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First Post-war Decade

Clulture of the Post-War Decade

Development of science and culture in the USSR in post-war years was concerned with toughening of struggle against any, even the slightest, deviations from " the tasks of socialist construction ".In 1946 it was allocated 3,8 billion roubles (in 1940 - 2,3 billion) from the state budget for education; in 1950 this sum increased up to 5,7 billion roubles. In 1946 the all-Union committee of the higher school affairs was transformed into the Ministry of higher education of the USSR, in 1950 in the TSK VKP (b) the Department of science and higher educational institutions was formed.

In 1946 the Soviet government considerably increased charges on science. That year Academies of sciences in Ukraine, Byelorussia and Lithuania were restored, founded - in Kazakhstan, Latvia and Estonia. The second half of 40s was the time of organization of the whole series of scientific research institutes, which were later included in the golden fund of the Soviet science. Among them was the Institute of the exact mechanics and computer facilities, the Institute of radio engineering and electronics, the Institute of applied physics, the Institute of atomic energy and many others. At the same time continued to exist and extend special design offices, founded in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR.

War and repressions of 30s stroke a hard blow on intelligentsia, therefore in 40s - the beginning of 50s the Soviet Union had huge deficiency of experts with higher and secondary education. Difficulties in the sphere of education in the USSR were solved due to downturn of the educational level. Though the wages of teachers and teachers of high schools, as well as all scientific employees, were essentially increased and a number of privileges was given, their grounding was lower even in comparison with 30s. The majority of schoolteachers were trained on short-term courses or at teacher's institutes by the short program.

Despite all that, the country accepted the system of general 7-year education. Lowering of the general educational level led to crises in the field of science and economy of the Soviet state, but at that time it had fast effect, there appeared an illusion of rapid science-technological development of the society. In 40s - the beginning of 50s the soviet science and technology achieved a number of successes, mainly in the field of physics, chemistry, the exact mechanics, but all of them basically were aimed at military needs.

In 1949 the nuclear bomb was tested in the USSR, the researches in the field of the chemical and bacteriological weapon took place.At the same time the branches of science, not having the direct connection to defense, underwent rigid pressing and even prohibitions. If in the development of both exact and natural sciences intervention and dictatorship of the party-State machinery were a brake, they became a real disaster for the humanities. During the first post-war decade no serious achievement was made in the humanities, and no outstanding works in the field of literature and art.

Not less negatively the campaign for struggle against cosmopolitism launched in the end of 40s - the beginning of 50s effected the development of science, literature and art. Its purpose was to blacken all that non-Soviet, non-socialist, to put a barrier between the Soviet people and achievements of culture of the western countries. As a result of the campaign many scientists and art figures underwent repressions, were dismissed from the posts and even imprisoned or banished. The party and the government openly and actively interfered with work of literature and art figures that resulted in fall of art and ideological level, formation of mediocre art embellishing the Soviet validity.

Such well-known Soviet composers, writers and poets as D.Shostakovich, S.Prokofyev, A.Hachaturyan, N.Myaskovsky, A.Ahmatova, M.Zoshchenko and others, whose creativity was referred to the "antinational" direction were persecuted.All that resulted in abrupt reduction of the amount of new films, performances and works of art, increase of mediocrity, conscious demolition of the great Russian art tradition of XIX - the beginning of XX.

Foreign Policy. The Cold War.

The major direction of foreign policy of the USSR in the first post-war years was formation of a strong system of safety of the country both in Europe, and on Far East boundaries.As a result of victory of the countries of the anti-Hitler's coalition over powers of the fascist-militaristic block the role and influence of the Soviet Union in the international relations immeasurably increased.

After the end of the World War II the contradictions in the policy of conducting powers of the anti-Hitler's coalition of the USSR, USA and Great Britain broke out with new force. 1946 became the turning of the policy of cooperation of these countries to post-war confrontation. In Western Europe fundamentals of socio-economic and political structure ad exemplum of " the western democracies " started to be formed. In this connection great significance was attached to acceptance by the administration of the USA in 1947 of " the plan of Marshall " which essence consisted in revival of the West-European economy with the help of granting of financial assets and the newest technologies over the ocean, and also in maintenance of political stability and military safety (creation of the Western union in 1948).

