History 31/12/19 “Leningrad affair”: why it is considered “a matter of Russian nationalists”

Some historians call the Soviet “prison of Nations”, thus evaluating the national policy of the Country’s leadership Councils. This definition is justified for people subjected to forced deportation or various forms of harassment. However, some representatives of the titular nation also was not satisfied with their situation in the Union state. So, the reason loud “Leningrad affair” researchers believe the passion of a number of senior party leaders of the Soviet Union the Russian national idea.

the Massacre of the “Leningrad”

the city on the Neva, having lost its capital status in 1918, for a long time occupied a special position in the country. The leaders of the Leningrad regional and city party Committee and officials of the Union level associated with the city, were the elite administrative apparatus of the country. Even after moving to Moscow or other cities, Leningrad was not forgotten about his homeland, introducing the nomenclature circles close-knit and friendly clan.

After world war II, their position increased significantly, largely thanks to the skilful personnel policy and the influence of a famous party leader Andrei Zhdanov (1896-1948) was, who headed the Leningrad regional Committee of the CPSU(b) from 1934 to 1945. But soon after his death over the natives of the city on the Neva river began to thicken the clouds.

on the night of October 1, 1950 in Leningrad was shot: Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), Alexei Kuznetsov, the first Secretary of the Leningrad, Pyotr Popkov; Chairman of Gosplan Nikolai Voznesensky; the second Secretary of the Leningrad gorkom, Yakov Kapustin; Chairman of the Leningrad city Executive Committee Petr Lazutin and Chairman of the RSFSR Council of Ministers Mikhail Rodionov. All of them were accused of anti-Soviet conspiracy.

within one month after the first execution, capital punishment was applied to several highlydelivered to the defendants in the “Leningrad affair”. In Moscow from 28 to 31 October, 1950, the sentence of the court parted with life: second Secretary of the Leningrad regional party Committee George Badaev; Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Leningrad city Council Alexey Bubnov; Kujbyshevskogo first Secretary of the district Committee in Leningrad Maria ascension (sister N. And. Voznesensky); Minister of education of the RSFSR Alexander Voznesenskiy (brother N. And. Voznesensky); first Secretary of the Crimean regional Committee Nikolai Soloviev, who headed the Leningrad regional Executive Committee in the years 1938-1946; head of Department of power stations of the Leningrad regional Committee Peter Talus.

the Other defendants in the “Leningrad case”, and there were about 70 people were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Nearly 150 people were subjected to repression relatives of participants in anti-Soviet conspiracy.

they were rehabilitated 30 April 1954 decision of the Supreme court of the USSR.

inner-party struggle

the Researchers put forward different versions regarding the cause of the massacre of the “Leningraders”. One of them – the aggravation of inner-party struggle on the background of the approaching death of Joseph Stalin.

Famous writer Rudolf Balandin, in his book “Malenkov. The third leader of the Country of Soviets” (Moscow, 2007 year of publication) noted that “cohesive group of Leningrad party and state leaders,” has caused concern among other members of the Soviet political elite. Besides, there were rumors that Stalin himself was called A. A. Kuznetsov as his successor.

Influential members of the Politburo of the CPSU (b) Georgy Malenkov (1901-1988 years) and Lavrenti Beria (1899-1953), was murdered over its competitors in the inner-party struggle. As suggested by R. K. Balandin, this does not happen without the participation began to gain political weight N.With. Khrushchev (1894-1971), was holding then a post of the first Secretary of the Communist party of Ukraine.

the Corrupt clan

Another possible reason for the “Leningrad affair” some experts believe kumovetion and bribery in the highest echelons of power.

Doctor of history Boris Starkov wrote a paper “combating corruption and political processes in the second half of 1940-ies”, which is published in the collection “Historical readings in Lubyanka. Domestic intelligence agencies in the postwar years. 1945-1953 gg” (Moscow, 2001 year). The author drew attention to the rampant corruption among the leaders of the Leningrad.

“the Item already got a taste of the good life and a without a problem exhibited their material gains official position. Deals, bribery, corruption, protectionism and looting took root between some of its representatives” – as B. A. Starkov described the situation in Leningrad.

In particular, the above-mentioned A. A. Kuznetsov, according to researchers, lived “in dvadtsatiminutka mansion” with a luxurious ambience. Not misery and his other comrades in party work.

a Similar view is shared by the writer and publicist Sigizmund Mironin. In his book “Stalin’s order” (Moscow, 2007 edition) he argues that the Leningrad leaders were arrested as a result of their systematic abuse of official position. The author believes that after the great Patriotic war in the ranks of the Communists “…formed a kind of Leningrad mafia”.

