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A Corpus-Based Approach
Problems, Paradoxes, and Perspectives
Edited by Mikhail Suslov and Dmitry Uzlaner
Contributors include: Katharina Bluhm, Per-Arne Bodin, Alicja Curanović, Ekaterina Grishaeva, Caroline Hill, Irina Karlsohn, Marlene Laruelle, Mikhail N. Lukianov, Kåre Johan Mjør, Alexander Pavlov, Susanna Rabow-Edling, Andrey Shishkov, Victor Shnirelman, Mikhail Suslov, and Dmitry Uzlaner
The author proposes a new perspective on the political mobilization of ethnic Russians in the Crimea as reactive settler nationalism. After the Russian imperial conquest of the peninsula and the gradual displacement of the Crimean Tatars, the 1917 Revolution galvanized the Tatar national movement, which entered into an alliance with the Ukrainian one. A similar situation developed in the late 1980s, when the peninsula’s Russian ethnic majority found itself threatened by the loss of status and land in what could become a Tatar autonomy within Ukraine. Based on the implicit approval of Stalin’s genocidal deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, the political mobilization of ethnic Russians in the 1990s made the Crimea an easy target for Russian annexation, which, however, took place twenty years later because of Russia’s internal reasons and the Euromaidan Revolution being perceived as a threat to the Putin regime.
The choices made by oligarchs and citizens in Dnipropetrovsk during and after the Euromaidan rebellion of 2013–14 were not just event-driven manifestations in response to domestic and internal pressures. They were responses shaped by historically-composed social structures and interrelationships forged over decades within the region, across southeastern Ukraine, and in relation to competing centers of power—in Kyiv, Moscow, Washington, Brussels and beyond. This paper argues that Dnipropetrovsk—and its leaders—played a crucial intermediary role in not only deescalating tensions in southeastern Ukraine more broadly, but also by buttressing the Ukrainian state in a time of existential crisis. In this analysis, oligarchic self-interest is taken as a given and one factor among many, including the signaling of interventionist intent from an external patron and also deeper, regionally specific, economic and structural forces. This piece brings into the analysis a historian’s understanding of contingency, arguing that analyses of developments in southeastern Ukraine (in the past and present) should strive to better situate regional actors not only in space but also time, so as to better understand the complex set of forces and heterogenous social temporalities shaping their choices.
Why was Kharkiv assigned the role of an alternative political capital of Ukraine during the Euromaidan revolution of 2014? Why did this plan fail? In this article the author tries to answer these questions by exploring Kharkiv’s role and place in the regional context of ongoing Ukrainian nation-state building in the historical perspective, focusing on the period after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Issues of regional geopolitics on the Ukrainian-Russian border as well as the changing symbolic landscape of the city are explored. The proactive role of the central authorities as well as specific local traditions and identity played their roles in keeping Kharkiv on the sidelines of the “hybrid war” that engulfed the Donbas. The modernization matrix that promoted Kharkiv’s growth from a provincial town into a regional leader prevailed over the rhetoric of Russian nationalism employed by Putin’s regime during the annexation of the Crimea. At the same time, social apathy and national ambivalence, so typical of a borderland zone, also prevented the local population from falling into political extremes. Kharkiv’s cultural space continues to be a battlefield of competing discourses, each of which has been projected into the past and the future.
Travis Gray Ph.D.
The first Red Army soldiers who liberated Smolensk in September, 1943 entered a broken world. The ruined city stood empty and the countryside resembled a vast wasteland. Amidst the destruction, Party officials began picking up the pieces and rebuilding Soviet power in the region. The main concern of this study is to understand how this process unfolded by examining reports of local war crime and treason investigations carried out by the Extraordinary State Commission of Smolensk Oblast (Chrezvychainaia gosudarstvennaia komissiia, ChGK). These yet untapped archival materials show that while Soviet investigative and punitive practices affirmed the state’s renewed political authority in Smolensk, their efforts were often constrained by the regime’s postwar reconstruction goals.
