University of Chicago: Russian Politics
Terms in this set (91)
The term "Russia" comes from the _________
The area that became Russia was populated by ___________ since the 6th century
The Slavs dominated the region over the nomads until the 9th century because they could produce a __________, and thus feed an ________
The ___________ invade the Russian region in the 9th century
The defeat of the Slavs by the Vikings resulted in the region's new name: _________ _____
Kievan Rus adopted ________________ in 988.
Byzantine, Holy, Roman
The newly domesticated Vikings had to deal with the two superpowers of the day: _____________ Empire and _______ _____________ Empire
Kievan Rus was invaded by the ___________ in the 13th century.
New cities began to compete within the Mongol Empire; ___________ won out, particularly when it became the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
How were the Viking and the Mongol invasions similar/different?
- Russians hate the Mongols, they say the Vikings were "invited"
- This "inviting" can be traced to rationales for invasions of Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine
- There were _______-like relationships between invaders and locals; protection for a fee
- This was one reason Moscow rose, because they cooperate with the Mongols effectively
- As a result, Moscow could rule as they saw fit if they paid tribute to the Mongols
- The natives were more worried about the Swedes and the German Catholics
- Aleksandr Nevsky defeated the Tutons and the Swedes in the mid-13th century
democratic, serfdom, serfs, economy
How was governance of Moscow different than the governance of Kievan Rus?
- Kievan Rus had ___________ beginnings; city councils, kind of like Greek city states
- Quasi-democratic initiatives, "veche"
- In Moscow, people came to settle on the prince's property, and people had to accept the prince's terms
- ___________ exemplified this autocratic rule, reaching an apex in the 16th century
- Nobility gave up their interest in politics, and in return the tsar gave them control over the ______
- Putin recently gave the oligarchs a similar deal; this time they could rule over the __________
By the 18th century, the Moscow Empire had spread to its modern day span. Only the _________ and __________ empires have ever been larger.
Renaissance, industrialization, imperial
Why does Europe becomes a key threat? (16th - 18th Centuries)
• Russia missed the ___________ and _______________
• Europe had massive ________ holdings
• Russia became increasingly paranoid; their vast territory is increasingly hard to protect
• Swedes, Lithuanians, Napoleon, Northern Crusaders all try to invade Russia
Why could no one conquer Russia?
• Huge territory - made ______ lines difficult
• Forceful mobilization of huge population
What were Russia's embarrassing defeats in the 19th/20th centuries?
• ________ War (1850s): Fighting against the British and the French; this was the first modern war that demonstrated Russian inferiority
• Russia said they had to defend the rights of the Eastern Orthodox faithful within the Ottoman Empire in Crimea
• _________________ War (1905): Japan clobbered them
railroad, communes, serfdom, Duma
What reforms were made in the run-up to the Bolshevik Revolution?
• Led by Finance Minister Wittle and his successor Stolypin (1890-1910)
• State-run industrialization and liberalization
• Built the Trans-Siberian ________
• Stolypin dissolved peasant _________, privatized land, and encouraged the development of a rich peasant class
• Abolition of ________ in 1861
• Establishment of the ______ in 1906
• No middle class entrepreneurs existed
• They did spark domestic turmoil, particularly the urban proletariat
• The peasants didn't get enough land, but they are now empowered
• Burgeoning intelligentsia in the cities: they didn't want to stop at half measures
Japan, Bloody, Sunday, Duma, Bolsheviks
• Defeat in war against _________
• Presentation of a petition to the tsar at the Winter Palace: "Look, people are suffering"
• Shooting occurs, known as _______ _______
• People started demanding a democratic republic
The _________ was established as a result in 1906.
The rise of politically-motivated terrorism; this provided training to the ____________.
• "We Will Take a Different Route" painting of Lenin and his mother
• A systemic transformation rather than random acts of violence
• You need an alternative vision
World War I
_______ _______ ___ really finished off the Russian Empire.
• The war led to the loss of collective legitimacy in the eyes of the people
• Russian people did not support the war
• Tsarist regime had to go
Provisional Government, Petrograd Soviet
The February Revolution created a power vacuum filled by the educated urbanites (the ________ _________) and the _________ _________. The soviet was better organized than their rivals, thanks to the Bolsheviks.
