Bolshevik high command: Lenin favoured accepting whatever terms the Germans offered, but the majority of his associates, arguing that this would mean a betrayal of the German working class, refused to make formal peace with the imperial government. In the end Lenin prevailed by threatening to resign. The terms of the Brest-Litovsk treaty, signed on March 3, 1918, were very onerous: Russia lost territories inhabited by more than one-quarter of its citizens and providing more than one-third of its grain harvest. It also exempted citizens and corporations of the Central Powers from Soviet nationalization decrees. But the treaty saved the Bolshevik regime: for the next eight months it received critical diplomatic and financial support from Germany that enabled it to beat back political opponents.

      Until the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk treaty the Allies made friendly overtures to the Bolsheviks, hoping with promises of military and economic assistance to prevent its ratification. A separate peace threatened them with military disaster because it freed the Germans to transfer hundreds of thousands of troops from the Eastern Front to the west, enabling them to achieve the breakthrough that had so far eluded them. Once Russia had dropped out of the war, the Allies tried desperately to reactivate the Eastern Front, using for this purpose the Czechoslovak Legion composed of ex-prisoners of war, Japanese troops, and small contingents of their own forces landed in the northern port cities of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk (Archangel). But these efforts proved unsuccessful, driving the beleaguered Bolsheviks ever closer into the arms of Germany. In a supplementary treaty signed on Aug. 27, 1918, Russia not only granted Germany additional economic right on its territory but obtained pledges that German troops would intervene to expel Allied forces from its territory and crush the so-called White armies formed in southern Russia. These arrangements came to nought because of the German surrender in November 1918. By the terms of the Treaty of Versailles Germany had to renounce what it had gained at Brest-Litovsk.

      A few months after coming to power the new Russian regime initiated a series of unprecedented measures intended to destroy all vestiges of private property and inaugurate a centralized communist economy. These measures, which in 1921 received the name “War Communism,” had two primary objectives. One was political: as Marxists, the Bolsheviks believed that private ownership of the means of production provided the basis of political power. By nationalizing it, they undermined the opposition. They further acted in the conviction that a centralized and planned economy was inherently more efficient than a capitalist one and would in no time turn Soviet Russia into the most productive country in the world.

      “War Communism” entailed four sets of measures: (1) the nationalization of all the means of production and transportation, (2) the abolition of money and its replacement by barter tokens as well as free goods and services, (3) the imposition on the national economy of a single plan, and (4) the introduction of compulsory labour.

      In the first year of the new regime all but the smallest industrial enterprises were nationalized. Agricultural land, the main source of national wealth, was for the time being left at the disposal of peasant communes, with the understanding that sooner or later it would be collectivized. Private ownership of urban real estate was abolished, as was inheritance. The state (that is, in effect, the Bolshevik Party) became the sole owner of the country's productive and income-yielding assets. Management of this wealth was entrusted to a gigantic bureaucratic organization, the Supreme Council of the National Economy, which was to allocate human and material resources in the most rational manner.

      Money was effectively destroyed by the unrestrained printing of banknotes, which led, as intended, to an extraordinary inflation: by January 1923 prices in Soviet Russia, compared to 1913, had increased 100 million times. Ordinary citizens, along with the rich, lost their life savings. Barter and the issuance by government agencies of free goods replaced normal commercial operations. Private trade, whether wholesale or retail, was forbidden. All adult citizens were required to work wherever ordered. The independence of trade unions was abolished and the right to strike against the nationalized enterprises outlawed.

      One of the most severe problems confronting the new regime was providing bread and other foodstuffs to the cities and the newly formed Red Army, because the peasants (peasant) were unwilling to sell their produce for rapidly depreciating money (“coloured paper”) for which there was nothing to buy. Lenin resolved the problem by exceedingly brutal and ultimately counterproductive methods. He ordered peasants to surrender all “surplus” grain to state organs at prices that bore no relationship to its actual worth. To overcome peasant resistance, armed requisition detachments assisted by regular army units were sent to the villages to extract food. Peasants who resisted these expropriations were labeled “kulaks” ( kulak is the Russian word for “fist”). In time the policy of forcible extractions led to a regular civil war that cost the lives of untold thousands on both sides. A secondary objective of this campaign was to establish political bases of the new regime in the countryside, which had remained almost entirely outside its control.

      In the summer of 1918 the fortunes of the Bolsheviks were at their lowest ebb. They not only had to contend with rebellious peasants and hostile White armies supported by the Allies but they lost such support as they had once had among the workers: in elections to the soviets held in the spring of 1918 they were everywhere defeated by rival socialist parties. They dealt with the problem by expelling the Socialists Revolutionaries and Mensheviks from the soviets and forcing reelections until they obtained the desired majorities.

      Their growing unpopularity moved them to resort to unbridled terror. The Cheka had carried out not a few summary executions in the first half of 1918. In July, on Lenin's orders, the ex-tsar (Nicholas II) and his entire family were murdered in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg (called Sverdlovsk between 1924 and 1991) where they had been held prisoner. The formal “Red Terror” began in September 1918. The pretext was a nearly successful attempt on the life of Lenin by a Socialist Revolutionary, Fannie Kaplan. As soon as he recovered from what could have been fatal wounds, Lenin ordered the Cheka to carry out mass executions of suspected opponents. Thousands of political prisoners held without charges were shot. To prevent further attempts on his life and those of his associates, Lenin instituted the practice of taking hostages from among officials of the old regime and well-to-do citizenry: these were to be executed whenever the state's interests required it. In the resulting carnage, an estimated 140,000 persons perished.

 

The Civil War (Russian Civil War) and the creation of the U.S.S.R.
      In the context of the Russian Revolution, the term “civil war” had two distinct meanings. It described the repressive measures applied by the Bolsheviks against those who refused to recognize their power seizure and defied their decrees, such as peasants who refused to surrender grain. It also defined the military conflict between the Red Army and various “White” armies formed on the periphery of Soviet Russia for the purpose of overthrowing the communists. Both wars went on concurrently. The struggle against domestic opponents was to prove even more costly in human lives and more threatening to the new regime than the efforts of the Whites.

      The Civil War in the military sense was fought on several fronts. The first White force, known as the Volunteer Army, formed in the winter of 1917–18 in the southern areas inhabited by the Cossacks. Organized by Generals Mikhail Alekseyev and Kornilov (Kornilov, Lavr Georgiyevich), after their death it was taken over by General Anton Denikin (Denikin, Anton Ivanovich). Another army was created in western Siberia; in November 1918 Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak (Kolchak, Aleksandr Vasilyevich) assumed command of this army and became the dictator of the territories where it was deployed. Several smaller White armies came into being in the northwest, the north, and the Far East. All were in varying measures supported by Great Britain with money and war matériel. The Allied intervention was initially inspired by the desire to reactivate the Eastern Front, but after the Armistice it lost its clear purpose, and it was continued on the insistence of Winston Churchill (Churchill, Sir Winston), who saw in Bolshevism a permanent threat to democracy and world peace. Neither the American nor the French contingents on Russian soil engaged in combat, and they were withdrawn after the Armistice. The British stayed on until the autumn of 1919, doing occasional fighting but mainly providing aid to the White armies.

      The Bolsheviks were slow to form a professional army, in large measure because they feared that the officer corps that they would have to engage to command the largely peasant army could provide a breeding ground for the counterrevolution. They also did not relish the prospect of arming peasants, whom they viewed as class enemies. At first they relied mainly on partisans and Latvian volunteers. In the autumn of 1918, however, having suffered defeats at the hands of the pro-Allied, anti-German Czechs, they decided to proceed with the formation of a regular army manned by conscripts. Command over the troops and the formulation of strategic decisions was entrusted to professional officers of the ex-tsarist army, some 75,000 of whom were drafted. To prevent defections and sabotage, the orders of these officers were subject to approval of Bolshevik political commissars assigned to them. Officer families were treated as hostages. At the height of the Civil War the Red Army numbered almost five million men. Overall command of this force was entrusted to Trotsky as Commissar of War and Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council, but all operational decisions were made by professional officers, most of them one-time members of the Imperial General Staff.

      The decisive battles of the Civil War took place in the summer and fall of 1919. Kolchak launched in the spring a drive on Moscow and approached the shores of the Volga when he was stopped by a numerically superior Red force and thrown back. His army disintegrated later in the year, and he himself was captured and shot without a trial, possibly on Lenin's orders (February 1920).

      Of all the White generals, Denikin came closest to victory. In October 1919 his Volunteer Army, augmented by conscripts, reached Oryol (Orel), 150 miles (250 kilometres) south of Moscow. In their advance, Cossacks in White service carried out frightful pogroms (pogrom) in Ukraine in which an estimated 100,000 Jews (Jew) lost their lives. Denikin's lines were stretched thin, and he lacked reserves. He advanced recklessly because he had been told by Britain that unless he took the new capital before the onset of winter he would receive no more assistance. In battles waged in October and November the Red Army decisively crushed the Whites and sent them fleeing pell-mell to the ports of the Black Sea. A remnant under the command of General Pyotr Wrangel (Wrangel, Pyotr Nikolayevich, Baron) held on for a while in the Crimean peninsula, from where it was dislodged in November 1920. The survivors were evacuated, joining the one and a half million Russians in emigration. Estimates of the casualties of the Civil War, most of them civilian victims of epidemics and hunger, range from a minimum of 10 million to a figure three times as high.

      The communists' victory cannot be attributed to the higher spirit of their troops. The rate of desertions in the Red Army was unusually high: Trotsky instituted a veritable reign of terror to prevent defections, including placing in the rear of the troops machine-gun detachments with instructions to shoot retreating units. Even so, desertions continued: at various times nearly one-half of the Red Army's effectives (1.9 million men) were absent from the ranks. In part the Bolshevik triumph can be attributed to superior organization and better understanding of the political dimensions of the Civil War. But in the ultimate analysis it was due mainly to the insurmountable advantages that they enjoyed. The Reds controlled the heartland of what had been the Russian Empire, inhabited by some 70 million Russians, while their opponents operated on the periphery, where the population was sparser and ethnically mixed. In nearly all engagements the Red Army enjoyed great preponderance in numbers. It also enjoyed superiority in military hardware: since most of Russia's defense industries and arsenals were located in the centre of the country, they inherited vast stores of weapons and ammunition from the tsarist army. The Whites, by contrast, were almost wholly dependent on foreign aid.

      One of the by-products of the Revolution was the separation of the borderland areas inhabited by non-Russians. When out of power the Bolsheviks had encouraged the process, advancing the slogan of “national self-determination.” Once in power, however, they moved decisively to reconquer these territories and reintegrate them into Russia. Except for those regions that enjoyed strong British or French backing—Finland, the Baltic area, and Poland—by 1921 the Red Army had occupied all the independent republics of the defunct Russian Empire. In 1922 Moscow proclaimed the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, composed of Russia, Belorussia (now Belarus), Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation. (The first U.S.S.R. constitution was formally adopted in January 1924. In 1925 the All-Union Communist Party, later the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU], was formed.) Nominally a league of equals, the U.S.S.R. was from the beginning dominated by Russians. The federated state structure was a facade to conceal the dictatorship of the Russian Communist Party, the true locus of power.

The Communist International (International, Third)
      Lenin and his associates viewed Russia as no more than a springboard from which to launch a global civil war. They feared that if the revolution remained confined to backward, agrarian Russia it would perish under the combined onslaught of the foreign “bourgeoisie” and the domestic peasantry. In their view it was essential to carry the revolution abroad to the industrial countries of the West, whose workers, they believed, were anxious to stop fighting one another and topple their exploiters. To organize and finance this effort, they formed in March 1919 the Third International, or “Comintern.” This organization was a branch of the Russian Communist Party and operated under the aegis of that party's Central Committee. By virtue of rules laid down in 1920 at the Comintern's Second Congress, Communist parties abroad were to be created either afresh or else by splitting Social Democratic parties; in either case, they were to be accountable to Moscow and not to their domestic constituencies.

      Hoping to exploit the political and economic turmoil afflicting central Europe after the Allied victory, Moscow sent agents with ample supplies of money to stir up unrest. In Germany three revolutionary efforts undertaken with the help of local communists and sympathizers—in early 1919, in 1921, and again in 1923—failed, partly from the passivity of the workers, partly from effective countermeasures of the Weimar government. In Hungary a Bolshevik government under Béla Kun came to power in March 1919, but it lasted only four months before being overthrown. Efforts to incite social unrest elsewhere had no success either and eventually were given up in favour of infiltrating existing institutions by both legal and clandestine communist organizations.

      By the early 1920s the Comintern succeeded in forming in most European countries, especially France and Italy, Communist Party affiliates that it used as pressure groups. The idea of world revolution, however, had to be postponed indefinitely, which compelled the Bolshevik leadership to concentrate on building in Russia an isolated communist state. The methods of government that they devised, centred on the one-party monopoly and known since the early 1920s as “totalitarian,” were emulated not by elements sympathetic to communism but by nationalistic radicals hostile to it, such as Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany.

Culture and religion under communism
      Determined not only to change drastically the political and economic order but also to create a new type of human being, the Bolsheviks attached great importance to every aspect of culture, especially education and religion.

      They suppressed political dissidence by shutting down hostile newspapers and subjecting all publications to preventive censorship. In 1922 they set up a central censorship office, known for short as Glavlit, with final authority over printed materials as well as the performing arts. In literary (Russian literature) and artistic matters, however, as long as Lenin was alive, the regime showed a degree of tolerance absent from other spheres of Soviet life. Aware that the overwhelming majority of intellectuals rejected them, and yet wishing to win them over, the Bolsheviks permitted writers and artists creative freedom as long as they did not engage in overt political dissent. Trotsky popularized the term “fellow travelers” for writers who, without joining the communists, were willing to cooperate with them and follow their rules. As a result, the early 1920s saw a degree of innovation in literature and the arts that contrasted vividly with the regime's political rigidity. Among the few writers and artists who joined the Bolsheviks were the Futurists (Futurism), led by the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (Mayakovsky, Vladimir Vladimirovich), who closely followed the models set by their Italian counterparts, and the “Constructivists,” Russian analogues of the German Bauhaus group. In the theatre and cinema, experiments in staging and montage, greatly influenced by Max Reinhardt and D.W. Griffith, were in vogue. Even so, many of Russia's best writers and artists, finding conditions at home insufferable, chose to emigrate. The others withdrew into their private world and gradually ceased to publish or exhibit.

      To destroy what they considered the “elitist” character of Russia's educational system (education), the communists carried out revolutionary changes in its structure and curriculum. All schools, from the lowest to the highest, were nationalized and placed in charge of the Commissariat of Enlightenment. Teachers lost the authority to enforce discipline in the classroom. Open admission to institutions of higher learning was introduced to assure that anyone who desired, regardless of qualifications, could enroll. Tenure for university professors was abolished, and the universities lost their traditional right of self-government. Fields of study deemed potentially subversive were dropped in favour of courses offering ideological indoctrination. These reforms thoroughly disorganized the educational system, and in the early 1920s many of them were quietly dropped. Party controls, however, remained in place and in the following decade were used by Stalin to impose complete conformity.

      The Bolsheviks, in common with other socialists, regarded religious belief as gross superstition, and they were determined to eliminate it by a combination of repression, ridicule, and scientific enlightenment. A decree issued on Jan. 20, 1918 (Feb. 2, New Style), formally separated church from state, but it went far beyond its declared purpose by prohibiting religious bodies from engaging in instruction and from collecting dues from their members. Since the state nationalized (nationalization) all church property, the clergy were left destitute. In 1919 major campaigns were undertaken to discredit church observances by staging mock Christmas holidays and exposing the remains of saints. Schools and youth organizations were ordered to engage in atheist propaganda.

      These measures do not seem to have had the desired effect; on the contrary, the hardships and bloodshed accompanying the Revolution intensified religious feeling and led to increased church attendance. In March 1922 Lenin decided to launch a direct assault on the Orthodox church (Russian Orthodox church), the only organized body in Soviet Russia (apart from the minuscule Academy of Sciences) still outside Communist Party control. Using as a pretext the catastrophic famine of the previous year (see below), he ordered the church to surrender its consecrated vessels, essential for services, to be sold for famine relief. In fact, knowing that the church could not comply, he sought a pretext for charging it with refusal to obey laws and, at the same time, discrediting it in the eyes of the people for alleged callousness to human suffering. In the spring and summer of 1922 numerous incidents of resistance occurred, in consequence of which priests were arrested and numerous faithful killed. On Lenin's orders mock trials were staged in Moscow, Petrograd, and other cities, in which some priests were sentenced to death and prison terms. A splinter “Living Church,” composed of renegade priests and operating under instructions from the Cheka, was created to serve the interests of the state.

      Lenin concentrated on the Orthodox establishment because of its traditional links with the monarchy and its hold on the Russian population. But he did not spare the other faiths. A trial of Catholic priests resulted in death sentences and the closure of churches. Synagogues were also desecrated and Jewish holidays subjected to public derision. Muslim religious institutions suffered the least because of Lenin's fear of alienating the colonial peoples of the Middle East, on whose support he counted against the Western imperial powers.

Foreign policy
 With the failure of attempts to incite revolution abroad, the communist high command adopted in 1920–21 a two-track foreign policy. On the one level it engaged in regular diplomatic relations with any “capitalist” country prepared to deal with Soviet Russia. Following the signing of a British-Soviet trade agreement in 1921, other powers entered into commercial relations with Soviet Russia as well. Diplomatic recognition followed. The United States was the main holdout, refusing recognition on the grounds that the communist regime routinely violated accepted norms of international behaviour. Absence of diplomatic relations, however, did not prevent Americans from carrying on business with Soviet Russia. On a different level, Moscow strove to subvert the countries with which it maintained relations, using for this purpose branches of the Comintern, which it represented as a “private” organization.

      The Soviet government paid particular attention to relations with Germany, which it saw as the key to a European revolution. Aware of Germany's bitterness over the Treaty of Versailles, Moscow, both directly and through the German Communist Party, identified itself with nationalist forces and incited hostility against France and Britain. A by-product of this policy was secret collaboration with the German military. Forbidden by the terms of Versailles to maintain a modern army and air force, and yet anxious to prepare for the day when it would avenge Germany's humiliation, the German military entered into agreements with the Soviet government. To circumvent the provisions of Versailles, they undertook to construct on Soviet territory industries for the manufacture of tanks, poison gas, and military aviation. In return they agreed to train Russians in the use of these weapons. This collaboration, which permitted the German army to develop and test the techniques of blitzkrieg, later used in World War II, continued until late 1933.

      The Russians and the Germans also collaborated (Russo-Polish War) against Poland, which they viewed as a bastion of French influence in eastern Europe directed at them both. During the Russian Civil War Józef Piłsudski (Piłsudski, Józef), the Polish head of state, withheld military support from Denikin because of the White general's refusal to acknowledge unequivocally Poland's independence. As soon as Denikin was crushed Piłsudski ordered the army to invade Soviet Ukraine with the view of making it into a buffer state that would protect Poland from Russia. The invasion, launched in April 1920, was successful at first but soon turned into a rout. In August 1920 the Red Army approached Warsaw and seemed poised to take it. The Germans forbade the French to ship military supplies across their territory to Poland. Gross military mistakes by the Red Army permitted the Poles to lift the siege of their capital and launch a counteroffensive. Severely mauled, the Red Army retreated in disarray. In the Treaty of Riga (March 1921), Soviet Russia had to give up sizable territories to which it had laid claim.

The communist regime in crisis: 1920–21
      The policies of “War Communism” brought about an unprecedented economic crisis. In 1920, when the Civil War was for all practical purposes over, industrial production was about one-quarter of what it had been in 1913, and the number of employed workers had fallen by roughly one-half. Productivity per worker was one-quarter of the 1913 level. Most painful was the decline in the production of grain. Compelled to surrender all the grain that government officials decided they did not require for personal consumption, fodder, or seed, and forbidden to sell on the open market, the peasants kept reducing their sown acreage. Such reductions, combined with declining yields caused by shortages of fertilizer and draft animals, led to a steady drop in grain production: in 1920 the cereal harvest in central Russia yielded only two-thirds of the 1913 crop. In the cities bread rations were reduced to one or two ounces a day.

      It required only one of the periodic droughts that customarily afflict Russia to bring about a massive famine. This happened in early 1921. There was a catastrophic plunge in foodstuff production in the areas that traditionally supplied the bulk of grains. Affected were 30 provinces: at the height of the famine some 35 million people suffered from severe malnutrition. The hungry resorted to eating grass and, occasionally, to cannibalism. The losses would have been still more disastrous were it not for assistance provided by the American Relief Administration, headed by the future U.S. president Herbert Hoover, which, with moneys from the U.S. Congress and voluntary contributions, fed most of the starving. Even so, the human casualties of the 1921 famine are estimated at 5.1 million.

      By this time the entire countryside of the Soviet state was in rebellion: hundreds of thousands of peasants fought the Red Army and Cheka detachments. In the most rebellious provinces, such as Tambov, the authorities employed indiscriminate terror against the rural population in order to isolate the partisans, resorting to executions of hostages and mass deportations.