Guest Editor’s Introduction
The author argues against the widespread Western stereotype of Ukraine as a nation divided into two parts: the pro-Western, nationalistic west and the pro-Russian east. He emphasizes the importance of studying Ukraine’s individual regions because their reaction during the 2014 war was determined as much by their diverse historical traditions and cultural identities as by the decisions of the local elites and grassroots political activism on both sides. Even before the conflict, the notion of a united Ukrainian “Southeast” served as a tool of Russian propaganda rather than objective analysis; once the conflict started, it was no longer possible to ignore the profound differences among the provinces usually included in it.
When the events known as the “Russian Spring” began in the aftermath of Ukraine’s Euromaidan Revolution in February 2014, Odessa oblast seemed like it would be particularly vulnerable to separatist activity. This paper offers a tentative explanation for why Odessa oblast escaped war in the 2014–15 phase of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. To do so, it chronicles events in Odessa oblast between fall 2013 and spring 2015 drawing on secondary sources such as news articles, blogs, social media posts, YouTube footage, official statements, and reports. Odessa-based elites’ decision to support Ukrainian sovereignty was an important factor hindering the realization of a Donetsk or Luhansk scenario. However, the weak Oblast Administration in the spring of 2014 and the upcoming mayoral elections created a volatile environment that various individuals (oligarchs, politicians, criminal networks) exploited to maintain or enhance their influence in the region. The internationalization of the conflict in the spring of 2014 presented Odessans with stark existential choices which undermined the city’s violence-avoiding dispute resolution techniques and culminated in the violence on May 2.
Does the Donbas represent the stronghold of Russian separatism? Since Russia’s military intervention in the Donbas (following its occupation of the Crimea), this view of the Donbas as un-Ukrainian or anti-Ukrainian has gained wide circulation in and outside Ukraine. Yet it is patently wrong. In the Donbas, there have never been ethnic, linguistic, or religious (sectarian) conflicts to speak of, nor did its population consistently manifest strong pro-Russian or pro-Union sentiments. True, such sentiments existed in the Donbas, like elsewhere in much of Dnieper Ukraine, but they never dominated the political scene of the Donbas. Instead, until the twenty-first century this region always tended to be anti-imperialist and anti-metropolitan. What is remarkable is that in 1991 the Donbas overwhelmingly supported the independence of Ukraine. What followed in the wake of Ukraine’s independence was an attempt by the Donbas power holders, in particular Viktor Yanukovych, to take over all of Ukraine. Moscow helped this attempt, which failed ultimately. The “free steppe” of the Donbas undeniably attracted, among others, radical Russian nationalists from outside and provided them with space for action. It is this historical characteristic of the Donbas as the “free steppe” that has colored the popular view of this region as a stronghold of Russian separatism. In the rest of Ukraine, a strong prejudice against the Donbas as a culturally dark region has only helped to boost this popular misconception.
Markian Prokopovych, Carl Bethke and Tamara Scheer
Emily B. Baran and Zoe Knox
This introduction offers an overview of the 2002 Russian anti-extremism law and a summary of the contributions by individual authors to this special journal issue. The authors detail the significant impact of the law, particularly for religious minorities. They note that the authors approach the law from different angles, ranging from the evolving rhetoric of extremism in Russia and the law’s application to particular religious minority cases to the censorship of the online world and the politicized and partisan nature of the Russian legal system. In doing so, they draw out the contradictions, inconsistencies, and arbitrariness of the law's application and some unexpected continuities with earlier historical periods. Overall, they conclude that the anti-extremism law represents a serious impediment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in contemporary Russia.
Marat Shterin and Dmitry Dubrovsky
This article contributes to the growing body of research on the increasing role of judicial systems in regulating politics and religion (‘judicialization of politics and religion’) across the globe. By examining how academic expertise is deployed in anti-extremist litigation involving Russia’s minority religions, this article reveals important processes involved in this judicial regulation, in particular when legal and academic institutions lack autonomy and consistency of operation. It focuses on the selection of experts and the validation of their opinion within Russia’s academia and the judiciary, and identifies patterns in the experts’ approach to evidence and how they validate their conclusions in the eyes of the judiciary. Academic expertise provides an aura of legitimacy to judicial decisions in which anti-extremist legislation is used as a means to control unpopular minority religions and to regulate Russia’s religious diversity. As one of the few systematic explorations of this subject and the first focused on Russia, this article reveals important processes that produce religious discrimination and the role that anti-extremist legislation plays in these processes.
