The Impact of Nationalist resurgence

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  • The Impact of Nationalist resurgence
    • The Unions and republics before 1985
      • Soviet Communist Party based in Moscow governed the entire Soviet Union, the republics had little real independence. Similar to empire as government dominated with Russians
        • From 1917 - 1985 nationalism was manage by economic, political incentives with repression
      • Each republic had its own gov system, after Stalin purges, new leaders were loyal to Soviets for their power. Republics were dominated by their own people. However agencies like secret service were Russian and kept in control
        • Soviet gov tried to put 'Soviet Nationalism' above republics, as it provided ethnic equality and unity. Take pride in superpower status.
          • Soviet Nationalism was unpopular as it based on Russian traditions and values. Expected to drop traditional customs, language etc and accept Russian superiority
      • In return for obedience spending was sent to poor Republics. This meant living standard went up for the price of independence. Republics were urbanised, modernised, improved education, university, good jobs
        • However these benefits and economic incentives could only remain with a growing economy. Economic decline in 80's threatened standard of living, opportunities and undermined Union.
      • Brezhnev encouraged some forms of nationalism as self expression. This increased tolerance of nationalism and led to anti soviet movements
        • Education in national language, media in non Russian, national culture museums, non Russian university, 'Trust in cadres' local elites allowed consolidated power, representation of Turkic people in party
    • Impact of Gorbachev's reforms
      • After Brezhnev death, Gorbachev believed an effective government was more effective than representative. Posted best candidates (few local people), replaced with Russians to solve corruption
      • Resentment grew as government was dominated by Russians at all levels, caused riots in Kazakhstan for example.
      • Acceleration led to economic decline when new leaders came into power. Russian leaders associated with decline, old leaders with growth. Inequalities between Russian officials and people grew. This led to nationalism.
      • Glasnost led to rise in nationalism; demand for greater autonomy independence, exposed how Stalin persecuted non Russians, compared living standards with west, undermined union benefits for republics, nationalist media published
      • Gorbachev foreign policy led to Nationalism, traditionally little reform allowed. However new reforms rejected Soviet right to intervene, giving power to satellite states, allowing them to follow their own path of socialism. Nicknamed Sinatra Doctrine.
        • This resulted in the fall of communism across eastern Europe as new leaders won in democratic elections, peaceful protest, Berlin wall. Gorbachev allowed them to happen, non-Russian republics hoped they could do the same
          • Democratisation allowed nationalists to win elections; Lithunia declared independance, situation not resolved. Yeltsin declared Russian parliament legally superior to Soviet laws giving independence to Russia. Nationalist flags of Russia appeared with support of Yeltsin
    • Growing nationalist unrest 1988 - 1990
      • Many protests occurred, massacres against other countries, violent riots. Gorbachev responded with direct rule that satisfy no sides and made calls for independence from ineffective Soviet authority
        • Tbilisi massacre was responded with force. Turned nationalists against soviets; concern of Soviet lethal force, blame was pinned on local commanders, therefore less force was used, weakening government as they could not rely on military
          • With weakening of Soviet Union Russian nationalism grew. (Put Russians first) Green movement grew after Chernobyl and Glasnost. Russian nationalists blamed soviets for environmental damage, communism poisoned national culture. (Undermined power)
            • Rise in protecting monuments an buildings. Argument for Tsar-ism over communism, economic and political crisis led to extremism
            • Baltic calls for independence, popular front. Estonia declared sovereignty used old flag, Lithuania declared independence, after failed economic sanction Gorbachev used force, this caused outrage and Yeltsin created Russian army and asked Russian army to refuse Soviet Orders
              • Gorbachev response to nationalism was reform. Proposed union treaty undermined by Gorbachev weakened unelected power, compared to elected leaders.
                • Gorbachev proposed referendum to consolidate power; 9+1 put republics under power of Gorbachev. However Russia elected Yeltsin as president and had better democratic basis for power.
    • The Coup 1991
      • Gorbachev's new union did not have support of hardliners, he went on holiday before signing, a coup was organised
      • 8 Senior communists planned to overthrow with emergency committee while Gorbachev could not react
        • Yeltsin headed resistance to Coup. Soldiers rejected communist orders, striked until Gorbachev was placed back into power.
          • Coup consequences;
            • Gorbachev position weakened. His authority did not recover. (Out of touch with people and party)
              • Party army and KGB discredited
              • Yeltsins authority grew, defender of democracy
              • End of communist party; suspended and banned by Yeltsin
                • Break up of soviet union; republics and Baltic states declared independence.
                  • Commonwealth of independent states (CIS)

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