      Such widespread rural unrest forced Moscow to consider abandoning the policies of forced food requisitions. This it was very loath to do for fear of opening the floodgates to a capitalist restoration. Moscow's hand was forced by a mutiny of the Kronshtadt (Kronshtadt Rebellion) naval base, near Petrograd. Since 1917 a Bolshevik stronghold, in February 1921 Kronshtadt raised the banner of revolt against the communist dictatorship, demanding the restoration of liberties and the convocation of a Constituent Assembly. The mutiny was suppressed by military force, and most of the surviving sailors were either executed or sent to concentration camps. But even as it was being crushed, the revolt demonstrated that major changes in economic management had become unavoidable.

      While the Kronshtadt mutiny was still in progress, Moscow announced the abolition of the universally hated policy of grain requisitions, replacing it with a tax in kind. Whatever grains and other produce the peasants had left over after meeting their tax obligations, they were free to dispose of. Initially the authorities expected them to barter surplus food for manufactured goods, but, since such goods were not available, they had to sanction free trade. Step by step, other sectors of the economy were liberalized, with private enterprise allowed in the consumer sector of industry. The “commanding heights” of the economy, embracing heavy industry, transportation, and foreign trade, remained firmly in government hands. A new currency, called chervonets, based on gold, replaced the worthless ruble. Thus was inaugurated the New Economic Policy (NEP), which Lenin expected to last for an indeterminate period; during this time the country would recover from the calamities of War Communism and the population would acquire a higher economic culture. The results were soon visible: by 1928, when Stalin (Stalin, Joseph) abruptly terminated the NEP, agricultural productivity in Russia had attained prerevolutionary levels.

      Afraid that economic liberalization would encourage dissent, Lenin accompanied it with intensified political repression. In 1922 the Cheka was abolished and replaced by the GPU (State Political Administration; after 1923, OGPU, or Unified State Political Administration). Formally, the new security police was to act less arbitrarily. In reality, its powers were even greater than those of the Cheka, since, in addition to wide discretionary authority to deal with political opponents and run a network of concentration camps (the Gulag), it was charged with penetrating all economic institutions to forestall “sabotage” by so-called Nepmen.

      In 1922 the leaders of the Socialist Revolutionary Party were subjected to a sham trial, which ended in their being condemned to death on spurious charges of counterrevolution; only international protests and fear of retaliation from Socialist Revolutionary terrorists caused the execution of the sentences to be deferred. Lenin also responded vigorously to dissent in the labour movement, the so-called “ Workers' Opposition,” led by Bolshevik veterans who objected to the bureaucratization of the state and the elimination of workers from decision making. A secret clause in the party regulations forbade the formation of “factions,” by which was meant any organized resistance within Communist Party ranks to the directing party organs. Under this provision the leaders of the “Workers' Opposition” were purged and all subsequent signs of independence in worker circles repressed. This regulation is widely credited by historians with having paved Stalin's rise to power, since it enabled him, after he was appointed general secretary, to depict all opposition to him and his policies as illegal “factionalism.”

Lenin's disillusionment
      Lenin's health began to fail in 1921; it deteriorated further during the following year, when he suffered several strokes. Forced gradually to withdraw from day-to-day activity, he had the opportunity to survey his achievement. It did not please him. There is considerable evidence that if his health had allowed it he would have carried out major reforms in the political and economic structure of the Soviet state.

      One cause for concern was the growing bureaucratization of both party and state. Under the terms of the strict discipline that Lenin imposed, the ruling party became increasingly centralized, with its directorate—headed by the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Central Committee—making decisions on its own authority without consulting the party cadres. Dissent from lower organs was ignored and punished if pressed. The local branches of the party lost the right to elect their officers; these were routinely appointed by the Secretariat. The result was ossification of the Communist Party and undue concentration of power in the hands of the Moscow apparatus. The latter was increasingly dominated by Joseph Stalin, on whom Lenin relied as an efficient administrator and whom he had agreed to promote in April 1922 to serve as the party's general secretary. Stalin used his authority to appoint officials personally loyal to him and hostile to his archrival, Leon Trotsky.

      The state apparatus grew by leaps and bounds, in part because the government assumed many responsibilities previously exercised by private interests, including the entire national economy, and in part because holding a government post gave access to scarce commodities. Short of communist personnel, Lenin was required to employ in managerial and technical positions many of the same experts who before the Revolution had served the tsarist regime and private enterprises. In some commissariats 80 percent or more of the officials were carryovers from the tsarist civil service. Lenin believed that they injected old bureaucratic habits into the Soviet government but he had no one with whom to replace them.

      There were problems with the national minorities (minority). Lenin insisted on the reconquered republics being deprived of all freedom, except of a purely formalistic kind. But he wanted the ethnic minorities treated with tact and deference in order to overcome their suspicion of Russians. He was dismayed to note the emergence in Communist Party ranks of “Great Russian chauvinism.” In the last months of his active life, the winter of 1922–23, he spent a great deal of time on this matter. He strenuously objected to the methods used by Stalin to crush the objections of his fellow Georgians to Georgia's entry into the new Soviet Union as a member of the Transcaucasian Federation, rather than directly, as a sovereign Soviet republic. The dispute nearly caused Lenin to break personal relations with his protégé.

      A sense of failure haunted him: except for holding onto power, he had succeeded in none of his plans.

The struggle for succession
      Lenin's growing incapacitation led in 1922 to a power struggle within the party: it would culminate five years later in Trotsky's banishment and Stalin's unchallenged dictatorship.

      On the face of it, Trotsky was the natural heir to Lenin, since it was Trotsky who had organized the October coup and managed the Red Army in the Civil War. A superb orator and lively writer, he had an international reputation. His chances of succeeding Lenin, however, were more apparent than real. Trotsky had joined the Bolshevik party late (August 1917), having for many years subjected it to savage criticism; he thus never belonged to its “Old Guard.” He was personally unpopular for his arrogance and unwillingness to work as member of a team. His Jewishness was no asset in a country in which Jews were widely blamed for the devastations wrought by communism. Last but not least, bored by the routine of paperwork, he was a poor administrator.

      Although far less known, Stalin was much better positioned to succeed Lenin. Intellectually unprepossessing, a dull speaker and lacklustre writer, he operated behind the scenes. Realizing early that the centralized system of government that Lenin had created vested extraordinary power in the party machine, he avoided the spotlight and instead concentrated on building up cadres loyal to himself. By 1922 he was in a unique position to manipulate policies to his own ends by virtue of the fact that he alone belonged to both the Politburo, which set policy, and the Secretariat, which managed personnel. To thwart Trotsky he entered into an alliance with Grigory Zinovyev (Zinovyev, Grigory Yevseyevich) and Lev Kamenev (Kamenev, Lev Borisovich), forming with them a “triumvirate” that dominated the Politburo and isolated their common rival.

      Aware that his followers were squabbling and deathly afraid that the party he had built on the principle of disciplined unity would fall apart after his death, Lenin tried to interfere, but he was unsuccessful. The triumvirate, ostensibly from concern over his health, ordered him to abstain from involvement in government affairs. From December 1922 onward Lenin lived under virtual house arrest.

      On his death in January 1924 Lenin was embalmed and put on permanent display in a mausoleum in Red Square to provide superstitious peasants with a visible symbol of sainthood. By then power was in the hands of the triumvirate, which Stalin before long broke up to assume undisputed personal leadership. The party cadres, aware of the regime's unpopularity, supported him, for he promised to provide continued strong leadership, repel all democratic challenges, and maintain the privileges they had gained since November 1917.

Richard E. Pipes

The U.S.S.R. from the death of Lenin to the death of Stalin

The NEP (New Economic Policy) and the defeat of the Left (Left Communist)
      The last phase of Lenin's life—first partial, then total disablement, then death—had fortuitously provided a sort of transitional period for a party leadership to emerge and for policies to be argued.

      But the leaders onto whom Lenin's heritage devolved were divided. Personal ambition and politico-ideological disagreement, hard to disentangle from each other, had been difficult for even Lenin to control. They resulted in a series of factional fights that constituted the political history of the U.S.S.R. over the next six years.

      The party was in a most anomalous position. It had won power with a program of forced socialization, which had now failed, on behalf of a proletariat that now scarcely existed, all justified as the advance guard of an international revolution, which had not taken place.

      Lenin's last years had seen the final elimination of all noncommunist political organizations and publications and the suppression of the democratic deviations in the Communist Party itself. On the other hand, the economic relaxation of the NEP implied a relaxation of state control in some spheres, though at the same time the party and police networks throughout the country were strengthened and professionalized in such a way that they were soon to be adequate for the imposition of the next round of militant socialization at the end of the decade.

      The economy was in ruins. The demographic catastrophe had been immense, with some 14 million premature deaths since 1914—2 million in World War I, the rest from famine, disease, civil war, and terror—and some 2 million emigrated. Meanwhile Lenin had left his successors not only power but also a policy. There was, for the moment, a vague consensus that the NEP's admitted strengthening of capitalist tendencies could be compensated for by an even greater strengthening of industry, the proletarian class, and the Soviet government.

      Generally speaking, the NEP had the intended economic results. The peasants, now allowed to control their property, began to work their holdings profitably. Small traders began to take over the transfer of rural food products to the towns. And in the towns small consumer-goods producers began to turn out the products for which the peasants now had an incentive to pay. Overall, the entire country soon began to return to economic normality.

      Precise figures are still incompletely researched. (Over the 1920s they are defective mainly for various intrinsic reasons; in the 1930s and later, because of massive falsification.) But the speed and extent of the recovery were phenomenal. Roughly speaking, the 1922 crop was already up to three-quarters of normal. Industry, it is true, only reached a quarter of its prewar production, and most of this was in light industry, such as textiles.

      The government's understanding of economic matters was incomplete and in any case distorted by ideological attitudes to the market system. This, combined with the inadequate data on which the government relied, produced a nervousness about economic phenomena in high party circles that led to trouble.

      Over the whole NEP period the disproportion between agricultural and industrial progress was seen as a major problem, producing what Trotsky described at the 12th Party Congress in 1923 as the “scissors crisis,” from the shape of the graph of (comparatively) high industrial and low agricultural prices. The original “scissors crisis” was a short-lived phenomenon, owing mainly to the government's setting prices of agricultural goods too low, and it disappeared when this was remedied. But the party was still faced with the challenge of building up heavy industry. This could be funded, for the most part, only by “primitive socialist accumulation” of resources from the peasant sector, whether by fiscal or by other means.

      Thus the NEP was in general regarded as no more than a temporary retreat; a “peasant Brest-Litovsk” that would have to be made good as soon as the economy had to some degree recovered. In the Communist Party as a whole the policy was accepted only with reluctance, out of perceived necessity.

      Lenin had held that the proletarian revolution in Russia, which had an insufficient local industrial working class, was justified as breaking the “weak link” of imperialism if, as expected, it was followed by proletarian revolution in the more advanced countries, whose working classes would be sufficient for the whole international enterprise. Now that these revolutions had failed to take place, and the attempt (through “War Communism”) to fit Russia itself into the ideological target had collapsed, opinions differed as to future policy.

      The factional struggle, ever growing in intensity, by now was confined to a limited circle, the members of the party's Central Committee and a few score—at the most a few hundred—party members of high prestige. Lenin had noted a few years earlier that Communist Party policy was in fact being determined not by its rank-and-file but by the “tiny section that might be called the Party's Old Guard.” This cadre, or the victorious section, constituted the pool of leadership until the late 1930s and to some degree even later. When it is remembered that the Bolsheviks had numbered well under 10,000 members in 1912 and that only a section of these had any pretensions to leadership quality, a circumstance demonstrated in the Civil War, it is clear that political life, properly speaking, was now limited. Moreover, the members of this circle had without exception adhered unconditionally to a system of ideological belief. Policy decisions were made on that ideological basis and not on rational grounds.

      Stalin, in control of the Central Committee Secretariat, was in a position to place his nominees, or those judged to incline to his side, in the provincial committees and, hence, to secure that delegations to party congresses and conferences supported him and his position. This is sometimes seen as key to his accession to supreme power. But it was by no means the whole story. On the contrary, he had to win the support of a key group of senior, or fairly senior, party members. The varying membership of the Central Committee and a penumbra of activists around it were thus “the party” in the sense of being the constituency whose support a successful leader had to gain for his policies and his personality.

      Trotsky emerged weakened from the 12th Party Congress in April 1923, while Stalin secured new supporters in the Central Committee and new candidate members of the Politburo, the latter including Vyacheslav Molotov (Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich).

      Within the Politburo itself, as was to be the case right through the 1920s, the defeated faction would sometimes call for democracy, only to have their own words from their period of power quoted against them. The last reasonably serious attempt to reverse the bureaucratic-authoritarian regime within the party was the “Letter of the 46,” in October 1923. In late 1923 it was Trotsky who (though not himself a signatory) spoke in the Politburo for the antibureaucratic faction. The Central Committee banned the letter but later allowed discussion that showed widespread support in the party for the oppositionists. The leadership's reaction was to purge the Komsomol (the youth organization of the Communist Party) and army membership, while itself proposing a similar antibureaucratic program—which was never put into practice.

      Trotsky, though not as much as his associate Yevgeny Preobrazhensky, was increasingly committed to a “left” policy and a swift end to the NEP, with a planned economy at home and revolutionary action abroad. None of the communist leadership thought of abandoning the idea of world revolution. The major division was between those who thought, as had been wholly orthodox, that the Russian Revolution could not survive on its own and that therefore the main effort should be in supporting revolution abroad, and those—Stalin most prominent among them—who now proclaimed the slogan “Socialism in One Country.” Doctrinally, the Leftists had a good case in attacking this view, but in practice it had a strong appeal to the party's leading cadres. For it implied that their hard-won power would not be risked on dangerous adventures and at the same time offered them a radical program at home.

      On the foreign policy side, from the mid-1920s the majority accepted what it regarded as the temporary stabilization of capitalism. The regime sought political recognition and trade agreements. Relations with Germany included secret training facilities in the U.S.S.R. for the German army. No serious foreign intervention against the regime was expected, though a spurious war scare with France as the major aggressor was cooked up in 1927.

      Only in the Far East, on Lenin's principle that imperialism might be outflanked through its colonies and “semi-colonies,” was a forward revolutionary policy still pursued. The Chinese communists (Chinese Communist Party), like the German communists a few years earlier, were launched on a series of disastrous policies—first of collaboration with Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang in hopes of outwitting them; then of an equally fruitless alliance with the schismatic regime in Wu-han; then of attempts to seize power directly with their own resources. These failures were one of the subjects of factional recrimination in Moscow itself.

      When the 13th Party Congress met in May 1924, Lenin (Lenin, Vladimir Ilich) had died and Trotsky had been defeated. But Lenin's widow, Nadezhda Krupskaya, had forwarded Lenin's “Testament” to the Politburo for transmission to the Congress; in this document he called for Stalin's ouster. Zinovyev (Zinovyev, Grigory Yevseyevich) and Kamenev (Kamenev, Lev Borisovich), Stalin's allies, came to his support. The Testament remained unpublished, and Stalin kept his post.

      The “triumvirate” of Zinovyev, Kamenev, and Stalin launched violent attacks against Trotsky, who was condemned at a Central Committee plenum in January 1925 and lost his post as commissar of war. But Zinovyev and Kamenev soon found their positions being undermined by Stalin, and they too went over to a “Left” stance. At the 14th Party Congress in December 1925 they were overwhelmingly defeated. In the first months of 1926 Zinovyev's grip on his power base in Leningrad (the new official name for St. Petersburg) was broken, and Stalin's ally Sergey Kirov took over the city.

      Zinovyev and Kamenev united with Trotsky in a “New Opposition.” After a bitter but hopeless faction fight, all three, with several thousand of their supporters, were expelled from the party at the time of the 15th Party Congress, which met on Dec. 2, 1927. The Zinovyevites soon recanted and were readmitted to the party, as were some of the Trotskyites. But most of the latter were exiled to Siberia or Central Asia, among them Trotsky himself. (In January 1929 he was deported from the Soviet Union, at first to Turkey; thereafter he lived in Norway and, finally, in Mexico, organizing the “Fourth International” of anti-Stalinist groups around the world.) In the U.S.S.R. the “Left” deviation had been crushed.

      On the cultural side, though many of Russia's leading figures had left the country during the revolutionary years, many remained. In the NEP period a comparatively liberal atmosphere allowed the publication of a wide variety of works. Poets such as Sergey Yesenin and Vladimir Mayakovsky (both soon to commit suicide) and prose writers such as Boris Pilnyak and Yevgeny Zamyatin were among those favoured.

      In the 1920s education was to some extent subjected to the progressive theories held by certain Bolsheviks, but at the same time a basic program (on lines planned by earlier regimes) much improved the population's standard of literacy. Meanwhile, those members of the old educated class who had, however reluctantly, accepted the communist government continued to work usefully in many areas.

      During this period the non-Russian nationalities of the U.S.S.R. were ridden with a comparatively loose rein. In Ukraine, in particular, the rebirth of the national consciousness that had begun a generation earlier was given great reinforcement in intellectual circles and among the peasantry, through a cultural campaign sponsored by Ukrainian communist leaders such as the Old Bolshevik Mikola (Nikolay) Skrypnik.

Toward the “second Revolution”: 1927–30
      Stalin had now achieved a majority in the Politburo. As he began to shift to the Left, he was opposed only by Nikolay Bukharin (Bukharin, Nikolay Ivanovich), Aleksey Rykov (Rykov, Aleksey Ivanovich), and Mikhail Tomsky. From 1927 to 1930 the political struggle between the Stalinists and these “Rightists” continued, although, unlike the early struggle with the Left, it did not become overt until the Right had been defeated and the new policies had been effectively decided on.

      In the Communist Party reluctant acceptance of NEP as realist and rejection of the Left as adventurist gave way to the increasing conviction that a further struggle was now needed against all antisocialist forces, and especially in the countryside. Though they had accepted the NEP as being necessary to stave off disaster, activists remained devoted to the idea that the party's duty was to create socialism. And the general mood, though chastened, was of a belief that (as was to become a major slogan) “There are no fortresses that Bolsheviks cannot storm.” In this contest Stalin embodied the attitudes not merely of the people he had brought in through the control of the apparatus but also of the bulk of the old party militants.

      Meanwhile the country was dependent on the market's giving the peasants (peasant) adequate incentive to sell their grain surplus and feed the cities. The whole feeling of the party was opposed to, suspicious of, and ignorant of the market mechanism. It was also the case that few of the leaders had much economic knowledge and, moreover, the statistics available to them were highly unreliable.

      In 1928 the leadership again thought an unacceptable shortfall in agricultural supplies was imminent. It is now clear that, as in 1923, this was miscalculation; the market could have been balanced by quite a small investment. Instead the Politburo—including the Rightists—voted for supplementing normal trade by a forced requisition. Although it was stated that this was an exceptional measure and that the NEP would continue, it was carried out as a class-war operation. This led to a vicious circle. The peasant, no longer confident in the market, lost the incentive to production that had been the key to the country's recovery. With less produced for the market, more requisitioning seemed necessary, and this was repeated on a larger scale in the winter of 1929.

      The rationale of the Communist Party's approach to the problems of the countryside was that the peasantry was divided into classes with different and opposed interests. The rich “kulaks (kulak)” were implacable enemies of socialism. The “middle peasants,” constituting the great majority, vacillated but could be brought to the proletarian side. And the “poor peasants,” together with the “village proletarians,” were reliable allies.

      There had indeed been a small class of rich peasants, who owned 60 to 80 acres (25 to 35 hectares) of land. These had not been attacked by peasants in the takeover of landlord property but had been liquidated by party detachments in 1918. Through the 1920s the class division in the villages was almost entirely a communist fiction; indeed, this had been shown clearly in the peasant risings of 1918–21. Under the NEP the more enterprising peasants, often former Red Army men, had certainly prospered. But the idea of the existence of a rich exploiting kulak class was false. Moreover, as official documents make clear, the poorer peasants, far from resenting the kulaks, generally regarded them as leaders and depended on them for help in adversity.

      As the economy recovered over the last years of the 1920s, Stalin increasingly argued that a slow socialization was impossible. In 1928 and 1929 he increasingly undermined his former allies of the “Right,” implementing a program of faster industrialization and sharper class struggle with the errant elements of the peasantry.

      It was clear that the party could no longer combine the market and brute force. Either the NEP had to be properly restored or purely confiscatory measures imposed. In 1928 and 1929 Stalin and his supporters gradually went over to the position that only collectivization would make the grain available to the authorities and that to effect this a great sharpening of “class war” in the countryside was required. Bukharin, with Rykov and Tomsky, saw that this would mean a terror regime (terrorism) and destroy the fruits of the NEP. But they were now almost helpless.

      The revival of communist advance from 1928 also resulted in radical changes in the official attitude to the intelligentsia, both technical and creative. It was felt that the new communist specialists in every field were now well enough equipped to take over from their bourgeois predecessors. This was to give much trouble in engineering and also in such spheres as economics and agricultural science.

