Imagining Liberation: Russian Critiques of Stalinism

Roderic Pitty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews hidden critiques of Stalinism published in the USSR from the late 1960s until the relaxation of censorship in the late 1980s. The main focus is on those Russian scholars who analysed particular phenomena in the Third World as a parallel process to highlight key problems in the USSR. The work of several of these “inside dissidents” who used Aesopian language to criticize Stalinism is explained in terms of the weakening of ideological control after 1956. Two scholars whose criticism is assessed are Viktor Sheinis and Marat Cheshkov, both of whom analysed key features of the Stalinist system during its mature or stagnant phase prior to its disintegration. The article highlights the continuing relevance of several points of their criticism, such as the need for social control over the state and the difficulty of social transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-116
JournalDebatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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