Crashing the Anti-Party

Nikita Khrushchev

A general theme in transitions of power is this, “out with the old, in with the new.” Following his ascension to First Secretary, Nikita Khrushchev pursued a policy of De-Stalinization and decentralization. These policies bolstered Khrushchev’s position within the party as well as dismantled Stalin’s lasting influence in Soviet politics. One controversial move by Khrushchev was the establishment of 107 regional economic councils, sovnarkhozy, corresponding to the territorial divisions of oblasts and autonomous republics (The Anti Party Group). Freeze points out, “The underlying idea was to bring decision-making closer to the enterprise to ensure better management and greater productivity” (p. 422). Continue reading

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Fighting for Every Block

Red October Soldiers

“The people of our country, who treat the Red Army with love and respect, are now starting to be disappointed with it, lose faith in the Red Army, and many of them curse the Army for its fleeing to the east…The conclusion is that it is time to stop the retreat. Not a single step back!” (Order No. 227). These were the words from Stalin’s Order 227, which demanded an iron will from the Red Army to hold and drive back the invading German forces. This fiery order came after a series of failures to successfully repel the German assault. Continue reading