      This purge was accompanied by the enforcement, more rigidly and more shallowly than previously, of ideological criteria in every sphere of culture, science, and philosophy. In the summer of 1928 the new course was signaled by the public trial in Moscow, amid vast publicity, of 53 engineers on charges of sabotage in the so-called Shakhty Case. The theme, repeated in endless propaganda over the following years, was that bourgeois specialists could not be trusted. Large numbers were subsequently arrested. By 1930 more than half of the surviving engineers had no proper training. In all institutes and academies, ideological hacks were intruded to ensure Marxist, or rather Stalinist, purity of theory and practice.

      In literature (Russian literature) the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers ( RAPP), which had a dogmatic “party” approach to writing, took effective control. In 1930 Pilnyak and Zamyatin were removed from their posts as chairmen of the Moscow and Leningrad sections of the Union of Writers, respectively, though Zamyatin was allowed to emigrate.

      At the end of 1929 both bourgeois and communist economists of note who had urged prudence were arrested, and later most of them were shot.

      At the same time the assault on religion was renewed. The Soviet Constitution had guaranteed “freedom of religious and anti-religious propaganda.” On May 22, 1929, this article was amended to “freedom of religious worship and anti-religious propaganda.” This presaged a campaign in which village priests were classified as kulaks, while churches were closed on a large scale and often demolished, over the next few years.

The Party versus the peasants
 From mid-1929 decisions on the extent and speed of proposed collectivization were changed almost monthly, becoming ever more extreme. The Five-Year Plan as approved in April–May 1929 envisaged five million peasant households collectivized by 1932–33; this figure was doubled by November and doubled again during December. By the turn of the year it was decreed that collectivization should be completed in Ukraine by the autumn of 1930 and in the other main grain areas by the spring of 1931.

      At the same time, plans for the kulak became harsher. During 1929 many fines were imposed, and dispossessions and even deportations took place. But nothing further than mass expropriation was envisaged, and it was even held that the expropriated kulak might enter the new kolkhozes (kolkhoz) (collective farms). By the end of the year the official policy became “the liquidation of the kulak as a class.”

      The view of reality that the party maintained was that the mass of the peasantry were now in favour of collectivization, that they were fighting for it against the kulak, and that when it was introduced it would result in a great increase in agricultural production. The realities contradicted all these assumptions. In fact, the collectivization operation was supervised by activists from the cities (the “Twenty-Five Thousanders”) and OGPU men, and it was economically disastrous.

      Concurrently with the collectivization itself came the mass arrest and deportation of kulaks. Even the most prosperous section of the peasantry now had average incomes no more than 50 to 60 percent higher than those of the least prosperous, and in any case “dekulakization” was extended by the concept of the “sub-kulak,” which could be applied indiscriminately. Stalin was to speak in 1933 of 15 percent of pre-collectivization peasant households as having been “kulak and better off”; these no longer existed. This would mean about 3.9 million households, or more than 20 million individuals. Of these about a third are estimated to have been “self-dekulakized”—that is, they abandoned their holdings and migrated to the cities—though in theory it became illegal for enterprises to knowingly employ ex-kulaks. Some 10 million, possibly more, were deported to the inhospitable areas of the Arctic and elsewhere, some directly, some after a few months landless in their own localities. The casualty rate was high: though exact totals are hard to deduce, some 2 million or more premature deaths probably occurred.

      In mid-1929 only about 5 million peasants had been on collective farms. On March 1, 1930, this had risen to more than 70 million. Peasant resistance took various forms, including a number of local insurrections, but its main component was the mass slaughter of farm animals to prevent their being taken by the kolkhoz. Official figures given in 1934 showed a loss of 26.6 million head of cattle (42.6 percent of the country's total) and 63.4 million sheep (65.1 percent of the total), and this is probably an understatement of the facts. On March 2, 1930, faced with this economic disaster, Stalin published his famous article “Dizzy from Success,” attacking “distortions” that had departed from the “voluntary principle” in collectivization and blaming local officials for this error. Over the next months 40 to 50 million peasants left the collectives.

      However, the kolkhozes now existed, located on the best land in every village and in possession of much of the surviving livestock. Large grain quotas and crippling fines were imposed on the individual peasants, and over the next year the main grain growing areas were essentially re-collectivized.

      One of the most destructive effects of collectivization was in Kazakhstan, where a nomad herding population was forced, largely on ideological grounds, into permanent settlements, for which no economic basis existed. About one-quarter of a million managed to escape over the Chinese border. But, of roughly four million Kazaks, more than a million, and probably some two million, perished.

      The immediate result of these measures was a catastrophic decline in agricultural output across the U.S.S.R. as a whole. The government's reaction was to base its requirements for delivery of grain from the kolkhozes not on actual production but rather on what became the basis of Soviet agricultural statistics until 1953—the “biological yield.” This was based on the estimated size of the crop in the fields before harvesting; it was more than 40 percent higher than the reality. And in 1932 even this tenuous link to the facts failed: the figure was distorted by merely multiplying acreage by optimum yield. The grain requisitions made on this basis were ruthlessly enforced by activist squads (and, in Bukharin's view, this experience contributed greatly to the brutalization of the party).

      Such action left the peasant with a notional but nonexistent surplus on which to live. As a result, over the winter of 1932–33, a major famine swept the grain-growing areas. Some 4 to 5 million died in Ukraine, and another 2 to 3 million in the North Caucasus and the Lower Volga area. Both the dekulakization terror (terrorism) of 1930–32 and the terror-famine of 1932–33 were particularly deadly in Ukraine and the Ukrainian-speaking area of the Kuban. They were accompanied by a series of repressive measures against the Ukrainian cultural, political, and social leaderships, the Ukraine's defender Skrypnik committing suicide in July 1933. During this period about 1.7 million tons (1.5 million metric tons) of grain was exported, enough to have provided some two pounds (one kilogram) a head to 15 million people over three months. There is no doubt that the Stalin leadership knew exactly what was happening and used famine as a means of terror, and revenge, against the peasantry.

      A census was taken in January 1937, but it was suppressed, and the Census Board was arrested. Its figures, finally revealed in 1990, showed a population of 162 million. The Soviet demographers had counted on about 177 million. The population deficit, including a decline in births, was thus some 15 million, of which premature death due to deportation and famine are believed to account for at least 10 million.

industrialization, 1929–34
      On the industrial side the 1930s were to be a period of Sturm und Drang. A planned economy was to be introduced with, as its first task, the direction of all possible resources into intensive industrialization. This was to be supported by a socialized agriculture.

      The Five-Year Plan had not been finalized by the time it was announced in April–May 1929, though it had been expected to come into operation six months earlier. In its initial form it prescribed goals for 50 industries and for agriculture and provided some relation between resources and possibilities, but over the period that followed it was treated mainly as a set of figures to be scaled upward. The industrial growth rate originally laid down was 18–20 percent (in fact, this had already been achieved, at least on paper). Later in the year Stalin insisted on nearly doubling this rate.

      The plan was thereafter a permanent feature of Soviet life; the First Five-Year Plan was followed by a series of others. The plan may be considered in two main aspects. It was, or was the basis of, a set of real governmental and economic actions. And it was a concept—organizational, ideological, inspirational, and, it might almost be said, transcendental.

      Understanding of the economic side of the industrialization drive of the 1930s was long confused by two factors. The first was the claim by the communists that they were implementing a rational and fulfillable plan. The second, which came later, was the claim that they had in fact secured unprecedented increases in production.

      The primary task, as to an only slightly lesser degree throughout the Stalin epoch and even later, was the buildup of heavy industry. At the end of 1932 it was announced that the First Five-Year Plan had been successfully completed. In fact none of the targets had been reached, or even approached.

      Extravagant claims were made and continued to be issued until the late 1980s. It was only then revealed by Soviet economists that the true rate of growth in production over the period (including that of the Second Five-Year Plan, slightly less strongly stressing heavy industry, which now followed) was only about 3.5 percent per annum, about the same as that of Germany over the same span of time. Nevertheless, during this period a number of important industrial enterprises were completed, though there was much waste as well. The Syrtsov group (see below) held the new industries to be “eyewash,” and there was certainly great emphasis on the propaganda side. Some undertakings were ill-considered: the Baltic–White Sea Canal (White Sea–Baltic Canal), supposedly completed in 1933, employed some 200,000–300,000 forced labourers but proved almost useless. On the other hand, the great Dneproges dam was a generally successful hydroelectric project on the largest scale. The same can be said of the Magnitogorsk foundries and other great factories. The characteristic fault was “giantism”—the party's inclination to build on the largest and most ostentatious scale. One result was that there were continual organizational problems. More crucial was that the main concern was that production figures always be at, or beyond, the limits of capacity, so that maintenance and infrastructure were neglected, with deleterious long-term results.

      There was a movement of population from the country to the towns. Between 1929 and 1932, some 12.5 million new hands were reported to have entered urban work, 8.5 million of them from the countryside (though it was ruled that kulaks should not be given jobs in the factories). These are striking figures, though they did not change the U.S.S.R. into an urbanized country in the Western sense. Even in 1940 just over two-thirds of the population was classified as rural and just under one-third as urban. It was not until the early 1960s that the population became equally urban and rural.

      Even if the crash programs had been intrinsically sound, the party had not had time to prepare adequate technical and managerial staff or to educate the new industrial proletariat. And few genuine economic incentives were available: in 1933 worker's real wages were about one-tenth of what they had been in 1926–27. Hence, everything had to be handled on the basis of myth and coercion rather than through rationality and cooperation. It is impossible to estimate such intangibles as the level of genuine enthusiasm among the Komsomols sent into the industrial plants or how long such enthusiasm lasted. But there was certainly an important element of genuine enthusiasts, and the remainder were at least obliged to behave as such.

      In October 1930 the first decree was issued forbidding the free movement of labour, followed two months later by one that forbade factories to employ people who had left their previous place of work without permission. At the same time unemployment relief was abolished on the grounds that there was “no more unemployment.” In January 1931 came the first law introducing prison sentences for violation of labour discipline—confined for the time being to railwaymen. February brought the compulsory Labour Books for all industrial and transport workers. In March punitive measures against negligence were announced, followed by a decree holding workers responsible for damage done to instruments or materials. July 1932 saw the abrogation of Article 37 of the 1922 Labour Code, under which the transfer of a worker from one enterprise to another could be effected only with his consent. On Aug. 7, 1932, the death penalty was introduced for theft of state or collective property; this law was immediately applied on a large scale. From November 1932 a single day's unauthorized absence from work became punishable by instant dismissal. Finally, on Dec. 27, 1932, came the reintroduction of the internal passport, denounced by Lenin as one of the worst stigmas of tsarist backwardness and despotism.

      At the same time, pay and rations were linked to productivity. Preferential rations for “shock brigades” were introduced, and in 1932 the then very short food supplies were put under the direct control of the factory managers through the introduction of a kind of truck-system for allocation to workers on the basis of their performance. This culminated in the much publicized Stakhanovite movement. It was announced that Aleksey Stakhanov, a miner, had devised a method for immensely increasing productivity. The method as stated was no more than a rationalization (in the Taylorian or Fordian sense) of the arrangements for clearing debris, keeping machines ready, and so on, and in fact it involved a large effort by a support team of de-emphasized assistants. A vast publicity campaign ensued, and Stakhanovites emerged everywhere. In fact, as more recent Soviet analyses have made clear, the whole thing was little more than a publicity gimmick. But it was linked with the policy of payment by piecework, intended to set the individual worker's targets in industry higher than was normally possible, and was highly unpopular. This unpopularity could not be expressed in a normal fashion, but there were many press reports of sabotage of, or assaults on, Stakhanovites by “backward” workers.

      Meanwhile, not only in the U.S.S.R. but in the communist movement the world over, “Stakhanovite” became the favourite word for a “shock worker” in any economic—or political—field. The new workers' stratum, given much money and prestige, reflected the increasingly caste-oriented nature of Stalinist society, of which the bureaucracy-intelligentsia was the most notable feature. These years had in fact seen the establishment of a new social and economic system. Thereafter there were no substantial changes.

Internal, 1930–37
      In the Communist Party (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) the Stalinist grip had become complete in 1930 with the expulsion of Bukharin, Tomsky, and Rykov from the Politburo and Rykov's replacement as chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (the leading group of government administrators). The 16th Party Congress signaled the end of the Right “deviation” as the 15th Congress had marked that of the Left. As a result of the 16th Congress, held in June–July 1930, and a plenum of the Central Committee in December of that year, the Politburo consisted solely of Stalinists: Stalin, Kliment Voroshilov, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Kirov, Stanislav Kossior, Valerian Kuybyshev, Molotov, Sergo (Grigory) Ordzhonikidze, and Yan Rudzutak, with Anastas Mikoyan, Vlas Chubar, and Grigory Petrovsky as candidate members, while Andrey Andreyev was head of the Central Control Commission, the party's disciplinary body. (It should be noted that from 1926 to 1934 the chairman of this commission did not serve in the Politburo: Ordzhonikidze 1926–30; Andreyev 1930–31; Rudzutak from 1931.) Over the next few years opposition was reduced to a few party groups who clandestinely discussed the removal of Stalin and the reversal of the disastrous economic policies: Sergey Syrtsov (candidate member of the Politburo), Besso Lominadze, and others in 1930; Mikhail Ryutin and other Rightists in 1931–32; Aleksandr Smirnov and others in 1932–33. These were all fruitless, being exposed and denounced on short order. Their political effect was different. In the two latter cases (and in certain others) Stalin sought to have the offenders executed and was thwarted by a Politburo majority.

      And there were, from Stalin's point of view, further signs of insubordination. The struggles of the past few years over collectivization had been won, and a feeling had developed, even in high levels of the victorious Stalin apparat, that some degree of civil relaxation could now take place. The 17th Party Congress, assembling in January 1934, was described as the Congress of Victors. As Stalin noted, no deviations remained to be combated. The former oppositionists had been, in the case of most of the Leftists, readmitted to the party; the Rightists had never been expelled. Members of both groups held minor posts of varying importance. And Stalin, who had appeared indispensable during the crisis, now seemed to many to be unsuited to leadership in a more peaceable era. A group of important figures debated replacing him as general secretary by Kirov, while retaining him in some more honorary post. Some 166 delegates (out of 1,225) actually crossed Stalin's name out in the balloting for the new Central Committee.

      Stalin went on record in favour of the concessions to the more moderate policy proposed at the Congress. And there was a noticeable, if not a major, thaw, including the end of bread rationing in 1935. In literature the dogmatic RAPPists were discredited, and a new Union of Soviet Writers (Writers' Union of the U.S.S.R.) held its first Congress in 1934 under the new doctrine of “Socialist Realism.” (Socialist Realism) Although the new policy was less overtly restrictive of the arts, this too was used for the rest of the Stalin period as a criterion for silencing or purging independent voices. Of the 700 writers attending the Congress, only about 50 survived to see the Second Congress in 1954, though the average age in 1934 was under 40.

      It is now clear, in any case, that Stalin, if not in his public stance, felt threatened by any substantial relaxation and hampered by his inadequately obedient subordinates. At the end of 1934, on December 1, came an event that was to be crucial to the final establishment of the Stalinist system. On that date Kirov (Kirov, Sergey Mironovich) was assassinated in the Smolny building at Leningrad, ostensibly by a disgruntled communist, whose access to his victim had been arranged by senior local officials of the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs), as the secret police, reorganized in 1934 under Genrikh Yagoda, was now called. There is little doubt that Stalin sponsored this murder through Yagoda.

      Kirov's death was followed at once by a decree on the summary trial of terrorists. It was charged that the assassin was a member of a Zinovyevite terrorist group in Leningrad, all of whom were promptly shot. Zinovyev (Zinovyev, Grigory Yevseyevich), Kamenev (Kamenev, Lev Borisovich), and several score of their followers were arrested and sentenced in closed court to jail terms as having “political responsibility” for (though not yet direct involvement in) the murder. Stalin's agent Andrey Zhdanov took control of Leningrad, and from 1935 to 1939 almost all Kirov's following was extirpated.

      Over the next four years the centre of political life in the U.S.S.R. was the exposure and suppression of ever-increasing circles of alleged plotters against the regime, all of them linked in one way or another with the Kirov case. The country was submitted to an intensive campaign against hidden “enemies of the people.” This manifested itself both in a series of public, or publicized, trials (purge trials), and in a massive terror (terrorism) operation against the population as a whole.

      There had been show trials even in early Soviet times, including that of the Socialist Revolutionaries in 1922 and the Shakhty case in 1928. During the early 1930s several more were mounted, notably the “Metro-Vic” case, involving British and Soviet engineers, in April 1933, following the “Menshevik Trial” in March 1931. Both cases were mainly concerned with sabotage. (The Mensheviks (Menshevik) were almost all economists and specialists accused of trying to establish Five-Year Plan figures lower than the country's capability—though in fact they had tended to err on the optimistic side.) But while these trials received considerable publicity they were not made the central feature of Soviet politics.

      In August 1936 the NKVD set up the Zinovyev-Kamenev trial (to be followed by two similar trials in 1937 and 1938). And these cases were presented as the crucial element in the country's public life. Zinovyev, Kamenev, and 14 others confessed to terrorist plots in conjunction with Trotsky and were shot. In September the NKVD chief, Yagoda, was replaced by Nikolay Yezhov (Yezhov, Nikolay Ivanovich), from whom the Yezhovshchina, the worst phase of the terror in 1937–38, took its name. A new group, headed by Grigory (Yury) Pyatakov, was now arrested, figuring in the second great trial in January 1937. This time the charges included espionage, sabotage, and treason, in addition to terrorism.

      On Feb. 18, 1937, Stalin's old ally and Politburo colleague Ordzhonikidze committed suicide. He was reported to have planned to criticize the new repressions at what came to be known as the “February–March” 1937 plenum of the Central Committee. The plenum's main decision was the arrest of Bukharin and Rykov. At the same time Stalin, Molotov, Yezhov, and others called for great vigilance in the struggle against hostile elements in the party and outside it.

      In 1936 a new constitution (often called the Stalin constitution) came into effect, guaranteeing all manner of human rights. It had no effect, and in the spurious elections called under its articles in December 1937 there was only one candidate for each seat.

      At this time a further social and economic component of the Stalinist system became very important. There had been a number of concentration camps (concentration camp) from 1918 on, and 65 existed in 1922. During the NEP there was a reduction in the number of prisoners, who probably only numbered some tens of thousands at the end of the decade. But a decision was then taken to systematically utilize their labour. By 1932 there seem to have been at least one million such prisoners, and by 1935 there were more than two million, with camps located largely in the Arctic (such as Kolyma and Vorkuta) but also in Kazakhstan and elsewhere. The system expanded further and became a regular feature of Soviet life.

      During 1937 and 1938 the terror reached its climax. Starting in March it rapidly developed a mass character. To cope with the large-scale arrests, special extra-legal tribunals were set up, in particular the notorious NKVD “troikas,” which sentenced hundreds of thousands of people to death in their absence. The mass graves of the victims remained secret until the late 1980s.

      The Communist Party itself was ruthlessly purged. Of the 139 full and candidate members of the Central Committee elected at the 17th Congress in 1934, 115 were arrested, and of the 1,966 delegates to that Congress, 1,108 were arrested. The local leaderships in Leningrad, in Ukraine, and elsewhere were almost annihilated. In the republics the charges in many cases were now dealt with in secret, and the main themes of intensive public propaganda invariably included “bourgeois nationalist” plotting. The local party and cultural leaderships perished. At the lower level, of the 2.3 million people who had been party members in 1935, just under half went to execution or died in labour camps.

      At the centre People's Commissariats and Party departments were likewise devastated. The industrial, engineering, and economic cadres, including those of the railways, were heavily purged. The army also suffered heavy losses. In May 1937 eight senior generals, headed by Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, were arrested, tortured, and, on June 11, shot on the usual charges. Their trial, held in secret, was publicly announced, but this was the exception. Over the next two years almost all their senior colleagues were arrested, tried in secret, and executed: 3 of the 5 marshals, 13 of the 15 army commanders, 50 of the 57 corps commanders, and 6 of the 7 fleet admirals and admirals grade I. The officer corps as a whole lost about half its members.

      The cultural world also suffered: several hundred writers were executed or died in camps, including such figures as Osip Mandelshtam, Boris Pilnyak, and Isaak Babel. The same applied in all the professions. Plots were discovered in the State Hermitage Museum, the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, and throughout academe.

      The purge also involved large numbers of the general public. In all not fewer than some 5 million people were arrested, of whom no more than 10 percent survived. During the Yezhovshchina, the U.S.S.R. was in fact submitted to one of the most brutal terrors in recorded history. The effects were long-lasting.

      In March 1938 came the third Moscow Trial. Bukharin (Bukharin, Nikolay Ivanovich), Rykov, and others, among them the former police commissar Yagoda, confessed to several murders, including those of Kirov and the writer Maksim Gorky, as well as to treason, espionage, and so on. Bukharin was accused of planning to murder Lenin in 1918, though he denied this particular slander. After the executions the only survivors of Lenin's last Politburo were Stalin and Trotsky (Trotsky, Leon), the latter in exile in Mexico. (Trotsky was killed by an NKVD agent in 1940.)

