This article uses archival evidence to reexamine the relationship between Stalin and the secretaries of local party organizations during the nep. The orthodox view holds that after April 1922 Stalin installed individuals personally loyal to him as secretaries throughout the party’s network of territorial committees. Stalin used these supporters to manipulate the selection of delegates to the Twelfth Party Congress, which allowed him to fabricate majorities in the Central Committee and Politburo. Using operational records generated in the Central Committee Secretariat to examine patterns of secretarial office holding, this article shows that no fewer than 490 officials served as party secretaries during Stalin’s first five years as General Secretary and that rates of turnover among local party secretaries remained persistently high. These findings suggest that Stalin did not construct a stable network of clients among the secretaries of local party organizations prior to the Fifteenth Party Congress.
Lisa A. Kirschenbaum
Christopher J. Ward
The post-Soviet area is a home for a several de facto states, which are entities that resemble “normal” states but lack international recognition. This paper examines a historical case study of the Gagauz Republic (Gagauzia), a de facto state that existed on the territory of Soviet and then independent Moldova between 1990 and 1995. Whilst the prevailing view in the literature on de facto states is that these entities strive for internationally recognised independence, this study draws on a new suite of sources (including interviews, memoirs and journalism) to argue that the Gagauz Republic’s leaders did not pursue the goal of independence. Instead, they sought autonomism, pursuing a measure of self-governance within Gagauzia’s two subsequent parent states, namely the Soviet Union and then independent Moldova.