Ellie R. Schainker
In 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Justice banned a nineteenth-century book written by the German rabbi Markus Lehmann, labeling it extremist literature. This article places current Russian efforts to stamp out religious extremism in a broader historical context of imperial productions of tolerance and intolerance and the impact on religious minorities. It examines the case of Jews in the Russian Empire and post-Soviet Russia through the lens of religious conversion, forced baptisms, and freedom of conscience in the realm of apostasy. Lehmann’s book, characteristic of nineteenth-century Orthodox Jewish historical fiction in German, used the historical memory of forced conversions of Jews in medieval and early modern Europe to forge a new path to integration in tolerant, Protestant environs. This article offers a historical and literary reading of Lehmann’s banned book against the longer arc of imperial Russian toleration and conservative appropriations of toleration for discrimination against minorities.
Emily B. Baran
This article examines the history of marginalizing rhetoric in Russia as applied to evangelizing faiths, particularly the Jehovah’s Witnesses, from the postwar period to the present day. Such churches have been portrayed as presenting a distinct threat to Russian society, even as the cited reasons for this perceived danger have shifted over time. While obviously connected to legal definitions of toleration, the language of religious (in)tolerance existed apart from state policy. Moreover, public rhetoric frequently adopted a hostile tone toward evangelizing churches regardless of their legal status. Seen from this perspective, the recent “extremism” label is part of a broader history of sustained marginalization of evangelizing faiths in modern Russia. The article argues that Russian media has not fully embraced the rhetoric of “extremism” as applied to evangelizing communities, but has also done little to challenge the underlying state policy it represents.
This article examines the Russian Supreme Court’s 2017 decision to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremists.” The decision will bring Russia’s anti-extremism law before the Council of Europe via the European Court of Human Rights. The article considers why this particular religious minority group became a test case by examining the unique beliefs and practices of Witnesses and their history of episodic conflict with the state. It also highlights the role of the Orthodox Church in shaping attitudes, popular and political, toward religious pluralism in Russia. In the Putin era, an increasingly illiberal rhetoric about totalitarian cults and traditional values connected nontraditional faiths to national security threats, a link made clear in the Putin regime’s promotion of spiritual security. Overall, the article argues that the 2017 ban signals the repudiation of European human rights norms by Russian governmental authorities, lawmakers, and religious elites.
This article is focused on the enforcement of Russian anti-extremist legislation through web regulation. Russian law enforcement has shifted from a focus on preventing terrorist violence to a focus on prosecuting online hate speech and anti-authority rhetoric under current anti-extremist and anti-terrorist laws. The vague definition of extremist activity in federal law has been broadly interpreted by law enforcement agencies. Through the idea of public security, Russian law enforcement agencies have overestimated the threat of online content without regard for the context, audience, and impact of online statements. The result has been a steady increase in blocked access to web pages and sanctions on web users and providers. The article analyzes the legal norms pertaining to web content control, and details law enforcement practice and major trends. It also identifies the most common publications, people, and organizations targeted by Russian law enforcement for sanctions based on online statements.
Diasporic and Migrant Identities of Bosniaks
Edited by Dževada Šuško
Seth Bernstein and Irina Makhalova
This article is an analysis of metadata from 955 closed trials of Soviet people accused of being collaborators during World War ii. The trials reveal Soviet officials’ understandings of who was capable of collaboration and what kinds of acts were collaboration. At the same time, the aggregate data from trials demonstrates that the accusations were grounded in the realities of the war and were not falsifications like the investigations of the Great Terror in the 1930s.
This review examines four new works that explore how economic ideas crossed the borders of the Soviet Union. Historians are increasingly realizing that Soviet economists participated in substantial exchanges of ideas with experts from other countries, and that these exchanges shaped Soviet intellectual and political history. Via formal and informal exchanges, new ideas from other countries played a major role in Soviet thinking. Soviet economists used foreign ideas to legitimize and mobilize support for new policies that they were advocating. From planning to taxation, from enterprise reform to economic development, people in the Soviet Union—and not only economists—were regular participants in a broader economic conversation that included economic experts from the West, from other socialist countries, and from the Third World.