      By the autumn of 1938 it had become clear that the terror was dislocating the entire life of the country, including the economy—production actually declined in 1938–39. In December Yezhov was removed from his police post, to be arrested in 1939 and shot in 1940. Lavrenty Beria took on the NKVD leadership and supervised a considerable reduction in the tempo of the purge. The system became institutionalized.

      The major factions opposing Stalin had been defeated by 1930. The early months of 1937 had seen the defeat of the last attempt to restrain Stalin. The 18th Party Congress in March 1939 marked the final transformation of Soviet politics. All independence of mind on the part of any of the Stalinist leadership had effectively vanished. Thereafter the history of the U.S.S.R. until 1953 was, generally speaking, confined to Stalin's decisions and the attempts of his subordinates to gain his confidence.

      The removal of all alternative political figures was matched by what was later called “the cult of personality” of Stalin. History was falsified on a massive scale to give him a major role in the Bolshevik underground, the Revolution, and the Civil War—in particular in the new “Short Course” Communist Party history, which became the basic text of Stalinism and sold 40 million copies throughout the world. The country was blanketed in extremes of adulation.

Foreign policy, 1928–40
 From 1928, in harmony with the increasing shift to the left at home, foreign and Comintern (International, Third) policy once again became radicalized, with the emphasis on the treason of the Social Democrats of the West.

      From 1933 to 1934 the context changed abruptly. Hitler's (Hitler, Adolf) accession to power in Germany had been facilitated by Moscow's refusal to let the German Communist Party cooperate against him with the Social Democrats and others. In fact, Nazi rule was at first interpreted as a victory for the communists, in that capitalism had been driven to its last resource, of naked force, and must soon collapse. By mid-1934 it had become obvious that the whole conception was wrong.

      A new Comintern policy emerged, to be formalized at that body's Seventh Congress in July–August 1935: to work toward a United Front of Communists and Socialists, soon broadened to a People's Front of all “left” parties. At the same time in foreign policy Stalin turned to the bourgeois democracies as a counterweight to Germany. In September 1934 the U.S.S.R. joined the League of Nations. In May 1935 a Franco-Soviet treaty of mutual assistance was signed, and a Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty followed a few weeks later, though this treaty was only to take effect if France also came to the aid of the country under attack.

      In July 1936 came the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War against insurgents led by General Francisco Franco and heavily supported by Germany and Italy. The Soviets provided a few hundred tanks and aircraft and a few thousand military specialists, and in addition as many as 42,000 volunteers of the International Brigades were largely raised by the Comintern. Stalin's followers also progressively took over the Spanish government, especially concerning themselves with hunting down local Trotskyites. When it was clear that the war was lost, Soviet support was withdrawn. But meanwhile the U.S.S.R. had established a further claim to the allegiance of the European left. This was enhanced when, in the autumn of 1938, France and Britain were instrumental in having Czechoslovakia accept the Munich agreement, the first step to that country's disintegration and annexation, while the U.S.S.R. appeared to be the sole, though cheated, defender of collective security.

      This was a misapprehension. It is now clear that Stalin had no intention of becoming involved militarily. And he had, in any case, for several years been sounding out the possibility of an alternative policy based on accommodation with Hitler. At first these approaches bore no fruit, but in his policy speech to the 18th Party Congress in March 1939, Stalin announced that the U.S.S.R. would not help “warmongers” who wanted others to “pull their chestnuts out of the fire,” and Maksim Litvinov, the spokesman for collective security, was removed as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs a few weeks later. Hitler, planning his attack on Poland, understood these signals and initiated serious contacts with Moscow.

      At the same time France and Britain had belatedly seen that the only effective policy against German expansion was as strong an alliance as possible, and they too now sought Soviet support. There was justifiable mistrust on both sides, and the Western powers handled the negotiations reluctantly and clumsily. But in any case the West was offering a pact that might or might not deter Hitler and that might lead to Soviet involvement in an uncertain war if it did not; whereas Hitler's offer was of a great increase in Soviet territory and, at least for the present, peace.

      The German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, arrived in Moscow on Aug. 23, 1939, and the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact) was signed that evening. The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, and Soviet troops entered the eastern part of that country on September 17. Under the Secret Protocols of the Pact (as amended later in the month) the Soviet Union received western Ukraine and western Belorussia, together with the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Heavy pressure was now put on these latter three, and they were forced to accept Soviet garrisons under treaties signed in September and October. The treaties guaranteed that there would be no interference in their internal politics.

      A similar ultimatum was issued to Finland, but the talks broke down, and on Nov. 30, 1939, the U.S.S.R. attacked the country and immediately set up a Democratic Republic of Finland, headed by the communist Otto Kuusinen. But militarily the “Winter War,” as the Russo-Finnish War of 1939–40 was called, started with a series of humiliating defeats for the U.S.S.R., and it was only in March that the sheer weight of numbers broke Finnish resistance. Even then, fearing Allied involvement, Stalin granted terms little worse than those offered in 1939 and dropped the Kuusinen “government.” The U.S.S.R. gained the Karelian Isthmus, certain border changes in the north, and a base on the Gulf of Finland.

Into the war (World War II): 1940–45
      The period between the Pact of 1939 and the German invasion saw internal consolidation. In the governmental sphere the membership and candidate membership of the Politburo, as elected after the 17th Party Congress in 1934 and recruited at a Central Committee plenum in 1935, had consisted entirely of veteran Stalinists. It almost immediately lost 9 of the 17 persons involved: one murdered, one probably a natural death, one a suicide, five executed, and one dismissed. The 18th Party Congress in 1939 elected the eight survivors, Andreyev, Voroshilov, Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kalinin, Mikoyan, Molotov, and Stalin, plus Nikita Khrushchev, to full membership, and two new men, Beria (Beria, Lavrenty Pavlovich), the new NKVD Commissar, and Nikolay Shvernik (Stalin's agent in the “Trade Unions”), to candidacy. In February 1941 three new candidate members were co-opted: Georgy Malenkov (Malenkov, Georgy Maksimilianovich), Nikolay Voznesensky, and Zhdanov's brother-in-law Aleksandr Shcherbakov. Shcherbakov died in 1945 and Kalinin in 1946; Malenkov and Voznesensky were made full members in 1946 and 1947, respectively; Nikolay Bulganin and Aleksey Kosygin became candidate members in 1946 and full members in 1948. Zhdanov died in 1948, and Voznesensky was removed in 1949 and shot in 1950. There were no further changes in Politburo membership until the 19th Congress in 1952.

      The internal political scene during 1940 and 1941 was thus marked by the emergence at the higher levels of a number of younger figures. Beria was thereafter one of the key men in the Stalin regime. Malenkov, from the party apparatus, became a secretary of the Central Committee as well as joining the Politburo at the 18th Conference in February 1941, where he was put up to urge a more pragmatic and less “class-defined” approach to personnel problems. This was, and was taken to be, a manifesto for the consolidation of the bureaucracy.

 In the foreign sphere the Baltic states were annexed in the summer of 1940. At the same time the U.S.S.R. secured Bessarabia and the northern Bukovina after Romania gave in to an ultimatum on this issue. A further action that would have repercussions in the foreign affairs field was the secret execution in April–May 1940 of 15,000 Polish officers and others who had become prisoners of war after the Soviet invasion of their country in 1939—the Katyn Massacre (named for the Katyn forest, west of Smolensk, where mass graves were discovered).

      The Nazi seizure of Norway, the collapse of France, and a Britain driven from the continent, followed by German victories in Yugoslavia and Greece, plainly left the U.S.S.R. as a potential target of Nazi attack. But Stalin (who on May 6, 1941, became chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, in addition to his general secretaryship of the Central Committee) concluded that a Nazi invasion might be avoided; he felt that in any case an invasion would certainly not be possible in 1941. In spite of intelligence from all quarters that the German army was massing for attack, a special Moscow announcement on June 14, 1941, asserted that both parties were rigorously observing their pact. On June 22 the invasion was launched.

      Some improvements had been made in the Red Army as a result of the Russo-Finnish War, but it was still suffering the effects of the purge and was no match for the Germans. A series of disasters followed, and by mid-October the enemy had Leningrad under blockade, had taken Kiev, and was at the gates of Moscow. However, when the Germans made their final effort in early December, they were repulsed.

      In spite of the industrial effort there was at first a shortage on the Soviet side even of rifles and machine guns. Moreover, the Germans overran much of the production plant. But much was transferred to the east, and the available or reorganized factories were soon supplying weaponry at an admirable rate. Even so, this would have been insufficient but for a massive supply of war materials from the Western powers.

      Although Soviet historians in the late 20th century described an early attempt by Stalin to make a separate peace with Hitler, based on Soviet territorial concessions, his foreign policy through most of the war consisted of pressure on his allies for more equipment, for their opening a “Second Front” as soon as possible, and for their recognition of the U.S.S.R.'s borders established under the Nazi-Soviet pact. These were the main themes at the Tehrān Conference (November–December 1943), the Yalta Conference (February 1945), and the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), where the leaders of the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, and the United States met.

      After the Nazi failure outside of Moscow a Soviet counteroffensive gained some ground but failed to break the German line. In May 1942 a Soviet offensive near Kharkov also failed, and the Germans launched their own summer offensive. This swept on to the line of the Caucasus, and farther north to Stalingrad (Stalingrad, Battle of) (now Volgograd), on the Volga. There they were held, and in November a Soviet counterblow cut off the German striking forces, which surrendered in February 1943. The Germans' main body retreated westward but was able to regroup, and after Kharkov fell to the Soviets they launched a counteroffensive and retook the city in March. There was now a pause in the fighting.

      In April 1943 the Germans announced the discovery of the graves of the Polish soldiers shot at Katyn; thereafter the affair played an important role in poisoning Soviet-Polish relations.

      In July 1943 the Germans launched their last major attack, on the Kursk salient. After fierce fighting the Soviets won a great defensive victory. From this point on the Soviet army launched a series of offensives. By the end of 1943 the Germans had lost two-thirds of the territory they had overrun. In January 1944 Leningrad was relieved. In early summer Finland sued for peace and was given terms little worse than those settled in 1940. Over the next months the Germans were driven back to the Vistula River and the Carpathians. In August a coup d'état by King Michael of Romania resulted in that country's changing sides. In September the U.S.S.R. declared war on Bulgaria, hitherto neutral in the Soviet-German conflict, and a pro-Allied coup brought that country onto the Soviet side as well.

      Apart from a temporarily successful German counteroffensive in Hungary, the remainder of the war saw a series of Soviet advances that cut off the Germans in the Baltic area, and in the early spring of 1945 the Red Army drove into Czechoslovakia and Austria and, in late April, into Berlin and final victory.

      In addition to the recovery of the Baltic states, western Ukraine, and western Belorussia, the eastern part of East Prussia was now annexed to the Soviet Union.

      In August 1945 the Soviet Union joined in the war against Japan. Soviet forces overran Manchuria and installed a communist regime in North Korea. Soviet territorial gains consisted of the southern half of the island of Sakhalin, plus Port Arthur (now Lü-shun), both of which had been lost to Japan in 1905.

      As the Soviet armies advanced into the countries of eastern Europe (Europe, history of), policy decisions on the future of these nations became urgent. Democratic elections had been promised and coalitions formed between local communists and all or some of the local democrats. But to create democratic states that were at the same time pro-Soviet would have meant a total change in Stalin's policies—particularly in Poland.

      Instead the eastern European governments were in effect taken over one by one, starting with Romania early in 1945, when the deputy commissar of foreign affairs, Andrey Vyshinsky, presented an ultimatum to King Michael to remove all democrats from office. By early 1947 the whole area (except as yet Czechoslovakia) was under complete communist control, including the regime set up in East Germany by the Soviet authorities. These moves were contrary to inter-Allied agreements (and to the provisions of the peace treaties signed with Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary later in 1947). This was to be the source of further international confrontation.

Postwar
  The Soviet victory had been hard won, and Soviet estimates of deaths due to the war run well over 20 million, 8 to 9 million of them soldiers. The sacrifices and efforts of the army and of much of the population had been enormous, and Stalin's prestige was high as well.

      During the war there had been some political relaxation, and appeals had been to national rather than to party feelings. The soldiers had learned initiative and had seen the—to them—incredible prosperity of not only Germany but even countries such as Bulgaria. A great effort now went into reconstruction and (in 1946) to coping with a new famine. The general mood of the country seems to have been one of hope for change. But the end of 1945 and beginning of 1946 saw a great tightening of ideological and political discipline.

      Early in 1946 Malenkov was removed from the Secretariat. His place as second figure in the party apparatus was taken by Zhdanov (Zhdanov, Andrey Aleksandrovich), and a group of “Leningraders” associated with Zhdanov were appointed to a variety of key posts: one, Nikolay Voznesensky, was named head of Gosplan (the State Planning Commission, responsible for the five-year plans) and another, Aleksey Kuznetsov, became secretary of the Central Committee in charge of (among other things) the secret police—a threat to Beria. And some time in 1946 Beria's close associate Vsevolod Merkulov was replaced as minister of state security by Viktor Abakumov. However, Beria and Malenkov remained as counterweights to the Zhdanovites in what was for several years the main factional divide among Stalin's lieutenants.

      A new wave of arrests, particularly of officers, followed. The public side of the ideological campaign was launched by a series of attacks on leading writers such as the poet Anna Akhmatova and the satirist Mikhail Zoshchenko, accusing them of being “individualists.” This phase became known as the Zhdanovshchina, after Stalin's main agent in the matter, Zhdanov, who was now in charge of ideology. Over the next two years a cultural and general purge produced the final consolidation of the regime in what has been called High Stalinism. The whole scientific, literary, and academic world in particular was subjected to an endless life of petty, and often not so petty, persecutions. All work not fully assimilated to the official line was condemned as serving imperialism, at best as “servility toward the West.” In biology the pseudoscientific views of Trofim Lysenko were imposed, and genetics was condemned. In all fields Russian prowess was now put ahead of fact: it was claimed, for example, that Russians had invented the radio and the airplane.

      This combination of Marxist ideology and chauvinism was designed to cut off the country's thought from Western and democratic influence, or even from the idea of a peaceful world collaboration. As to the nationality problem, one of the concomitants of the war was the rounding up, and exile from their native territories, of ethnic groups or nationalities (minority). In 1941 the Volga Germans and other Soviet Germans were deported, and the Volga German Republic was abolished. In 1943–45 the same measure was applied to the Crimean Tatars, the Kalmyks, the Chechens, and several other Caucasian peoples (and in 1946 to the Turkic Meskhetians of southern Georgia). More than 2,000,000 people were involved, and deaths are estimated at about 500,000. This foreshadowed, or was a symptom of, a policy vis-à-vis the non-Russian nations that, while maintaining the federal facade, became increasingly hostile to all genuine national aspirations. Meanwhile in western Ukraine and Lithuania anti-Soviet partisans continued to operate as late as 1950.

      Zhdanov fell from favour and was demoted in the summer of 1948, Malenkov taking his position as Stalin's chief aide. Zhdanov died almost at once, but over the next year his chief adherents, including Politburo member Voznesensky, were arrested and later executed in the secret “Leningrad Affair.” To balance Malenkov, Stalin now moved Khrushchev (Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich) from Ukraine to be a Central Committee secretary and secretary of the Moscow party.

      The fall of the Zhdanovites was in part connected with events in eastern Europe, where Stalin had become dissatisfied with the local communists. Early in 1948 the main offender, Marshal Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, was criticized and later anathematized, with his whole regime exposed as agents of Hitler, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and British intelligence. Elsewhere in the Soviet bloc a series of trials (purge trials) of veteran communists took place, managed directly from Moscow. Particularly notable were those of László Rajk in Hungary and Traicho Kostov in Bulgaria—though Kostov broke precedent by failing to confess and maintaining this position through the whole trial. As a result, the last of these affairs, the Slánský trial in Czechoslovakia in 1952, though notionally public, was in effect held in camera.

      Meanwhile, the communist assumption of power in Prague in February 1948 (followed by the Soviet attempt to eject the Western Allies from Berlin by the blockade of 1948–49) led to the revulsion of the bulk of Western opinion and to the development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, which was to block Soviet expansionism in Europe. The long-lasting tension between the two blocs became known as the Cold War. One major phenomenon was the development of the Soviet atomic bomb in 1949. But Stalin still felt comparatively weak: when, in 1950, believing that it would be a simple local operation, he authorized the North Korean (Korean War) attack on South Korea, and the United Nations intervened, he was careful to avoid Soviet entanglement.

      Through the postwar period the political mood in the U.S.S.R.—which is to say Stalin's mood—became increasingly anti-Semitic (anti-Semitism). From 1950 in eastern Europe the emphasis of accusations against the leaders on trial changed from Titoism to Zionism. In the U.S.S.R. the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee set up during the war was dissolved, and its leader, the actor and theatrical producer Solomon Mikhoels, was murdered by the MGB (Ministry of State Security). “Rootless cosmopolitans” with Jewish names, mostly critics and playwrights, were attacked in a new propaganda drive, and many were arrested. In August 1952 came the secret “Crimean Case,” in which leading Yiddish writers and others were executed.

      In 1951 a purge began in Georgia, directed against Beria's closest followers. These were jailed in the “Mingrelian Affair,” which was still being processed when Stalin died; it seems also to have been linked to the Jewish “plotters.” The Mingrelian case was certainly aimed at Beria, himself a Mingrelian. This was not followed up, and, though Beria was implicitly criticized over the last months of Stalin's life, in that the security services were accused of having failed to discover a whole series of plots from 1945 on, he seemed to remain in favour. It was this as much as anything that led Khrushchev to conclude that some of the decisions taken in this last phase of Stalin's rule indicated that he was no longer acting consistently or rationally, even by Stalinist standards.

      At the 19th Party Congress in October 1952 Stalin attacked Molotov and Mikoyan as deviationists and later let it be known that they were suspected of espionage for the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively. Molotov's Jewish wife, Polina, was already under arrest as a Zionist plotter.

      At this congress the name of the party was changed to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Stalin also changed the organization of the leading party bodies. Instead of a Politburo, a Presidium of the Central Committee was nominated, consisting of 25 members and 11 candidate members. This included all the old Politburo members except Andreyev (though Kosygin was now only a candidate). But there were also a number of new members, to whom Stalin looked as eventual replacements for senior figures. At the same time (though this was not made public) a nine-member Bureau of the Presidium was created, consisting of Stalin, Malenkov, Beria, Khrushchev, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Maksim Saburov, Mikhail Pervukhin, and Bulganin—but not Molotov or Mikoyan. Stalin's ruling group afterward was in practice limited to the first four of these (plus sometimes Bulganin).

      By November 1952 a number of prominent doctors (Doctors' Plot), mainly but not only Jewish, were placed under arrest, and in January 1953 it was announced that they were plotters entrusted by Zionist and Western intelligence with killing the Soviet leaders. Prominent Soviet Jews were made to sign a petition for the removal of their community to the Far East. A virulent campaign made it clear that a new purge was in the offing. But on March 5 Stalin died after a stroke.

      The most obvious social changes of the Stalin period were that millions had perished in the antipeasant terror of 1930–33 and the general terror of 1936–39 and later, or barely survived in the vast labour camp system. An individual peasantry no longer existed. The party, state, administrative, and intellectual cadres had been largely destroyed and replaced by intellectually and morally inferior personnel. Moreover, this new stratum had itself been heavily purged, so that all spheres were ruled by a caste motivated by dogma, fear, ambition, malice, and greed—a process commonly described in late 20th-century Russian publications as “negative selection.”

      In the international field the principle of unappeasable antagonism between the Soviet bloc and all other forms of political life, still based on “class” theory, dominated the agenda until it was abandoned in 1990. The Cold War, which was its central product, is now defined in the former Soviet Union as a struggle conducted against not only the West and the peoples of eastern Europe but simultaneously against the Russian people and the rest of the U.S.S.R., thus linking the various aspects of Stalinism and its heritage.

Robert Conquest

The U.S.S.R. from 1953 to 1991

The Khrushchev era
The transition
      Stalin died a slow, angry, and painful death on March 5, 1953. He had suffered a stroke after retiring on the night of March 1–2, but this was not perceived until the morning because of his concern for personal security. The top leadership gathered around his bedside, but he could only move his little finger. Beria was delighted at his boss's coming demise and showed it. This earned him the undying hostility of Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin's daughter. Others in the entourage were more circumspect. They found themselves in a predicament: How were they to choose Stalin's successor? How were they to ensure that no one acquired his awesome power? This would put their careers, and even lives, at risk. The country was also confused. Even in death Stalin (Stalin, Joseph) took some with him. During the elaborate state funeral on March 9, some people were crushed to death in their desire to pay their last respects to the dead dictator.