Simultaneously in the countries of East Europe there existed the sociopolitical system similar to the Stalin's model of " state socialism ". After the victory of so-called people's democratic revolutions with the support of the USSR in the second half of 40s the governments oriented at the Soviet Union consolidated the authority in these countries. Such situation became a basis for formation of the " sphere of safety " at the western borders of the USSR, which was consolidated by a number of bilateral contracts of the Soviet Union with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Yugoslavia, concluded in 1945-1948.

Thus, post-war Europe was divided into two groupings of the states with various ideological orientation resisting each other on the basis of which were created:first in 1949 - the North Atlantic union (NATO) under aegis of the USA, then in 1955 - Warsaw Treaty Organization (OWD) with a dominant role of the USSR.

The main axes of confrontation in the post-war world for a long time were the relations between two superpowers - the USSR and USA. But if the USSR tried to carry out the policy basically with indirect methods, the USA were striving to put a barrier to distribution of communism, counting both on economic and political pressure, and upon military force, which was connected first of all with possession of the USA of the monopoly of nuclear weapon during almost all of the second half of 40s.

Since autumn of 1945 harsh statements to each other's address, and since 1947 - open threats and accusations were made in Moscow and Washington. During 40s there was a constant increase of intensity in the East - West relations, reaching apogee in 1950-1953, during war in Korea.Till summer of 1949 regular meetings of ministers of Foreign Affairs (SMID) of the USA, England, France, China and the USSR were still carried out, on which attempts to find the solution of foreign questions were undertaken. However, the majority of decisions taken remained on paper.

In occupational zones of the USA, England and France the social and economic system of the western model, and in the east occupational zone of the USSR - the model of Stalin socialism were formed. The autumn of 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany, and then - the German Democratic Republic was formed.In Asian - Pacific region similar processes occurred in China and Korea.

In 1945 the USSR, the USA and England agreed to refuse intervention in internal political struggle in China, however both the USA, and the USSR supported the allies - Ho Min Dan followers and communists. Actually civil war in China in 1945-1949 was indirect military collision between the USA and the USSR. The victory of the Chinese communists suddenly increased influence of the Soviet Union in the region and, naturally, aggravated the position of the USA as they lost the strongest and powerful ally in the face of Ho Min Dan China.

As against to the western countries, the states of East Europe did not form the single military-political union till the middle of 50s. But it did not mean, that military-political interaction did not exist - it was formed on another basis. The Stalin system of interrelation with allies was so rigid and effective, that did not require signing multilateral agreements and creation of blocks. Decisions taken by Moscow were obligatory for all socialist countries.

Despite the big grants, the Soviet economic help might not be compared in efficiency with the American " Marshall's plan ". " The Marshall's plan " was also offered to the Soviet Union, however the Stalin government couldn't but reject it, as development of democracy, private business and observance of human rights was incompatible with the totalitarian concept of the government carried out by Stalin.Refusal of the USSR to accept " the Marshall's plan " was one of the facts in straining of the relations of socialism and capitalism, the striking evidence of which was the race of arms and mutual threats.

The apogee of mutual hostility and mistrust became the Korean war of 1950-1953. Having started the war, armies the Northkorean government of Kim Ir Sen within several weeks crushed the army of South Korea and " released" almost all Korean peninsula. The USA were forced to use their forces in Korea, operating under the flag of the UNO, which condemned aggression of Northern Korea.Northern Korea was supported by China and the USSR. The USSR completely undertook the supply, and also air covering of Chinese armies. The world appeared on the verge of global war, as practically there was a military collision of the USSR and the USA in Korea.

But war did not burst: the Soviet and American governments, being afraid of unpredictable consequences, at the last moment refused to open operations against each other. End of the Korean war by an armistice, Stalin's death marked some recession of intensity in the opposition of socialism and capitalism.

The period following the Stalin's death and proceeding till the XX congress of the CPSU was characterized by inconsistency and fluctuations in foreign policy. Alongside with extension of political contacts, renewal of consultations between the Soviet and western governments there were appreciably Stalin recurrences in foreign policy of the USSR.

Consolidation of Personal Authority of Stalin

The victory put the USSR in the category of conducting powers of the post-war world. The prestige and value of the Soviet Union on the international scene immeasurably increased. Thus, if in 1941 26 countries maintained diplomatic relations with it, in 1945 - it was already 52 states.However, there were no appreciable changes in internal policy of the country. The primary goal in post-war years was the rapid restoration of the destroyed national economy, shifting it to peace rails.

