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Gorbachev's reforms and Azer-Armenian Conflicts

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Soviet cogitations: 14
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2012, 02:56
Unperson
Post 07 Nov 2012, 19:15
How exactly did Gorbachev's reforms spark ethnic conflicts, particular in the Caucus region? There was the incident in the late 80's I believe which resulted in Armenian pogroms by Azers. How exactly were these connected to Glasnost and perestroika?

Thanks.
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Soviet cogitations: 2870
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Nov 2005, 17:55
Party Bureaucrat
Post 09 Nov 2012, 06:00
From what I've read in "Socialism Betrayed" the ethnic conflicts that were sparked in the 1980s were not a direct result of perestroika, but rather an insidious form of political manuevering at the federal level to fill Supreme Soviet and Central Committee seats with legislators favorable to Gorbachev.

Generally, Gorbachev faced opposition from the previous generation of leaders (I don't like to call them conservatives) who could see the calamity of Gorbachev's half-baked reforms, so Gorbachev and gang would foment ethnic conflicts in certain areas to embarrass said leaders and procure an excuse for their replacement.

An alternate explanation I have seen is that Gorbachev, unlike his predecessors going back to Lenin, paid no heed to the balance between integration and national self-determination. All other leaders (even lazier ones like Brezhnev) maintained that balancing act to secure continuous loyalty from the population, whereas Gorbachev simply didn't give a damn. This neglect let dormant conflicts re-activate when they did not have to.
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Soviet cogitations: 14
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2012, 02:56
Unperson
Post 12 Nov 2012, 02:39
So it was this neglect at maintaining loyalty between the populations and to Socialism and introducing capitalism and western culture that prompted all these republics to embrace nationalism, which in turn gave a jump start to these subdued conflicts?
Soviet cogitations: 723
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 12 Nov 2012, 10:45
Nationalist sentiments never went away after 1917 (especially for the smaller nationalities within the republics.) The difference is that they had practically no outlet to air their views and had little to no political power until the late 80's. Economic troubles, the dismantling of the "Marxist-Leninist" state ideology, and the ability for openly bourgeois-nationalist organizations to form all contributed significantly to scapegoating and reactionaries denouncing other ethnic groups for their own ends.

Gorbachev didn't encourage nationalism to my knowledge, his goal was to retain the Union. Local cliques which informally cloaked themselves in "national" garb had already existed by then, as evidenced by "Jeltoqstan" which occurred in 1986, before Perestroika and Glasnost were policies.
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