      Collective leadership was the only possibility. When the first division of power was agreed to on March 7, the main beneficiaries were Malenkov, who became chairman of the Council of Ministers, or prime minister, and Beria, who stepped up to become first deputy prime minister and also headed the amalgamated Ministry of State Security and Ministry of Internal Affairs. Molotov returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was also a first deputy prime minister. Bulganin became minister of defense. To calm the population Pravda reported that the new collective leadership would “prevent any kind of disorder or panic.” When Stalin died there was no title that identified the head of the Communist Party. Stalin had given up the title of general secretary of the party in 1934 and was afterward merely described as secretary of the Central Committee Secretariat. Malenkov's name appeared at the top of the list of secretaries on March 7. Hence he had succeeded Stalin as head of government and party. This nice arrangement broke down within a week: there was too much power concentrated in one pair of hands. The main beneficiary was Khrushchev. His name was placed at the top of the list of five secretaries of the secretariat. Khrushchev was now in charge of the party, although he was not formally made first secretary until September 1953. Malenkov, in choosing to remain prime minister, made a grave mistake, even though Lenin and Stalin had both occupied the office. Khrushchev now had a power base from which to attack Malenkov and win precedence for the party over the government.

      The primary goal of the new leadership was to ensure stability in the country while the power struggle at the top got under way. An amnesty freed prisoners from the labour camps but affected only the elite and their families and friends. Those in exile were allowed to return to the city of their choice. Molotov got his wife back, Mikoyan his son, and Lyubov Khrushcheva, Khrushchev's daughter-in-law, also returned. There was a mood of optimism, and there was a promise to dismantle the worst excesses of the Stalinist legal system. This became known as promoting socialist legality. Malenkov launched the New Course, an economic program that promised higher living standards.

      If Malenkov was active, so was Beria. He tried to give the security police a better image and spoke up for national elites playing a more active role in their territories. Khrushchev and others became convinced that Beria was preparing a coup. They managed to win over Malenkov, and Beria was arrested in late June 1953. During his cross-examination he was very keen to spill the beans about his political detractors. His evidence ran to 40 volumes, and he obliged Khrushchev by pouring mud over Malenkov and throwing light on the murky Leningrad Affair (see above). He was forthcoming about his role as Stalin's procurer and about his own sexual preferences, and he testified to having personally interrogated many prisoners, delighting in inflicting pain. When Beria (Beria, Lavrenty Pavlovich) was executed in December 1953, he had to be gagged to prevent him from revealing more unsavoury information. The party took revenge on Beria's lieutenants. More than 20 were executed, some of them in 1956. The latter were the last politically motivated killings of the Soviet regime. In 1954 the secret police was reorganized and renamed the KGB (Committee of State Security).

 With Beria gone Khrushchev could target Malenkov. He chose agriculture as his policy area. At the September 1953 Central Committee plenum, at which Khrushchev became first secretary of the party, he laid bare the deficiencies of the rural sector. In doing so, he contradicted Malenkov's assertion at the 19th Party Congress that the grain problem had been solved. Khrushchev painted a gloomy picture but advocated the expansion of the sown area. This became the Virgin and Idle Lands program, which embraced mainly western Siberia and northern Kazakhstan. It was launched officially in March 1954 and was a huge risk, since the new lands were subject to drought. Khrushchev was proposing extensive agriculture, a relatively inexpensive means to increase output, whereas Malenkov favoured intensive agriculture, producing more from the existing area, which involved greater capital investment. Khrushchev was fortunate because there were as many good years as bad ones. But the 1963 harvest failure contributed to his downfall. In other economic matters Khrushchev was a conservative. He supported the dominance of heavy industry and criticized the flow of resources to light and consumer goods industries. Khrushchev also disagreed with Malenkov on nuclear policy. Whereas Malenkov advocated peaceful coexistence, since a nuclear war would destroy the planet, Khrushchev weighed in, at Prague in June 1954, with the old argument that a nuclear war would only wipe out capitalism. He did not explain how an atomic bomb could distinguish between a capitalist and a communist. Malenkov's policies were his undoing, and he was forced to resign as prime minister in February 1955. Bulganin took over.

      With Malenkov out of the way, Khrushchev could indulge in greater innovation. He set out to improve relations with China and Yugoslavia, since these were the responsibility of the Communist Party. His visit to Peking in September 1954 was a chastening affair. It was all give and no take, with Mao Zedong getting almost everything he asked for, although Khrushchev did balk at handing over the People's Republic of Mongolia (Chinese before 1911). In 1955 he visited Yugoslavia and offered the communist hand of friendship to Marshal Tito (Tito, Josip Broz). His offer to bring the Yugoslav communists in from the cold was not accepted, since the wily Tito knew that Moscow would also demand recognition of its hegemony. A renewal of relations between the two states was agreed on. Tito persuaded Khrushchev to recognize Yugoslavia's independence. On both visits Molotov, the foreign minister, was left at home since he opposed the demarches.

      Another startling move was the signing of the Austrian peace treaty in May 1955, which was, predictably, opposed by Molotov. Soviet troops left a European country for the first time since 1945; this did not happen again until 1990. Austria became neutral, with the U.S.S.R. as one of the guarantor powers.

 Khrushchev met U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower at Geneva in July 1955, and so unfrosty was the atmosphere that people began talking about the “spirit of Geneva.” Khrushchev's campaign for peace was bearing fruit. The main issue on the agenda at Geneva was Germany. West Germany had just joined NATO, and the Warsaw Pact, an alliance between the U.S.S.R. and its eastern European client states, had come into existence at the same time. On his way home Khrushchev dropped in on Walter Ulbricht, the leader of the German Democratic Republic, in East Berlin and assured him that the achievements of East Germany would be protected. This marked a change in Soviet policy. Previously Moscow had always aimed for a united Germany—a united socialist Germany, of course. (The two-Germany policy lasted until 1990, when Soviet policy reverted to recognizing one German state.) Diplomatic relations were established with Bonn in September 1955. Increased trade was a key Soviet objective. All remaining German prisoners of war returned home as part of the deal.

      Better relations with the West did not signal any weakening of the class struggle. Indeed, Khrushchev set off for India, Myanmar (Burma), and Afghanistan to challenge the West there. Soviet arms found their way to the Middle East, with the bulk going to Egypt. Soviet foreign policy was becoming more aggressive. Thus began the espousal of the Arab cause that was to last more than three decades.

 Khrushchev had a vision for the Soviet Union: a land of plenty where democracy, guided by the party, reigned. He was prevented from being very radical in most policy areas by the conservative majority on the party Presidium. He took an incalculable risk: in his “Secret Speech (Khrushchev's secret speech),” delivered to a closed session at the 20th Party Congress in February 1956, Khrushchev demolished Stalin's legacy, criticizing his way of running the country after 1934. (Khrushchev did not want to bring into question the centrally planned economy based on rapid industrialization and collectivization.) The revelation of Stalin's crimes shocked the delegates and fatally undermined the legitimacy of the party (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) at home and abroad. Khrushchev's motive seems to have been to destroy his political opponents, believing that his promise that the Stalinist past would never recur would be accepted at face value. He signaled that coercion would not be applied again in the political arena. In effect he dealt the party a deadly blow. Its infallibility shattered, it was now just as prone to error as any other party.

      At the congress Khrushchev followed Malenkov in espousing peaceful coexistence. His argument was that Soviet nuclear power had made war less likely, hence it was no longer inevitable. A passionate believer in the communist utopia, Khrushchev tried to evangelize the world. He spoke of alternative roads to socialism, dropped by Stalin in 1948. The Yugoslav road was even included. This was admitting that heresy was no longer heresy. Khrushchev seemed to be convinced that the Soviet road would prove the most attractive and erase the others. His policies amounted to de-Stalinization. He was aiming at humane socialism, but he retained the structures of Stalinism: Communist Party monopoly of power; centrally planned economy; party control of the media, education, and culture.

 The ferment stirred up by Khrushchev's Secret Speech—which soon became an open secret—infected wide circles of the intelligentsia and the youth and inspired a protest literature that went beyond denunciation of Stalin to attacks on the foundations of the Soviet system itself. Its effect on eastern Europe was electric and threatened Moscow's grip on its buffer zone. There the communist system had failed to establish legitimacy. Events came to a head in Hungary in October 1956, when Soviet troops had to suppress brutally a revolution led by local communists, the goal of which was independence from Moscow. One of those who excelled as a double dealer was Yury Andropov (Andropov, Yury Vladimirovich), then the Soviet ambassador in Budapest. (Andropov assured Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian premier, that he would be afforded free passage from the Yugoslav embassy, where he had taken refuge. Shortly after leaving the embassy, Nagy was arrested.) In Poland military intervention was averted at the last moment, with the Polish communists warning that they would fight. Władysław Gomułka took over the Polish Communist Party despite strong Soviet objections.

      Khrushchev did not hesitate to use force in eastern Europe, and this revealed the limits of his liberalism. Relations with Yugoslavia became more difficult. The Chinese supported him openly but in private were deeply unhappy about de-Stalinization, ideological innovation, and his failure to consult them on the Secret Speech. Mao Zedong saw himself as heir to Stalin and as the doyen of communist leaders. Khrushchev regarded this as ludicrous, and Sino-Soviet relations began to go from bad to worse.

      Khrushchev's radical innovations included abolishing most of the central ministries (except for the defense sector) and devolving economic decision making to more than 100 economic councils. This policy was intended to kill two birds with one stone: It would reduce the power of his main rivals in the Party Presidium, which was dominated by those holding government posts, and it would improve economic performance by allowing decisions to be made at the local level.

      The Presidium majority confronted Khrushchev in June 1957 and demanded that he step down and become minister of agriculture. He was too wily for them and kept talking while Marshal Georgy Zhukov, the minister of defense, mobilized his supporters in the Central Committee and got them to the Kremlin on time. As party leader Khrushchev had been able to stack the Central Committee with his supporters. Once again his gamble had paid off. Molotov (Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich), Malenkov (Malenkov, Georgy Maksimilianovich), and Kaganovich were removed from the Presidium and the Central Committee, and their political careers came to an end. They were labeled the Anti-Party group because they opposed the party's running the state, regarding that as the government's function. The dominance of the party dated from 1957, and it remained the key institution until its mismanagement of national affairs led to the demise of the U.S.S.R. in 1991.

      It had taken Khrushchev four years to emulate his mentor Stalin. He was now a strong, national leader. Bulganin stayed on as prime minister, but because he had been one of the plotters, this was only on sufferance. The following year Khrushchev took over as prime minister as well. He was at the height of his authority and power. Previously restrained by some critical colleagues, he was now free to launch practically any policy he thought up. What he desperately needed was a manager, someone who could run the economy and provide him with constructive criticism. Kosygin, now deputy prime minister, could have played this role, but Khrushchev decided he was too young for the job. The personal factor became increasingly important as Khrushchev gave vent to each latest inspiration. His policies were ill-conceived and ill-prepared, and most of his subordinates opposed them. They perceived them as a threat to their power and privilege. Khrushchev was brilliant at building up his authority, dominating decision making, but he found that his power—the ability to have his proposals implemented—was being gradually eroded. Mikhail Gorbachev was to find himself in the same predicament three decades later.

      On Aug. 26, 1957, the Soviet Union startled the world by announcing the successful firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile. On October 4 the first space satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched, followed on November 3 by Sputnik 2, with the dog Laika on board. Khrushchev went overboard on rocketry. He began to regard the ground forces as less important. This led him to cut the size of the military. He also tried to translate the U.S.S.R.'s advances in rocketry into tangible diplomatic success, threatening the West with Soviet missiles if it dared to think of attacking the U.S.S.R. Instead of intimidating, however, Khrushchev stimulated greater Western defense spending and thereby involved the U.S.S.R. in an expensive arms race that it could not win. In 1959 he made his first visit to the United States and put up a stout defense of Soviet policy, but he won no real concessions on Berlin or Germany. On May 1, 1960, a U.S. reconnaissance plane (U-2 Affair) was shot down near Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) in the Urals and the pilot, Gary Powers, was captured. This led to the collapse of the Paris summit in the same month, when Khrushchev demanded that Eisenhower personally apologize to him. Relations deteriorated during the civil war in the Congo in the early 1960s, over the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. This brought the two powers to the verge of nuclear war. The fact that Yury Gagarin had become the first man to orbit the Earth in 1961 may have contributed to Khrushchev's bold, or rather rash, demarche. Soviet nuclear missiles had been installed on Cuba as a way of overcoming the lack of a deliverable intercontinental ballistic missile. Major cities in the United States were targeted. The U.S. navy blockaded Cuba, and Soviet ground commanders had the authority to launch a missile attack, without approval from Moscow, if they perceived that an American invasion was under way. Eventually Khrushchev backed off. The Chinese severely criticized him for giving in to the United States and capitalism, but he saved the peace.

      Reconciliation was in the air, and the U.S.S.R., United States, and United Kingdom signed the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty in August 1963. Direct communications were established between Moscow and Washington. If relations with the West improved, the opposite was true of those with China. Soviet and eastern European technicians withdrew from China in 1960 and 1961, taking their blueprints with them. Peking was also angered by the reluctance of Moscow to use its nuclear muscle to help China regain Taiwan and other islands.

 

Nationality policy
      Khrushchev was Russian, but he had a soft spot for Ukrainians and they were his favourite non-Russian nationality. More reached the top during his leadership of the U.S.S.R. than before or afterward. He was liberal in his attitude toward other nationalities until 1956 but thereafter stressed the dominance of Russians. Under Stalin 56 nationalities, involving about 3.5 million people, had been deported to Siberia and Central Asia. Khrushchev rehabilitated most of these groups but found the problem of the Crimean Tatars and the Volga Germans particularly difficult. This was because their lands had been taken over by Russians and Ukrainians. He handed the Crimea over to Ukraine in 1954.

The cultural Thaw
      The cultural “Thaw” that set in under Khrushchev transformed the intellectual environment. It molded a generation, even though Khrushchev reverted at times to repression. The treatment of Boris Pasternak (Pasternak, Boris Leonidovich)—who won the Nobel Prize for Literature (Russian literature) in 1958 for his works, including the novel Doctor Zhivago (the title means “Dr. Life” [or “Alive”] in the pre-1918 Russian orthography)—was appalling, and it hastened his death. This was acknowledged by Khrushchev after his retirement. Khrushchev promoted the publication in 1962 of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's (Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich) novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, a description of life in a labour camp and a powerful attack on that system. Under his leadership, however, churches were destroyed and the faithful persecuted.

      Khrushchev's cultural policy was thus contradictory. On the one hand he was repressive, but on the other he promoted radical writers such as Solzhenitsyn and Vladimir Dudintsev, whose novel Not by Bread Alone (1957) created great controversy with its depiction of a corrupt Soviet bureaucracy. The main reason behind the policy was Khrushchev's desire to attack Stalin and Stalinism, but Khrushchev always underestimated the damage he was doing to the authority of the Party.

Economic problems
      The advent of nuclear weapons added to the Soviet defense burden. The population expected living standards to improve, but this could be achieved only if international tension eased. Here Khrushchev was often his own worst enemy. He launched many industrial and agricultural initiatives, but the net result was an overall decline of growth rates. U.S. specialists calculated that between 1961 and 1965 the annual increase of gross national product (GNP) in the U.S.S.R. slowed to 5 percent, industrial output to 6.6 percent, and agricultural growth to 2.8 percent. Since the population growth was about 1.4 percent annually, this meant that there was no tangible improvement in the diet available. Khrushchev correctly perceived that the party apparatus was a major barrier to economic progress. In an effort to revitalize it he split it into separate industrial and agricultural branches in November 1962. This made him deeply unpopular and accelerated his departure from high office.

Khrushchev's fall
      The plot to oust Khrushchev may have been hatched in February 1964. It was headed by Leonid Brezhnev, Nikolay Podgorny, and Aleksandr Shelepin, a former head of the KGB, with Vladimir Semichastny, then the KGB boss, contributing his part. Khrushchev was brought back from a holiday on the Black Sea in October 1964, to face the party Presidium. This time the Central Committee voted against him, and he was stripped of his offices on October 14. He was indicted on 15 counts. Among other things he was accused of providing erratic leadership, of making hasty and ill-considered decisions, of slighting his colleagues, of developing his own personality cult, of regarding himself as an expert on everything he came into contact with, of being insensitive in foreign affairs (he once referred to Mao Zedong as an “old boot,” and on another occasion he told Todor Zhivkov, the Bulgarian leader, that all Bulgarians were “parasites”), of promising and disbursing too much largesse to Third World states, and so on. Many of these criticisms were justified.

      On balance, though, Khrushchev was good for both the U.S.S.R. and the world. He began a process of democratization that was interrupted under Brezhnev but was carried forward by Gorbachev; he sought to free the economy of the stifling embrace of the bureaucracy, and in foreign affairs he attempted a rapprochement with the West. In the end, almost all of his policies were failures, but he sowed seeds that were to bear fruit a quarter-century later. The last true believer in communism, Khrushchev (Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich) fatally undermined the authority of the Communist Party, and his attempts to make the system work brought him ridicule.

The Brezhnev (Brezhnev, Leonid Ilich) era
Collective leadership
      The new collective leadership was headed by Leonid Brezhnev, party first secretary; Aleksey Kosygin (Kosygin, Aleksey Nikolayevich), prime minister; and Nikolay Podgorny (Podgorny, Nikolay), who became president in December 1965. The industrial and agricultural branches of the party apparat were unified; restrictions on the size of household plots and private livestock on collective farms were removed; the party apparat was informed that it would enjoy what it craved most—stability of cadres; and the central ministries reappeared as the regional councils disappeared. At the 23rd Party Congress in March–April 1966 Brezhnev became general secretary of the party—a post last held by Stalin in 1934. Khrushchev's restrictions on the tenure of office of party officials were abandoned. Brezhnev was displaying his forte, cadres.

      Between 1964 and 1968 Brezhnev had to play second fiddle to Aleksey Kosygin, who took the lead in economic reform and foreign policy. Circumstances favoured Brezhnev. The conflict with Czechoslovakia over “socialism with a human face” (see below Foreign policy) was his domain, since relations between ruling parties were the responsibility of the Central Committee secretariat. The turn back to Stalinism undermined Kosygin's economic reforms, and his star waned. Brezhnev increased his authority and by the early 1970s was first among equals. By the mid-1970s he was the national leader. He pushed Podgorny aside in 1977 and donned the mantle of president. Afterward he went into physical and political decline. It took him longer than Khrushchev to become national leader, but that was because he accumulated power gradually instead of adopting the high-risk strategy of his predecessor.

      Ideologically Brezhnev was innovative. At the 22nd Party Congress in 1961 Khrushchev had launched the communist era, promising that by 1980 the foundations of communism would be laid. Brezhnev had to face reality, and he came up with “developed socialism.” This meant that the road to communism was going to be longer than previously expected. It was predicted that the scientific-technical and information technology revolutions would transform the U.S.S.R. In the short term social differentiation would increase, as the state needed to give preference to those who mastered these skills. In the long run, it was promised, everyone would benefit. There was optimism among the intelligentsia and people in the early 1970s, but this soon dissipated. Gorbachev later dismissed the Brezhnev era as one of “stagnation.” This was unfair. During the first half of Brezhnev's incumbency the U.S.S.R. reached the zenith of its international power and prestige. Détente in the early 1970s was accompanied by the U.S. recognition of nuclear parity. Then it all went wrong. An economic slowdown was accompanied by increased defense spending and the disastrous decision to intervene in Afghanistan in December 1979. By the time of Brezhnev's death in November 1982 the U.S.S.R. was in headlong decline.

Economic policy
      Kosygin's solution to the problems facing Soviet industry was to increase the independence of the enterprise. However, all activity had to correspond to the five-year and annual plans elaborated by Gosplan. The state monopoly of resource allocation remained. Kosygin reverted to the pre-1957 ministerial system, with each ministry being responsible for ensuring that its enterprises achieved plan targets. The 1968 fright over Czechoslovakia put a blight on economic experimentation, and the centre gained at the expense of the enterprise. Kosygin, who retired in October 1980 and was succeeded as prime minister by the economically illiterate Nikolay Tikhonov, gradually found that the central direction of the economy became more and more difficult to achieve. There were many reforms but all to no avail. The economy had become very complex, but there was no mechanism, in the absence of the market, to coordinate economic activity in the interests of society. A bureaucratic market took over. Bureaucrats and enterprises negotiated the acquisition of inputs and agreed where the final product should go. The goal of every enterprise was to become a monopoly producer. The core of this system was the military-industrial complex, which accounted for the top quarter of output. It had first call on resource allocation.

      According to U.S. estimates annual growth over the years 1966–70 and 1976–80 was as follows: gross national product, 5.2 percent and 2.2 percent; industrial growth, 6.3 percent and 2.6 percent; agriculture, 3.7 percent and 0.8 percent; investment, 6 percent and 4.3 percent. The agricultural performance was even worse than these figures imply: over the years 1971–75 there was negative growth annually of 0.6 percent. Population growth during the period 1966–80 averaged 0.9 percent. There were, however, bright spots: in some defense sectors and the space industry the U.S.S.R. led the world or was on a par with the best foreign producers. But the rest of the economy paid a heavy price for this. Despite huge investments in agriculture, with one ruble in three going into agriculture and agriculture-related industry, output declined. The result was large annual imports of grain, paid for in U.S. dollars. This was possible because of the explosion of oil prices in the 1970s, which saw the terms of trade turn in favour of the Soviet Union. There was a great expansion of the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries from the mid-1970s onward, and much foreign technology was imported. Unfortunately for the country, the oil bonanza was wasted, and little use was made of foreign technology. The root of the problem was motivation. Over time fewer and fewer workers were willing to do an honest day's work. Not subject to international competition, management was lax and resisted innovation. Overstaffing led to labour shortages, and this gave the labour force considerable leverage over management. There was perceptible improvement in living standards until the early 1970s, then stagnation or decline. The black market grew to plug the holes of the planned economy. Along with this went corruption, which had filtered down from the political elites; it eventually became pervasive. Increasing defense expenditure at a time of slowing economic growth led to cuts in investment. Education and medical and social services suffered most. At the end of the Brezhnev era the medical care of the population was a disgrace.