Consolidation of personal authority of Stalin

Transition to peace construction demanded reorganization of state bodies. In September 1945 the extreme body of the party and state government - the State Committee of Defense was abolished. Its functions were again distributed to the Soviet of National Commissioners, the TSK of the VCP (b) and the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. But the process of transformation of the over centralized authoritative administrative system, existing in the USSR in the prewar and especially in the war years, had formal character. Still all the authority was concentrated in I.V.Stalin's hands, relying on the powerful repressive machinery. Having taken the epaulets of the Generalissimo from his confidants' hands, Stalin was the non-bounded dictator.

In post-war years the mode of personal authority of Stalin reached the apogee. " The Brief course of history of the VCP (b) and ' I.V.Stalin's brief biography " in compiling of which he himself took part, turned to a set of indisputable truths, which all citizens of the country had to study, without calling in question. In these "works" Stalin was imputed all merits of the actual and imaginary achievements of the country and the party, which was aiming at construction of socialism. In 1946-1950 editions of Stalin's works twice exceeded editions of V.I.Lenin's works and were the most mass. Stalin's each statement turned to dogma, and the slightest doubt in its infallibility was severely punished.

Characteristic display of authoritativeness of the mode existing in the country was the activity of constitutional authorities and government.Under the Constitution of 1936 the supreme all-union legislative body the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was founded, the first elections to which were held in December 1937. The term of authorities of deputies of the first convocation expired in autumn of 1941. In connection with the beginning of war elections were postponed, and deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the second convocation were elected only in March, 1946.The Supreme Soviet of the USSR consisted of the two equal in rights chambers: the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities.

In existing internal political conditions the Supreme Soviet of the USSR only formalized the decisions taken by the supreme party government as decrees. At sessions of the Supreme Soviet of 1946-1954 deputies unanimously approved budgets of the country and reports on their implementation, and also unanimously ratified decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.One of the functions of the Presidium was the control of work of accountable bodies: the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Court, and the General public prosecutor.

As well as the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Presidium only formalized the decisions taken by the party leadership as decrees and other certificates. No question could be put for discussion without I.V.Stalin's order. Gradually the work of the supreme legislative body of the country lost even the semblance of observance of the constitutional norms: the sessions of the Supreme Soviet were convoked less often, than twice a year, and the quantity of sessions of its Presidium, which was taking place 3-4 times a year in the first post-war years, was reduced in 1950 - up to two, and in 1951 and 1952 - to one.

Actual lawlessness, obvious fall of the role and value of the Soviet bodies were observed at the level of local Soviets of deputies of the working. Already during the war party bodies frequently substituted their activity, terms of elections and the order of realization of sessions, the reporting of Soviets were broken; the questions demanding joint consideration at sessions, were solved by the executive and administrative bodies - the executive committees of Soviets, their departments and the managements supervising branches of national economy and culture.

Changes in activity of Soviets in the post-war period concerned conditions of their work and the tasks put before them, but they still were not bodies of democracy. Sessions of Soviets passed with breach of target dates, discussion of problems had formal character, and expressing critical remarks of deputies about work of the enterprises or establishments remained without consequences. Deputies reported to voters only during the next re-elections, thus, the declared basic principle of the work of Soviets - publicity and the accountability - was broken. Results of elections were always predetermined beforehand.

According to the law of March, 15, 1946 the supreme executive - administrative body - the SNK of the USSR and Narkomats were transformed into the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR and the ministry. The chairman of the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR in 1946-1953 still was I.V.Stalin, and then till 1955 - G.M.Malenkov. The open display of the party management of the government machinery activity were joint decisions of the TSK of the party and the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR, which were accepted on the most important questions and as the overwhelming majority of ministers were the members or candidates to members of the TSK, there was no disagreements between the government and the TSK of the party.

The Nomenclature's Authority

For years of war formation of numerous committees, managements, central boards and soviets at the government resulted in sharp swelling of the state machinery, therefore in 1946-1947 the Soviet of Ministers undertook a number of attempts to suspend this process, having reduced quantity of establishments and having forbidden creation of new ones.For daily government of subordinated establishments and organizations in 1944 the SNK Bureau of the USSR was formed, transformed in March 1953 into the Presidium of the Soviet of Ministers. The bureau became the successor of the Economic council at the SNK of the USSR.

