Special Sub-Topic: The Brezhnev Years 1964-82
|On October 14, 1964, this Soviet leader was forced into early retirement by the Politburo, paving the way for Brezhnev's emergence as the leading Soviet official. Name this former leader.|
Khrushchev & Khruschev & Khrushev. Khrushchev who had come to power following the death of Stalin in March of 1953 had recognized the failings of the Soviet system, but he was unable to institute effective reform. His Virgin Land program did not result in a long term increase in Soviet agricultural production. Foreign policy failures such as the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 also contributed to the Politburo's decision to force his retirement.
|Which of the following was a slogan of the Brezhnev years?|
"Stability of Cadres.". The Brezhnev years can best be described as an attempt to preserve the status quo. The Politburo members of this time period had survived the purges of the Stalin years and were intent on preserving their power. Leadership was so stable that by the end of the Brezhnev era, the average politburo member was 70 years old.
|During the Brezhnev years, 'samizdats' (aka self-publications) became a popular way for dissidents to express their dissatisfaction with the government. Which of the following was a popular dissident publication? |
"Chronicle of Current Events". The "Chronicle of Current Events" was open to all dissident elements: religious protestors, neo-Leninists, nationalists and liberals. "Pravda" was the official Communist party newspaper. "Izvestia" was the official state newspaper, and "Trud" is a post-Soviet era Russian newspaper.
|In 1974, this Nobel prize winner for literature was deported from the Soviet Union because of his Western publication of "Gulag Archipelago." He had been a prominent figure in the Russian dissident movement. Who was he?|
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In 1962, during the "Thaw", Alexander Solzhenitsyn had been allowed by the Soviet government to publish "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," detailing a typical day in a political prison. But with Brezhnev's assent to power, there was a crackdown on the artistic community.
|This man was head of the KGB during the Brezhnev years and became his successor. Who was he?|
Yuri Andropov. Yuri Andropov, head of the KGB under Brezhnev, would also emerge as the primary Soviet leader following Brezhnev's death in 1982. As head of the KGB, he had tried to crackdown on corruption by high officials. He designated Gorbachev as his successor prior to his death from kidney failure. But Gorbachev would not become leader at this time. Andropov would be followed by the infirm Konstantin Chernenko who would die within 13 months of gaining power.
|An old Soviet joke describes how Stalin, Krushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev were all aboard the train to socialism, and it breaks down. Each proposes a solution to the problem. Which of the following was Brezhnev's solution?|
Let's all shut the curtains, close our eyes, and pretend the train is moving.. Brezhnev was famous for ignoring the mounting economic problems which faced the Soviet Union. During his years in power the Soviet economic growth rate dropped from over 5 percent to less than 3 percent. "Shoot the conductor!" is the solution proposed by Stalin. Rocking back and forth is the solution offered by Krushchev. And pushing the train is the solution offered by Gorbachev.
|During the Brezhnev years, the average Soviet citizen had access to more consumer goods than at any other time to date.|
t. The Soviet centrally planned economy never emphasized the production of consumer goods. The focus was heavy industry and defense spending. But during the Brehznev years, efforts were made to increase availability of consumer goods. By 1982, over eighty percent of households owned a TV and a refrigerator. However, the quality of these goods was questionable. Television sets were notorious for their tendency to blow up.
|During the Brezhnev era, the Soviet Union would send troops into Afghanistan. In what year were troops first deployed?|
1979. The war in Afghanistan became known as the Soviet Union's "Vietnam." Unable to achieve victory over Afghanistan, troops were withdrawn in 1989 under Gorbachev. The war had been a huge drain on the economy and had destroyed much of the credibility of the Soviet army as a credible fighting force. Some historians believe that Brezhnev, who was already extremely ill, did not fully understand what he had authorized when the military proposed invading Afghanistan.
|In 1968, Brezhnev authorized the military crackdown on the reform movement taking place in Czechoslovakia. What is the name given to the events of 1968?|
The Prague Spring. In 1968, Warsaw Pact troops (although predominantly composed of Russian troops) were used to quell the reform movement. The movement led by Alexander Dubcek had hoped to create "socialism with a human face."
|In 1968, he wrote a tract entitled "Reflections on Progress, Coexistence, and Individual Freedom." He is also a famous physicist who played a crucial role in Soviet development of the hydrogen bomb. Who was he?|
Sakharov. Sakharov became an outspoken critic of the Soviet regime. During the Brezhnev years he was exiled to a remote province to curb his influence over potential dissident elements. Under Gorbyachev, he was allowed to return to Moscow as a goodwill gesture to the Russian intellectual community whose support Gorbachev hoped to win for his reform campaign.
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