Goal of research
The goal of this research includes a comprehensive analysis of the Soviet state and society during World War II. It also involves the study of the Stalinist system during the interwar and war periods, which we examine within a broader framework of Soviet social and political history. Parts of this research are aimed at synthesizing recent scholarly approaches to the history of Stalinism and the Great Patriotic War as well as political transformations of the first half of the twentieth century. Another component of this research is to analyze changes in the Stalinist political system during the interwar and war periods and to examine Soviet policy towards particular ethnic groups and territorial units during the war and in the post-war period.
The project’s research methodology relies on an interdisciplinary approach, including political, social and cultural history. It involves regional studies and case-studies which are subsequently integrated into larger historical narratives about Stalinism and World War II. The project also synthesizes the diverse national historiographies on the topic. Additionally, the authors consider the latest comparative approaches while examining continuity and change in Soviet history.
Empirical base of research
This research is based primarily on archival documentation of World War II and other materials related to Soviet history from Russian state and party archives, the archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Byelorussian archives, as well as personal and autobiographical sources.
Results of research
This work has produced eleven articles in international peer-reviewed scholarly journals, all of which are included in the citation indices of Web of Science and Scopus. This research has also led to a publication of a scholarly monograph by a leading international scholarly publisher.
The synthesis of recent scholarship on the history of Stalinism, Soviet society and World War II, as well as the analysis of newly available documentary collections resulted in the publication of the articles “A Harvard Project in Reverse. Materials of the Commission of the USSR Academy of Sciences of the History of the Great Patriotic War - Publications and Interpretations,” published in the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile), and “New sources on Soviet perpetrators of mass repression: a research note,” published in the journal Canadian Slavonic Papers (indexed in Scopus and Web of Science). This research also resulted in the publication of the historiography articles “Bolshevik Millenarianism as Academic Blockbuster,” published in the journal Canadian-American Slavic Studies (indexed in Scopus, 2nd quartile), and “Stalin, Gitler i Donbass” (“Stalin, Hitler and Donbass”), published in the journal Ab Imperio (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile).
This project has also generated publications about Stalin’s political and economic systems of the interwar and war periods. These publications include the articles “Stalin’s War Cabinet: ‘Normalisation’ and Political Dynamics of the Dictatorship,” published in the journal Europe-Asia Studies (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile) and “Decentralizing Dictatorship: Soviet Local Governance during World War II,” published in Russian Review (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile). Additionally, Stalinist economic system was explored in the article “Sovetskie narkomaty i detsentralizatsiia upravleniia ekonomikoi v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny” (“Soviet peoples commissariats and the decentralization of the economic management during the Great Patriotic War”), published in the journal Rossiiskaia Istoriia (indexed in Scopus, 3rd quartile), and the scholarly monograph The Soviet Economy and the Approach of War, 1937–1939, published by the leading academic publisher “Palgrave Macmillan.” These publications reveal the examples and effects of the centralization and decentralization in the Stalinist politics and economy of the interwar and war periods.
This research has also resulted in several articles on the Soviet policies towards particular regions and ethnic groups during the war and in its aftermath. These publications include the article “‘Kvartirnyi vopros’ v Zapadnoi Belorussii i evreiskoe naselenie, 1939-1940 gg.” (“Housing problem” in Western Belorussia and its Jewish population, 1939-1940”), published in Soviet and Post Soviet Review (indexed in Scopus, 3rd quartile) and the article “Sovetskie grazhdane v Zapadnoi Belorussii, 1939-1941 gg.” (“Soviet citizens in Western Belorussia, 1939-1941”), published in the journal Voprosy Istorii (indexed in Scopus and Web of Science). The nationality issues were also explored in the articles “Birobidzhan in Khrushchev’s Thaw: the Soviet and the Western Outlook,” published in Journal of Modern Jewish Studies (indexed in Scopus, 2nd quartile), and “Escape through Poland: Soviet Jewish Emigration in the 1950s,” published in the journal Jewish History (indexed Scopus и Web of Science).
Finally, this project has resulted in international scholarly conferences “Soviet Encounters with East and West” and “The International Forum for Young Historians of Soviet and Post-Soviet History and Culture (second session)”.
Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results
The results of this project, which include published articles and a scholarly monograph, can be utilized widely for the research and teaching of Twentieth Century Soviet and European history. They are especially relevant to the history of Stalinism and World War II. More specifically, the results of this project will be used for developing courses in the social and political history of Russia, and for research seminars at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics. The project’s results can also be used for the further development of scholarship on the Soviet state and society, as well as World War II.