The central branch state bodies were transformed in 1946 from Narkomats ministries headed by the members of the government. They carried out executive and administrative activity, supervised separate branches of the national economy and culture.After war the amount and staffs of departments immensely increased. If in 1945 there existed 25 industrial Narkomats, in 1947 it was totaled 34 ministries in this sphere.

For the post-war period numerous reorganization, merges, divisions of the ministries, mainly industrial were characteristic. It was caused by specialization of the industry, which conducted to breaking up into smaller units of the ministries and increase of their device. The governing machinery, which was completely torn off manufacture, grew for 1928-1955 in the industry from 300 thousand to 2300 thousand people, e.g. almost in 7 times. And number of industrial workers for this time increased in 4,5 times.

In March 1953 general reorganization of the allied ministries was carried out: instead of 24 - 11 integrated departments remained, with their staffs reduced.Alongside with the ministries there were planned and supplying bodies.

During the Great Patriotic war the system of legal proceedings fixed in the Constitution, and even judiciary practice in the end of 30s, were actually cancelled. Bodies of justice during the years of war became the public national courts and military courts, where the principle of election of judges was openly replaced by their assignment.After the end of war many extraordinary judicial and administrative measures were cancelled. For example, with the decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 25, 1947 death penalty was cancelled. Appointment of judges, judicial assessors by election was again introduced, the quantity of tribunals, which continued existing after the war in the army, fleet, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, ╠GB and partly in transport, was reduced.

The Supreme court was elected by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the period of 5 years (the first post-war elections took place in 1946). Other courts were elected, as proclaimed by the Basic Law, by the all-working citizens of the USSR for 3 years and were responsible and accountable to higher bodies. Courts of all levels were in practice obedient bodies of the administrative - repressive machinery; verdicts passed by them were beforehand coordinated and predetermined.

In 1945-1946 the activity of the prosecution supervision was resumed. Since 1946 the post of the General public prosecutor of the USSR was introduced, which was appointed by the Supreme Soviet for the period of 7 years, himself appointed public prosecutors of the republics and confirmed public prosecutors of subordinate levels.Since 1943 functions of governing in the field of protection of state security and social order carried out by the NKVD of the USSR (till 1946 - narkom L.P.Beriya, then - S.N.Kruglov) and the NKGB of the USSR (narkom - V.N.Merkulov, then - V.S. Abakoumov). In 1946 narkomats were renamed accordingly the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and the Ministry of state security of the USSR.

Influence of these structures on internal political life of the country in 40s - the beginning of 50s was enormous. The sphere of competence of the NKVD(Ministry of Internal Affairs) and NKGB (╠GB) officially included not only maintenance of state security, protection of social order and the socialist property. Tasks of these departments also consisted in managing of motor transport, highway and earth roads, management of geoshooting and cartography, wood protection, migration, fire protection, bodies of the registry office, even archival construction etc.

But, above all, the huge empire of GULAG was still under authority of the MIA and ╠GB. April 19, 1943 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR by Stalin's direction introduced a special kind of punishment - "penal servitude" for till 20 years. Special meeting at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR - the extrajudicial repressive body, all decisions of which were taken with guidance and approval of the "leader", - undertook the prerogative of court-martials after war and actively used hard labour as a measure of punishment, constantly filling up the army of free-of-charge workers.

Redistribution of duties inside governing top of the party and the country, having taken place right after Stalin's death, resulted in merge in March, 1953 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and ╠GB to the uniform Ministry of Internal Affairs which was headed by L.P.Beriya. After removal of Beriya in the middle of 1953 the successors of the "leader", who came to authority, first of all tried to put under control the activity of the repressive machinery of the state, understanding, what danger this huge retaliatory machine, working long years only under personal instructions and orders of Stalin, may represent to them.

After the Plenum of the TSK of the party in July (1953) the Special meeting at the Ministry of Internal Affairs was abolished, tribunals in armies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were liquidated, the normal order of investigation and judicial disposal of legal proceeding was restored. March 13, 1954 breaking up into smaller units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR took place - the Committee of state security was formed at the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR. Besides repressive bodies the important function in the government was carried out by the system of the state control working from 1940 to 1957.

