USSR 1917-1991 flashcards Topic 1

Who was the Tsar of Russia before the 1917 Revolution?
Tsar Nicholas II
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What was an example of the hardship endured by the Tsar's subjects?
In 1912, protestors at the Lena Goldmine were massacred by the Tsar's troops
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In 1913, how many of Russia's 140 million people worked in large factories?
2.4 million
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What were most of the Tsar's subjects?
Impoverished and with few political rights
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What happened in the 1905 Revolution?
Tsarism was rocked by the 1905 revolution, as a result there was political compromise
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What issues did WW1 create for Russia?
Russia's economy was incapable of providing food and equipment necessary to fight the war
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What was the February Revolution?
Removed the Tsar and installed the Provisional Government
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What were the hallmarks of the liberal system?
Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion
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What did Lenin want from a second revolution?
An immediate end to the First World War and the redistribution of land to the peasants
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What slogan summarised Lenin's demands?
"Peace, Land, Bread"
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What led to Lenin's messages becoming increasingly popular?
Provisional Government continued fighting the First World War and Russia's economic problems grew worse
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What was Marx's view of history?
That humanity began living in primitive communism, evolved into feudalism and then capitalism, but would return to communism
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What were soviets?
Small democratic councils that had emerged spontaneously in every town and village across Russia
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What was the All-Russian Congress of Soviets?
A council representing each of the individual soviets
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What did Lenin and other senior Bolsheviks argue that the ARCS should form?
The basis of the new Russian government
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What was Sovnarkom?
Essentially the cabinet, made up of 13 People's Commisars.
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What was Stalin's title in Sovnarkom?
People's Commissariat for Nationality Affairs
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What was Trotsky's title in Sovnarkom?
People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs
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Which two decrees did Lenin pass that were genuinely popular?
The Decree on Land, gave peasants the right to seize land from the nobility and from the church. Decree on Peace, committed gov't to withdrawing from WW1
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What were the Workers' Decrees?
Established an eight-hour maximum working day and a minimum wage
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What was the Decree on Worker's Control?
Allowed workers to elect committees to run factories
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How did these help Lenin to consolidate power?
Won popular support from soldiers and the population, withdrawing from WW1 gave the revolution what Lenin called "breathing space."
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What evidence was there that the Bolsheviks had not succeeded in consolidating power?
Bolsheviks controlled Russia's capital, Petrograd, did not control the vast swathes of territory outside of Petrograd.
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What did General Dukhonin refuse to do?
Pull out of the First World War and begin peace negotiations
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What did the Constitution of 1918 state?
Sovnarkom was responsible to the Congress of Soviets, which contained representatives from the Mensheviks, the Bolsheviks' main opposition group
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Why was there broad-based support for the Bolsheviks?
There was a belief that it would become a coalition government representing all of Russia's main parties
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What did Zinoviev and Kamenev encourage Lenin to do?
Form a coalition; they resigned in protest when this did not materialise, leaving the government dominated by those who wanted Lenin to rule alone
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What evidence was there of genuine support for the Bolshevik government?
On 5 November 1917, the First Conference of Female Factory Workers, gave their full support to the new gov't
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What was the treaty of Brest-Litovsk?
Pulled Russia out of WW1, in so doing it gave away a lot of Russian territory to the Central Powers
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What was the significance of this?
Lenin honouring his promise, yet he also went against the soviets
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What did Nikolai Bukharin argue in the face of the Civil War?
That formal democracy should be abandoned in order to win the Civil War
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How did Lenin aim to win the Civil War?
Centralise the economy, centralise politics (worked through loyal party nomenklatura rather than the soviets), using terror to suppress the opposition
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What did Trotsky do to win the Civil War?
Introduced conscription, harsh punishments and relied on Tsarist generals to lead the Army
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What were the issues with centralisation?
Took the power away from the workers, peasants and soldiers who the communists claimed to represent
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Who did Lenin tend to rely on during the Civil War?
The Politburo; was smaller and consisted of his most loyal supporters
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What did this do to Sovnarkom?
While it was not abolished, Sovnarkom's political role was greatly reduced in favour of the Politburo.
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What happened to the political role of the soviets?
