SOVIET PRESS COVERAGE OF POLITICAL “NEGATIVE PHENOMENA” DURING THE DECEMBER 1986 ALMA-ATA DEMONSTRATIONS Cover Image
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SOVIET PRESS COVERAGE OF POLITICAL “NEGATIVE PHENOMENA” DURING THE DECEMBER 1986 ALMA-ATA DEMONSTRATIONS
SOVIET PRESS COVERAGE OF POLITICAL “NEGATIVE PHENOMENA” DURING THE DECEMBER 1986 ALMA-ATA DEMONSTRATIONS

Author(s): Richard Rousseau
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: USAK (Uluslararası Stratejik Araştırmalar Kurumu)
Keywords: Kazakhstan; Soviet Union; Central Asia; History; Empire; Mass Media

Summary/Abstract: The Alma-Ata events of December 17-19, 1986 were a forerunner of the return of ethnic nationalism in the Soviet Union. The two day demonstrations in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (KSSR) have, among other factors, led to the first social agitations in the context of new policy launched by Mikhail Gorbachev. That uprising in Alma-Ata—and in other Kazakh cities—was the first “big bang” that undermined the Soviet federal structures and “social fabric.” After these protests the myth of the fraternal unity and brotherhood of the Soviet peoples fell apart in a matter of a few years. This article investigates the Alma-Ata events of December 17-19, 1986 as presented within the pages of the main organs of the Soviet press and four Russian-language Central Asian newspapers between December 1986 and March 1987. The Kremlin’s response to the events of Alma-Ata, though ultimately ineffectual, revealed both the growing influence of Mikhail Gorbachev’s new policy of glasnost and a continued reliance on customary Soviet propaganda techniques.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 22-39
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English