Socio-political life in the Soviet society in post-war years, as well as in the prewar period, was completely monopolized by the Communist party.The released party workers entering the Communist Party committees of various levels possessed real authority in the party. Any democracy in formation of party committees was out of question; any rearrangements, changes in the structure of the party committees were coordinated at the higher level.

The Nomenclature's Authority, Courts, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Ministries, the NKVD (MID), the NKGB (MGB), GULAG, Penal Servitude, Stalin, Beriya.

Repressions of the end of 40s-the beginning of 50s

In the first post-war decade party organs still controlled the whole structure of the government and management. However, the authoritative - bureaucratic system created by I.V.Stalin required constant forcing and keeping in the party-administrative machinery itself conditions of mutual distrust, search of internal opponents. Therefore with a view of "effective" management of the party-state structures Stalin widely used repressive bodies.

In 40s - the beginning of 50s the so-called " Leningrad case ", " mingrelian case", " Jewish antifascist committee case ", " case of doctors - poisoners " and others were provoked by the 'leader'.Actual executors became the confidants of the "leader".

October 1, 1950 the military board of the Supreme court of the USSR under Stalin's authority and approval sentenced to execution N.A.Voznesensky - a member of Political Bureau TSK of the party, the vice-president of the SM of the USSR, chairman of Gosplan of the USSR; A.A.Kuznetsov - member of the Orgbureau, secretary of the TSK VKP (b), the head of defense of Leningrad within war; M.I.Rodionov - member of the Orgbureau of the TSK VKP (b), the chairman of the SM of RSFSR; P.S.Popkov - the candidate in members of the TSK VKP (b), the first secretary of Leningrad regional and municipal committees of the party; Y.F.Kapustin - the second secretary of the Leningrad municipal committee of the party; P.G.Lazutin - the chairman of the Leningrad municipal executive committee.

All convicted were accused of creation of antiparty group, the subversive activities, directed on transformation of the Leningrad party organization into the support for struggle against party and TSK. All heads of the Leningrad regional and municipal committees of the party, regional Communist Party organizations of Leningrad and regions, almost all the Soviet and statesmen, put forward after war from Leningrad to leading positions underwent repressions.

Only in Leningrad in 1949-1952 more than 2 thousand of communists were dismissed. After punishment of " the central group " in 1950, legal procedures took place in various regions of the country, during these processes verdicts featured with cruelty and predeterminacy.

The 'Case" got on a large scale, the cases 'of the Smolninsky region " and 'of the Dzerzhinsky region " etc. appeared. Stalin's death changed the conditions, and already on April 30, 1954 the Supreme court of the USSR rehabilitated a part of convicted on " the Leningrad business ".

Under the same worked through scheme the " mingrelian " case developed, having delivered in 1951 a hard blow to the Georgian party organization. It was based on the version about existence in Georgia of the " mingrelian-nationalist group ", connected with the Parisian center of the Georgian emigration and conducting espionage activity. Many leading party and Soviet officials were dismissed from the posts and arrested; thousands of innocent people underwent repressions.

The XIX Congress of the VCP (b)

In conditions of continuous repressions started the work the XIX congress of the party. The agenda first of all included economic questions: summarizing of restoration of the national economy destroyed by war and ratification of directions of the new five-year plan of development of the USSR for 1951-1955.

The theoretical basis of prospects of the economic development of the country was I.V.Stalin's last work " Economic problems of socialism in the USSR ", published in September 1952, where the task of correct use of the objective economic laws in state planning, providing transition of the USSR to communism, was put at the head. The thesis implied that the party-state bureaucracy, being engaged in " the maximal satisfaction of needs of the Soviet people ", at distribution of results of work should not forget self-financings.

The congress also made changes to the Regulations of the party and took the decision of its renaming, having decided " to call the All-Union Communist party (of bolsheviks) VCP (b) henceforth the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSS) ". For remaking of working since 1919 Program of the party, basically fulfilled, according to the congress, the special commission, which had to make a new Program of the CPSS, was elected.

