‘Enemies of the people’: Fake news and Bolshevik manipulation of the press in early Soviet Sormovo

By Laura Sumner   ‘The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!’- Donald Trump (17th February 2017) ‘This strike is subordination… In short, they [Mensheviks and Right SRs] acted as enemies of the proletariat, the enemies of the people, like true … More ‘Enemies of the people’: Fake news and Bolshevik manipulation of the press in early Soviet Sormovo

Speaking Soviet – The Marriage of Soviet Linguistics and Literacy in the Early Soviet Period

By Kate Martin With the advent of the early Soviet period, the idea of literacy and language was one which was at the forefront of the minds of the Bolshevik leadership. Although work had begun in the late 19th and early 20th century by the previous regime to make education and literacy more available to … More Speaking Soviet – The Marriage of Soviet Linguistics and Literacy in the Early Soviet Period

Suicide really isn’t war: megalomania, counterculture and the joy of metal music in the Soviet Union

By Dawn Hazle Popular music presents a problem to authoritarian regimes: by its nature it either has to be controlled, or banned. Yet, control requires a lot of resources, and simply just pushes the problem underground.  In the Soviet Union, both approaches were undertaken: popular music was controlled through state-sponsored Vokal’no-Instrumental’nyi Ansambl’ (VIA) groups and … More Suicide really isn’t war: megalomania, counterculture and the joy of metal music in the Soviet Union

The Political Language of Celebration: The Anniversary of the October Revolution, 1918-1932

By Jon Rowson ‘It is impossible to build socialism in white gloves’ – Mikhail Kalinin, 7 November 1930[1] The Anniversary of the October Revolution was the apogee of public politics in the young Soviet state. The celebrations, lasting 2-3 days in all areas of the USSR, were a means of honouring the previous year’s achievements, … More The Political Language of Celebration: The Anniversary of the October Revolution, 1918-1932

New Year Wishes: a Soviet Child’s Letter to Krupskaia

by Hannah Parker In December 1930, a twelve year old girl named Nura wrote an apparently cheerful request for correspondence to Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaia, Russian Deputy Education Commissar from 1929-1939: ‘Long I have dreamt to have a correspondence with the great leader of the young friends of Pioneers… I do not have the opportunity to … More New Year Wishes: a Soviet Child’s Letter to Krupskaia

Red Whirlwinds: Fyodor Lopukhov and the Ballet Revolution

By Olivia Bašić In April 1923, at the Twelfth Congress of the Russian Communist Party, it was decided that the theatre would become an essential tool in the organisation of mass propaganda regarding the struggle of communism. A resolution was passed declaring ‘it was necessary to strengthen the work for the creation and selection of a … More Red Whirlwinds: Fyodor Lopukhov and the Ballet Revolution

Educating the ‘Uneducable’: Soviet Deaf-Blind Education and the New Soviet Person

By Charles Beacroft In 1928, Lucy Wilson, an experienced educator and pedagogue, travelled from the United States to the Soviet Union to compile an accurate account of the advances of Soviet education for the Vanguard Studies of Soviet Russia. In her travels, she arrived to a school for the deaf-blind in the Ukraine and was … More Educating the ‘Uneducable’: Soviet Deaf-Blind Education and the New Soviet Person

Between Populace and Elite: Challenging Traditional Views of Revolutionary Russia

by Beth Pennyfather Typically, accounts of the 1917 Revolution depict a very class conscious image of Russia, reflecting the influence of Leninist concepts of revolution. However, this was not the case among the proletariat, for whom the revolution was less explicitly ideologically motivated. Rooted in issues such as inflation, general living conditions and food shortages, … More Between Populace and Elite: Challenging Traditional Views of Revolutionary Russia

Party Politics and the Seeds of Revolutionary Dictatorship: The Case of Krasnoiarsk in 1917

by Alistair Dickins In a revolution full of paradoxes, the question of how Russia went from a multiparty system to a nascent Bolshevik dictatorship between February and October 1917 remains one of the most vexing. In the West, Cold War historians tended to contrast Russia under the liberal Provisional Government (the ‘freest country in the … More Party Politics and the Seeds of Revolutionary Dictatorship: The Case of Krasnoiarsk in 1917

Explaining away poverty: Soviet residential childcare and social problems after 1953

By Mirjam Galley Until Stalin’s death, Soviet children’s homes had been orphanages, housing children who had lost their parents to war, disease, or Stalin’s own terror campaigns. His successor Nikita Khrushchev set out to change that system of institutions for good. Khrushchev renounced his predecessor’s rule of terror in his so-called Secret Speech (1956) and, … More Explaining away poverty: Soviet residential childcare and social problems after 1953