Although most scholars were quick to puncture the Soviet Union's sham claims to democracy, too many accepted at face value its claim to be a federal state. The shifting debates about federalism in Bolshevik doctrine and communist theory are explored. The formation, systematization, and stagnation of the so‐called ‘Soviet federalism’ is examined and debunked through analysis of the constitutions and political realities that existed under Lenin, Stalin, and Brezhnev.
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