The Soviet Army as the Instrument of National Integration
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In the multi-ethnic Soviet society the Soviet army is undoubtedly one of the most important instruments of national integration, but the model to which Soviet soldiers are assimilated is basically that of a Russian soldier. The still predominantly Russian character of the Soviet armed forces reflects the demographic realities (the Russians, in 1970, constituted 53 per cent of the Soviet population), the military traditions of the Tsarist army that have continued strongly to influence the Soviet army’s character, and the qualitative hegemony the Russians enjoy in the Soviet political life and in the society at large.1 In the Soviet theory and practice the Russians are considered to be ‘the leading nation’, and the one organisation where this is demonstrated most clearly is the Soviet army.
KeywordsMilitary Service Russian Language Officer Corps National Integration Union Republic
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