• The new government, called the ________ of _________ and headed by Lenin, was an exclusively Bolshevik body; the moderate socialists were excluded, and they were not happy about it
Lenin, peace, land, bread, nationalization
Who were the Bolsheviks?
• Intellectuals, highly-educated, children of the elite
• ________ did not trust the workers to pull off a revolution, they would settle for something less
• They offered "_____, _____, and ______"
• Pushed through __________ of land, but allowed the peasants to cultivate the land as they saw fit
monarchists, allies, Trotsky
• The ___________
• Hated the Provisional government and the Bolsheviks
• Supported by the _______
• A lot of the credit for the White Army defeat goes to _________, through both conscription and propaganda
land, private, confiscation, labor conscription
• The decrees legalized previous _______ seizures and allowed the peasants to cultivate previous landlord lands as their own _______ property
• A great weakness was already beginning to emerge: They needed to feed their cities but had nothing to give the peasants in exchange for grain
• So, they took grain by force
• This is called war communism
• Forceful _________ of grain; coercive nationalization of trade and industry; forced ______ ________ (everybody had to work)
Democratic Centralism and state-building
• A new political structure
• All debates would be limited within the Communist Party
• "Freedom of __________; unity of __________"
Politburo, state, soviets
Three Elements of The New System
• The new party; The __________; the big picture guys, the ones calling the shots; very ideologically steeped in Marxism and Leninism
• The _________; the bureaucratic apparatus, the technocrats, the implementers; the Council of People's Commissars
• The ________, puppets of the party (factories, etc)
textile, bread, armamemt, abandoned, abdicated
The February Revolution: Main Plot Points
• On February 23, female _______ workers went on strike to demonstrate for _________
• They were joined by vast Putilov workers, the largest __________ factory in Petrograd
• Demonstrators multiplied; by February 24, there were between 150,000 and 200,000 demonstrators
• On February 26, the soldiers were ordered to shoot to kill; over the next few days, Petrograd was engulfed by anarchy as soldiers ________ their post to join the revolutionaries (this is the key development)
• Lootings and senseless killing occurred
• On February 27, Prince Nikolai Golitsyn resigned; the tsar named a new military dictator of the capital, but with no military support the regime was doomed
• Nicholas Romanov ___________ on March 2, and on March 3 the 300-year rule of the Romanov dynasty ended
Deputies of the ________, in an unofficial meeting, elected a provisional committee that became the parent body of the future provisional government.
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers Deputies
• Radical socialist intellectuals had come to play a powerful role in these working-class forums in the early 20th century
• The importance of the Petrograd Soviet was out of proportion to the number of soldiers and workers it represented, because it was in a position to put pressure on the government
• At one time it had 3,000 members
• The executive committee had dominant influence
• A moderate Socialist Revolutionary politician
• Duma deputy
• Was elected as one of the two vice chairman of the Petrograd Soviet
• "the only person with a foot in both camps," propelling him to power and prominence
• Able and charismatic speaker
Order Number One
• Issued by the Petrograd Soviet on March 1
• Called on the soldiers to form soviets in every military unit down to the size of companies
• Asked the soldiers to obey orders of the Military Commission of the State Duma only if they did not contradict orders from the Petrograd Soviet
• Abolished old forms of address of officers
• Conferred on soldiers all rights of citizenship, including full participation in politics, when off duty
• While the majority of officers believed that it was Order Number One that was most responsible for destroying the fighting capacity of the army, the truth is that the hostility was already there, this document was merely expressing it
Moderate socialists influenced by their deeply held Marxist beliefs that Russia was ready to get rid of the remnants of feudalism and embark on the road of capitalist development, but not yet ready for a socialist revolution
World War I
• Peasant soldiers were tired of the war
• They did not care about making Constantinople Russian, or about the sanctity of international treaties
• The provisional government, by contrast, firmly believed that Russia had to remain faithful to her ______
• Both officers in the army and the politicians failed to understand the depth of dissatisfaction among peasant soldiers
• The Petrograd Soviet advocated a _________ position: they favored the continuation of the war as long as Russian territory was occupied, but opposed a policy of annexing foreign territories and demanding indemnities from the defeated
April, The First Political Crisis: Foreign Minister Miliukov's _______ to __________ Governments
• Wrote informing them that Russia would observe all obligations to her allies and would fight until "decisive victory"
• This was published in newspapers, causing a storm of indignation
• Miliukov resigned, and Defense Minister Gochkov soon followed him
• A new coalition government had to be formed, including six socialist members
• Kerensky took over the defense portfolio