They were often bypassed in favour of loyal Party nomenklatura
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What did the new form of governance become known as?
The "party-state"
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What was the Cheka?
A political police force charged with defending the revolution
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What were they responsible for?
Raiding anarchist organisations, closing down opposition newspapers, expelling Mensheviks and SRs
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What happened in Kremenchuk in Ukraine?
Church leaders were impaled on spikes
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How did Lenin justify the existence of the Cheka?
In revolution, civil war and terror were necessary to protect the state from its enemies
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How did Lenin outrage idealists in the Party?
Lenin abolished the system of soldiers' committees electing senior officers, put Tsarist generals back in charge
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By 1921, who made up most of the Party nomenklatura?
Former members of the educated middle class - economists, statisticians and engineers
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What was the first uprising signifying popular unrest?
Aleksandr Antonov began a rebellion against grain requisitioning
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How many anti-communist fighters did Antonov have?
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What happened during the Kronstadt Uprising?
Sailors rebelled at the Bolsheviks' shooting of unarmed workers
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What demands did the Kronstadt sailors have?
Free and fair elections of new soviets, release of all political prisoners, an end to the Cheka and War Communism
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How many people were deported from Tambov to labour camps?
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What had happened to political opposition in Feb. 1921?
Cheka authorised to destroy opposition; all Mensheviks and SRs in Moscow sent to Butyrka Prison
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What happened to leading members of the opposition in 1922?
22 of them were put on trial, sentenced either to prison or exile
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What was the New Economic Policy?
Brought in to liberalise the economy
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What opposition did Lenin face?
The Workers' Opposition, a group who wanted to reintroduce Lenin's control of industry: Democratic Centralists, wanted to make the CP more democratic
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What was "On Party Unity"?
Banned factions within the Communist Party, could be expelled from the Party as punishment
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What issues were created on Lenin's death
Lenin's rule had been personal, people respected his rule because he was Lenin
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What did Lenin's rivals have to prove?
That they were a true Leninist, continuing Lenin's work
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Who were Stalin's rivals for power?
Zinoviev, Bukharin and Trotsky
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What was Zinoviev's Triumvirate?
An alliance of himself, Lev Kamenev and Stalin which formed a majority in the Politburo
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How did Zinoviev endorse Stalin?
He convinced the Central Committee to ignore Lenin's Testament
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How did Zinoviev keep Trotsky out of government?
Zinoviev made a number of speeches denouncing Trotsky as not being a true Leninist
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Who was Bukharin?
Formed an alliance with Stalin called the Duumvirate, he had supported Lenin consistently until Lenin's death in 1924
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What had Lenin and Bukharin disagreed on?
Disagreed over ending the First World War, and over the introduction of the NEP
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Who was Trotsky?
Lenin's right hand man, however he had disagreed with Lenin on a number of issues
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What claims did Stalin have to being a true Leninst?
Joined the Bolsheviks in the early days, began to disobey Lenin only in 1922
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What did Lenin refer to Stalin as?
"That wonderful Georgian"
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What did Stalin have to prove to gain control of the Party?
That he was a true Leninist
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What were Trotskyite ideas?
Many different people in the Party believed many different ideas, Stalin denounced ideas as Trotskyite
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What was socialism in one country?
Traditionally, socialists assumed that socialism could only be achieved through global revolution, SIOC: can be built now in the USSR
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Where did Zinoviev, Bukharin and Trotsky stand on the issue?
They believed in global revolution, they were denounced as not being Leninists
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Where did Stalin stand on the NEP?
Should be repealed, was a pragmatic move by Lenin, yet the true Leninist thing to do was to repeal
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What issue did Stalin face?
Stalin, Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev all enjoyed the respect of significant parts of the Party
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How did Stalin aim to undermine his opposition?
Establish ideological orthodoxy and brand his opponents enemies of Leninism
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What did Stalin make Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev do when they lost votes at the Party Congress?
Apologise for errors to the Party when they lost votes
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By 1928, how had the Party structure changed?
It had been transformed from an organisation in which a large number of people had a degree of authority to one where Stalin had complete control
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What had Stalin not completely succeeded at doing?
