in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

Abstract

The Central Asian states stepped into independence with governments appropriating the nation-state legacy that was inherited from the Soviet era and popular masses appropriating their traditional identity that was suppressed during most of the Soviet era. This article examines the space between the state and society within the context of development and change in the religious material culture in the Syr Darya valley of Southern Kazakhstan. As such this work contributes to the growing literature examining how top-down and bottom-up processes simultaneously operate during post-Soviet national identity formation.

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

Abstract

This article is based on interviews with and questionnaires completed by Donetsk area residents when the author visited the city January 7–17, 2014. They demonstrate that, at least among Donbas area residents with higher education, there were possibilities for building a “European dream” that Euromaidan protesters in Kyiv championed. Fighting for the rule of law, human rights, and an end to corruption—values identified with the Euromaidan—could have transcended Ukraine’s regional divisions. Even those skeptical of “European values” still agreed that they belonged to one nation with differing political objectives. Yet the manipulation of the Kyiv protests by politicians, outbursts of violence in Kyiv, continued stereotypes of Ukraine’s regions, and complex economic ties with Russia and Europe made this European dream elusive. Escalating violence in January 2014 and the sudden implosion of the regime of Viktor Yanukovych the next month polarized public opinion in Donetsk. Due to manipulations by local politicians, pro-Russian activists, and pro-Russian propaganda in local media, Donetsk residents and others in the Donbas protested the Kyiv “Junta” and demanded greater rights for their region. The ensuing geopolitical battle brought about greater Russian intervention, both politically and militarily, making it impossible for civil society to resist the sudden emergence of separatist republics. As pro-Russian activists and armed militants, some from across the Russian border, terrorized pro-Ukrainian citizens and Euromaidan activists, the European dream in Donetsk came to an end for the foreseeable future.

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

Abstract

The article is a study of anti-government mobilization in the cities of southern and eastern Ukraine in spring 2014. By closely examining the developments that preceded the outbreak of the armed insurrection in the Donbas, the study seeks to elucidate the various factors that precipitated the veritable collapse of the Ukrainian state in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and its stabilization elsewhere. The article argues that the armed conflict in the Donbas was hardly a predetermined outcome of the Russian government strategy—which was employed also outside the Donbas—but rather a product of a synergetic confluence of several structural and conjunctural factors that were absent or present to a much smaller degree elsewhere. These included the peculiar political and ethno-cultural profile of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts; a higher degree of the legitimacy crisis of the interim government; the destabilizing effects of the status quo created by the victory of the Euromaidan—not only in terms of the change of Ukraine’s geopolitical orientation and Russia’s apparently compromised interests, but also in terms of the perceived change of status of different ethno-political communities; the proximity of the Russian border, trans-border ethnic politics, and the activities of nationalist groups from Russia; the residual influence of the once-powerful networks associated with clients of the former president Viktor Yanukovych; the relative weakness of organized pro-Ukrainian groups; and last but not least, the incremental collapse of the law enforcement apparatus, which drastically reduced the capacity of Ukrainian authorities.

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

Abstract

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.

in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
A Journal of Russian Culture
Experiment, an annual journal devoted to Russian culture, focuses on the movements of the early twentieth century. These include both traditional and non-traditional avenues of academic enquiry, such as studio painting and graffiti, sculpture and ballroom dancing, architecture and commercial advertising. It is hoped that broader examination of such disciplines within critical discourse will provide a stronger and more precise definition of Russia's cultural accomplishment. Supervised by an editorial board of international stature, Experiment emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon archival sources while promoting and documenting the history of the Russian arts. The journal recognizes the achievements both of Imperial and Soviet Russia and of the diaspora.

Prepared by a guest editor or editors, each volume of Experiment consists of essays treating a particular theme or idea. Experiment is published under the auspices of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern California.

Theme issues to date:
Vol. 23 - In Memoriam: Dmitry Vladimirovich Sarabyanov
Vol. 22 - A Stitch in Time: A Century of Russian Needlework and Fashion
Vol. 21 - СОХРАНИВШИЕСЯ ЧУДОМ: Письма из архива Ирины Миллер (1940-1947)
Vol. 20 - Kinetic Los Angeles: Russian Émigrés in the City of Self-Transformation
Vol. 19 - Demonocracy: The Satirical Journals of the 1905 Russian Revolution
Vol. 18 - Russian Sculpture
Vol. 17 - Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes
Vol. 16 - Leningrad Avant-garde
Vol. 15 - Siberian Modernism
Vol. 14 - The Wanderers
Vol. 13 - Vera Sudeikina
Vol. 12 - Cabaret
Vol. 11 - Pavel Filonov
Vol. 10 - Performing Arts and the Avant-garde
Vols. 8-9 - Vasilii Kandinsky
Vol. 7 - Art Nouveau
Vol. 6 - Organica
Vol. 5 - Khardzhiev Archive
Vol. 4 -The Apocalypse
Vol. 3 - The Russian Academy of Artistic Sciences
Vol. 2 - Artistic Movement in Russia in the 1910s and 1920s
Vol. 1 - Russian Avant-garde

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The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review is a peer-reviewed journal which focuses on the history of the Soviet Union and its successor states, including but not limited to the Russian Federation. The journal welcomes original, scholarly submissions in the form of articles, essays, and book reviews relating to Soviet and post-Soviet history, particularly the realms of social, environmental, and cultural history. Authors are requested to submit material for consideration in English, although Russian language submissions will also be considered.
Online submission: Articles for publication in The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review can be submitted online through Editorial Manager, please click here.
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