Nationalities in the USSR
Ukrainian Central Committee on Ethnic Issues
This statement by the Ukrainian Communist Party was an attempt to respond to growing expressions of nationalist sentiment within the Ukrainian population, while also seeking to maintain control over the expression of dissenting views and preventing inter-ethnic conflicts, especially between the majority Ukrainians and minority Russians and Jews.
To see the associated Teaching Module on Nationalities in the USSR, click here.
"Ukrainian Central Committee on Ethnic Issues," Pravda Ukrainy, January 13, 1989. Trans. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).
Primary Source— Excerpt
The Ukrainian Communist Party Central Committee notes . . . increasing attention to perfecting interethnic relations and the patriotic and internationalist education of the population. . . . The main efforts are aimed at creating within people a responsibility for successfully accomplishing the tasks set by the [Communist Party] with the aim of restructuring all spheres of life in our multinational socialist state. The notion of problem-free relations among socialist nations and nationalities, and the nihilist approach to national achievements are being overcome and, under conditions of democratization and glasnost, experience is being accumulated in defending internationalist values. The forms and methods of patriotic and internationalist education are being perfected. The mass media are exerting an appreciable influence on the shaping of people's nationalist and internationalist sentiments. Public initiative has increased, the working people are boldly raising and openly discussing sore problems. Party committees are developing a calm and well-considered dialogue, and cooperating with all forces, based on the positions of socialism, proletarian internationalism, and of restructuring Soviet society. Measures are being taken to settle acute problems that might complicate the situation, particularly in the sphere of national culture and language. . . . Attempts by nationalist-minded political extremists to sow interethnic dissention [sic], to artificially aggravate the nationality problem, and to impose on the working people their point of view which goes against internationalist ideology and the principles of socialism has been rebuffed . . . it is essential to resist more vehemently the manifestations of both national nihilism and national narrow-mindedness and selfishness, the attempts to direct sound national sentiments into the nationalist channel, and to use democracy for purposes that go against democracy and restructuring.
How to Cite this Source
Pravda Ukrainy, "Ukrainian Central Committee on Ethnic Issues," Making the History of 1989, Item #386, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/386 (accessed January 23 2017, 1:56 pm).