Gorbachev, Dissent and the New Opposition (1987–8)
On coming to power in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev had little idea of the extent of the potential nationality problem in the USSR. It was not until the end of the decade that he began to turn his attention to this question after riots in Kazakhstan in 1986, the public outcry over the Chornobyl’ nuclear disaster, the return of dissidents from the Gulag the following year, and the growing campaign by the cultural intelligentsia to raise questions of Russification and national revival forced the issue on to the agenda.
KeywordsNuclear Accident Informal Group Open Letter Nationality Policy Soviet Society
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