Cultural retrenchment
      Brezhnev was instinctively a conservative and had little sympathy for experimentation in art and literature. Since he did not inhabit the intellectual world, he could not grasp what motivated the radicals. He preferred art and literature (Russian literature) that lauded the Soviet system. Brezhnev published several tomes himself, but they were always ghostwritten. The Brezhnev leadership quickly revealed its intolerance. In September 1965 the writers Andrey Sinyavsky and Yuly Daniel were arrested and later sentenced to seven years' and five years' hard labour, respectively, for publishing works abroad that slandered the Soviet state. Over the following years many other writers and their sympathizers also were arrested, imprisoned, or placed in labour camps. Dissent flourished. After the Six-Day War of 1967 between Israel and the Arab nations, attacks on Israel and Zionism took on an anti-Semitic tone. Cultural repression increased even before the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Solzhenitsyn's (Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich) unpublished manuscripts were seized and his published works withdrawn from circulation. He was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers in 1969. In 1970 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature; this exacerbated the situation. He declined to collect his prize, because he believed that he would not be allowed to return home. Also in 1970 the liberal editor of the influential monthly Novy Mir, Aleksandr Tvardovsky, had to resign.

      The might of the state crushed overt cultural dissent, but it stimulated the development of a counterculture. Networks of like-minded individuals to discuss common interests formed and flourished. Works that could not be published in the U.S.S.R. were circulated in typescript (samizdat) or sent abroad for publication (tamizdat). The arrival of the audiocassette and later the videocassette permitted youth to enjoy the forbidden fruits of Western pop culture. The widespread teaching of foreign languages, especially English, accelerated this process. The state and the KGB probably lost control of culture in the mid-1970s. Unofficial culture became vibrant and dynamic, while official culture atrophied. The educational system was geared to producing mediocre school leavers and graduates who would not challenge the system. This stimulated many of the more able to seek out restricted and forbidden information.

 

Nationality policy
      The Brezhnev leadership quietly pursued the goal of Russian dominance of the country. In 1971 Brezhnev spoke of the emergence of a “new historical community of people, the Soviet people.” Afterward he made it clear that he would brook no opposition to the policy of eliminating differences between nations. Ukraine in 1972–73 felt the weight of this policy. The principal casualty was Pyotr Shelest, the first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine, who had played a leading role in the renewal of Ukrainian national assertiveness. About 1,000 bureaucrats, officials, and academics were dismissed. Particularly hard hit were ideology, literature, and history. The purge added impetus to the formation of a Ukrainian dissident underground. Here the emphasis was not to escape from Stalinism but to evolve a distinctly Ukrainian culture. Brezhnev lauded the “revolutionary energy, diligence, and deep internationalism of the Great Russian people,” which had earned them the “sincere respect of the peoples” of the U.S.S.R. The expansion of education in non-Russian areas was impressive. By the 1980s the distinctions between the developed and underdeveloped nations of the U.S.S.R., as far as access to education was concerned, had almost disappeared. The Central Asian republics had caught up and in some cases had more students per 10,000 of the population than the Russians. However, as the Muslim population grew, so did the number of young people wishing to enter university at a time when demand for graduates was declining owing to a slowdown in the economy. Economic decline also slowed progress. By the early 1980s, despite the great expansion of tertiary education, no non-Russian republic had trained elites in all walks of life. Culture, education, and the social sciences were adequately covered, but science and technology were seriously underrepresented. As a result, industry, especially in Central Asia, was dominated by Russians and other Europeans.

      The problem of language turned out to be the most acrimonious. Russian (Russian language) was vigorously promoted (affecting kindergartens and nurseries for the first time) as the language of learning and intercourse. Russian publications expanded and non-Russian were cut back. No attempt was made to encourage the some 24 million Russians living outside Russia to learn the local language of their area. Only 0.2 percent of these Russians claimed mastery of the local tongue in 1989. This had disastrous consequences for Russians after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. The promotion of Russian aroused increased opposition, especially in the Baltic republics, Ukraine, and Georgia. The emphasis on Russian was clearly linked to the alarming demographic trends, where the net annual increase in the population of the U.S.S.R. was almost entirely Muslim.

      Native cadres in Central Asia made headway in all top party and government functions in their republics and by the late 1960s occupied more than half the posts. In the Baltic republics locals dominated top positions. However, in the CPSU Politburo there was a marked preference for Russians. In 1980 among the leading 150 functionaries in the CPSU Central Committee apparat, only 3 were non-Slav. There were also only three non-Slavs among the top 150 military personnel.

      The Brezhnev leadership set out to improve relations with the outside world and to demonstrate that the Soviet Union was a sober, predictable state. However, relations with China declined alarmingly, resulting in armed conflict along the Ussuri River in March 1969 and along the Soviet-Sinkiang border in August. The two sides agreed to negotiate their differences, but the Soviets strengthened their military presence along the Chinese border. They also extended military aid to India, Pakistan, and North Vietnam in an effort to counter Chinese influence there.

      In eastern Europe the Warsaw Pact nations (except Romania and East Germany), led by the Soviet Union, intervened in Czechoslovakia on Aug. 20–21, 1968. This was to suppress “socialism with a human face,” a policy, associated with Czechoslovak party leader Alexander Dubček (Dubček, Alexander), that aimed to make socialism more democratic and humane. Because it would have permitted debate about socialist priorities, it would have undermined the leading role of the Communist Party; this prospect in turn was perceived as a threat to stability in the region and eventually in the U.S.S.R. itself. The tragic turn of events resulted from much misunderstanding. Brezhnev had accepted Dubček as the new leader of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party in January 1968, and thereafter Dubček and the reform communists were convinced that they were not acting against Moscow's interests. Brezhnev and his colleagues were divided on intervention, and this led to a fatal lack of clarity in Soviet policy. Had Moscow unequivocally warned Dubček in early summer that it would intervene militarily if it perceived socialism to be under threat, the whole tragedy might have been averted. This became the Brezhnev Doctrine, and it remained firmly in place until 1989: Moscow decided when socialism was under threat.

      The maverick was Romania, which had managed to convince Moscow to remove its troops from the country. Under the leadership of Nicolae Ceauşescu (Ceaușescu, Nicolae), it became aggressively nationalist. It reoriented its foreign trade away from the Soviet bloc, concluded a trade agreement with the United States in 1964, and expanded contacts with the West. It flattered to deceive. Romania became the most Stalinist state in eastern Europe.

      The Soviet Union lost face in the Arab world (Arabia, history of) in 1967 by failing to come to the aid of the Arabs during the Arab-Israeli War (Arab-Israeli wars). However, it began rearming its clients, especially Egypt, afterward, and its influence expanded. It sought to lessen American influence and to improve its own position.

      In western Europe (Europe, history of) the U.S.S.R. courted France, which had withdrawn its troops from NATO. Trade expanded with the region. Germany's policy caused some concern. East Germany (German Democratic Republic) became more self-assertive and launched a new economic program. Brezhnev came to believe that Ulbricht, the East German leader, might sell out to the West Germans. This was absurd but underlined the lack of trust among communist leaders. Ulbricht was toppled in 1971 and replaced by the unimaginative Erich Honecker.

      Relations with the United States were strained after the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam in early 1965 but later improved. The United States, the U.S.S.R., and the United Kingdom signed the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibited putting nuclear weapons in orbit, in January 1967. The Arab-Israeli War again increased tension, but both Moscow and Washington sought to bring the war to an end lest it widen into a direct Soviet-American conflict. The Czechoslovak tragedy did not threaten world peace, because the United States recognized that the U.S.S.R. was acting within its own security region. Moscow sought to ease tension so as to divert resources to civil use. It needed a rapprochement with the West. This policy was enunciated by Brezhnev in 1969 and became known as détente. Although armed struggle was to be excluded under this policy, however, the ideological or class struggle was to continue. The new West German chancellor, Willy Brandt, on his election in 1969 proclaimed his readiness to improve relations with East Germany, Poland, and the Soviet Union. In 1970 West Germany signed treaties with Poland and the U.S.S.R. that recognized the inviolability of existing frontiers.

      On May 26, 1972, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and Brezhnev signed in Moscow the first SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) agreement, which recognized that nuclear war was no longer a feasible option. The following year in Washington, D.C., the two signed an agreement designed to avert nuclear war. The Soviets also removed some of their restrictions on Jewish emigration. The number of Jews leaving the Soviet Union rose steadily until it peaked in 1979.

      On Aug. 1, 1975, the heads of 33 European governments and those of the United States and Canada convened at Helsinki to sign the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Helsinki Accords recognized as inviolable the postwar frontiers in Europe. In return the Soviet Union and its socialist allies had to concede that human rights in each European state were the legitimate concern of all states. This was seized upon by various dissident groups in the U.S.S.R., especially in Russia and Ukraine, and they established Helsinki monitoring groups. These were remorselessly pursued by the security police and effectively closed down by the early 1980s. Human rights became an issue between the superpowers, and the United States missed no opportunity to put pressure on Moscow. The new Soviet constitution, approved by the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet on Oct. 7, 1977, reiterated the rights enshrined in the 1936 Stalin constitution but, significantly, moved the definition of the CPSU as the leading force in Soviet society from Article 126 up to Article 6.

      The mid-1970s were a period of considerable success in foreign policy. In 1975 North Vietnam completed its victory over South Vietnam and forced an ignominious U.S. withdrawal. Cambodia and Laos were now firmly in the communist camp. Pro-Soviet regimes took over in Angola, Mozambique, and other former Portuguese colonies. Moscow changed sides in the Horn of Africa and abandoned Somalia for Ethiopia. South Yemen, with the important port of Aden, became a firm Soviet ally. In Afghanistan a bloody coup produced a government that signed a treaty of friendship with Moscow.

      All this alarmed Washington. It appeared that Soviet military power was relentlessly spreading all over the world. As a consequence, the SALT II treaty was signed in Vienna in June 1979 by U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Carter, Jimmy) and Brezhnev.

      The Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan in December 1979, fearing that an anti-Soviet regime could seize power there. The Soviets underestimated the tenacity of Muslim resistance and completely misjudged American reaction. President Carter did not submit SALT II for ratification to the U.S. Senate and imposed an embargo on grain exports. A final nail in Brezhnev's coffin was the election of Ronald Reagan (Reagan, Ronald W.) as U.S. president in November 1980. Reagan was determined to increase U.S. defense spending rapidly, partly to strengthen U.S. security but also to force Moscow to follow suit. He was advised that a sharp rise in the Soviet defense budget would have grave consequences for the Soviet economy. This proved to be correct. In 1979, in response to the Soviet deployment of SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeted on western Europe, NATO decided to deploy cruise and Pershing II ballistic missiles starting in December 1983. Negotiations with the Soviets to reduce or eliminate deployment, known as START ( Strategic Arms Reduction Talks), began in Geneva in June 1982.

      In retrospect Soviet foreign and security policy from the mid-1970s onward was an unmitigated disaster. The expansion of communist regimes in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa caused the West to overreact in the belief that the communist tide had to be stopped. Vietnam was a recalcitrant ally, and Yemen and the African regimes were always engaged in bloody internal strife. Moscow paid a heavy price for its Afghan miscalculation. Their egregious misjudgment of Western resolve over the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles revealed how out-of-touch Moscow decision makers, dominated by the Soviet military, had become. The long string of failures so undermined Soviet military confidence that they came to believe that the West was planning a nuclear attack on the U.S.S.R.

The Interregnum: Andropov and Chernenko
      Toward the end of his life, Brezhnev lost control of the country. Regionalism became stronger as the centre faltered. When Brezhnev died on Nov. 10, 1982, he was succeeded as party leader by Yury Andropov (Andropov, Yury Vladimirovich), although his chosen successor was Konstantin Chernenko (Chernenko, Konstantin Ustinovich). Andropov had been head of the KGB from 1967 to May 1982. He then slipped into the Central Committee secretariat after Mikhail Suslov, the dry, severe guardian of ideological rectitude, died. Without this move he could not have become party leader. By June 1983 Andropov had also become president of the U.S.S.R. and chairman of the defense council—all the posts that Brezhnev had filled.

      Andropov was the best-informed man in the U.S.S.R. and set about reforming the country. He was a cautious reformer, believing that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the socialist system. He believed that more discipline, energy, and initiative would turn things around. Corruption, absenteeism, and alcoholism were rife and were his special concerns. The retail trade system and transportation were targeted and felt his reforming zeal. His leadership style was in sharp contrast to that of the opulent, pompous Brezhnev. He cut back privilege and met workers on the shop floor. Andropov's antialcohol campaign was well conceived but it led to a sharp fall in government revenue. His industrial and agricultural policy was quite sensible but ineffective, since the economy was already in terminal decline.

      Under Andropov a group of cautious reformers rose to prominence. These included Mikhail Gorbachev (Gorbachev, Mikhail), Yegor Ligachev, and Nikolay Ryzhkov. Andropov wanted Gorbachev to succeed him and added a paragraph to this effect to his report to a Central Committee plenum that did not convene until after his death on Feb. 9, 1984. Instead the 72-year-old, terminally ill Konstantin Chernenko was eased into the top party post and later became president of the U.S.S.R. and chairman of the defense council. The aging Politburo had plumped for a nonreformer, a throwback to Brezhnevism. However, Gorbachev became “second” secretary, with responsibility for chairing Politburo meetings when Chernenko was away or unfit—which turned out to be quite often. But Chernenko did set a precedent: he became the first politician to succeed as party leader after having previously failed. Party privilege again grew under Chernenko. The military did not have things all their own way. The able, dynamic chief of staff, Marshal Nikolay Ogarkov, was moved sideways and replaced by Marshal Sergey Akhromeyev, another formidable soldier. Ogarkov was blamed for his aggressive promotion of the SS-20 missile program and for the shooting down of a Korean jet, Flight 007, with 269 passengers and crew on board, after it had strayed into Soviet airspace in September 1983. The incident caused an international furor and increased tension between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries.

The Gorbachev era
Gorbachev's succession
 There appears to have been a tacit agreement among Politburo members that on Chernenko's death Gorbachev would take over. But some of them were having second thoughts. Grigory Romanov, Central Committee secretary for the military economy and previously party boss in Leningrad, and Viktor Grishin, Moscow party leader, both decided to try for the highest office in the land, that of party leader. Ligachev later confirmed that a power struggle had taken place and that the Soviet foreign minister Andrey Gromyko (Gromyko, Andrey Andreyevich), the party control commission chairman Mikhail Solomentsev, and the KGB boss Viktor Chebrikov had ensured that Gorbachev outmaneuvered Grishin. Ligachev, even though he was not at that time a member of the Politburo, later claimed that he had played a significant role in Gorbachev's election through his role as Central Committee secretary in charge of organizational work. He carefully selected the Central Committee members who were invited to a hastily convened plenum on March 11, 1985, that confirmed Gorbachev as leader. About a third of the membership was not present. Ligachev became “second” secretary since the Politburo empowered him to chair Central Committee secretariat meetings. He was also to be in control of cadres and ideology. The normal practice was for the general secretary to head the secretariat. Hence Gorbachev started with a considerable handicap, since all personnel changes would be the subject of intense bargaining and horse trading. Gorbachev turned out to be a skillful horse trader. In April 1985 Ligachev became a full member of the Politburo and was replaced as cadres chief by Georgy Razumovsky. Gorbachev's nominee was Aleksandr Yakovlev, who became secretary for propaganda and overseer of the media. His task was to expand glasnost (“openness”) and protect creative writers and journalists against Ligachev's ire. Gorbachev managed to make Yakovlev a full member of the Politburo by June 1987. He was a strategic ally in the battle to restructure the Soviet political and economic system. In July 1985 Romanov left the Politburo and secretariat, and Boris Yeltsin (Yeltsin, Boris), first party secretary in Sverdlovsk, and Lev Zaikov, party boss in Leningrad province, joined. Yeltsin appears to have been an appointee of Gorbachev and Zaikov Ligachev. In July Gorbachev managed to get Gromyko elected president and Eduard Shevardnadze appointed as foreign minister and a full member of the Politburo. In September the octogenarian Tikhonov made way for Nikolay Ryzhkov as prime minister. At the 27th Party Congress in February–March 1986 there were wholesale changes. Yeltsin became a candidate member of the Politburo on becoming Moscow party leader. Gorbachev's brief to him was to clean up the notoriously corrupt Moscow apparat. Grishin had been known as “the Godfather.” About 52 percent of the newly elected Central Committee were new appointees. The new moderate reform team was in place.

Economic and social reforms
      When Gorbachev took office in March 1985 he was clear about his policy preferences. In a speech on Dec. 10, 1984, he spoke of the need to effect “deep transformations in the economy and the whole system of social relations,” to carry through the policies of perestroika (“restructuring” of economic management), the “democratization of social and economic life,” and glasnost. He underlined the need for greater social justice, a more important role for local soviets, and more participation by workers at the workplace. His goal was to set in motion a revolution controlled from above. He did not wish to undermine the Soviet system, only to make it more efficient. The leading role of the party and the central direction of the economy were to stay. Under Andropov he had attended seminars by such radical scholars as Tatyana Zaslavskaya and Abel Aganbegyan. He accepted Zaslavskaya's main point that the “command-administrative system” was dragging the country down and would ruin it if not dismantled.

      Initially Gorbachev continued Andropov's reforms. He insisted on acceleration of economic growth and spoke of “perfecting” the system. Machine building was given preference as light and consumer goods took second place. There was to be more technical innovation and worker discipline. He was enthusiastic about the antialcohol campaign and was dubbed the “mineral water general secretary.” All this produced few positive results. He overlooked the obvious point that workers require greater incentives if they are to give of their best. His policy led to a fall in the consumer goods available, and agriculture did not blossom. At the 27th Party Congress Gorbachev spoke of the need for far-reaching reforms to get the economy going. The first clear evidence that Gorbachev and his supporters had moved to the offensive against the existing party order surfaced at the congress. The centre of contention was Boris Yeltsin, who shocked delegates by strongly criticizing the privileges of the party apparat. Among his targets were the special shops for the elite, which also had been denounced in a Pravda article just before the congress. Ligachev responded by vitriolically attacking the Pravda article and the raising of the issue in the first place. Gromyko supported him. The battle lines had been drawn. Thereafter Ligachev would be the principal defender of the rights of the party apparat and of the existing order in general.

      Glasnost was put to the test on April 26, 1986, when a reactor at the Chernobyl (Chernobyl accident) nuclear plant exploded. Gorbachev waited 18 days before going on television to give an account of the worst nuclear disaster in history. Chernobyl had a profoundly negative effect on the population's thinking about nuclear power and provided a powerful stimulus to the growth of a Green (environmental) movement. Afterward the regime became much more open about natural disasters, drug abuse, and crime. Glasnost took hold and produced much greater freedom of expression and open criticism of the political order. Gorbachev sought to win over the intelligentsia by bringing the dissident physicist Andrey Sakharov and his wife, Yelena Bonner, back to Moscow from exile in Gorky. The intelligentsia's support was perceived to be critical if the battle with the bureaucracy was to be won.

       perestroika concentrated initially on economic reform. Enterprises were encouraged to become self-financing, cooperatives were set up by groups of people as businesses, and land could be leased to allow family farming. But the bureaucrats who ran the economy rightly feared that these activities would undermine their privileges and power. Cooperatives were heavily taxed, supplies were difficult to procure, and the public was often hostile. Lessees of land had to be very resilient to succeed.

Political restructuring
      A major problem for Gorbachev was that there was no agreement at the top as to what perestroika, glasnost, and democratization should achieve. The radical reformers, Gorbachev, Yakovlev, and Shevardnadze, were outflanked by the moderate reformers, Ligachev, Ryzhkov, and others. The problem was compounded by an apparent lack of clarity in Gorbachev's own thinking. He was never able to construct a coherent goal and the means of reaching it. His frustrations with the party (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) apparat led him to formulate a very radical solution—to emasculate it. He wanted to exclude it from day-to-day involvement in the management of the economy and to end its dominance over the state legislature and party affairs. The secretariat had been the party's brain, and all key decisions had been taken there. Gorbachev wanted to end the party officials' domination of the soviets. He achieved this remarkable feat at the 19th Party Conference in June 1988. The party thereby lost its dominant role at the centre of the political process but gained its revenge on Gorbachev by consolidating its power at the periphery, where the weak soviets were no match for it. Hence there was a centrifugal flow of power from the centre to the periphery. This process had been under way since the death of Stalin, and the removal of Khrushchev had underlined the influence of local party officials. The Brezhnev era further added to the flow of power to the periphery.

