The nostalgia for the Soviet Union in Ukraine is currently at a lower level than in the Republic of Moldova or the Republic of Belarus, Marin Gherman, director of the Institute of Political Studies and Social Capital of Chernovtsi Marin Gherman, university lecturer, associate doctor of “Ștefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, stated in IPN’s public debate “Why did the USSR appear and how did it work? Why does it cause nostalgia yet”.
According to him, this can be explained by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences.
“In Ukraine, this percentage of the nostalgic has been lower than in the Republic of Moldova or Belarus following the actions taken by the authorities in Kiev after Russia’s actions of 2016. An aggressor state is the main promoter of nostalgic ideas. In Ukraine, there is a war and now this process of de-communization is supplemented by another process – derussificatoon. The Republic of Moldova is only at the beginning of the path. The suspension of the licenses of the propagandistic channels is one of the first steps. Ukraine started this process several years ago,” stated Marin Gherman.
He said he believes Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine in February, being sure that he will celebrate the centenary of the USSR in Chisinau and Kiev.
“I think Putin dreamed of celebrating the centenary of the USSR in Moscow, Chisinau and Kiev. I’m convinced that this was the plan and it didn’t come true fortunately. That’s why the extension of the Soviet Union was possible from legal, geopolitical and political viewpoints by the formula proposed by Lenin, with independent republics, with the possibility of joining these to the USSR and of extending that state construct,” said Gherman
The expert explained why Russia tries by propaganda methods to build a positive image of the USSR.
“The URSS was a geopolitical construct, a religion in love with its own case, which banned yet the people from using these notions. Geopolitics was condemned in the USSR. At the same time, the communist regime used it widely to divide and control the spaces around it,” stated Marin Gherman.
He noted that at the time of the Soviet Union, the state was everything for the citizen – religion, family, friend.
“From the viewpoint of party interests, the connection between the state and the citizen on the vertical was more important than the relationship between the mother and son. It was much the same in the economy,. The state monitored who, what and to who sold. This is called totalitarianism and it generated considerable dissatisfaction. This system turned out to be failed and incapable of dealing with the problems of development of the USSR, with very big disproportionalities being identified in the economic and social structure. During a period of time, the panning of the economic and social life and the geographic structure allowed the USSR to keep up and develop, to successfully overcome a multitude of problems that would have been dealt with in a different way in a democratic regime,” sated the expert.
The public debate entitled “Why did the USSR appear and how did it work? Why does it cause nostalgia yet?” was the tenth installment of IPN’s project “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.