Scientific Information Agency
14 June 2022

Campaign to Attack Personal Plots of Ukrainian Peasantry during the Thaw

Campaign to Attack Personal Plots of Ukrainian Peasantry during the Thaw

The problem of Ukrainian village situation in Khrushchev era is the subject of the scientific study of a constellation of home scholars. In modern Ukrainian historiography, it is relevant to highlight the issue of the anti-peasant character of the agrarian policy during the Soviet era in general and during the ‘Thaw’ in particular. Peasant studies are characterized by the analysis of agrarian transformations of 1953-1964 and the place of Ukrainian village in those processes, the coverage of certain issues of the life of Ukrainian peasantry in the days of the ‘Thaw’, among which the functioning of personal plots of collective farmers, the material well-being of Ukrainian peasantry, etc. A number of scientific works of V. Marchuk, M. Pliushch, L. Berenshtein, V. Lysak, I. Lubko, and others are devoted to these aspects. The goal of the paper is to characterize the key moments of restraining the development of personal plots of the Ukrainian peasantry after the time when Khrushchev became the sole leader of the party and the state. It is proved that when the government began to implement a number of measures that contradicted the postulates of a new course of agricultural policy, introduced by the September (1953) plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the state initiated a rather strict restriction of personal initiatives of the collective farm peasantry by aggressive administrative and coercive methods, which quickly reminded the peasants of the previous Stalin era, which they had not yet forgotten. A mass ideological campaign was launched, convincing that the private agricultural sector was a survival of the past, inefficient and impractical in a socialist society. All those measures in the aggregate gave only a negative result: first of all, it was an aggravation of material well-being of collective farmers since the personal plot was that foundation which gave the chance to a peasant family to earn appreciable incomes and to satisfy their own needs. Restrictions had led to a decrease in the number of agricultural products and rising prices for them on collective farm markets. The state did not take into account the fact that personal plots were an active and considerable component of agricultural production. The process of personal plots restricting was not logical, but was entirely initiated by the state. Accordingly, the process of weakening the agricultural sector of the economy as a whole began.

Source: Savchenko A. (2020). Campaign to Attack Personal Plots of Ukrainian Peasantry during the ‘Thaw’. Eminak. №4(32): 123-131

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