332 pages | 27 B/W Illus.
In 1920, Lenin authorised a plan to transform Karelia, a Russian territory adjacent to Finland, into a showcase Soviet autonomous region, to show what could be achieved by socialist nationalities policy and economic planning, and to encourage other countries to follow this example. However, Stalin’s accession to power brought a change of policy towards the periphery - the encouragement of local autonomy which had been a key part of Karelia’s model development was reversed, the state border was sealed to the outside world, and large parts of the republic's territory were given over to Gulag labour camps controlled by the NKVD, the precursor of the KGB. This book traces the evolution of Soviet Karelia in the early Soviet period, discussing amongst other things how political relations between Moscow and the regional leadership changed over time; the nature of its spatial, economic and demographic development; and the origins of the massive repressions launched in 1937 against the local population.
Introduction 1. ‘A Dark, Backward and Oppressed Periphery’: Histories of Karelian Space 2. ‘A Scandinavian Revolutionary Centre’: Borders, Boundaries and Spatial Ambitions, 1920–1928 3. The Limits of Autonomy: Finance, Planning and Population, 1920–1928 4. ‘A Question of Survival’: Centralisation and Control of Regional Space, 1928–1932 5. ‘The Urals-Kuznetsk Combine on a Smaller Scale’: Visions and Realities of Peripheral Development, 1933–1937 6. ‘The Republican NKVD Has Slaughtered All our Cadres’: Terror on the Periphery, 1935–1939. Conclusion
This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.