• The April events proved that the provisional government could not act without the explicit support of the Petrograd Soviet
June, The Second Political Crisis (_________ ___________
• Kerensky initiated a major and ill-considered offensive
• He had two motives
• First, the Russian High Command had promised the allies that it would undertake active military operations to facilitate a long-expected breakthrough on the Western Front
• Kerensky recalled the experience of the French Revolution, when the troops of democratic France fought successfully against the coalition of autocratic states
• He believes that a successful offensive would help to rekindle the fighting spirit in the army
• The offensive was a disaster; heavy casualties were inflicted
July, The Third Political Crisis: Worker ____________
• For the first time the soldiers and workers of the city showed themselves to be more radical than the socialist leadership of the Soviet
• Regiments mutinied
• Prince Lvov resigned, Kerensky became premier
• A few weeks later Kerensky's newly-appointed commander in chief sent troops to Petrograd in order to disperse the soviet, against the wishes of the government
• The new commander in chief and his mutinying soldiers were arrested
• During tsarist times, the main agents of governmental power
• They were appointed officials who supervised judicial and police agencies
• They were unpopular, and the provisional government abolished the office
• They were to be replaced by elected district committees (communes), who would become the real rulers of the village
• Unfortunately for the central government, peasant committees became the instruments through which the peasants attacked private property
Nationalist Movement in Ukraine
• Set up their own parliament, the Rada
• The socialist members of the provisional government were willing to concede de facto autonomy to Ukraine, but the Kadets within the coalition would not, because they thought the empire would begin to unravel
• This issue led to Kerenksy's assumption of the premiership
• _____________ had been exiled before the war for denouncing it as imperialist
• ________ was in exile in Switzerland
• Stalin and Kamenev were in Siberia
• Upon their return, Stalin and Kamenev worked with the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries
• Lenin was aided by Germany to get back to Russia; the Germans believed this would lead to disintegration of the Russian government
Lenin's April Theses
• Bolsheviks should not support the existing political order, but must immediately start to work for the overthrow of the government, which Lenin regarded as a mouthpiece for the bourgeoisie
• He demanded all power to the soviets, nationalization of land, workers' control in industry, and an immediate end to the war
• All of this was based on the assumption that, contrary to Marxist analysis, the country did not require a lengthy period of capitalist development but was ready to proceed immediately to socialist revolution
Did the Bolsheviks express the views and feelings of the revolutionary workers and peasants and act in their interest or manipulate them for their own political advantage?
• During the early days of the cold war most Western scholars depicted the Bolsheviks as a tightly knit, well organized group that succeeded during the turmoil of the revolution in imposing its will on the workers; that is, they were manipulative
• More recent scholars stress the indigenous ___________ of the working classes; according to their view, in the course of the revolutionary struggle the workers acquired class consciousness and came to support the Bolshevik Party because that party represented their interests
The October Revolution
• Coup d'état or revolution?
• There was no government to overthrow; the Bolsheviks seized power because the country was in the throes of anarchy
• Seized key public buildings and the offices of the major newspapers and the railroad stations
• The day after the successful take over, Lenin issued two decrees
• The first was an appeal to all belligerent countries to commence negotiations for a just and democratic peace without indemnities or annexation
• The second declared land to be national property, but allowed peasants to cultivate it as their own
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
• Severe German terms, accepted by the Bolshevik government to end WWI
• March 3, 1918
• Highly controversial - some wanted to continue the war to spark a German communist revolution
• By signing it, Lenin assured the immediate survival of his regime
the Bolshevik political police
Revolutionary intellectuals and semi-intellectuals, who had suffered repression during the tsarist regime, committed to Marxist beliefs, new politicians, understood need for mass mobilization and propaganda
Army officers, men who had thrived in tsarist Russia, contemptuous of politics, envisaged military solutions, no vision of a future Russia, slow to organize, joined by the Cossacks (rich peasants)
Forces of Production (technology, know-how) -> Relations of Production (Division of labor, ownership, distribution) -> Law, Culture, Politics, Religion
Change of technology changes relations of production: division of labor, distribution (who gets what), ownership (who owns what)
Superstructure reinforces the base. Superstructure justifies the base (like "the American dream," the inequality of liberal democracy)
Means of production
For Marx, non-human inputs: factories, shovels, land, raw materials, etc.