Destroying Bukharin's legacy, he was still highly regarded by most of the Party, even though his policies were rejected
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What was the Lenin Enrollment and what did it aim to do?
An increase in Party membership; helped Stalin to win the leadership struggle
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From May 1924, how many people joined the Communist Party under the Lenin Enrollment?
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What were these new people and how did they change the Party?
Poorly educated people seeking high-paying jobs in the Party; tended to support Stalin who could promote them within the Party
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What fundamentally motivated them?
The new recruits were less interested in the ideas of the revolution and more interested in getting well-paid jobs.
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What was Party democracy like in 1921?
Based on Democratic Centralism; all Party members voted for delegates who attended the Party Congress, which elected the Central Committee
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What changed in 1923?
Potential delegates came from Stalin's "Approved List", local parties were encouraged to send delegates from Stalin's Approved List
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What proportion of delegates to the Party Congress were from Stalin's List?
One-third; however the figure grew as the 1920s went on
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What else helped Stalin?
He had a number of positions within the Party which allowed him to win support by acting as patron
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What could he do as General Secretary?
Give well-paid and powerful jobs to lower-ranking Party members
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What could he do as head of the Central Control Commission and the Rabkrin?
Had the power to investigate and, if necessary, sack Party members
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What did this mean?
It meant that he could rely on the loyalty of Party members, as they owed their careers to him
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What changes occurred in the Party?
Party leaders became known as apparatchiks, people who implemented Party orders rather than thinking creatively about politics
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What else happened to the Party?
The Party became increasingly privileged, people with full-time positions in the Party were known as nomenklatura
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What conclusions can be drawn about the Party under Stalin?
It ceased to be full of dedicated revolutionary radicals and became full of professional administrators dedicated to their own careers
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Having gained power, what was Stalin afraid of?
His own supporters were prepared to challenge his authority, his old rivals could conspire against him and overthrow him
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What was the Great Terror?
A campaign of arrests, torture, mass imprisonments and executions
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How many deaths resulted from the Great Terror?
Around 10 million; approximately 10% of the population
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What opposition worried Stalin?
A group of moderates associated with Sergei Kirov could challenge him
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Who was Martemyan Ryutin?
Ryutin had circulated a document that was highly critical of Stalin's policies. Stalin demanded his execution, yet Kirov argued successfully that he should be imprisoned
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What economic problems prompted the Great Terror?
Senior figures within government were aware of the problems with Stalin's economy, he could accuse them of being wreckers and saboteurs and deflect blame
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Where did Stalin send "wreckers" and "saboteurs"?
Gulags; huge labour camps where he could use them to build factories or mine resources
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What happened at the Congress of Victors?
Kirov received 1225 votes compared to Stalin's 927
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What did senior members of the Party urge Kirov to do?
Stand against Stalin as General Secretary
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How did this end?
Kirov refused and the vote was kept secret, nonetheless showed that Stalin had a rival
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How did Kirov's murder further Stalin's political aims?
Allowed Stalin to claim that there was a dangerous conspiracy to overthrow communist rule, gave Stalin a reason to arrest his rivals
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What was the Trial of the 16 in 1936?
Led to the execution of Zinoviev, Kamenev, and 14 of their supporters
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What was the Trial of the 17 in 1937?
Led to the execution and imprisonment of 17 of Trotsky's former supporters
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What was the Trial of the 21 in 1938?
Led to the execution of Bukharin and many of his closest supporters
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What did these trials lead to?
The deaths of Stalin's former rivals, also destroyed the reputations of the key defendants
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What demonstrated Stalin's intentions with the Show Trials?
95% of those affected were men between the ages of 30 and 45 who held senior positions in the Party or played an important role in the economy
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What were examples of Stalin's secret trials?
In 1937 eight senior generals were tried for plotting to overthrow the government, eight leaders had worked with Trotsky when he was head of the Red Army
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Following this how many officers were purged from the Party?
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What was the biggest consequence of the Great Terror?
Finally eliminated Stalin's rivals from the 1920s
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What did it do with regards to those who sourced their authority from Lenin?
Led to their deaths or imprisonment, removed all Party members who could claim authority independent of Stalin
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What were the new generation of Party officials?