      Elections to the U.S.S.R. Congress of People's Deputies, which replaced the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet as the highest organ of state power, took place in March 1989. About 88 percent of the deputies were communists, but by then the Communist Party was no longer a monolithic party. The congress elected from among its members a bicameral legislature (called the Supreme Soviet), each house having 271 members. Gorbachev chaired the proceedings. Boris Yeltsin became a member of the Supreme Soviet after another deputy stood down in his favour. Yeltsin had been sacked as Moscow party leader and from his Politburo membership in November 1987 after a furious row with Ligachev. Gorbachev chose not to back him up. Thus began the titanic struggle between Gorbachev and Yeltsin that was to result in Gorbachev's political destruction. As a deputy Yeltsin had a national platform for the first time and used it very skillfully. The main focus of his attacks were party privilege, the lack of success of perestroika, the need for market reforms, and personal criticism of Gorbachev's leadership.

 The new pattern at the top was repeated in each republic. Congresses were elected and Supreme Soviets emerged from them. Local soviet elections also took place in early 1990 and led to many shocks. Communist officials, encouraged by Gorbachev to stand, were often defeated even when standing as the only candidate. In order to be elected, a deputy needed more than 50 percent of the votes cast. Glasnost permitted non-Russian nationalities to voice their opposition to Russian and communist domination and led to a growth of nationalism and regionalism. This was exacerbated by economic decline. In the Baltic republics, especially, many argued that they could run their economic affairs better than Moscow. Interethnic strife and conflict intensified and sometimes resulted in bloodshed. The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-dominated enclave in Azerbaijan, was the most violent and bitter. The newly-elected Supreme Soviets could claim to speak for the population. This was especially true in the Baltic. Multiparty politics became legitimate in 1990, when Article 6 of the constitution, which had guaranteed a communist monopoly, was removed. Hundreds, indeed thousands of informal associations and then parties sprang up in the receptive climate of glasnost and democratization. Popular fronts, most noticeably in the Baltic, united all those opposing Moscow rule and seeking independence. As these fronts dominated the Supreme Soviets they could pass declarations of sovereignty. In March 1990 Lithuania went further and declared itself independent. In May 1990 Yeltsin became, despite Gorbachev's bitter opposition, chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet. The following month the Russian S.F.S.R. declared itself a sovereign state. It claimed that its laws took precedence over Soviet laws. Gorbachev ruled this invalid. This was the pattern in every republic that had declared itself sovereign. It was known as the “war of laws.” As a consequence, the survival of the U.S.S.R. became an issue.

      Gorbachev soon tired of the “new-look” U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet and cast his net even wider in his search for a model. He eventually chose an executive presidency based on a mixture of the U.S. and French presidencies. Following U.S. custom he needed a vice president. Unfortunately he chose Gennady Yanayev—the Kazak leader Nursultan Nazarbayev and Shevardnadze having turned down the job. The U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers was abolished and replaced by a cabinet of ministers subordinate to the president. On paper Gorbachev had achieved his ambition: he was chief decision maker and indeed a constitutional dictator. His authority, or his ability to make decisions, had never been higher. However, the power that accompanies the post of president in the United States and France was not transmitted to him. His power or ability to have his decisions implemented declined daily.

      The impetus for reform came from the politically active part of the Communist Party and society. However, opposition to perestroika was fiercest among the same group. The reformers knew that the party and state apparat were past masters at blocking reforms that they perceived to be inimical to their interests. The only way to drive through a reform was to use a battering ram. During the first three years Gorbachev launched a series of reforms. Each time he encountered opposition from party conservatives, he retreated and sought another route to advance. According to Yakovlev, one of the architects of perestroika and its main theorist, the revolution from above reached a critical point at the 19th Party Conference in June 1988. There Gorbachev was presented with a stark choice: to advance and transform perestroika into a “genuinely popular democratic revolution, go all the way and afford society total freedom” or to pull back, remain a communist reformer, and stay within the well-known milieu of the bureaucracy. Yakovlev saw various dangers facing perestroika: it could be suffocated by Stalinist reaction or Brezhnevite conservatism or be highjacked by officials mouthing its slogans while they redistributed power among themselves. The choice was between genuine or controlled democracy. In early 1988 Fyodor Burlatsky was a member of a small group under the chairmanship of Anatoly Lukyanov. The latter proposed a two-stage approach to the election of a Supreme Soviet. Legal authority was to be vested in local soviets, but the relationship between the party and the soviets was left vague. Burlatsky proposed direct elections of the Supreme Soviet, president, and vice president, but everyone opposed this except Yakovlev. Gorbachev could have effected a political revolution but, true to his low-risk strategy, chose Lukyanov's proposal. This was a fatal mistake. Had Gorbachev stood for election as president, he might have won. He would then have become the people's president. Instead he had himself elected by the U.S.S.R. Congress of People's Deputies, a body dominated by communists. Unfortunately for Gorbachev he had opened Pandora's box. Social and political forces awakened by perestroika could not be regulated from above. If Gorbachev would not claim them as his constituency, then others would. The Communist Party resisted the march toward democracy and lost its more radical members. They set up their own groups and challenged the party head-on. Boris Yeltsin emerged as the most likely leader of the radical constituency. His election as chairman of the Russian parliament in May 1990 proved to be a turning point for Gorbachev. Yeltsin became a pole of attraction for frustrated, radical, especially economic, reformers. Gorbachev's greatest mistakes were made in economic policy.

Economic policy
      The economic stagnation of the late Brezhnev era was the result of various factors: the exhaustion of easily available resources, especially raw materials, and the growing structural imbalance of the economy due to the distorting effects of the incentive system, which paralyzed initiative and dissuaded people from doing an honest day's work. Under perestroika the economy moved from stagnation to crisis, and this deepened as time passed. Hence the policies of perestroika must carry much of the blame for the economic catastrophe that resulted. Gorbachev admitted in 1988 that the first two years had been wasted since he was unaware of the depth of the crisis when he took over. This is an extraordinary statement for a party leader to make. Either he had paid little attention to the underlying trends of the economy or no one at the top was aware of the real situation. The latter is probably more accurate, since the state planning commission, Gosplan, had no model of how the economy functioned. The Soviet gross national product (GNP) was almost stagnant during the first four years of perestroika and did not fall. Unemployment remained at about 4 percent of the labour force, almost all in the labour-surplus areas of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Open inflation remained low until 1989. Underlying trends, however, pointed to systemic failure. Shortages, endemic to all planned economies, became serious from the mid-1980s. By mid-1990 more than 1,000 basic consumer goods were very seldom on sale. Rationing became widespread, with most goods being sold at the point of work. Queueing became the national pastime: a 1990 estimate put it at 30–40 million man-, or rather woman-, hours a year. The only thing that was not in short supply was money. This was due to a rapidly growing budget deficit, first evident in 1987. Then the Law on State Enterprises, effective from January 1988, permitted managers to increase wages to cope with the tight labour situation. These increases were far in excess of productivity growth. The State Bank lost control of monetary growth. The plan for 1990 was a growth of 10 billion rubles, but it turned out to be about 28 billion rubles. Social benefits, amounting to about a quarter of the gross family income, were always modest by international standards. However, in 1990 they increased by 21 percent as a result of the U.S.S.R. Congress of People's Deputies voting to increase a whole raft of benefits, noticeably pensions. Since there were no resources to meet this extra expenditure, the budget deficit grew, as did the money supply. The kolkhoz, the comparatively free market in which peasants sold their surplus produce, is a rough guide to price trends: prices between 1985 and 1988 increased by less than 1 percent annually, but in 1989 they jumped 9.5 percent and in 1990 by 29 percent.

      Responsibility for the budget deficit rested fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Gorbachev leadership. Traditionally the budget deficit had been 2 or 3 percent of GNP. The years 1985 and 1986 changed all that. Gorbachev's desire to achieve faster growth—the policy advocated by Aganbegyan, his chief economic adviser, was acceleration—resulted in the 12th Five-Year Plan (1986–90) being returned three times to Gosplan with instructions to raise targets. In 1986 the budget deficit rose to 6 percent of GNP. The Gorbachev leadership did not mention the subject in public until 1988. By then the deficit had risen to more than 10 percent. The result of all this was to throw the industrial sector into imbalance from 1985 onward. The Law on the State Enterprise further aggravated the problem.

      Between 1985 and 1987 the Gorbachev leadership increased investment and defense expenditure, while at the same time state revenue was declining owing to a fall in alcohol sales and lower prices for export goods. From 1988 the situation became dire. In 1991 the economy was facing total collapse. The government found it increasingly difficult to intervene decisively. The Law on the State Enterprise reduced the power of the ministries, and simultaneously the number of officials was cut back sharply. Those who remained were overwhelmed by the work load. Since there was no effective control from Moscow, rising nationalism, ethnic strife, and regionalism fragmented the economy into dozens of mini-economies. Many republics sought independence, others sovereignty, and they all pursued policies of economic autarky. Barter was widespread. Ukraine introduced coupons, and Moscow issued ration cards.

      Foreign trade suffered. Lower oil prices and economic fragmentation caused the hard currency debt to rise from U.S. $25.6 billion at the end of 1984 to about $80 billion at the end of 1991. Imports from the West were cut back sharply between 1985 and 1987. These were almost exclusively consumer goods and not capital goods, which often could not be installed. The public vented its frustration. This led to a complete reversal, and imports from the West rose by almost 50 percent between 1987 and 1989. As a consequence, by 1989 the Soviets could no longer service their hard currency debt on time.

      Recalculations of Soviet economic performance by Soviet statisticians widened the gap between the Soviet and U.S. economies. The official view was that the Soviet national income was about 64 percent of the U.S. level in 1988. Gorbachev, in a speech in October 1990, implied that the real figure was about 40 percent. Another estimate put the real level at about 46 percent in 1970, declining to 40 percent in 1987.

      Gorbachev received much advice on how to solve the Soviet Union's economic crisis. There were two basic solutions: the socialist solution and the market solution. The Ryzhkov group favoured central planning, more efficient administration, and greater decision-making powers for enterprises and farms. State ownership of the means of production would continue. They called it a “regulated market economy.” The radicals, led by Stanislav Shatalin, Nikolay Petrakov, and Grigory Yavlinsky, wanted a move toward a free-market economy. This involved private ownership of enterprises, land, services, and so on. It also meant the freeing of prices. Gorbachev could not make up his mind and always tried to persuade the two groups to pool their resources and arrive at a compromise. The radicals thought they had convinced Gorbachev in the autumn of 1990 to introduce a 500-day program that would have implemented a market economy, but he changed his mind and sided with the conservatives. This was a fatal mistake. It left him without a viable economic policy, and the right felt that if they applied enough pressure he would always abandon radical solutions.

      One of the reasons Gorbachev shied away from the market was price liberalization. He would not risk sharp price rises because of the fear of social unrest. Despite the abundant evidence of the seriousness of the situation in 1988, the critical year, Gorbachev and other leading communists refused to draw the necessary lessons. At the 19th Party Conference in June 1988 Leonid Abalkin pointed out that the country was still suffering from stagnation. Gorbachev and others criticized him and adopted a motion claiming that the economic decline had been halted. The election of the U.S.S.R. Congress of People's Deputies made it virtually impossible for the Gorbachev leadership to adopt austerity measures. The popular mood was one of spend, spend, spend. Gorbachev paid only cursory attention to the economy until late 1989. A charitable explanation for this would be that he was concentrating on political reform. A less charitable one would be that he lacked the intellectual capacity to grasp the seriousness of the economic crisis. Gorbachev was never able to construct a viable economic policy or to put in place a mechanism for the implementation of economic policy.

      Like Khrushchev, Gorbachev was more popular abroad than at home. He proved a brilliant diplomat and for the first time bridged the gulf between a Soviet communist leader and the Western public. He was friendly, accessible, and a skilled performer on television. It was the message the West had been waiting decades to hear. His “new political thinking” consisted of removing ideology from foreign and security policy-making and arguing that all states were interdependent. If they did not unite, the whole planet would be in danger. He proposed the elimination of all nuclear weapons by the year 2000 and the establishment of a system of comprehensive security, a military doctrine that stressed reasonable sufficiency and recognized the complexity of the modern world. He signaled a change in the U.S.S.R.'s attitude toward the United Nations in December 1988 when, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, he praised its role in promoting international peace and security. He announced a reduction of 500,000 in the Soviet armed forces over the following two years, including the reduction of the number of divisions in Europe and Asia, as well as pulling back many tanks. The Soviet General Staff, which exercised a monopoly over defense and security policy, was not altogether convinced of the wisdom of such a move. Throughout the Gorbachev era the General Staff was more conservative than the national leader and became bolder in its opposition as time passed. It effectively sabotaged the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

      Gorbachev, ably aided by Shevardnadze, set out to end the “new Cold War” that had broken out in the late 1970s. A key reason for this was that the new leadership had come to the conclusion that the defense burden was crippling the Soviet Union.

      The first Reagan-Gorbachev (Reagan, Ronald W.) summit took place in Geneva in November 1985. A joint statement proposed a 50 percent reduction in the superpowers' nuclear arsenal. The next summit took place at Reykjavík, Ice., in October 1986. The Soviets came very well prepared but demanded agreement on all their points. The discussions broke down over the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI; a proposed U.S. system that would intercept attacking ballistic missiles), which the Americans were not willing to abandon. The third summit, held in Washington, D.C., in December 1987, was historic. It produced an agreement to eliminate a whole category of nuclear weapons: land-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles. This was the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) (INF) Treaty, formalized by Reagan and Gorbachev at their final summit in Moscow in May–June 1988. Serious differences still existed, however, especially over verification of the implementation of the treaties. Reagan and Gorbachev did not discuss SDI at the Washington and Moscow summits: the Soviets had made their stand at Reykjavík and lost.

      One of the agreements reached at the Geneva summit concerned the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The last soldier left in February 1989. Brezhnev had blundered into Afghanistan, and the U.S.S.R. had paid a heavy price in soldiers (almost 14,000), matériel, and foreign hostility.

 Relations between Gorbachev and Reagan's successor, George Bush, were good, and there were several summits. These produced two historic agreements: the CFE treaty, signed in November 1990, and the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) treaty, signed in July 1991. But opposition by the Soviet General Staff undermined the CFE Treaty, and the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in August 1991 halted progress on the START treaty. The new relationship between the superpowers resulted in Shevardnadze voting for military action against Iraq in the UN. This was painful for Moscow, because Iraq had been an ally.

      Gorbachev was a hit everywhere he went in Europe. This was especially so in West Germany, where he received a rapturous welcome in 1989. In eastern Europe the tumultuous events of 1989 were possible because Gorbachev did not permit the intervention of the military to keep communist regimes in power. He promoted perestroika in the region, believing that it would benefit socialism. He undermined Erich Honecker in East Germany and accelerated the collapse of that country. He was opposed to the unification of Germany but was forced in the end to accept it.

      Gorbachev's visit to China in 1989 was almost a fiasco and deeply disturbed the Chinese leadership. Many Chinese were attracted to perestroika, but the aged leadership ruthlessly suppressed those calling for political reform.

      One of the objects of Soviet foreign policy had been to strengthen socialism around the world. By 1990 it was abundantly clear that this mission had failed. The U.S.S.R.'s only allies were underdeveloped Third World states such as Angola, Ethiopia, and Cuba. These were all liabilities, requiring more and more aid to stay afloat.

The attempted coup
 Rumours of a coup against Gorbachev were rife in Moscow throughout the spring and summer of 1991. The military, the KGB, and conservative communists were alarmed at the turn of events. They wanted strong central leadership in order to keep the Soviet Union communist and together. Gorbachev had little to fear from the Communist Party. He had sharply reduced the power of the Politburo at the 28th Party Congress in June 1990 but had had to concede the emergence of a Russian Communist Party. This was dominated by the party apparat and turned out to be a toothless tiger. As it eventually transpired, a coup was organized by the KGB and was timed to prevent the signing of a union treaty on August 20 that would have strengthened the republics and weakened the centre.

      On Aug. 18, 1991, a delegation visited Gorbachev at his summer dacha at Foros in the Crimea. The delegation demanded Gorbachev's resignation and replacement by Gennady Yanayev, the vice president. When Gorbachev refused, he was held prisoner while the coup leaders, called the Extraordinary Commission and guided by KGB boss Vladimir Kryuchkov, declared that Gorbachev had been obliged to resign for reasons of health. As the commission tried to take over the country, Yeltsin arrived at the Russian parliament building, from where, beginning on August 19, he declared the putsch an attempt to crush Russia, called for the return of Gorbachev, and appealed for popular support. Lack of decisiveness on the part of the coup leaders led to more and more support for the Russian president; even some soldiers and tank units turned to defend the parliament building, and some top military officers sided with Yeltsin. There were only three fatalities in Moscow before the coup collapsed on August 21.

      There were many reasons why the coup should have succeeded. Many were disenchanted with the course of perestroika. The military was depressed about the withdrawal from eastern Europe and about declining defense expenditure and loss of status at home. Several republican leaders, including those in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, came out in support of the coup. Most others prevaricated, while the lone condemnatory voice from the beginning was that of Askar Akayev, the president of the Kirghiz S.S.R. (now Kyrgyzstan). Why then did it fail? Astonishingly, it was poorly planned and executed. The lessons of the brilliant coup of General Wojciech Jaruzelski in Poland in December 1981 were ignored. The fatal tactical error was the failure to identify and deploy loyal troops. It was assumed that orders would be obeyed. Troops had moved ruthlessly against civilians in Tbilisi, Georgia, in April 1989; in Baku, Azerbaijan, in January 1990; and in Vilnius, Lithuania, in January 1991—to name only a few instances when coercion was used. What was different this time was that troops who were overwhelmingly Russian were being ordered to move against Russians. The crucial weakness of the plotters was their inability to understand the radical political and social transformation that had occurred in the U.S.S.R. since 1985. It was no longer possible simply to announce that Gorbachev had retired for “health” reasons. Yeltsin and the democrats seized the opportunity afforded by the incompetent plotters to organize very effective resistance in Moscow. Anatoly Sobchak did the same in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). Probably a majority in the provinces supported the coup, but its fate was decided in the cities. There were significant divisions among top military and KGB officers. World statesmen condemned the coup and warned that all aid would be cut off.

      The attempted coup destroyed Gorbachev politically. The republics rushed to be free of Moscow's control before another coup succeeded. The three Baltic republics successfully seceded from the union, as did many others. The key republic was Ukraine, politically and economically number two. It voted for independence on Dec. 1, 1991. Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia (now renamed Belarus) on Dec. 8, 1991, in Minsk, Belarus, declared that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist and founded a loose grouping known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On December 21 in Alma Ata (now Almaty), Kazakhstan, 11 states signed a protocol formally establishing the CIS. Of the former Soviet republics, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Georgia refused to join. Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president on December 25, and all Soviet institutions ceased to function at the end of 1991. The main benefactor was Russia. It assumed the U.S.S.R.'s seat on the UN Security Council, and all Soviet embassies became Russian embassies. The Soviet armed forces were placed under CIS command, but it was only a matter of time before each successor state formed its own armed forces. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan became nuclear powers, but all, except Russia, declared their goal to be the destruction of their nuclear arms.

      The Soviet experiment, begun in 1917, had ended in failure. The high moral goals that it had set for itself were never realized. Indeed, countless crimes had been committed in the attempt. Stalin perceived that the U.S.S.R. could only be kept together by a strong central hand that was willing to use coercion. Attempts at democratization under Khrushchev began a slow unraveling of the empire. Gorbachev merely accelerated the breakup by promoting glasnost. He confirmed that a communist system cannot become democratic. When democracy triumphs, communism departs the stage. Economic failure was the key reason for the U.S.S.R.'s collapse. The socialist alternative to the market economy turned out to be an illusion.

