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From Conquest to DeportationThe North Caucasus under Russian Rule$
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Jeronim Perovic

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190889890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190889890.001.0001

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The North Caucasus During Collectivisation

The North Caucasus During Collectivisation

(p.227) 7 The North Caucasus During Collectivisation
From Conquest to Deportation

Jeronim Perović

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the first detailed account of the tragic impact of the collectivization and “de-kulakization” campaign in the North Caucasus based on Soviet archival sources. In 1929-30, under the slogan of “socialist transformation of the country,” the Soviet state reached out to the countryside, trying forcibly to change traditional economic ways of life and break up the existing social structures within the villages. In the eyes of the peasants, however, the state’s collectivization and “de-kulakization” campaign represented nothing less than a brutal assault, plunging the whole country into chaos and provoking large-scale rebellions. Resistance was especially fierce in the Muslim-dominated parts of the North Caucasus, where Soviet structures were weak and the social cohesion of mountain communities strong. Ultimately, the Red Army and the armed forces of the secret police crushed these rebellions ruthlessly. However, especially in Chechnia, Ingushetia, Karachai, and the mountainous parts of Dagestan, they were at least sufficiently violent for the Soviet leadership to decide to suspend their collectivization attempt altogether. In fact, it was not until mid-1930s, much later than in most other areas of the Soviet Union, that collectivization was formally completed.

Keywords:   Collectivization, De-kulakization, Rebellions, Chechnia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karachai, Secret police, Red Army, North Caucasus

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