On the Plenum of the TSK held after the XIX congress under Stalin's proposition instead of the former Political bureau the expanded Presidium was formed consisting of 25 members and 11 candidates, including new, young party functionaries. The Secretary of the TSK was also considerably updated and extended to 10 officials. Thus, Stalin "had as though dissolved" his confidants among new party leadership, which undoubtedly showed his intention to remove them from the authority. The Bureau of Presidium consisting of 9 officials was also elected on the Plenum. However, Stalin distinguished from the members of the Bureau the heading "five" in which except him appeared G.M.Malenkov, L.P.Beriya, N.S.Hrushchev and N.A.Bulganin.

Stalin's Death. Struggle for Authority.

March 5, 1953 I.V.Stalin died. Unusual joint session of the three bodies - the TSK of the party, the Council of Ministers and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was held next day. The session ratified new distribution of authorities between chief leaders of the country. The post of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers was decided to grant to G.M.Malenkov. His first assistants were appointed L.P.Beriya, heading the uniform Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, N.A.Bulganin, heading the uniform Ministry of Defence, and also V.M.Molotov and L.M.Kaganovich. K.E.Voroshilov 'was elected' to the post of the Chairman of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and N.M.Shvernik occupying this post was displaced to the post of the chairman of the All-Union Central Soviet of Trade Unions. N.S.Hrushchev was entrusted " to concentrate on government of the Secretary TSK of the CPSS ".

Simultaneously at the joint session the decision on reduction in more than a half as much of the number of the Presidium of the TSK of the party was authorized, it made 10 members of the Presidium and 4 candidates to members. Soon after Stalin's death processes of liberalization in internal and foreign policy of the USSR were planned. First of all liberalization concerned the activity of repressive bodies. As early as the 4th of April the message of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR about falsity of accusations against the group of doctors and about rehabilitation of all the involved in the case was published. Thus " the case of the doctors - poisoners " started at the end of 1952, which marked the apogee of Stalin's lawlessness, was closed. Official conviction of the state security organs engaged in the " mingrelian case" followed soon.

These actions of the new government on rehabilitation of victims of Stalin terror objectively weakened influence of retaliatory bodies on formation of the new policy, and also paved the way for omnipotent L.P.Beriya's removal from the authority. On the basis of the preliminary secret arrangement between the members of the Presidium of the TSK of the CPSS and with active support of the supreme army generals and personally the hero of the Great Patriotic war marshal G.K.Zhukov at session of the Presidium of the TSK Beriya was arrested. After this on July by the Plenum of the TSK he was excluded from the party and removed from all posts as " the enemy of the Communist Party and Soviet people ".

After the arrest of Beriya the purge of the governing body of the MIA-MGB was carried out, investigation was brought. As a result of the investigation of evil deeds of Beriya and his confidants December 23, 1953 the Special Judicial Presence of the Supreme court of the USSR sentenced him, and also V.N.Merkulov, V.G.Dekanozov, B.Z.Kobulov, S.A.Goglidze, P.Y.Meshik and L.E. Vlodzimersky to execution.

Beriya's dismissal contributed to the growth of the role of the party machinery in the government of the country and strengthening of positions of N.S.Hrushchev, who was elected the First secretary of the TSK of the CPSS on the next Plenum of the TSK September 13, 1953. The bodies of state security removed from the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs also went under the strict control of the party. The chairman of the KGB formed in March 1954 became Hrushev's supporter I.A. Serov.

Within 1954 the influence of Hrushchev in the new structure of the country government became prevailing. He drastically changed the whole style and the contents of work both of the supreme party bodies, and the subordinate organizations. Sessions of the Presidium TSK and plenums became regular and were dedicated mainly to completely new problems (for example, to development of virgin soil, appeal of youth for construction of the national economy etc.). Under Hrushchev's instruction the direction on consistent rehabilitation of victims of Stalin's regime was taken.

By the end of 1954 in the Presidium of the TSK the struggle between a grouping of former close associates of Stalin - V.M.Molotov, G.M.Malenkov and L.M.Kaganovich, on the one hand, and N.S.Hrushev and the majority of members of the renewed TSK of the party supporting him, the new leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, KGB and army - on the other aggravated. As a result of complex secret combinations in January, 1955 G.M.Malenkov was dismissed from duties of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the country and appointed the minister of power stations. N.A.Bulganin became the chairman of the Sovmin, and G.K.Zhukov was appointed the Minister of Defence instead of Bulganin. This event was a major landmark in N.S.Hrushev's struggle against adherents of the Stalin's regime. The following turning point in state and social development of the USSR, formation of the new policy of the country became the XX congress of the CPSS.

