Constructing Ethnopolitics in the Soviet Union: Samizdat, by Dina Zisserman-Brodsky

By Dina Zisserman-Brodsky

Dissident ethnic networks have been an important self reliant establishment within the Soviet Union. Voicing the discontent and resentment of the outer edge on the guidelines of the guts or metropole, the dissident writings, often called samizdat highlighted anger at deprivations imposed within the political, cultural, social, and financial spheres. Ethnic dissident writings drew on values either inner to the Soviet method and overseas as resources of legitimation; they met a divided response between Russians, with a few privileging the team spirit of the Soviet Union and others sympathetic to the rhetoric of nationwide rights. This concentrate on nationwide, instead of person rights, besides the appropriation of ethnonationalism via political elites, is helping clarify advancements because the fall of the Soviet Union, together with the superiority of authoritarian governments in newly autonomous states of the previous Soviet Union.

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Additional resources for Constructing Ethnopolitics in the Soviet Union: Samizdat, Deprivation and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism

Example text

9 In 1961, Osipov was tried for his “non-formal” activity together with another young leader of the “nonconformists” of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Eduard Kuznetsov—later a famous figure in the Zionist movement. Samizdat documents discussing the biographies of two other Zionist activists, Leonid Kolchinskii10 and Isai Averbukh11 reported that both began their political activity with public protests against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. The initial period of political dissent in the USSR can be defined as a period of syncretism.

The post-Brezhnev leadership seemed to continue to consider the formula “propaganda, coercion, and repression” to be quite effective in dealing with all kinds of so-called ethnic deviations. Like Brezhnev, they failed to realize that overt ethnic dissent (as well as dissent at large) was neither a deviation from mainstream development nor a survival of “the past” as they used to declare (and probably to think). It was the surface of an iceberg that signified the profound latent process of the politicization of the ethnic groups of the USSR.

Situational domination manifested itself in the overrepresentation of Russians in the party, state, and professional elites of the Union and its autonomous units. Basing himself on the Soviet periodical Revoliutsiia i natsional’nosti (1930), Conquest cited the following data. In 1922, Russians comprised 72 percent of the party’s total membership. 4 percent of Ukrainian Communists considered Russian to be their native language. 3 percent of the employees at the headquarters of the Daghestan government.

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