Loyal to Stalin, as they owed their careers to him
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What principle did Stalin establish?
That he had the right to use terror against anyone he didn't like in the Party
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How did this change the position of the NKVD?
They became a powerful organisation, Beria, Stalin's NKVD chief became a powerful figure within gov't
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What did Stalin use to his advantage?
The fact that the relationship between the Party and the state had never been defined
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How did the Second World War lead to a change in Stalin's power?
It was only in 1941 that Stalin became the chair of Sovnarkom
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Why was the government inefficient?
Stalin had purged the senior levels of the state, the military, and the Party
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Why did this need to change?
Government needed to run effectively in order to win the war
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How else did Stalin make the Party more efficient?
Ended mass terror, Stalin allowed state and party officials to keep working
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What did Stalin do to state power?
He allowed it to grow, shift in power from the Party to state, Ministers made important decisions
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What did Stalin do to the compensation of the Politburo?
As the power of the state grew, Ministers joined the Politburo, members of the Politburo were given important ministerial jobs
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What was the State Defence Committee (GKO)?
Responsible for economic co-ordination and military production and defence during the war
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How did Stalin exploit competition between the Party and the state?
Appointed rival personnel to key positions in the Party and the state.
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Who was Andrei Zhdanov and what was his significance?
He was Beria's key rival, Beria put him in charge of the political police
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What did this mean?
Senior officials competed with each other and not with Stalin
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What did Stalin do to the powers of the Party and the state?
Shifted the Power, in 1938 the Politburo was the most senior committee in government, in 1942 it was the GKO then after the war the Council of Ministers
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What did this ensure?
Stalin was able to ensure that none of those senior committees grew to rival him
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What was the post-war terror like?
Stalin did not use terror to the same extent as he did in the 1930s, by purging hundreds of Party and state officials, inspired fear
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What prompted the Leningrad Affair of 1949?
Stalin became concerned that Leningrad, the second city in the USSR, was developing a degree of autonomy
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How many officials were shot and how many were dismissed?
Around 100 were shot, 2000 were dismissed
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What is one explanation of why Leningrad was purged?
Stalin was growing old, Beria and Zhdanov were his two main rivals, Zhdanov's powerbase was in the Leningrad Party, Beria urged Stalin to purge Leningrad
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Was Zhdanov dead by this time?
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How did Stalin test loyalty?
He would imprison or sack the wives and daughters of senior figures in government
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What happened to Vyacheslav Molotov?
In 1948 Stalin demanded that the Politburo vote to expel Molotov's wife from the Party, Molotov abstained from the vote and later apologised to Stalin for his disloyalty
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What did Stalin do to Molotov in 1949?
Stalin had Molotov's wife arrested and imprisoned; having learned from his mistake Molotov made no attempt to stop the imprisonment
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What did Khrushchev want to do?
He wanted to regenerate the Soviet Union within the framework of the one-party state and central economic planning
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What did Khrushchev believe in?
The revolutionary goals of Lenin and Stalin, wanted to create a society of plenty where there was no poverty and no inequality
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How did Khrushchev want to change politics?
He believed that mass commitment to the revolution was central to the survival of communism; wanted to encourage greater participation
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What was Khrushchev's view of socialism?
A view of socialism in which people were free from arbitrary terror
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What did Khrushchev lack?
A coherent plan, had a habit of announcing bold policies without thinking them through
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What issues faced Khrushchev in government?
He did not have the authority of Lenin or Stalin
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What was Stalin's position within Soviet government?
His authority was unique, power was based on his reputation and willingness to use terror
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What issue did this leave for Stalin's successors?
Did not have the benefit of reputation, Stalin left no testament, could not claim to be the undisputed leader of the USSR
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Who were the contenders for power?
Georgy Malenkov, Lavrentiy Beria and Nikita Khrushchev
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Who was Malenkov?
Rumoured to be Stalin's choice for successor, Malenkov replaced Stalin following his death as Premier of the Soviet Union
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What was Malenkov's powerbase?
The Soviet state, which he assumed was superior to the Communist Party
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Who was Lavrentiy Beria?
