An unlikely bulwark of Sovietness

cross-border travel and Soviet patriotism in Western Ukraine, 1956–1985

Zbigniew Wojnowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Focusing on the development of travel between the borderlands of Ukraine and Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe, this article explores what it meant to be Soviet outside the Russian core of the USSR between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s. The cautious opening of the Soviet border was part of a larger attempt to find fresh sources of popular support and enthusiasm for the regime's “communist” project. Before the Prague Spring of 1968 in particular, official policies and narratives of travel thus praised local inhabitants who crossed the Soviet border for supposedly overcoming age-old hatreds to build a brighter future in Eastern Europe. By the 1970s, however, smuggling and cultural consumption discredited the idea of “internationalist friendship.” This encouraged residents of Ukraine to speak and write about the continuing importance of the Soviet border. The very idea of Sovietness was defined in national terms, as narratives of travel emphasized that Soviet citizens were inherently different from ethno-national groups in the people's democracies. Eastern Europe thus emerged as an “other” that highlighted the Soviet character of territories incorporated into the USSR after 1939, helping to obscure western Ukraine's troubled past and leading to the emergence of new social hierarchies in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-101
Number of pages20
JournalNationalities Papers
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

patriotism
Ukraine
travel
smuggling
Eastern Europe
democracy
USSR
people's democracy
Prague Spring
cultural behavior
narrative
border
Patriotism
friendship
inhabitant
regime
resident
citizen

Keywords

  • regional identities in western Ukraine
  • Soviet patriotism
  • Sovietization of western Ukraine
  • Ukrainian history
  • Ukrainian-Polish relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History

Cite this

An unlikely bulwark of Sovietness : cross-border travel and Soviet patriotism in Western Ukraine, 1956–1985. / Wojnowski, Zbigniew.

In: Nationalities Papers, Vol. 43, No. 1, 02.01.2015, p. 82-101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{6ef37ae4806b4e709e81a839b6d7b2ea,
title = "An unlikely bulwark of Sovietness: cross-border travel and Soviet patriotism in Western Ukraine, 1956–1985",
abstract = "Focusing on the development of travel between the borderlands of Ukraine and Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe, this article explores what it meant to be Soviet outside the Russian core of the USSR between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s. The cautious opening of the Soviet border was part of a larger attempt to find fresh sources of popular support and enthusiasm for the regime's “communist” project. Before the Prague Spring of 1968 in particular, official policies and narratives of travel thus praised local inhabitants who crossed the Soviet border for supposedly overcoming age-old hatreds to build a brighter future in Eastern Europe. By the 1970s, however, smuggling and cultural consumption discredited the idea of “internationalist friendship.” This encouraged residents of Ukraine to speak and write about the continuing importance of the Soviet border. The very idea of Sovietness was defined in national terms, as narratives of travel emphasized that Soviet citizens were inherently different from ethno-national groups in the people's democracies. Eastern Europe thus emerged as an “other” that highlighted the Soviet character of territories incorporated into the USSR after 1939, helping to obscure western Ukraine's troubled past and leading to the emergence of new social hierarchies in the region.",
keywords = "regional identities in western Ukraine, Soviet patriotism, Sovietization of western Ukraine, Ukrainian history, Ukrainian-Polish relations",
author = "Zbigniew Wojnowski",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/00905992.2014.953468",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
pages = "82--101",
journal = "Nationalities Papers",
issn = "0090-5992",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An unlikely bulwark of Sovietness

T2 - cross-border travel and Soviet patriotism in Western Ukraine, 1956–1985

AU - Wojnowski, Zbigniew

PY - 2015/1/2

Y1 - 2015/1/2

N2 - Focusing on the development of travel between the borderlands of Ukraine and Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe, this article explores what it meant to be Soviet outside the Russian core of the USSR between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s. The cautious opening of the Soviet border was part of a larger attempt to find fresh sources of popular support and enthusiasm for the regime's “communist” project. Before the Prague Spring of 1968 in particular, official policies and narratives of travel thus praised local inhabitants who crossed the Soviet border for supposedly overcoming age-old hatreds to build a brighter future in Eastern Europe. By the 1970s, however, smuggling and cultural consumption discredited the idea of “internationalist friendship.” This encouraged residents of Ukraine to speak and write about the continuing importance of the Soviet border. The very idea of Sovietness was defined in national terms, as narratives of travel emphasized that Soviet citizens were inherently different from ethno-national groups in the people's democracies. Eastern Europe thus emerged as an “other” that highlighted the Soviet character of territories incorporated into the USSR after 1939, helping to obscure western Ukraine's troubled past and leading to the emergence of new social hierarchies in the region.

AB - Focusing on the development of travel between the borderlands of Ukraine and Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe, this article explores what it meant to be Soviet outside the Russian core of the USSR between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s. The cautious opening of the Soviet border was part of a larger attempt to find fresh sources of popular support and enthusiasm for the regime's “communist” project. Before the Prague Spring of 1968 in particular, official policies and narratives of travel thus praised local inhabitants who crossed the Soviet border for supposedly overcoming age-old hatreds to build a brighter future in Eastern Europe. By the 1970s, however, smuggling and cultural consumption discredited the idea of “internationalist friendship.” This encouraged residents of Ukraine to speak and write about the continuing importance of the Soviet border. The very idea of Sovietness was defined in national terms, as narratives of travel emphasized that Soviet citizens were inherently different from ethno-national groups in the people's democracies. Eastern Europe thus emerged as an “other” that highlighted the Soviet character of territories incorporated into the USSR after 1939, helping to obscure western Ukraine's troubled past and leading to the emergence of new social hierarchies in the region.

KW - regional identities in western Ukraine

KW - Soviet patriotism

KW - Sovietization of western Ukraine

KW - Ukrainian history

KW - Ukrainian-Polish relations

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84961320245&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84961320245&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00905992.2014.953468

DO - 10.1080/00905992.2014.953468

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 82

EP - 101

JO - Nationalities Papers

JF - Nationalities Papers

SN - 0090-5992

IS - 1

ER -