Economics of the first Post-War Years

For years of the Great Patriotic war the Soviet Union suffered not only the greatest human losses, but also a huge material loss, which made the astronomical number of about 3 billion rubles. In 1945 the country with the population of 160 million people was put before the unprecedentedly complicated problem: in the shortest terms to restore the facilities destroyed by the war, revive the economy of the before occupied territories, rapidly over profile industrial production for work in conditions of peacetime.

First of all it was necessary to carry out demobilization of the huge acting army, which by the end of war totaled in 11,4 million people. In this connection June 23, 1945 the Law on demobilization of thirteen ages of staff of the Soviet Armed forces passed. The process of demobilization was actually finished in 1948. In total 8,5 million people was dismissed from the army. Repatriation of the Soviet citizens being in fascist captivity or driven for works to Germany was simultaneously carried out.

September 4, 1945 the extreme martial law was cancelled in the country, holidays and the 8-hour working day were brought in. The majority of the demobilized military men were sent to restoration of the largest industrial establishments, and also to agriculture. March 18, 1946 the first session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR ratified the fourth five-year plan.

The situation of the territories, where operations took place, and those being under occupation was especially difficult. Hardship of the restoration was aggravated with the drought of the 1946, which covered the European part of the country. Hardship also accompanied the simultaneous process of restoration of the industry and its conversion. Within the fourth five-year plan (1946-1950) about 6200 large industrial enterprises were restored and reconstructed, labour productivity in the industry increased 25 % in comparison with the prewar 1940. As a whole in the country the pre-war level of the industrial production was achieved in 1948, and in 1950 surpassed 73 %. Simultaneously modernization of the restored enterprises took place. As a result the metallurgical and fuel and energy base of the country was rapidly restored.

By the end of the fourth five-year plan the major branches of agriculture were reconstructed, and its gross output in 1950 made 97 % of the pre-war level. By 1950 the railway transportation was basically reconstructed, but the construction of new trunk-railways, including such large as the South-Siberian, was going very slowly.

In the post-war years the standard of living of the Soviet people in cities improved. In December 1947 the rationing system of the food and industrial goods was cancelled. Simultaneously the currency reform was carried out, exchange of old money for new at the rate of 10 rubles of old money to 1 new ruble was made. The reform improved the financial system, but had a negative effect on the common weal of wide groups of the population.

In the fifth five-year plan (1951-1955) growth of industrial production was defined as 70 % more in comparison with the level of 1950. New large industrial construction was developed, especially in the east of the country, in Baltic, the Volga region, Transcaucasia. The range of capital investments had grown. After the Plenum of the TSK of the CPSU in September (1953) centralization of the industry was brought down, the rights of union republics and of the local bodies of their governments were extended.

Within the fifth five-year plan a number of actions for improvement of the system of payment and norm setting, which provided primary development of the heavy industry, was carried out. On the Plenum of the TSK of the CPSU in September 1953 the new policy of development of agriculture was produced, which by that time was at the level of 1926-1929,given that the population had considerably grown, and about 57 % continued to live in the village. Quota purchase prices were raised, norms of obligatory deliveries to the state were reduced, capital investments in agricultural mechanical engineering were increased in 1,5-2 times.

But agriculture was already too undermined to get out of the deep crisis. As an attempt of the output the decision to start development of virgin and long-fallow lands, first of all in Kazakhstan was accepted. This program began to be carried out since 1954. In the first half of 50s the material common weal of the population had improved.

No mass movements took place in the USSR in the first post-war decade. All was under control of the party. However, in western areas again joined to the USSR in essence guerrilla war against the Soviet authority was conducted.

After war a part of the Russians and Russian emigrants of the first wave returned to the USSR, mainly from France and China, and also some other countries. Despite voluntariness of returning many of them underwent repressions and persecutions.

Soviet Russia
Revolutions of 1917
Civil War
Russia in NEP
Industrialization. USSR in 30s
USSR in Second World War (1939-1945)
First Post-war Decade
XX CPSU Congress. "Thaw" (1956-1964)
Epoch of "Developed Socialism" (1964-1985)
"Perestroika" (1985-1991)

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