The head of Stalin's political police, responsible for implementing Stalin's terror and was Deputy Premier in Stalin's last years
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Where was Beria's power base?
The MVD: the Soviet political police
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Who was Nikita Khrushchev?
Became Secretary of the Central Committee on Stalin's death, had no state role, popular member of the Politburo
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What was Khrushchev known as?
The "apparatchik's apparatchik"
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What issues faced the contenders for power?
Stalin's power was personal, it was independent of the Party and the state, led to a power vacuum
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How did Malenkov and Khrushchev attempt to address this?
Shifted the balance of power away from the leader, and in so doing ensuring that the state and the Party had independent power
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How did Beria aim to reform the system?
Reducing and restricting the powers of the MVD
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Why did Beria lead the reforms of the MVD?
Partly to assuage the fears of his rivals who assumed that he would use the MVD against them
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How did Beria evidence that the Gulag system had become inefficient and difficult to manage?
From the late 1940s there were a number of uprisings, including at Steplag, Kolyma and Ozerlag
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What was the first way that Beria reformed the system?
In March 1953, introduced amnesty for non-political prisoners who were serving short sentences
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What was this extended to in April?
Some "counter-revolutionaries"
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What did the Party Commission set up to review past executions conclude?
Rehabilitated 4620 communists who had been the victims of forced confessions
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How did the MVD lose its economic power?
MVD had used gulag labour to construct factories and power stations, as well as mining for precious metals; these projects were terminated
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What replaced this?
Prison labour was no longer used in this way, responsibility for mining and construction passed from the MVD to Soviet economic ministries
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What did the gulag population drop from between 1953 and 1956?
In 1953: 2.4 million, 1956: 1.6 million
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What did this do?
Significantly undermined the power of the MVD
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How did Beria aim to make Soviet government more representative?
Required that all senior Party members spoke the language of the republic they worked in
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What did Beria say about publications?
They should be available in the languages of the republics as well as Russian
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What led to Beria's downfall?
People still feared that Beria would use the MVD against them
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What did Khrushchev and Malenkov do?
Plot to arrest and execute Beria, at a meeting of the Presidium in June 1953 accused him of handing Soviet secrets to the British government and of crimes against the Soviet people
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What happened to Beria?
He was arrested, tried and executed. At his trial he was accused of using the MVD against the Party
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What were the effects of Beria's downfall?
It was another way of restricting the power of the MVD, removed one of the main contenders for power, M + K ruled as a duumvirate
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How did Khrushchev aim to reform the Party?
Replace Stalin's supporters with his own; Khrushchev used his position as Sec. of the Central Commitee to do this
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What statistic demonstrates Stalin's intentions?
Between 1953 and 1956 Khrushchev replaced around half of the regional Party secretaries and 44% of the Central Committee
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How did this help to secure Khrushchev's position?
Secured his position within the Party by filling the top levels of the Party with people who were loyal to him
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What did Khrushchev's second initiative aim to do?
Weaken the state
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How did Khrushchev attack Malenkov's power base?
Devolved power from the Soviet government to republican governments
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What happened in mid-1954?
Khrushchev re-structured Soviet government, cutting the number of ministries from 55 to 25
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What did this lead to?
The proportion of Soviet industry controlled by the central government dropped from 68% to just 44%
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Why did Malenkov lose the premiership in 1955?
The apparent success of Khrushchev's Virgin Lands Scheme, Khrushchev's reforms
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Who was one of Khrushchev's key allies?
Nikolai Bulganin
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What did Khrushchev and Malenkov share?
Both men wanted to abandon Stalinist rule and humanise communism
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What were both Malenkov and Khrushchev?
They were Leninists; rejected the cult of personality surrounding Stalin
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What did they seek to replace it with?
Shift focus from Stalin as a heroic leader onto the achievements of the Communist Party and the Soviet people
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What were the first steps of de-Stalinisation?
Plans to turn Stalin's dacha into a museum celebrating his life were scrapped, the annual Stalin prizes were cancelled, no official celebrations of his birthday
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What did newspapers replace Stalin's quotes with?
Quotes from Marx and Lenin
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Why was Khrushchev cautious about openly criticising Stalin?