This article is a microanalysis of Soviet Holocaust retribution in four cases studies, with focus on Lithuania. It was difficult to disentangle crimes against Jews and crimes against Soviet power in cases involving high-ranking nationalists. Soviet authorities had a strong motivation to condemn nationalist leaders and to justify their execution or deportation to the Gulag, but were not as strongly invested in the outcome of the trials involving ordinary people. Punishing collaborators in Nazi crimes consistently remained an aim in and of itself (but was not to be pursued at the expense of other state campaigns). The authorities and locals pursued justice for murdered Jews while simultaneously utilizing the Jewish wartime fate in the pursuit of broader political aims during postwar Sovietization. In the broader postwar Soviet prosecution of treason and collaboration, authorities and defendants navigated competing understandings of personal participation (lichnoe uchastie) in atrocities and the (ir)redeemability of defendants.
Examining the Conditions for Instrumental and Informational Manipulation in Post-Soviet Elections
Electoral manipulation is committed both during hotly contested elections as well as quite predictable ones. Comparative scholarship has sought to understand this variation, acknowledging that electoral manipulation can serve an informational as well as an instrumental role, but has not distinguished when, if ever, electoral manipulation is more likely to serve one role over another. This paper examines these issues, asking if and how strategies of manipulation differ depending on the conditions of the election. Using a newly developed measure of contestation and original data on elections from ten post-Soviet states, this paper quantitatively analyzes the types of strategies used depending on election-level factors. The results reveal that incumbents are likely to select some, but not all, types of manipulation depending on contestation of the election, the level of incumbent dominance, and the type of election being held. This paper concludes that while electoral manipulation can be used for instrumental and informational purposes, they are likely to be pursued in different elections, and that this depends on the conditions of the elections.
N.M. Dronin and J.M. Francis
Literature was a significant vehicle for ecological thinking in the post-World War ii Soviet Union. In early 1950 a group of Russian writers known as ‘villagers’ advanced environmental themes, equating preservation of the environment in the face of frenzied industrialization and modernization with the preservation of Russian culture itself. The work of the villagers – so known for their focus on the history and condition of the Russian village – reached its peak in the 1970s when many of them had gained a following among the Soviet intelligentsia as a result of their critical stand on the socialist transformation of rural areas and their advocacy for the protection of land, forests, and rivers. In this period, environmental, social, and moral motifs were artfully presented in village prose. From the mid-1980s a nationalistic element came to dominate their art. In the post-Soviet period this tendency deepened, leading finally to marginalization of village prose.
This article examines Soviet housing policy in the annexed former Polish territories of Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine, which the ussr absorbed in September 1939. The author focuses on Western Belorussia and in particular on Bialystok, which was the largest and most economically developed city in the region. Bialystok and the Bialystok region contained the largest number of refugees, soviet soldiers, party clerks and technical specialists from the Soviet Union. This article looks at the area’s acute housing problem, which resulted in the theft of property and illegal eviction of apartment owners. The Jewish population of Western Belorussia found itself in the epicenter of events, since it was well represented among the refugees, particularly among the illegally evicted housing owners. The author analyzes the housing policy in Western Belorussia prior to the start of the German-Soviet War in 1941, the position of the Jewish population during this period, and the impact of the acute “housing problem” on the Sovietization of the local population.
Petr Cheremushkin (Пётp Чepёмушкин )
This is a review essay of Dariusz Tołczyk’s book Gułag w oczach Zachodu (The Gulag in the Eyes of the West), which was published in Polish in 2009. This controversial work examines the question of why, for at least the first half of the twentieth century, the West has turned a blind eye to the Stalinist repression. Tołczyk notes that the West paid little attention to the complaints of the Baltic countries and Poland about Stalin’s Great Terror. The reviewer states that the formation of an improved Western image of first Soviet Russia and then the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Gorbachev years by a West that is currently worried about the Putin regime, is Tołczyk’s, a Polish author residing in the United States, main theme.
Christopher A. Stevens
This article seeks to prove that not only do emotions matter in foreign politics, but they are strong catalysts for political action. In Brezhnev’s case, it was fear of a third world war that made him strive for endurable peace. To gain the trust of the West, he tried to act like a Western statesman in order to be perceived as “familiar” and recognized as “one of us”. The article is structured along four key emotions: fear, trust, stress and mistrust, which are debated as concepts and as decisive states for Brezhnev’s foreign policy. I argue that Brezhnev won the trust of his supporters by showing he was different, but lost it when he became addicted to sleeping pills and had to retreat after 1974.