Members of this corrupt clan, among other things, was charged with:

in falsification of results of voting of participants of the joint X VIII Leningrad regional and city party conference held on 25 December 1948.

the invitation to the all-Russian trade fair, held in Leningrad, January 10-20, 1949, representatives of the Union republics, which was an evident excess of powers of local regional Committee of the party;

in the economic machinations of the Chairman of Gosplan N. And. Ascension was accused that he helped the fellow with the receipt of cash in excess of the limit.

By Tomat the same, immigrants from Leningrad often have advanced to key positions of his friends and colleagues, which was also a violation of party rules. In the postwar period, the members of this clan held senior positions in Moscow, Crimea, Murmansk, Novgorod, Pskov, Arkhangelsk, Yaroslavl and other cities.

the “Russian party”

Many modern authors suppose that the massacre of the “Leningrad” was caused by separatist sentiments, as among them were adherents of the RSFSR to withdraw from the Union.

Writer and social activist Svyatoslav Rybas is the author of the article “the”Leningrad affair”: the defeat of the “Russian party”” which was published in the newspaper “Culture” on August 3, 2012. The researcher noted that A. A. Zhdanov and N. And. The ascension showed their commitment to the Russian national idea during the joint work on a new version of the Program and Charter of the CPSU(b).

So, 1947 A. A. Zhdanov made to the draft party programme, the provision on special and outstanding role that the USSR played the great Russian people, having taken “a leadership position in the Soviet Commonwealth of Nations”. But this proposal was rejected by Stalin because he considered “Russian idea” of representatives of the Leningrad party elite dangerous for the integrity of the state.

His thought S. J. Rybas developed in the book “Moscow vs St. Petersburg: Leningrad affair of Stalin” (Moscow, 2013). According to the writer, members of the clan, formed by immigrants from the city on the Neva, was built plans to create a Russian Communist party. That is, the political organizations competing with the CPSU(b).

the “Leningrad” advocated economic policies that are designed to improve the welfare of the population. They proposed to spend less on defence, and the military-industrial complex, focusing on the development of housing, light industry and automotive industry.

the Patriots or the separatists

the Doctor of historical Sciences Vladimir Kuznechevskaya believes repressioEN party leaders Russian patriots. In his article “Leningrad affair”, which was published in the journal “Russian House” (No. 1 for 2014), the scientist accused the leadership of the USSR in the destruction of the intellectual elite of the Russian nation.

“In principle, “Leningrad” rightly raised the question that the state-nation in the state her name, and even component of an absolute majority of the population, can not always stay on tertiary positions and roles in the system of political governance. Apparently, this circumstance can be explained by anything other do not condone irritation Politburo member, Chairman of Gosplan and Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers (Chairman of the Council of Ministers was Stalin) N. Ascension in relation to the other Nations in the country’s leadership, which he broke too often,” wrote the doctor of historical Sciences.

And in his book, “the”Leningrad affair”: a naive attempt to create an ethnically pure Russian government was drowned in blood” (Moscow, 2013), V. D. Kuznechevskaya expressed similar thoughts. He believes that the repressed party leaders felt the need to protect and promote the interests of the Russian people in the conditions of the multinational state.

Stalin saw these ideas of separatism and attempt of the collapse of the Soviet Union, because the desire for administrative autonomy and ethnic self-determination of Russian does not fit into the concept of the Union state.

According to some information, “Leningrad” was planning to move the capital of the Russian Federation in the city on the Neva river, thus taking over power from the ruling elite.

Not enough evidence

However, not all researchers tend to think of the repressed party activists and Russian nationalists. Candidate of historical Sciences Alisa Amosova, and Professor at the University of Richmond (USA) David Brandenberger jointly wrote the article “Modern approaches to the interpretation of the “Leningrad affair” of the late 1940’s-early 1950-ies in Russian popular scientific publications”, which was published in the journal “contemporary history of Russia” (№ 1, 2017). The authors noticed that the announcement of the defendants in this case, the nationalists, there is insufficient evidence.

A. A. Amosov and D. L. Brandenberger think that “Leningrad” is really advocated the transfer of administrative authority from the all-Union ministries and departments at the Republican, contributed to the development of Russian culture in the framework of its powers, but it does not indicate their separatism.

“Among the first eight people convicted in September 1950 for “the Leningrad case”, I. M. Turco was a Belarusian and materials, 1949, collected in the framework of the investigation carried out in the state planning Commission in connection with claims to the personnel policy N. And. Ascension, misleading researchers about ethnic diversity in the composition of the group. It included not only Russians, but also Ukrainians, Jews, Latvians, Bashkirs, etc.,” wrote A. A. Amosov and D. L. Brandenberger.

besides, A. A. Zhdanov declared that the multinational Soviet society in the best way contributes to the implementation and development of Russian culture.

one way or another, and in 1950-ies of the city on the Neva finally turned into an ordinary regional centre, having lost the remains of the capital status, along with the ambitions of the executed defendants in the “Leningrad affair”.

Origanum Tanatarova

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