Stalin was regarded as a founder of the Soviet system; risked outraging the Party, many senior communists still respected Stalin
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What did many in the Party fear?
Criticisms of Stalin would reflect badly upon them as they had helped to implement his policies
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At K's Secret Speech what did he criticise?
Stalin had abandoned collective leadership and set himself up as a dictator, exposed the nature of Stalin's crimes
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What did K significantly not criticise?
Stalin's policy of industrialisation or collectivisation
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What was the reaction?
Party members were angry; some apparently suffered heart attacks or took their own lives after learning the scale of Stalin's crimes
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What happened to the Gulags following the Secret Speech?
In June 1956, 51,439 prisoners including 26,155 political prisoners were released
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What had happened by 1961?
Half of those executed by Stalin had been rehabilitated
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What problems did de-Stalinisation cause?
De-Stalinisation spread across Eastern Europe; in Hungary students started a new revolution. Leaked information about Stalin's crimes led some to question the legitimacy of communist rule
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What evidence was there of this?
In 1957 there were student demonstrations in favour of multi-Party democracy at Moscow State University
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How did Khrushchev retreat?
Central Committee issued a statement to the Party revising Khrushchev's secret speech
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What happened to the editors of Questions of History?
They were disciplined for publishing revelations about Stalin's terror
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What did Khrushchev do in mid-December?
He authorised a commission, headed by Leonid Brezhnev, to suppress anti-communist activitie
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What did Khrushchev acknowledge in his New Year's Eve speech?
Acknowledged that all communists were Stalinists
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What was the purpose of democratisation?
Increase the participation of workers in government
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What was Khrushchev's first measure?
Grew Party membership from 6.9 million in 1954 to 11 million in 1964
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How did this make it more democratic?
It meant that 60% of party members were peasants of workers
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What were fixed terms?
Introduced for senior communists, two-thirds of regional secretaries of the Presidium were replaced between 1957 and 1961
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How did Khrushchev decentralise the Party?
Abolished some of the central ministries that oversaw the economy and devolved power to 105 newly created economic councils
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Why did Khrushchev move the Ministry of Agriculture?
To make it "closer to the fields."
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What did K's reforms lead to?
Many communists were demoted, lost their jobs or were forced to move away from Moscow; they criticised K
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In June 1957, what did a majority of the Presidium do?
Led by Malenkov, voted to replace Khrushchev
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What did Khrushchev argue?
A decision to replace him could only be taken by the Central Committee
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Because this was where Khrushchev had a majority of his support
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What did Khrushchev do?
As a result, he sacked his opponents
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How did Khrushchev consolidate his power?
Took over the office of Prime Minister in addition to his existing offices
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What was the significance of the attempted coup?
Demonstrated that senior communists would no longer use political terror against each other; recognised that the power of the Party leader depended on the support of the Central Committee
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What did Khrushchev introduce at the 22nd Party Congress of October 1961?
Accused Stalin of being involved in Kirov's murder; Congress voted to remove Stalin's body from public display
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What radical party reform did Khrushchev introduce?
Introduced a fixed 16-year term for all Central Committee members
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What 1962 reform split the Party?
One half of the Party would be in charge of agriculture, the other half would be in charge of industry
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What did Khrushchev hope that this would do?
It would boost economic growth
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What led to the fall of Khrushchev?
Political reforms created discontent within the Party, economic reforms failed to boost economic growth.
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What were the concerns about Khrushchev's foreign policy?
That it was rash and dangerous; as a result, in June 1964 senior members of the Presidium began to plot his overthrow
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Khrushchev was summoned to a meeting and accused of what?
Mishandling the economy, foreign policy and creating his own cult of personality
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What happened to Khrushchev?
He retired, the plotters put out a story that he had stepped down due to ill health
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What was evidence that Khrushchev had achieved a significant degree of de-Stalinisation?
Khrushchev's enemies were sacked, but not tortured or killed. K was allowed to retire rather than being shot or publicly humiliated
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What else did K achieve?
He ended Stalin's personal rule: Secret Speech had to gain the approval of the Presidium, Central Committee forced K to accept revisions to the speech several months after it was given
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What did K's power rely on?