A 116 square-kilometer section of forest in the northwest part of Moscow, Elk Island National Park (Losynyi ostrov) became Russia’s first in 1983. Russian environmentalists became enamored with national parks through increased interaction with Western colleagues, Russian environmentalists, including the supporters of Elk Island National Park, asserted that the USSR’s lack of national parks demonstrated that Russian environmental protection efforts lagged behind the West. This strategy was successful in pushing the government to establish national parks, including Elk Island. However, Russian environmentalists have had much less success in convincing government officials to support, protect, and develop national parks, even as they frequently asserted that its failure to do so cast Russia in a bad light before the international community. Because of its highly visible location in Moscow, Elk Island’s struggles have been a particularly painful reminder for Russian environmentalists of the Russian Federation’s seeming disinterest in national parks.
The article examines the relationship between the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, and the First Secretary of the Polish United Worker’s Party, Edward Gierek, during the 1970s and contributes to the understanding of relationships between Brezhnev and other leaders of the Eastern Bloc. In order to fulfill his foreign policy goals, Brezhnev needed active and willing cooperation from the Eastern Bloc and its leaders benefited from this endeavor. Gierek responded to this demand by entering into an “uneven friendship” with Brezhnev that was established according to the Soviet “friendship code.” This privileged relationship was dependent on the inner situation within the Soviet leadership, the progress of détente, Poland’s domestic stability, and ultimately did not counterbalance Poland’s structurally disadvantageous status in the Eastern Bloc.
This study analyzes the colorful phenomenon of the Russian shanson in the context of contemporary Russian culture and politics. It targets shanson’s complex symbiotic relationship with Putin’s regime and its paradoxical place within Russian culture and politics today.
The musical genre has undergone a veritable sea change over time, evolving from a subcultural form mocking official powers to a “normalized” cultural product that now bears the Kremlin’s stamp of approval. Faced with the new post-Soviet economic reality, the underworld song underwent changes that transformed it into a commercially successful genre currently acknowledged, and even deployed, by the Russian authorities. While such shifts often mark a subculture’s lifecycle, what is particularly striking in this case is the shanson’s continued bond with the underworld. Such a paradox, I contend, may be illuminated, if only in part, by the specific nature of Putin’s cultivated public persona and particular features of the Putin regime.
The phrase “Find True North” evokes the idea of movement in the right direction, but sometimes the phrase acquires a more metaphoric meaning of understanding where we are and where we are going. For the fields of Soviet history and post-Soviet studies, the expression is meaningful in both literal and metaphorical senses. In recent years, the number of publications devoted to the history of the Russian North has been growing steadily, although not as spectacularly as the political science works on Arctic geopolitics. Even taken together, however, these studies represent only a small fraction of the scientific literature and media accounts ballooning since the last International Polar Year, held in 2007–2008.
Christopher J. Ward
Donald J. Raleigh
Drawing on historian Frank Costigliola’s accent on the importance of “emotional belief” in understanding how statesmen formulate foreign policy, I apply this cultural approach to diplomacy in considering Soviet leader Leonid Ilich Brezhnev’s personal relationship with President Richard M. Nixon. Appreciating both the merits and difficulties in employing this “soft” methodology to diplomacy, I draw on recently published documents, memoirs, and available archival material to examine the evolution of Brezhnev’s relationship with Nixon at three summit meetings held in Moscow in 1972, in Washington in 1973, and, again in Moscow in 1974, weeks before Nixon’s resignation. I argue that Brezhnev’s emotional belief convinced him of the need to go beyond the evidence to cultivate a personal relationship with Nixon based at first on suspicion, then on cautious courting, and eventually on trust so that Brezhnev could achieve his aims of promoting the cause of peace.
