Dobrica Ćosić is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and is considered by many to be its most influential member. While Ćosić has been credited with writing the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which appeared in unfinished fashion in the Serbian public in 1986, he in fact was not responsible for its writing.
Ćosić's long life has meant a….
In this interview, published just days after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Communist leader in Turkmenistan, S. A. Niyazov, offered a stiff defense of the existing structure of the Soviet Union. Implicitly contrasting the "calm" that prevailed in his republic with the turmoil spreading from Eastern Europe through the Baltic republics and Ukraine into the rest of the Soviet Union, Niyazov's….
This report describes the demands of the Latvian Popular Front, one of the coalition groups that emerged across the Soviet Union, but most aggressively in the Baltic states, during the last years of the Soviet regime. As this report indicates, by the end of the summer of 1989, this political organization had already taken the step of demanding political independence for Latvia, thus challenging….
In this selection, a member of the Communist Party in Estonia articulates a new role for Communists as leaders of the movement for national self-determination within the existing structures of the Soviet Union. In addition to defining the goals in this excerpt, the remainder of this article focuses on the controversial role of Communists in collaborating in the forced incorporation of Estonia….
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….
This table provides a general overview of the Soviet population in 1970, with a breakdown for the most populous national groups. As the table indicates, Russian were by far the largest single ethnic group, yet they still made up less than one-half of the total population of approximately 240 million people. As this table also indicates, several national groups with their "own" national republic….
This map describes the administrative structure of the Soviet Union. The fifteen Soviet federative socialist republic provided one division along national lines, yet this map also demonstrates how each region was further divided into territorial units. In some cases, these lines were based on ethnic divisions. As this map indicates, national identity in the Soviet Union was an administrative as….
This map offers a different representation of the same information as in Document 1. In this case, the population distribution of each Soviet republic is depicted in the pie charts and in the accompanying table. While republics such as Armenia, Lithuania, or Belorussia had a majority of one nationality within their borders, in other republics, such as Latvia, Kazakhstan, or Kirghizstan, the….
This map provides one representation of the national composition of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. As the distribution of colors indicates, each of the major ethnic groups occupied specific regions of the country. Although the different ethnicities were concentrated in specific regions, it is also clear that the entire country was multinational. The distribution of ethnic groups shown….
The ethnic Turks living in Bulgaria had faced discrimination throughout Bulgaria's history. In response to a series of demonstrations in May 1989 for Turkish rights, the Communist government expelled more than 300,000 Bulgarian Turks over the course of the year. With such a large portion of the population affected, Turkish rights in Bulgaria became one of leading human rights issues facing the….
Since the 1950s, the Bulgarian government conducted campaigns to assimilate Macedonians, Pomaks (ethnic Bulgarian converts to Islam), Gypsies, and Turkish Muslims by requiring them to substitute Slavic names for their own. The government also prohibited the use of the Turkish language in public and forbid Muslims from practicing their religious and traditional cultural activities. In response….
In 1990, the Yugoslav Communist Party divided into several separate parties, one for each of the six Yugoslav Republics. Tensions among the ethnic groups of Yugoslavia, divided among the republics, led to an outbreak of a civil war by 1991. This map demonstrates the complexity of the Yugoslav situation, as few of the republics were populated by just one ethnic group. This is especially….
Every political upheaval is followed by a "morning after." In 1990, the new Czechoslovak President, Vaclav Havel, gave an important speech commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution (the end of Communism in his country). In addition to celebrating the tremendous achievement of growing democracy in his newly-independent country, Havel also added a note of caution with his….