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Social movements

Political climate got more severe with coming of Brezhnev's administration to power. Free-thinking was outside the law. There was a real threat of Stalinism reanimation. Groups of people who were not agree with the official policy and regime appeared here and there among scientific and creative intellectuals, believers, some nationality minorities. The dissidents (it was their official name) openly opposed trample of human freedoms. This informal social movement appeared in mid-60-s; it put the defence of human rights in the first place.

The B-day of the movement is December 5, 1965, when the first demonstration under right-defencive slogans took place in Pushkinskaya square in Moscow. Simultaneously non-censorial press appeared (So-called "Samizdat"). Typewrited copies of known dissidents and right-defenders went rounds.

A new stage in development of dissident and right-defencive movement took place within 1968-1976. Many of progressively thinking reporters, editors left their jobs. The censorship raged. Some prominent Soviet historians, whose ideas didn't coincide with the official ideology, were persecuted. "Harmful" fiction wasn't printed by the same reason. Films remained on the shelves for decades. Theatre activity was under strictest control from Ministry of Culture.

In those conditions some creative intellectuals shrinked into themselves, others emigrated. In 1965 the known writers Yuly Daniel and Andrey Sinyavsky were legally persecuted. Political legal action towards self-defenders A.Ginsburg and U.Galansky influenced organisational form of civil activity of some part of the otherwise minded. Dissident groups became more like normal social movement foundations.

In late 60-s the dissident main streams linked together into "Democratic movement" with a rather fuzzy structure, consisting of three ideologies, namely: "The real marksism-leninism", represented among others by Roy and Jores Medvedev; "Western liberalism", represented by academician A.Sakharov and "Christian ideology", defended by A.Solzhenitsyn.

Aside from narrow groups of intellectuals other layers of the society expressed their protest: Catholic circles of Lithuania; Jews, discontented with the immigration policy in 1970-1985; a certain part of national intellectuals of the Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, the Baltic republics, who were concerned with mass migration from Russia. Moreover, certain forms of protest against official policy and ideology existed in various layers of the society.

Renewal of religious consciousness was on its peak. New interest to religion accepted different forms. It became fashionable to collect icons and arrange home exhibitions. This renaissance took place out of borders of official church, since the latter was strictly controlled by KGB.

Together with non-official social movements in 60-80-s a considerable growth of official social institutions was noticed. Simultaneously those organisations became more and more bureaucratic. Among the biggest and most important ones, like Trade Unions, The Communist Unit of Youth, there appeared many new groups, such as The Committee of Soviet Women, Soviet Committee for Peace Defence, The Committee of Youth Organisations, Soviet Red Cross and a number of others. By and by membership in those organisations became compulsive.

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