Leaders are often noted to be instrumental in transitional political processes. Yet, most studies in the field bypass them, focusing instead on such factors as institutional setup, level of political culture, geopolitical location, diffusion of ideas and other factors. Even when highlighted, leaders are thought to be acting under the constraint of these arguably more defining factors and therefore relegated to a secondary role. Part of the problem is thought to be difficult to treat individuals as a measurable variable other than being shaped by aforementioned institutional-structural factors. Through a methodological borrowing this study determines that the leadership patterns across the region do vary in a substantial way. More importantly, the variation is determined independent of the overarching institutional-structural factors. The profiling of leadership patterns is followed by discussion of implications such exogenously determined leadership patterns may have on the study of transitional processes.
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
Edited by Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer
This edited volume was first published in Polish as Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz: Marksizm a socjologia. Wybór pism by Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego in 2014. This current work has been revised and translated into English.
Gerol'd I. Vzdornov
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.
This paper explores the life of Joseph Grigulevich (1913–1988), a famous early Soviet illegal intelligence operative, who conducted various “special tasks” on behalf of Stalin’s foreign espionage network. These included the murder of dissident Spanish communist Andreas Nin (1938), a participation in the assassination of Leon Trotsky (1940), posing as a Costa Rican ambassador (1949–1952), and an abortive project to assassinate Joseph Bros Tito (1952). In contrast to conventional espionage studies that are usually informed by diplomatic, political, and military history approaches, I employ a cultural history angle. First, the paper examines the formation of Grigulevich’s communist and espionage identity against his background as a cosmopolitan Jewish “other” from the interwar Polish-Lithuanian realm. Second, it explores his role in the production and invention of intelligence knowledge, which he later used to jump start his second career as a prominent Soviet humanities scholar and a bestselling writer of revolutionary non-fiction.
Svetlana Malysheva and Cвeтлaнa Maлышeвa
For several decades, the mass burial practices in Soviet Russia were strongly linked with Soviet ideology and the practices of everyday life. Soviet military and state officials intentionally and unintentionally used mass graves as a political and ideological tool. Soviet Russian and Soviet authorities noted mass graves in documents and in public discourse, and couched them in a “figure of silence.” Places of mass burials were given meaning and characterized as systems of ideological representation and the binary oppositions of “ours” versus “foreign.” This article examines the practice of mass burials from the 1920s to the 1940s and how it shaped and influenced Soviet Russian and Soviet ideological constructs.
James M. White and Alexander S. Palkin
The Orthodox Church in post-Soviet Russia is currently tackling numerous issues. Some of these are modern, like the institution’s relationship with nationalism, while others are centuries-old, like the Old Believer schism. Some have argued that there is one potential solution to both problems: the restoration of edinoverie, a uniate movement founded in 1800 to bring the Old Believers into the Church. In this article, we consider all of the most recent works on this subject to demonstrate how a particular historical narrative has been sanctified by ecclesiastic writers to justify edinoverie’s revival. At the same time, its legacy is being utilised by a few nationalist or neo-traditionalist figures to restore a distinctively Russian character to Orthodoxy that can inoculate the country against irreligiosity and globalisation. Finally, we consider the failure to offer a convincing scholarly alternative to these narratives, a problem which is only now being rectified by young Russian academics.
Svetlana Y. Ter-Grigoryan
In the early 1990s, scholars largely viewed the height of the glasnost years, 1987 to 1991, to be a culturally and socially distinct period in comparison to the rest of the Soviet epoch. One of the main pieces of evidence employed in this argument was glasnost filmmakers’ novel use of sexuality and nudity. The debate about the cultural significance of the glasnost period, however, has been muted in recent decades. In this reevaluation, I suggest that the misogynistic nature of glasnost filmmakers’ sexuality and nudity depictions actually reflected cultural continuity with previous Soviet eras. This study ultimately challenges the idea of a culturally liberal glasnost period, and supports the case for conservatism throughout the Soviet period.
Using various case studies – from Oleg Kalugin to Grigorii Sevostianov and Nikolai Sivachev in Russia, and Askold Shlepakov in Ukraine, this article examines different instrumental functions of the KGB people among Soviet Americanists, specialists in the US history, politics, literature and films. It focuses on the KGB influences in the field of American studies in the Soviet Union since the beginning of Soviet-us academic exchanges programs in 1958 till the beginning of perestroika. This article is a part of the larger project about cultural and social history of Soviet Americanists during the Cold War.