Soviet Fiasco – Result of Military Costs & Political Goals
08 September, 2011

The Soviet government, led by the communist party was using colossal amount of money on funding various social and revolutionary movements in foreign countries with the purpose of ‘exporting’ communist ideas and establishing socialist system of government in those nations. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.


SM – As you already know from my previous stories, there was a law functioning in the rur

al area of the USSR, according to which the peasants were attached to their villages for lifetime without having a chance to migrate. The law was abrogated after Stalin’s death.

GJ – Could you please remind me what the specific consequence of that law was?

SM – To cut a long story short, the peasants living in rural areas were not allowed to have regular passports of the country in difference from those who lived in the cities, thus blocking them from acquiring a new residence wherever they chose.

GJ – Didn’t this mean that they could never live their villages practically?

SM – Yes, it did! The countryside was broken up into so called Collective Farms (kolkhoz), the members of which were occasionally (according to an occurring necessity – mostly in favor of the kolkhoz) assigned to travel to various places, mostly to urban areas. In cases like this, the selected person was given a temporary ID. In reality, a kolkhoz member would never receive a passport unless he fell under the military draft. This was the Stalinist method of keeping people in place for avoiding the possibility of unruly migration of the Soviet population which could instigate a serious problem for the government in terms of controlling people and the labor force.

GJ – What happened when the system was abrogated?

SM – Millions of people living in rural areas abandoned their villages as soon as they received passports and acquired permission for traveling freely. The process became so ubiquitous and overwhelming that the Soviet government was compelled to prevent its development, as a result of which issuing of passports was desisted until the year of 1979.

GJ – As I understand, the desertion of villages had reflected on the country’s agriculture very negatively, which was in ruins anyway.

SM – True, very true! Production of agricultural commodities had stopped abruptly which was practically conducive to hunger.

GJ – And the cost of production was going up, giving birth to higher prices on food, saying nothing about spending in various fields.

SM – Of course! In addition to military expenditure – both the army and the armament – the Soviet government, led by the communist party was using colossal amount of money (hard currency) on funding various social and revolutionary movements in foreign countries with the purpose of ‘exporting’ communist ideas and establishing socialist system of government in those nations, especially in Asia and Africa. British and French colonies in Africa were a favorite target for the zealous Soviets.

GJ – How about Vietnam? Had the process already bygone at that time? As one could imagine the Soviet Union was spending a lot and its military contribution to Vietnam War was quite considerable, wasn’t it?

SM – In Vietnam, Americans were fighting communists, which was quite a cause for them. The Soviets were among their opponents of course, but the Chinese factor was even stronger in that war. The Soviet Union supplied only the officers, military instructors and experts, their role being not very obvious – mostly the KGB activity oriented.

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