Ex-USSR

Stalinism and Afghanistan: socialists and the 1979-89 war: Workers' Liberty 3/55

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

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Afghanistan’s “Great Saur Revolution”, in April 1978, and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that flowed from it 20 months later, at Christmas 1979, were two of the most important events of the second half of the 20th century.

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1953: a year of hope

1953 was the year Stalin died, and a year of revolt in several Soviet bloc countries, in the first place, East Germany. This article by Jean-Michel Krivine, at the time a member of the French Communist Party, is from Rouge (2 January 2003), the paper of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire in France. In it he describes some of the momentous events that followed the - very partial - Soviet thaw after Stalin's death.

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Support Eastern European workers!

In 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev was forced by the political and economic condition of the dying 'Soviet Union' to withdraw Russian troops from the Warsaw Pact countries. These Stalinist satellite states rapidly collapsed, the regimes overthrown by their own people. The collapse of the 'independent' Stalinist states of Yugoslavia and Albania, and the USSR followed. It was a demonstration of the power of workers and ordinary people to change history.

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Revolution without politics: Georgian overthrow after US switches sides

By Stan Crooke

Three weeks of popular protest in the Caucasian republic of Georgia culminated in the resignation of its president, Eduard Shevardnadze, on 23 November.

Shevardnadze was a Communist Party bureaucrat turned "democrat". He had joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1948 and rose steadily through its ranks. By 1972 he had become head of the CPSU in Georgia.

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The writing on the wall

Uzbek “Republic”

A fair election result was finally secured in the Ukraine over the Christmas period — although only after mass protests had secured a re-run.

There will be no such happy outcome in Uzbekistan where all five parties taking part in the 25 December parliamentary election supported the incumbent President, Islam Karimov. Additionally, two-thirds of potential candidates were not allowed to stand.

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From one-party to one-man rule

The former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan is standing against Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn. He was sacked after making complaints about the UK goverment using information obtained under torture by the Uzbekistan government. Stan Crooke reviews a new book by Shahram Akbarzadeh, Uzbekistan and the United States - Authoritarianism, Islamism and Washington's Security Agenda (Zed books). It won't he says, answer all your questions about this former Soviet republic.

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