Achieving a majority of support on the Central Committee
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What did K's overthrow in 1964 demonstrate?
The degree to which the Party's power was independent of its leader in 1964
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What evidence was there that de-Stalinisation was never fully complete?
Gov't never publicly admitted the extent of Stalin's crimes or rejected his legacy
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What did Brezhnev's government focus on?
Stability and restoration; as opposed to K's reform
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What were Brezhnev's first acts?
Reversing K's most unpopular reforms, reversed aspects of de-Stalinisation and ended economic change
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What, critically, did Brezhnev reject?
The use of mass terror
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What did Brezhnev believe about the revolutionary nature of Soviet society?
It had been achieved between 1917 and 1930, therefore the current gov't merely needed to maintain the status quo
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During 1964 and 1965, what was leadership of the USSR based on?
An informal pact between Kosygin and Brezhnev, together they had a great deal of support on the Politburo
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How did Brezhnev and Kosygin commit themselves?
They ensured the two top jobs in government were not occupied by the same person in order to stop the emergence of an all-powerful leader
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What two roles did these two individuals hold?
Brezhnev led the Party as General Secretary; Kosygin was premier and therefore had the most important job in the Soviet state
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How did they divide key posts?
Roughly equally between supporters of Brezhnev and Kosygin
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What did they ensure Party and state officials did?
They kept their jobs for long periods of time to limit the opportunities for patronage
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What was stability of cadres?
Policy discouraged promotions or demotions within gov't, replaced the limited terms policy
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What did this policy ensure?
Support from government officials because it gave them job security
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How did Brezhnev reform the Party?
Khrushchev broke up central ministries and decentralised the gov't; Brezhnev reversed this re-establishing the all-union ministries
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What did Brezhnev do to the split between the industrial and agricultural wings of the Party?
He ended the split between them
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What was Article 6 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution?
Officially recognised the Party's leading role within Soviet society
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What was Gerontocracy?
Brezhnev's stability of cadres policy led to static government
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What evidence was there of this?
Between 1964 and 1971, only two people were promoted to the Politburo
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What else?
Between 1966 and 1971, between 80 and 90% of Central Committee members retained their jobs following Party congresses
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What did this lead to?
An ageing Party, nicknamed the gerontocracy: rule of old people
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What was the average age of senior officials in 1966 vs 1982?
1966: 58 1982: 75
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What did this lead to?
Brezhnev's critics argued that there was a generation gap between gov't and society, rulers didn't understand the society they ruled
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What happened to senior officials?
They became increasingly ill and therefore unable to perform their jobs
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What was the issue with stability of cadres?
Led to few to no opportunities for promotion; middle-ranking officials were effectively stuck in dead end jobs with no opportunities for promotion
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What led to the lack of incentives to work hard?
So few opportunities for promotion
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What led to a growth in corruption under Brezhnev?
Very few officials were sacked, opportunities for promotion were rare so they could not grow rich through hard work and promotion
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What was a common means of corruption?
Selling goods on the black market, eg. Yury Sokolov, the director of a major Moscow food store, took bribes from rich customers for passing on luxury food
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How was Brezhnev implicated in the corruption?
His daughter, Galina Brezhneva, was able to access diamonds. One of her lovers smuggled millions of pounds of diamonds out of the USSR
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Who took over from Brezhnev following his death in 1982?
Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko
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What did both of them recognise/do?
Andropov recognised that there were problems with the system, and both attempted cautious reforms
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What were neither prepared to do?
Introduce fundamental reforms
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What was the first main reform Andropov introduced?
He abandoned the stability of cadres policy; replacing a quarter of senior officials
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What else did he do?
Introduced small-scale economic reforms focusing on labour discipline
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What was Andropov's anti-corruption campaign?
Attacked senior figures, for example he prosecuted Minister of the Interior Nikolai Shchelokov and Galina Brezhneva's lover Boris the Gypsy
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What did he do about corrupt officials?
Included media exposes about them
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What was Andropov's greatest achievement?
Removing old and corrupt officials and allowing the younger generation to rise
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What did Chernenko do?
Very little, yet was unwilling to undertake major reform.
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