Zbigniew Wojnowski explores Soviet popular responses to Solidarity during the early 1980s, focusing in particular on Ukraine and its western borderlands. Shifting emphasis from internal Soviet dynamics to transnational interactions in eastern Europe, Wojnowski challenges dominant narratives of late Soviet and Ukrainian history. Whereas Alexei Yurchak maintains that members of the "last Soviet generation" were essentially indifferent to the Soviet state and its ideology, popular responses to Solidarity suggest that, in some contexts at least, Soviet citizens still engaged with the state in active and meaningful ways during the early 1980s. Drawing on the rhetoric of Soviet patriotism in various public forums, many residents of Ukraine claimed the right to comment on official policies. In this sense, the types of citizenship that had developed in the USSR after 1945 survived into the early 1980s. Most surprisingly, perhaps, Soviet patriotism provided a crucial source of vitality for Leonid Brezhnev's regime even in Ukraine's western borderlands, which have often been seen as the "least Soviet" part of the USSR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)