Division of Labor
• The division of labor destroys freedom
• As history progresses, the division of labor is increasingly broken down into smaller and smaller pieces as technology advances
• At the peak of this, is highly concentrated capital and unskilled labor
• Extreme division of labor is at the heart of the Marxist concept of alienation
• Workers are estranged from both production and the final product; no satisfaction, no pleasure from work
• Technical progress = human regress
• Positive function: class consolidation, leads to consolidation of labor, converts workers into the proletariat
• The components also become very interdependent, and thus the system becomes brittle
• Self-destructive at advanced stage
• Over-centralization = vulnerability
• Huge monopolies will emerge, providing the coordination
History for Marx
Slavery -> feudalism -> capitalism -> communism (these are connected by revolutions)
Revolutions are driven by contradictions in the forces and relations of production
Marx thought that the UK would see the proletariat revolution first, because they were the most developed.
The Appeal of Marxism
• The intelligentsia were Westernizers; wanted to put Russia on a path to modernization and industrialization, also liked the scientific rationale
• The peasants were excited by the collective ownership element of Marxism
• Peace, land, bread
• The proletariat (the factory workers) are the vanguard of the revolution
• Universal historical stages
• Collective ownership
• Distributive justice
• Liberal democracy: not concrete enough, who wants to vote when they can have a hunk of land?
• Trade unionism: Binds workers into unions, so that the balance of power is relatively equal
• Populists: Slavophile attitude, Tolstoy
• Anarchist: Became redundant after the tsar's family was executed
Difficulties in Marx's Revolution
• For Marx, revolution should be an organic development
• The capitalist system was not advanced enough
• Russia was backward, and did not have the forward-looking understanding necessitated by Marx
• Russia was too agrarian
• It's supposed to be a world revolution
• The state didn't dissolve
• Lenin allowed some degree of private ownership of land
• Extended opportunity for foreign investment in Russia
• New Economic Policy in general; compromise between the party and the peasants
• Mixed Economy; 25 million individual peasant enterprises, while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade, and large industries
• "Bourgeois experts"
• Nationalism (fatherland as "prison of nations")
• Peace treaty with Germany
• Revolutionary planning and "vanguard party"
• Imperialism and the "weakest link," and in the early 20th century, that was Russia, then the revolution will become contagious
• Persistence of state; it cannot wither away as Marx predicted
Siege of Leningrad
872 day siege begun as the northern thrust of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. One of the bloodiest and longest sieges in history, and a major symbol of Soviet perseverance through WWII
Von Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
A non-aggression pact signed between USSR and Nazi Germany in 1939, delaying conflict on the Eastern Front until Germany broke the pact with Operation Barbarossa. The agreement also partitioned Poland.
1945 conference that set the post-war boundaries of Europe, and began the creation of the Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe.
-Legitimization of the Soviet Economic Policy
-Physical domination of Eastern Europe
-End of the idea of a global communism revolution
What did World War II mean for Stalin's legitimacy and power as a leader, and for the Marxist-
Leninist ideals of the Soviet Union?
-Legitimization of the Soviet Economic Policy
-Physical domination of Eastern Europe
-End of the idea of a global communism revolution
-According to Putin, von Ribbentrop-Molotov was a consequence of the 1938 Munich agreement
What led to the signing of the von Ribbentrop-Molotov pact?
(1929 - 1937) Nationalization of peasant assets into 'collective' farms. Destruction of the Kulak class. They were stripped of their assets and deported. Sent 25,000 volunteers into the countryside ('socially conscious industrial workers') to help educate people into joining the collective farms. They were also sent to identify the kulaks for deportation. The peasants failed to unite against this policy.
Virgin Land Program
Program under Khrushchev to cultivate land in central Asia, thereby increasing
Soviet grain output
Institution of performance based compensation and other market
mechanisms to increase industrial productivity. Among other things, relied on myths of super-humanly
productive workers like Stakhanovich
Cult of Personality
Image/personality that allowed Stalin to become a unitary, ultimately powerful force in
Soviet Society; among the foundations of the "revolution from above" of Stalinism.