Martin McCauley

Additional Reading

General works
Extensive reference information on most aspects of Soviet life, especially in historical perspective, is found in Archie Brown et al. (eds.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union (1982). Comprehensive surveys of physical and human geography include John C. Dewdney, A Geography of the Soviet Union, 3rd ed. (1979), and The U.S.S.R. in Maps (1982); James S. Gregory, Russian Land, Soviet People: A Geographical Approach to the U.S.S.R. (1968); David Hooson, The Soviet Union: People and Regions (1966); Raymond E. Zickel (ed.), Soviet Union, a Country Study, 2nd ed. (1991); Paul E. Lydolph, Geography of the U.S.S.R., 3rd ed. (1977), a regional analysis, and Geography of the U.S.S.R., 5th ed. (1990), a topical analysis; Roy E.H. Mellor, Geography of the U.S.S.R. (1964); V. Pokshishevsky, Geography of the Soviet Union: Physical Background, Population, Economy, trans. from Russian (1974); Leslie Symons et al., The Soviet Union: A Systematic Geography, 2nd ed. (1990); W.H. Parker, The Soviet Union, 2nd ed. (1983); and Vadim Medish, The Soviet Union, rev. 4th ed. (1991).Authoritative texts on aspects of physical geography include L.S. Berg, Natural Regions of the U.S.S.R. (1950; originally published in Russian, 2nd ed., 1938); S.P. Suslov, Physical Geography of Asiatic Russia (1961; originally published in Russian, 2nd ed., 1954); A.A. Borisov, Climates of the U.S.S.R. (1965; originally published in Russian, 2nd ed., 1959); Paul E. Lydolph, Climates of the Soviet Union (1977); Algirdas Knystautas, The Natural History of the USSR (1987); and D.V. Nalivkin, Geology of the U.S.S.R. (1973; originally published in Russian, 1962). Environmental issues are discussed in I.P. Gerasimov, D.L. Armand, and K.M. Yefron (eds.), Natural Resources of the Soviet Union: Their Use and Renewal (1971; originally published in Russian, 1963); I.P. Gerasimov (ed.), Man, Society, and the Environment: Geographical Aspects of the Uses of Natural Resources and Nature Conservation (1975; originally published in Russian, 1973), a collection of papers; Charles E. Ziegler, Environmental Policy in the USSR (1987); and Philip R. Pryde, Conservation in the Soviet Union (1972), and Environmental Management in the Soviet Union (1991). Numerous aspects of physical as well as economic geography are covered in Robert G. Jensen, Theodore Shabad, and Arthur W. Wright (eds.), Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy (1983). W.H. Parker, An Historical Geography of Russia (1968), discusses human geography; and Michael J. Bradshaw (ed.), The Soviet Union: A New Regional Geography? (1991), traces the geographic impact of the reforms of 1985–90.Economics-oriented geographic studies are J.P. Cole, Geography of the Soviet Union (1984), emphasizing regional disparities; Judith Pallot and Denis J.B. Shaw, Planning in the Soviet Union (1981); James H. Bater, The Soviet Scene: A Geographical Perspective (1989); and Roy E.H. Mellor, The Soviet Union and Its Geographical Problems (1982). Problems of socialist economics are analyzed in Alec Nove, The Economics of Feasible Socialism Revisited, 2nd ed. (1991). Historical treatment is found in Alec Nove, An Economic History of the U.S.S.R., 2nd ed. (1989). Comprehensive introductory surveys include Alec Nove, The Soviet Economic System, 3rd ed. (1986); Paul R. Gregory and Robert C. Stuart, Soviet Economic Structure and Performance, 4th ed. (1990); David A. Dyker, The Soviet Economy (1976); and Michael Kaser, Soviet Economics (1970). More detailed books on Soviet economic resources and procedures are those by the International Monetary Fund, A Study of Soviet Economy, 3 vol. (1991); Andrew Freris, The Soviet Industrial Enterprise: Theory and Practice (1984); Leslie Symons, Russian Agriculture: A Geographical Survey (1972); Lazar Volin, A Century of Russian Agriculture: From Alexander II to Khrushchev (1970); Zhores A. Medvedev, Soviet Agriculture (1987); Leslie Symons and Colin White (eds.), Russian Transport: An Historical and Geographical Survey (1975); and Robert W. Campbell, Soviet Energy Technologies: Planning, Policy, Research, and Development (1980).Soviet people are the subject of Michael Paul Sacks and Jerry G. Pankhurst (eds.), Understanding Soviet Society (1988), examining social institutions and differences between the U.S.S.R. and other industrial nations; and Basile Kerblay, Modern Soviet Society (1983; originally published in French, 1977). On the relationship between church and state, see Bohdan R. Bociurkiw and John W. Strong (eds.), Religion and Atheism in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe (1975). For demography, ethnic composition, and population dynamics, see V.V. Bunak, G.F. Debets, and M.G. Levin, Contributions to the Physical Anthropology of the Soviet Union, trans. from Russian (1960); Victor Kozlov, The Peoples of the Soviet Union (1988; originally published in Russian, 2nd ed., 1982); Bernard Comrie, The Languages of the Soviet Union (1981); Robert A. Lewis and Richard H. Rowland, Population Redistribution in the USSR: Its Impact on Society, 1897–1917 (1979); Robert A. Lewis, Richard H. Rowland, and Ralph S. Clem, Nationality and Population Change in Russia and the USSR: An Evaluation of Census Data, 1897–1970 (1976); Jeremy R. Azrael (ed.), Soviet Nationality Policies and Practices (1978); William O. McCagg, Jr., and Brian D. Silver (eds.), Soviet Asian Ethnic Frontiers (1979); Shirin Akiner, Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union: With an Appendix on the Non-Muslim Turkic Peoples of the Soviet Union, 2nd ed. (1986); Benjamin Pinkus, The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority (1988); Rasma Karklins, Ethnic Relations in the USSR: The Perspective from Below (1986); Bohdan Nahaylo and Victor Swoboda, Soviet Disunion: A History of the Nationalities Problem in the USSR (1990); Jeff Chinn, Manipulating Soviet Population Resources (1977); and Leszek A. Kosinski (ed.), Demographic Developments in Eastern Europe (1977). Urban settlement is covered in James H. Bater, The Soviet City: Ideal and Reality (1980); and Chauncy D. Harris, Cities of the Soviet Union: Studies in Their Functions, Size, Density, and Growth (1970). The position of Soviet women is discussed in Gail Warshofsky Lapidus (ed.), Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union, trans. from Russian (1982); and Mary Buckley, Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union (1989).For analysis of the political structure of Soviet society, see Aryeh L. Unger, Constitutional Development in the USSR: A Guide to the Soviet Constitutions (1981); Jerry F. Hough and Merle Fainsod, How the Soviet Union Is Governed (1979); and Mikhail Heller and Aleksandr Nekrich, Utopia in Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present (1986; originally published in Russian, 1982). On the ruling party, in particular, see Leonard Schapiro, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 2nd ed., rev. and enlarged (1970); Ronald J. Hill and Peter Frank, The Soviet Communist Party, 3rd ed. (1986); Archie Brown (ed.), Political Leadership in the Soviet Union (1989); and Michael Voslensky, Nomenklatura: The Soviet Ruling Class (1984). On the military and security policies, see Timothy J. Colton, Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority: The Structure of Soviet Military Politics (1979); David Holloway, The Soviet Union and the Arms Race, 2nd ed. (1984); and Amy W. Knight, The KGB: Police and Politics in the Soviet Union, rev. ed. (1990).Surveys of the interaction of politics and culture in the Soviet Union are found in works of literary analysis, such as Régine Robin, Socialist Realism: An Impossible Aesthetic (1991; originally published in French, 1986); Victor Erlich, Russian Formalism: History, Doctrine, 3rd ed. (1969, reissued 1981); Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (1990); and Lazar Fleishman, Boris Pasternak: The Poet and His Politics (1990), the last two combining biography with a study of theory and a history of attitudes; and in such broad reviews as Ronald Hingley, Russian Writers and Soviet Society, 1917–1978 (1979); Edward J. Brown, Russian Literature Since the Revolution, rev. and enlarged ed. (1982); Deming Brown, Soviet Russian Literature Since Stalin (1978); and N.N. Shneidman, Soviet Literature in the 1980s: Decade of Transition (1989). See also Harold B. Segel, Twentieth-Century Russian Drama: From Gorky to the Present (1979); and Konstantin Rudnitsky, Russian and Soviet Theater, 1905–1932, trans. from Russian (1988). For a glimpse of the Soviet music world, see Dmitri Shostakovich, Testimony, trans. from Russian, ed. by Solomon Volkov (1979); Malcolm Hamrick Brown (ed.), Russian and Soviet Music (1984); and S. Frederick Starr, Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union, 1917–1980 (1983). Major surveys of Soviet experimental art include Camilla Gray, The Great Experiment: Russian Art, 1863–1922 (1962, reissued as The Russian Experiment in Art, 1863–1922, 1971); and Angelica Zander Rudenstine (ed.), Russian Avant-Garde Art: The George Costakis Collection (1981). Maurice Friedberg, Russian Culture in the 1980s (1985), is a concise review of intellectual life, popular culture, and mass media. For more on the mass media and public opinion, see Ellen Propper Mickiewicz, Media and the Russian Public (1981). An insightful discussion of the censorship of creativity in the Soviet Union is offered in Marianna Tax Choldin and Maurice Friedberg (eds.), The Red Pencil: Artists, Scholars, and Censors in the USSR (1989). On the uneasy relationship between cultural and intellectual life and official ideology, see Yuri Glazov, The Russian Mind Since Stalin's Death (1985); and Vladimir Shlapentokh, Soviet Public Opinion and Ideology: Mythology and Pragmatism in Interaction (1986), Soviet Ideologies in the Period of Glasnost: Responses to Brezhnev's Stagnation (1988), and Soviet Intellectuals and Political Power: The Post- Stalin Era (1990).

History
Reference data covering important events, personalities, and institutions is available in Joseph L. Wieczynski (ed.), The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, 46 vol. (1976–87), with a supplement beginning in vol. 46.

The Russian Revolution
Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), covers the decline of tsarism from 1899 to the first year of the Bolshevik dictatorship. William Henry Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, 1917–1921, 2 vol. (1935, reprinted 1987), provides a dependable, if somewhat outdated, survey of the period from the overthrow of the tsar to the consolidation of Bolshevik power after the civil war. Abraham Ascher, The Revolution of 1905, 2 vol. (1988–92), narrates the first revolutionary upheaval and its suppression. Bernard Pares, The Fall of the Russian Monarchy: A Study of Evidence (1939, reissued 1988), is a more detailed account of events by a historian who witnessed their development. Another detailed analysis of the events that directly led to the breakdown of the established order is given in Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, The February Revolution, Petrograd, 1917 (1981). N.N. Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution, 1917: A Personal Record, ed. by Richard Carmichael (1955, reprinted 1984; originally published in Russian, 1922–23; also published as The Russian Revolution, 1917: Eyewitness Account, 2 vol., 1962), is an abridged and edited version of a memoir by a Menshevik contemporary who was also a brilliant writer. Robert V. Daniels, Red October: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 (1967, reprinted 1984), studies the Bolshevik coup. N.A. Sokolov, Enquête judiciaire sur l'assasinat de la famille impériale Russe (1924), is a collection of information on the murder of Nicholas II and his family written by the head of a commission appointed in 1919 to study the evidence on the spot. Historical biographies of prominent figures throw additional light on the events; see David Shub, Lenin, rev. ed. (1966), written by a Menshevik contemporary; and Isaak Deutscher, The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879–1921 (1954, reprinted 1980), The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky, 1921–1929 (1959, reprinted 1980), and The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky, 1929–1940 (1963, reprinted 1980), a massive trilogy by an admirer of the political leader, not always reliable in its use of the sources.Leonard Schapiro, The Origin of the Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition to the Soviet State, First Phase, 1917–1922, 2nd ed. (1977), explores the means by which the communists eliminated the opposition. T.H. Rigby, Lenin's Government: Sovnarkom 1917–1922 (1979), studies early Soviet political authority. George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police: The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, December 1917 to February 1922 (1981), examines the special political institution that turned into a terror machine. John W. Wheeler-Bennett, Brest-Litovsk: The Forgotten Peace, March 1918 (1938, reissued 1971), remains the best account of the treaty that ended Russia's involvement in World War I. Evan Mawdsley, The Russian Civil War (1987), is a succinct account of the internal war and its complex events. L. Kritsman, Geroicheskiĭ period velikoĭ russkoĭ revoliutsii (1925), is an insider's account of “War Communism.” Richard Pipes, The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism, 1917–1923, rev. ed. (1964), analyzes the disintegration of the Russian multinational state in 1917 and its restoration under the communist regime. F. Borkenau, The Communist International (1938; also published as World Communism: A History of the Communist International, 1939, reprinted 1962); and Richard H. Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917–1921, 3 vol. (1961–72), explore the broader international background of the evolution of the early Soviet state. Winfried Baumgart, Deutsche Ostpolitik 1918: von Brest-Litowsk bis zum Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges (1966), provides an authoritative account of German relations with the Soviet government in its first year. A fascinating account of the early inner structure of Soviet Russian culture in all its dimensions is presented in René Fülöp-Miller, Geist und Gesicht des Bolschewismus: Darstellung und Kritik des kulturellen Lebens in Sowjet-Russland, 2nd ed. (1928).

The U.S.S.R. from the death of Lenin to the death of Stalin
Some of the most useful sources for the period are historical biographies, especially of Stalin: Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy (1991; originally published in Russian, 1989); Boris Souvarine, Stalin: A Critical Survey of Bolshevism (1939, reissued 1972; originally published in French, 1935); Adam B. Ulam, Stalin: The Man and His Era (1973, reissued 1989); Ronald Hingley, Joseph Stalin: Man and Legend (1974); Robert H. McNeal, Stalin: Man and Ruler (1988); Alex de Jonge, Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union (1986); Robert C. Tucker, Stalin as Revolutionary, 1879–1929: A Study in History and Personality (1973), and Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1928–1941 (1990); Emil Ludwig, Stalin, trans. from German (1942); Leon Trotsky, Stalin: An Appraisal of the Man and His Influence, trans. from Russian, new ed. (1967); Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography, 2nd ed. (1967); and Robert Conquest, Stalin: Breaker of Nations (1991). Various aspects of Stalin's career and personality and their historical influence are discussed in Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin, trans. from Serbo-Croatian (1962); Aino Kuusinen, The Rings of Destiny: Inside Soviet Russia from Lenin to Brezhnev (also published as Before and After Stalin: A Personal Account of Soviet Russia from the 1920s to the 1960s, 1974; originally published in German, 1972); Walter Laqueur, Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations (1990); Roy Medvedev, Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism, rev. and expanded ed. (1989; originally published in Russian, 2nd ed., 1974); Robert C. Tucker (ed.), Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation (1977); John A. Armstrong, The Politics of Totalitarianism: The Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1934 to the Present (1961); and Alexander S. Tsipko, Is Stalinism Really Dead?, trans. from Russian (1990). Useful memoirs of Stalin's political contemporaries include Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers, trans. from Russian (1970), Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, trans. from Russian (1974), and Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes, trans. from Russian (1990); and A.I. Mikoyan, Memoirs of Anastas Mikoyan, trans. from Russian (1988). The period of 1924–30, during which Stalin won the faction fight and achieved supremacy, is dealt with from a non-Stalinist point of view in Leon Trotsky, My Life (1960, reissued 1970; originally published in Russian, 1930); and Stephen F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888–1938 (1980).Collectivization and the struggle with the peasantry in 1930–33 are studied in Ewald Ammende, Human Life in Russia (1936, reprinted 1984); Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (1986); R.W. Davies, The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivization of Soviet Agriculture, 1929–1930 (1980); Naum Jasny, The Socialized Agriculture of the USSR: Plans and Performance (1949); Jerzy F. Karcz, The Economics of Communist Agriculture (1979); and M. Lewin, Russian Peasants and Soviet Power: A Study of Collectivization (1968, reprinted 1975; originally published in French, 1966). Industrialization is the subject of Antony C. Sutton, Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development, 3 vol. (1968–73); Abram Bergson, Planning and Productivity Under Soviet Socialism (1968); G. Warren Nutter, Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union (1962); Eugène Zaleski, Planning for Economic Growth in the Soviet Union, 1918–1932 (1971; originally published in French, 1962), and Stalinist Planning for Economic Growth, 1933–1952, trans. from French (1980); Philip Hanson, Trade and Technology in Soviet-Western Relations (1981); David Granick, Job Rights in the Soviet Union: Their Consequences (1987); and Joseph S. Berliner, The Innovation Decision in Soviet Industry (1976). The accompanying political terror is examined in David J. Dallin and Boris I. Nikolaevsky, Forced Labor in Soviet Russia (1947, reprinted 1974); S. Swianiewicz, Forced Labour and Economic Development: An Enquiry into the Experience of Soviet Industrialization (1965, reprinted 1985); Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment (1990); dealing largely with the Yezhov period of 1937–38; and Merle Fainsod, Smolensk Under Soviet Rule (1958, reissued 1989), the best analysis of local documents on the pre-World-War-II period.Studies of Soviet foreign policy under Stalin include Max Beloff, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1929–1941, 2 vol. (1947–49, reprinted 1966–68); Adam B. Ulam, Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–73, 2nd ed. (1974); and George F. Kennan, Russia and the West Under Lenin and Stalin (1961). On the German-Soviet Nonagression Pact, see Gustav Hilger and Alfred G. Meyer, The Incompatible Allies: A Memoir-History of German-Soviet Relations, 1918–1941 (1953, reprinted 1971); and Raymond James Sontag and James Stuart Beddie (eds.), Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939–1941: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office (1948, reprinted 1976).The 1941–45 war period and military matters in general are surveyed in John Erickson, The Soviet High Command: A Military-Political History, 1918–1941 (1962, reprinted 1984), The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin's War with Germany (1975, reprinted 1984), and The Road to Berlin: Continuing the History of Stalin's War with Germany (1983); Alexander Dallin, German Rule in Russia, 1941–1945: A Study of Occupation Policies, 2nd rev. ed. (1981); and Seweryn Bialer (ed.), Stalin and His Generals: Soviet Military Memoirs of World War II (1969, reprinted with a new preface, 1984). See also John Barber and Mark Harrison, The Soviet Home Front, 1941–1945: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II (1991). For the origins and development of the Cold War, see John Lukacs, A New History of the Cold War, 3rd ed., expanded (1966); Steven Merritt Miner, Between Churchill and Stalin: The Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the Origins of the Grand Alliance (1988); Robert Nisbet, Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship (1988); and Vojtech Mastny, Russia's Road to the Cold War: Diplomacy, Warfare, and the Politics of Communism, 1941–1945 (1979); and for internal postwar events, Robert Conquest, Power and Policy in the U.S.S.R.: The Study of Soviet Dynastics (1961; published also as Power and Policy in the U.S.S.R.: The Struggle for Stalin's Succession, 1945–1960, 1967); Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs, trans. from Russian (1990); Yehoshua A. Gilboa, The Black Years of Soviet Jewry, 1939–1953, trans. from Hebrew (1971); and Louis Rapoport, Stalin's War Against the Jews: The Doctor's Plot and the Soviet Solution (1990).

The U.S.S.R. since 1953
Seweryn Bialer, Stalin's Successors: Leadership, Stability, and Change in the Soviet Union (1980), is a stimulating survey of transitions. On the Khrushchev era, see George W. Breslauer, Khrushchev and Brezhnev as Leaders: Building Authority in Soviet Politics (1982), a detailed examination of politics at the top; Roy Medvedev, Khrushchev, trans. from Russian (1982), a thoughtful biography by a leading Russian dissident; Sergei Khrushchev, Khrushchev on Khrushchev: An Inside Account of the Man and His Era, trans. from Russian (1990), a fascinating story by Khrushchev's son; Martin McCauley (ed.), Khrushchev and Khrushchevism (1987), a reappraisal of many policy areas of the time; and Martin McCauley, Khrushchev and the Development of Soviet Agriculture: The Virgin Land Programme, 1953–1964 (1976), an analysis of one of the key policy areas, and Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev (1991), a short, brisk biography.For an analysis of the Brezhnev era, see Archie Brown and Michael Kaser (eds.), The Soviet Union Since the Fall of Khrushchev, 2nd ed. (1978). On the interregnum, Zhores A. Medvedev, Andropov: His Life and Death, rev. ed. (1984), provides much interesting detail. The first several years of the Gorbachev era are reviewed in Maurice Friedberg and Heyward Isham (eds.), Soviet Society Under Gorbachev: Current Trends and the Prospects for Reform (1987); Martin McCauley (ed.), Gorbachev and Perestroika (1990); and Harley D. Balzer (ed.), Five Years That Shook the World: Gorbachev's Unfinished Revolution (1991). Political restructuring and the ensuing social upheavals are the subject of A. Hewett and Victor H. Winston (eds.), Milestones in Glasnost and Perestroyka, 2 vol. (1991); Angus Roxburgh, The Second Russian Revolution: The Struggle for Power in the Kremlin (1991); Stephen White, Gorbachev and After (1991); Anatoly Sobchak, For a New Russia: The Mayor of St. Petersburg's Own Story of the Struggle for Justice and Democracy (1992); Michael Rywkin, Soviet Society Today (1989); Anthony Jones, Walter D. Connor, and David E. Powell (eds.), Soviet Social Problems (1991); David Lane, Soviet Society Under Perestroika (1990); and Alexander Shtromas and Morton A. Kaplan (eds.), The Soviet Union and the Challenge of the Future, 4 vol. (1988–1989).The economic reforms of the period are examined in Anders Åslund, Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform, updated and expanded ed. (1991); Padma Desai, Perestroika in Perspective: The Design and Dilemmas of Soviet Reform, updated ed. (1990); Abel Aganbegyan, The Challenge: Economics of Perestroika (1988); Marshall I. Goldman, What Went Wrong with Perestroika (1991); Nikolai Shmelev and Vladimir Popov, The Turning Point: Revitalizing the Soviet Economy (1989; originally published in Russian, 1989); Marian Radetzki, “USSR Energy Exports After Perestroika,” Energy Policy, 19(4):291–343 (May 1991); and Ian Jeffries (ed.), Industrial Reform in Socialist Countries: From Restructuring to Revolution (1992).A massive history of Soviet foreign relations, including the final period, is presented in Joseph L. Nogee and Robert H. Donaldson, Soviet Foreign Policy Since World War II, 4th ed. (1992).John C. Dewdney Richard E. Pipes Robert Conquest Martin McCauley

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