It is well known that during World War II, the USSR’s policy was marked by an unprecedented, in comparison to other countries, scale of recruitments of women in the army and the absence of restrictions for them to participate in combat. Today, historiography lacks the attention of researchers to the peculiarities of the coverage of women’s service in the armed forces during the war in the public discourse of Soviet political powers. At the same time, the study of such problems will allow a more complete study of the state’s policy on the recruitment of women into the army. The purpose of this article is to cover the presence of women in the ranks of the Soviet armed forces in the documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) of 1941-1945. For this purpose, slogans, appeals and resolutions of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), which were published in periodicals of the war years in order to influence the population, were analysed. The author concludes that the issue of women’s service in the armed forces of the USSR was presented in the documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) very ambiguously. They were not characterized by the equality of the sexes declared by the Soviet authorities in all spheres of life. In the rhetoric used in these documents in addressing the participation of women in the war in general, we can distinguish two strands, conditionally called exclusive and inclusive. The first strand corresponded to the documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), which were intended for a wide audience (slogans and appeals to the anniversaries of the Red Army, the October Revolution, etc.). They did not mention women among the various branches of the army and the Heroes of the Soviet Union and Socialist Labor, leaving to them the roles of victims of the enemy, for whom the Red Army soldiers should take revenge, medical officers, partisans, and rear workers. The second strand covered the resolutions of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), which were devoted to women and were issued on the eve of International Women’s Day on March 8. There women were mentioned in the ranks of the regular army, but at the same time political powers avoided demonstrating the large scale of this phenomenon in the text, described mostly only isolated examples of female soldiers, often stressed the supporting role of women in the war as the main role, and so on.
Source: Zalietok N. (2021). Coverage of the presence of women in the ranks of the Soviet armed forces in the documents of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) 1941-1945. Antiquities of Lukomorie. 6: 55-63