Khrushchev's campaign, beginning with his "Secret Speech", to discredit the 'cult of
personality' that Stalin created, and to re-invigorate collective leadership in the party
Orthodox Marxist. Uncompromising Bolshevik guy. Against the NEP. In favor of rapid industrialization, squeeze the peasantry. He split with Lenin after War Communism over the issue of trade unions. Stalin used this disagreement between these two to get closer to Lenin.
Right-wing Communist. Ready to compromise in order to achieve the right results. Originally backed by Stalin, to order to defeat Trotsky. Later abandoned by Stalin over grain crisis. Prices for industrial products much higher, so peasants just stopped selling grain. Stalin opts for collectivizations instead.
(1929 - 1937) Three main elements: purges of bourgeois directors; Five Year Plans; prison labor, stakhanovism, socialist competition (borrowed competition/compensation mechanisms from market system, combined them with coercion from totalitarianism)
Revolution From Above
Refers to the massive scale of change in the economy under Stalin; it was so massive that it could be considered a revolution. Yet, Stalinism was never a phrase; it was always Marxism-Leninism.
Characterized by a fully state owned society, cemented by party and police. Consumed by mass terror; the revolutionary elite were among the millions killed. Millions by in an orchestrated famine in the Ukraine. Show trials. Stalin's cult of personality.
show, prime minister
Struggle for power: Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, after Stalin's death:
Beria was the last victim of a ______ trial, executed by Khrushchev
Malenkov became _______ __________, assuming that Stalin's weakening of the party meant that the head of gov't would be most important
Khrushchev was Moscow party secretary, closely tied to Army
He was a war hero, too: Fought at Stalingrad.
Khrushchev Secret Speech
1956 speech at Party Congress.
Khrushchev fully repudiates Stalin; Not what Lenin would want, not what Marx
would want re: cult of personality
Mentions that Lenin doubted Stalin as early as 1922. Re-establishes primacy of the party, but based on principals, not the whims of any particular person (especially not Stalin). NO CRITICISM OF INDUSTRIALIZATION, COLLECTIVIZIATION.
What was wrong with Terror? that it was mis-applied, and unnecessary. Essentially calling for more economic experiments.
Attempted Coup of 1957
Khrushchev experienced a lot of backlash following his secret speech, especially from Malenkov, who felt he was unleashing uncontrollable forces. The result was an attempted coup in 1957, when Malenkov and his buddies vited to remove Khrushchev from the Politburo, but he was able to keep power via Central Committee vote. This was an unprecedented case because it was solved by rules and political institutions. Malenkov was not executed.
Khrushchev's Reforms in Agriculture
Took consumer satisfaction, economic growth seriously.
Khrushchev was passionate about the tasks, but reforms were haphazardly instituted
and just annoyed the hell out of everyone
reduction of inequality
virgin land program
successful cultivation of central asia
split of local party committees
Loved corn after visiting Iowa...
Khrushchev's Reforms in Industry
planning & incentives as challenges
with no private property, no market exchange; prices entirely artificial
this was a pain for calibrating supply; also, with no concept of profit, how do
you measure success; no reason to innovate
Administrative de-centralization as a solution, to account for the inefficiencies of the
Localized economic planning
Lack of capable bureaucrats limited efficacy of de-centralization
Also, didn't de-regulate prices, which makes it tough to improve anything
Destroyed ministerial structure of economy
fought against privileges of communist elites
Attacked privileges of elite
Some reforms pissed off everyone:
Requiring students and faculty to spend time on a farm
The Final Straw
wanted to introduce measure of accountability into communist party
mandated replacement of 1/3 of cadres at every election cycle
Mandated constant evaluation of party secretaries
This kind of obviously led the central committee to vote out Khrushchev in
Exiled to 'summer home' but was not otherwise repressed
Brezhnev's Era of Stagnation
Communism became very elitist
No real true bolsheviks left under Brezhnev
Economy stabilized, but society became disenchanted, as they became more aware of living conditions in the West.
A political movement meant to liberalize the Communist Party by empowering the people and local soviets. Private property and enterprise were partially legalized under Perestroika through the Laws on State Enterprise and Cooperatives, respectively, but the system created skewed incentives through a dual system of ownership.
