This article examines the reflection of the April 9 Tragedy and the Civil War of 1991–1993 in the sites of memory chosen by the presidents of the Republic of Georgia. In Georgian cultural memory, the April 9 Tragedy was changed into an idea of heroic struggle. It also became a part of a memory narrative that legitimized Georgian independence and symbolized the April 9 Tragedy as the beginning of a new future for post-Soviet Georgia. The controversy over the perception of the 1991–1993 Georgian Civil War was equated with the fratricidal struggle in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and regions of the country, which were linked with a memory narrative that was aimed at reconciling opposing social groups.
This article proposes and argues that the birth of concepts “Russian World” and “Russian Islam” – both important to the post-Soviet Russian ideological landscape – occurred not only under the influence of similar ideas and values, but also through the authorship of the same intellectuals: heirs of the Soviet semi-dissident teachings of Georgy Shchedrovitsky. In this article, we study how these two concepts were understood by the supporters of methodological doctrine. The article further substantiates relevance of a post-socialist focus in the study of countries of the former USSR, even when it relates to new religious projects. In addition, this article highlights the importance of the non-Muslim (Soviet and Russian) roots of the development of Islamic institutions in post-Soviet Russia.
In 1939–1941, the Soviet policy in the new western borderlands was based on the need to transform quickly the annexed territories into a safe and invulnerable border. Thus, having expanded its territories to the west in 1939–1940, the Soviet government was in no hurry to eliminate the old border outposts. On the contrary, the previously existing Polish-Soviet border was preserved in the form of so-called “barrier zone” (« зона заграждения »), and special permits were still required to cross it. At the same time, the construction of new western borders was proceeding at an accelerated pace, and in parallel with this, a massive “purge” of the population of the new regions was carried out. Thus, in the pre-war years, the annexed territories were assigned the role of a kind of broad “buffer zone” that was supposed to protect the USSR from the west with two border lines—the new German-Soviet border (external) and the preserved former Polish-Soviet border (internal).
This article examines letters on glasnost sent to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party in 1987 and compiled by the Central Committee’s Letter Department in a booklet for the Politburo in 1988. Contextualized by other sources from the archive of this Letter Department and others, these sources begin to illuminate how the Central Committee’s Letter Department functioned and how it evolved during Perestroika. These letters also allow us to begin to incorporate more ordinary citizens’ conceptions of glasnost into the history of this concept. These sources show at least four definitions of glasnost that circulated in the first years of reform. None of these definitions coincided with the liberal concept of “freedom of speech”. The conversation about glasnost in these letters challenges the common liberal teleology of studies of Perestroika, highlighting the distinctly Soviet nature of those who wrote letters and the concepts they wrote about.
Images of workers were ubiquitous in Soviet visual culture. Other than in capitalist countries, the Soviet visual regime was inextricably linked to the faces of working people; workers were elevated to the ‘status of icons’ in newspapers, journals and movies alike. According to Soviet ideology, every worker contributed to socialism, which is why everyone was worthy of portrayal. The article traces the discussion among professionals and readers in Soviet journals about how to portray working people both in their professions and their everyday lives. In the 1960s, Soviet photographers actively propagated a shift from portraying the profession to portraying the individual. A close reading of photographs published mostly in Sovetskoe foto details how Soviet photo-graphers aimed at capturing individuality in the first place, how photography helped establish typical and un-typical notions of individuality and work, and to which extent the a-typical became the new typical.