THE HIDDEN NATIONS: The People Challenge the Soviet Union by Nadia & Adrian Ksratnycky Diuk

THE HIDDEN NATIONS: The People Challenge the Soviet Union

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, Diuk, a Soviet specialist at the National Endowment for Democracy, and Karatnycky, a research director for the AFL-CIO in its Department of International Affairs, afford an insightful glimpse into the troubled relationships between the non-Russian republics of the Soviet Union and their Russian overlords. The Soviet Union is an empire with many similarities to its Czarist antecedent. Just as the old Russia used Orthodox Christianity as a uniting force, for instance, the USSR has sought to unite disparate Baltic, Slavic, Muslim, and Asian peoples in the faith of Communism. The authors relate how profoundly that faith has failed throughout the modern Russian empire, and how decades of forced Russification, centralized economic planning, environmental destruction, and eradication of indigenous cultures have engendered nationalist (and anti-Russian and anti-Soviet) sentiment in each of the non-Russian republics of the USSR. Diuk and Karatnycky devote a separate chapter to each region of the Soviet Union, giving attention to each republic's tense political climate, and to the tremendous destruction wrought to the culture and environment of the republics by decades of Russian Communism. In contrast, the authors explore the growing fascist and conservative sentiment in the vast Russian republic itself, and suggest that the logical consequence of perestroika is to grant the republics the de facto right of secession (guaranteed in the Soviet Constitution). They urge active Western recognition of the fights of the ""captive nations"" of the Soviet Union. A thoughtful and very timely discussion of a crucial aspect of Soviet affairs.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1990
Publisher: Morrow