Intellectual freedom through the partial elimination of state censorship, and the empowerment of liberal editors in state newspapers
The final effort by the Communist Party to maintain the Soviet Union. Under the treaty, the Baltic States among other states split away. The Caucasian republics stayed with the Soviet Union, and the treaty was immensely popular (80% approved it). Would lead to the December, 1991 Belovezhskaya Accord, officially dissolving the USSR.
19th Party Congress
The first televised Party Congress, where ordinary people saw an openly divided and divisive party.
Congress of People's Deputies
The 1989 attempt to inject democracy into the Party governing process by re-elevating soviets as the third pillar of the state. It allowed more public debate. Gorbachev was elected president of the USSR by vote of the Deputies.
General Secretary 1982-83; KGB hardliner, aggressive foreign policy, fight against corruption, promotes Gorbachev. Was Soviet Ambassador in Hungary. Played key role in crushing Hungarian Revolution. Saw Hungarian communist leaders executed by mobs in the street—saw what happens if you don't crush dissent. Contributed to paranoia. Became a full member of the Politburo in 1973. Played key role in decision in invade Afghanistan. Gave the go-ahead to shoot down KAL flight. When he reaches power, main goal to fix economy and improve party discipline. Politburo realized that state of economy was an existential question. Crackdown on corruption.
Old, senile, dead by the time he comes to power.
Gorbachev First Reforms
Tried to focus on inefficiencies in the economy.
• "Accelerations"—old-style approach: slogans, anti-alcohol campaign...
• Fighting corruption, but only in high-profile cases, didn't reach lower levels of party ranks
• Anti-alcohol campaign—no results except antagonizing workers
• Profit accounting—structural elements of market economy: companies would conduct their accounts independently, notion of profit introduced. However, losses month after month still did not result in closure—what can you do a state-owned factory? Losses were reported, but nothing changed
• Early reforms are partial, nothing consistent
• 1987: more serious structural reforms
o Law on State Enterprises: autonomy to factory managers to set wages, set prices
o Law on Cooperatives: partially legalizes truly independent economic activity: contracts with employees, retain some profits for yourself—incentives
Previously there was no incentive to produce anything of quality. Now, there's an incentive for managers at state enterprises to steal state assets, channel resources into your own private firm, from which you can now retain profits.
Reforms increased decision-making powers of local managers, without any accountability—very dangerous. Argument that this dynamic led to collapse of the Soviet Union. 'Anarchy at the factory level'
1987 incident when a single pilot flies plane from Finland into Russian air space and lands on the Red Square. Super embarrassing. Defense Minister and hundreds of other officers were charged (biggest turnover since Stalin years). Pilot (charged with hooliganism) released after one year, as a show of good faith to the West.
1989 Elections to Congress of People's Deputies
Goal to create political institutions that could promote economic reforms
Ballot suggested more diversity than there really was
But there truly was a diffusion of progressive voice in Soviet Parliament
17% of new Soviet Parliamnet was reformist, not aligned with Soviet agenda
Abolished in 1990 by Gorbachev, under pressure. The article guarantees Communist monopoly on political power. Really signifies a point of no-return for the Communist Party.
Popularly elected to Soviet parliament, Russian parliament, and Russian presidency.
August 19 coup. Gorbachev on vacation at the time. "Emergency Committee" justified takeover as move against extremists trying to take over. Coup plotters were extremely unprofessional and poorly prepared. Didn't cut off communications between West and Yeltsin, foreign news services kept broadcasting, reporting on coup.
Could have easily gone the other way. During the coup, western leaders made statements that suggested coup might be treated as fait acompli. Bush: 'hope the new leader is a reformer'
Tanks in Moscow sided with Yeltsin, who showed himself as a hero of the people.
Result of the coup: completely marginalized Gorbachev and centrists. Huge win for Yeltsin and the liberals. End of the Union Treaty: 9 Republics that were still on board bail. Some declare independence, won't risk situation where Moscow hardliner would be calling the shots (i.e. if the coup had succeeded).
Gorbachev's farewell speech
Blames Soviet people as a whole—people weren't ready for his genius. Doesn't accept any responsibility.
o High levels of radiation reported to director. Director of plant disagreed, ordered telephone lines cut.
o Politburo member 'heard something about an explosion at a nuclear power station.' Wasn't given any information. No information on news media.
o Instructions to 'play down catastrophe,' 'play down' event to prevent panic. Journalists told 'not to interfere.'
Radioactive cloud blanketed Europe, reached Sweden.