This paper highlights campaigns for national rights among two non-titular communities in the Soviet Union and places them in local historical contexts. Drawing on archival sources and oral history interviews, the author not only delves into the campaigns themselves, but also explores broader debates about the nature of Khrushchev's Thaw and Soviet citizenship, which was far from an empty concept in the Khrushchev era. Petitioners invoked discourses that indicate both an awareness of national rights and an expectation of the state's obligation to protect them. Oral history interviews with surviving petitioners and community members support the notion that petition language can serve as a reflection of how petitioners viewed their place in Soviet society and interpreted the Soviet citizen contract.
- Soviet history
- Soviet nationality policy
- nationality politics
- post-World War II era
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations