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Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Submitted by on May 17, 2013 – 8:39 am 35 Comments |  
Deportations_from_the_Soviet_Union

An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime. The early Bolsheviks generally believed that a nationality had to be associated with a distinct territory, rejecting the “extraterritorial national-cultural autonomy” approach, championed by Austrian Marxists like Otto Bauer. Thus, Lenin and his successors sought to provide a degree of territorially based autonomy to the country’s various ethno-national groups, assuming that the entire system would eventually wither away as a new pan-Soviet society emerged. But for Stalin, such a Soviet identity could not emerge fast enough to suit his purposes. As a result, he took to gerrymandering the country’s ethnic map by moving whole nationalities around like chess pieces on the board (Pohl 1999).

The ultimate motivation behind Stalin’s policy of continuing deportation, however, was twofold. First, the need for cheap labor to explore and exploit the natural resources of Siberia and to speed up Soviet industrialization program meant that increasing numbers of people had to be sent wherever those economic needs arose. While economic motives provided the “pull”, political and military objectives constituted the “push”. It appears that by resettling whole populations in Siberia, Central Asia, and the Far North, Stalin was also clearing out much of the Western border zone, presumably in preparation for an offensive against Nazi Germany. Although the thesis that Stalin was poised to invade Nazi-controlled territories in July 1941 is highly controversial among historians, it is significant that most ethnic groups deported prior to June 22, 1941 (as discussed in more detail below) came from the border zone stretching from Karelia in the north to the Black Sea in the south. Similarly, some historians have suggested that the real reason behind the deportation of more than 100,000 Meskhetian Turks from the Caucasus was Stalin’s desire to cleanse southern Georgia of its Muslim elements in anticipation of war with neighboring Turkey, which never materialized. In later years, the Nazi invasion of the USSR provided another excuse for the continuing process of ethnic cleansing. Although the Soviet propaganda machine attempted to sugar-coat the bitter truths, justifying the mass deportation on the basis of resistance to Soviet rule, separatism, and collaboration with the German occupation forces, most Soviet citizens could see through the lies. For example, the young English adventurer Fitzroy Maclean, who visited the USSR in February 1937, reported that a Soviet citizen told him that “the arrests had been decreed from Moscow and merely formed part of the deliberate policy of the Soviet government, who believed in transplanting portions of the population from place to place as and when it suited them” (Martin 1998: 813).

Most of the mass deportation occurred in 1930s and 1940s, when numerous ethnic groups were removed from their historical homelands. In this period, belonging to a certain ethnic group—rather than to a socio-economic class such as kulak (rich peasant) or texničeskaja intelligentsia (engineering professionals)—was sufficient to earn one the status of an “enemy of the people” (vrag naroda). Between 1935 and 1938 alone, no less than nine nationalities were deported: Poles, Germans, Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Koreans, Chinese, Kurds, and Iranians. Needless to say, not all of those who were forced onto ships or cattle trains “under the escort of NKVD frontier troops with fixed bayonets” (Martin 1998: 813) arrived to their final destination; this was not merely a “resettlement program”, as the Soviet propaganda machine depicted it, but a true government-run case of ethnic cleansing. According to the data reported in Wheatcroft (1996: 1341), the following ethnic groups were “held in places of special exile” as of 1946: over 400,000 Chechen and Ingush; 60,000 Karachai; almost 33,000 Balkars; 82,000 Kalmyks; 194,000 Crimean Tatars, Bulgarians and Greeks; 84,000 Turks and Kurds; 5,000 Lithuanians; and 774,000 Volga Germans (the latter figure does not include German POWs or captured non-Soviet German civilians). In addition to the groups listed above, displaced ethnic groups include Romanians, Caucasus Greeks, Karakalpaks, Koreans, and others. Altogether it is estimated that nearly 3.3 million people were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics between 1941 and 1949 (Boobbyer 2000; this figure includes other groups deported on religious or political grounds). By some estimates, up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases, malnutrition, and general mistreatment during this period.

Among the first to be deported on ethnic grounds were the Poles from Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia, who were ousted in the early 1930s. During the 1920s, two Polish Autonomous Districts were created within the USSR, one in Belarus and one in Ukraine. The former was named Dzierzynszczyzna, after Felix Dzierżyński, the founder of the Soviet State Security forces, better known under his nicknames Iron Felix or Bloody Felix; the second was named Marchlewszczyzna after Julian Marchlewski, co-founder, with Rosa Luxemburg, of the Polish Marxist organization SDKPiL. As Soviet policies turned to outright eradication of Polish national identity in the late 1920s, both of these autonomous regions were abolished; their populations were subsequently deported to Kazakhstan in 1934-1938. In 1939, the Soviets  invaded and annexed eastern Poland (known as Kresy to the Polish) just as the German invaded western Poland, marking the official start of World War II in 1939. From 1939 to1941, nearly 1.5 million people were deported from this region by the Soviet regime, including more than 900,000 Poles. Estimates of the number of Poles who died at the hands of the Soviets range from 350,000 to nearly a million.

karte_deport_2

The same fate awaited Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The first wave of expulsions, known as the “June deportations”, began on June 14, 1941, shortly after the annexation of the three Baltic states by the Soviet Union. Men were generally imprisoned and most of them died in Siberian prison camps. Women and children were resettled in Kirov, Tomsk, Omsk, and Novosibirsk Oblast, as well as Krasnoyarsk and Altai Krai; about a half of them are estimated to have survived. Another wave of eviction called the “March deportation” by Baltic historians and known also under their Soviet code name Operation Priboi (“Operation Coastal Surf”) were more massive in scope: some 90,000 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, labeled “enemies of the people”, were deported to inhospitable areas of the USSR in late March, 1949. While portrayed as part of the collectivization program, this operation targeted anti-Soviet nationalists, supporters and kin of the Forest Brothers (anti-Soviet partisan fighters), veterans who had served in the German military, and relatives of those already held in the Soviet Gulag for alleged anti-Soviet activities (Strods and Kott 2002). Some of those deported were placed in Gulag prison camps; others were considered “special settlers” with no right of return to their homelands or even to leave their designated area; those hoping to escape faced the penalty of twenty years’ hard labor. Such “special settlers” often found themselves in conditions no better than those awaiting Gulag prisoners, as the Soviet authorities did not provide adequate or suitable clothing or housing at the destinations. The resulting high death rate has led many historians to consider these deportations an act of genocide and a crime against humanity (Rummel 1990, Pohl 2000, Mälksoo 2001).

Altogether nearly 300,000 people are estimated to have been deported or sent to Gulag camps from the time the annexation of the Baltic Republics in 1940 to Stalin’s death in 1953. Roughly 10% of the entire adult population was expelled from the Baltic countries. As elsewhere, masses of ethnic Russians and members of other ethnic groups were resettled to take their places. Largely as a consequence of these policies, native Latvians represented only 52% of the population of Latvia in 1989, and Estonians comprised merely 62% of their country’s population (Laar 2009: 36). In Lithuania, the situation was not as extreme. Although many Lithuanians were deported, the corresponding Russians resettlement effort was focused on former East Prussia (now Kaliningrad District) which, contrary to the original plans, never became part of Lithuania (Misiunas and Taagepera 1983). Partly as a result of these policies, strong anti-Soviet and anti-Russian sentiment became especially widespread in the Baltic republics, which subsequently became the first parts of the Soviet Union to break away. Anti-Russian feelings are still evident in the region, reflected, for example, in the extremely divisive recent referendum of whether to make Russian a co-official language of Latvia.

1942-01-massaker-Ukraine-deportationen-Bessarabien-Transnistrien

Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, formerly part of Romania, were also occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. On June 12-13, 1941—just days before Nazi Germany invasion of the USSR began—nearly 30,000 of “counter-revolutionaries and nationalists” and their families were deported from Moldova and from the Chernivtsi and Izmail oblasts of Ukraine, most of them ethnic Romanians. They ended up in Kazakhstan, the Komi Autonomous Republic in far northern European Russia, and in such Siberian regions as Krasnoyarsk Krai, Omsk, and Novosibirsk. It bears highlighting that these Romanians were not simply shifted from one location to another, but were taken from one of the most climatically mild and agriculturally favorable locations in the Soviet Union and resettled in some of its most inhospitable areas, noted for their bitterly cold winters, poor soils, and meager infrastructure. After the German invasion commenced on June 22, 1941, another massive wave of deportations from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina occurred, only to be followed by additional expulsions in 1949 and 1951. Estimates of the total number of ethnic Romanian deportees range from 200,000 to 400,000.

While most ethnic deportees were “resettled” to the east, one group was deported westwards—the Koreans of the Russian Far East. Their deportation was conceived in 1926, initiated in 1930, and carried through in 1937, Koreans were among the first nationalities to undergo mass expulsion (Pohl 1999: 9-20). Almost the entire Soviet population of ethnic Koreans, over 170,000 people, were forcefully moved to unpopulated areas of Kazakhstan in October 1937. The official reason was to stem “the penetration of the Japanese espionage” into the Far East, where Koreans were viewed as a potential enemy, eager to collaborate with the Japanese military. Considering the general level of animosity between the Koreans and the Japanese, the very idea seems absurd.

deportation_1941_map

Other ethnic groups were deported in the later stages of WWII as a form of collective punishment. Although treasonous collaboration with the invading Germans and anti-Soviet rebellion were again the official justifications. only a small proportion of these ethnic populations served in German battalions or otherwise collaborated with the Nazis. ,The deportations of 1943-1944 uprooted entire ethnic groups, nearly 2 million people in total. Among them were Volga Germans and several non-Slavic nationalities of the Crimea and the northern Caucasus: Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Karachays, Meskhetian Turks, Bulgarians, Crimean Greeks, Romanians, and Armenians. Effectively, the whole Black Sea coastal region was cleared of ethnic minorities. Because nearly all the Soviet male population was serving in the army, the majority of the deportees in those lighting-strike operations performed by Stalin’s NKVD (secret police) consisted of women, children, and the elderly. After demobilization, the men were arrested and sent into exile. Klara Baratashvili, who was born in 1955, recalled her father Latif Shah Baratashvili’s account of what happened to him and his people on the night of November 15, 1944:

“At 4 am, people were aroused from sleep and ordered out in the fields without a single word of explanation. They remained all night on the threshing floor. Later on, several Stuedebaker trucks drove in and everyone was ordered to board them. People were authorized to take only the bare minimum with them. Before leaving the house my father had grabbed a few books and his personal notes. He had such faith in communism—he was almost a fanatic—that he had taken [Josef] Stalin’s complete works with him. That was what he valued most.”

According to NKVD data, nearly 20% of the deportees died in exile during the first 18 months; Crimean Tatar activists have reported this figure to be nearly 46%.

Yaghnobi_tajikistan-map

Stalin’s death on March 5, 1953 largely put a stop to the policies of ethnic deportation, though some groups, such as the Yaghnobi people of Tajikistan—the descendants of the ancient Sogdians—were forcibly settled from their mountainous homeland to semi-desert lowlands as late as 1957 and 1970. Red Army Helicopters were sent in, ostensibly to save the Yaghnobis from an avalanche threat, but the abandoned kishlaks (villages) were razed to prevent any attempted return. In the process, a sizable trove of religious books, some as old as 600 years, were destroyed. The Yaghnobi ethnicity was officially abolished by the Soviet State, and no longer appears as a separate category in Russian censuses.

After Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev’s government “rehabilitated” most of the exiled ethnic groups, permitting some to return to their homelands. However, it was not until as late as 1991 that the Crimean Tatars, Meskhetian Turks, and Volga Germans were allowed to return en masse to their original settlement areas. But several of these, including the Volga Germans and Greeks, generally preferred to abandon the Soviet Union (and later Russia) for their original homelands. The deportations had a profound effect on the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union, and the collective memory of the deportations has played an important role in the separatist movements in Chechnya and the Baltic republics.

While all of the above-mentioned groups deserve a closer look, the following GeoCurrents posts will focus on the Finns and Karelians, the Koreans, and the Volga Germans.

Sources:

Boobbyer, Philip (2000) The Stalin Era. Routledge.

Laar, M. (2009). The Power of Freedom. Central and Eastern Europe after 1945. Centre for European Studies.

Mälksoo, Lauri (2001) Soviet Genocide? Communist Mass Deportations in the Baltic States and International Law. Leiden Journal of International Law 14: 757-787.

Martin, Terry (1998) The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing. The Journal of Modern History 70 (4): 813–861.

Misiunas, Romuald J. and Rein Taagepera (1983) Baltic States: The Years of Dependence, 1940-1980. University of California Press.

Pohl, J. Otto (1999) Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937–1949. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Pohl, J. Otto (2000) Stalin’s genocide against the “Repressed Peoples”. Journal of Genocide Research 2(2): 267-293.

Rummel, Rudolph J. (1990) Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917. Transaction Publishers.

Strods, Heinrihs and Matthew Kott (2002) The File on Operation “Priboi”: A Re-Assessment of the Mass Deportations of 1949. Journal of Baltic Studies 33 (1): 1-36.

Wheatcroft, Stephen (1996) The Scale and Nature of German and Soviet Repression and Mass Killings, 1930-45. Europe-Asia Studies 48(8): 1319-1353.

 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/david.erschler David Erschler

    I’ve never heard about a deportation of Yaghnobis in the 1950s, but definitely there was some voluntary migration to escape near-starvation in the highlands. As for abolishing the ethnicity in the censuses, that was a systematic Tajiki policy towards minorities — the Pamiri peoples were also renamed into “Pamiri Tajiks”.
    The deportations of the 1970s targeted the whole population of the Yaghnob valley — Tajiki kishlaks alongside Yaghnobi ones. On the other hand, Yaghnobis living outside the valley (there were, and still are several Yaghnobi kishlaks in the lowlands)
    I am not sure about a trove of old books, the Yaghnob valey has never been exactly notorious as a seat of knowledge. ;)

    Unrelaedly, either Votians, or Ingrians, or both, _were_ deported — first to Finland by Finns, and then, when they returned, by Stalin to Siberia. Tanya Agranat (she’s on Facebook) knows more about this, she’s been doing fieldwork with them for quite a while.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thanks for your comments on Yaghnobis. As for the Finns and Ingrians, this is exactly what my next post is on, so stay tuned!

      • Asya PereItsvaig

        Thanks for your comments on Yaghnobis. As for the Finns and Ingrians, this is exactly what my next post is on, so stay tuned!

  • Lev Stesin

    Asya, this is a great overview of the events too difficult to describe. I think I would add a bit of a background information to provide more historical context. Stalin’s personal views on the “National Question” were formed mainly by the Czarist Regime (most of which he ended up sharing) and his personal experiences during the Civil War, particularly, his views on Poles, Tatars, Jews and people of North Caucasus. Also, I would probably elaborate more on the reasons behind some of the nations being allowed to return and some staying in exile until Perestoika. For instance Crimea being “gifted” to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic and Nikita Khrushchev very much identifying with that part of the country was one of the main reason for the authorities refusing to allow “de-Taraization” of the Peninsula in the 50s and 60s when Chechens were allowed to return.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thank you for the excellent additions, Lev! As I said in response to Randy, I might do an additional post on Crimean Tatars and their late return to Crimea (I was originally going to but then ran out of steam)

    • http://www.facebook.com/rfmcdonald Randy McDonald

      It was as contingent on–what, Crimean, Ukrainian?–local interests as that?

      • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

        I am not sure I’m following your question…

        • http://www.facebook.com/rfmcdonald Randy McDonald

          Basically, the extent to which support or opposition to returning deported peoples was a matter of opposition fro the bottom of the Soviet power structure as well as the top.

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            I don’t think there was much influence of local interest, as in “interests of local people” but the government had local interests, what it wanted to use crimea for, and those determined the decisions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rfmcdonald Randy McDonald

    I am quite curious as to why some populations ended up being allowing to return to their homelands but other neighbouring populations did not. Why Chechens and not Crimean Tatars?

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Good question, Randy. I think Lev Stesin has given a short answer below (and I will think whether to do a separate post focusing on Crimean Tatars and their return).

    • j.ottopohl

      The real reason appears to be that nationalities that were troublesome and unproductive in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and Siberia were allowed to return home. The Chechens actually returned before getting permission and the Soviet government under Khrushchev could not re-deport them. The Crimean Tatars filled a crucial industrial niche in Uzbekistan’s towns, were hard workers, did not engage in violence, and obeyed Soviet laws. Plus Crimea had been resettled with Russians and Ukrainians and the return of the Chechens had caused ethnic problems with Russians settled during their absence.

  • Kenan

    Unfortunately the Meskhetian Turks are still denied the right to return to their original homelands in Meskheti by the Georgian government.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thank you for sharing this, Kenan!

      • Lev Stesin

        This is true. As a matter of fact, the Georgian Government allows them to come back on the condition they convert back to Christianity (the presumption is the Meskhets are ethnic Georgians who converted to Islam during Turkish rule).

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          Fascinating stuff! What language do they speak?

  • TimUpham

    These forced transfers of populations went on during the times of the Czars during the 1840′s to the 1860′s. When Russia was taking lands in wars with the Ottoman Empire and Persia. Russians were being moved into these areas. When I was in Tashkent, the city is divided in two, one where the Russian settlers lived, and the other where the Uzbeks lived. The Winter Olympic in Sochi, is going to be held where the Circassians lived, until they were all driven down into the Middle East.

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  • Paul Givargidze

    My paternal grandfather, along with other Assyrians, were also deported in the late 1930s. My grandfather’s destination was “Siberian” Kazakhstan. At least two of the men in the below photo were executed by the NKVD. My grandfather is on the bottom left, seated. He taught Syriac. Picture was taken in Kiev, Ukraine, sometime between 1935 and 1937.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Dear Paul, Thank you for sharing your family story and the photo. It is really important to put a personal face to this tragedy. Otherwise, people become just numbers… That’s what I also try to do in the following posts (three more are coming in this mini-series). I am grateful that you shared this photo. Is this all your family? Or your grandfather’s Syriac class?

      • Lev Stesin

        My late grandfather used to tell about Assyrians controlling the shoe polishing business in St.-Petersburg in the late 20s early 30s (late “НЭП”). Then one day, as he told me, they all “disappeared”. They had their own “артель” which was called, following proletariat tradition of those days, “Труд Ассириец”.

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          Great story!

    • Darayavahush

      you filthy little ass-yrian bitch, I would smack you upside down

  • Eskarpas

    Thank you for a good article.

    Some things need to be clarified:

    Incorrect numbers for deported Lithuanians are given by Wheatcroft and they contradict other data in the article. There were not 5,000 but at least 50,000 Lithuanians deported in 1941 June alone, so the numbers were much higher by 1946.

    While this is mentioned in the article, I think there is a need to clearly divide the “population transfers” into three categories which had different goals:

    1.Only a small minority of the transfers were true peaceful transfers to ”move people back to their (supposed) homeland”. One such case was with Poles who were moved post-WW2 from USSR-annexed areas to the former German areas that had been annexed to Poland after WW2. Goal of such transfers was to move the borders of titular homelands and to concentrate people in these homelands, removing them from elsewhere; many of those transferred this way actually agreed with the transfers (even if coerced). Another example of such has been an unsuccessful bid to create Jewish autonomous oblast and relocate Soviet Jews there.

    2.Most of the “transfers” however were in fact genocide. The entire ethnicities or parts of them were not moved to “new homelands” but rather to prison camps or villages where they would be spread out together with other ethnicities (with ethnic Russian culture dominant) so they would be forced to assimilate. Survival rates were only 50% or so and the ones who survived frequently were force to abandon their language and cultural practices (this was frequently forced). So e.g. while some Kalmyks eventually returned after Stalin’s death (less than 50% did) most now speak Russian natively rather than Kalmyk – the genocide (i.e. deportation) changed this. The goal of such “transfers” was to destroy some cultures and peoples, diminish their numbers/influence and raise the influence of others.

    As correctly noted these deportations were twofold. Out of the total 300 000 – 500 000 Lithuanians deported throughout the Stalin rule (East Prussia excluded; up to 20% of total ethnic group) some half were deported to Siberian prisons of hard labor, others to Siberian villages (where life was also harsh and frequently deadly, but more survived).

    The areas from where the ethnicities were expelled have been given over to other ethnicities. Typically Russians and (to a much lesser extent) other Russian Orthodox or Eastern Slavic ethnicities benefited the most while Catholic, Protestant and Muslim ethnicities suffered the most.

    In many places where original inhabitants have been expelled the Russians now make a majority – e.g. Kaliningrad Oblast (formerly German-Lithuanian), Abrene area (formerly some Latvian villages), Crimea (formerly Crimean Tatar). In a few limited cases other ethnicities benefited at the tragedy of their neighbors: Prigorodnyi district, formerly Ingushetian (Muslim), is now Ossetian (Russian Orthodox) for instance.

    Deportation of Germans and Lutheran Lithuanians from East Prussia were a special case which united 1st and 2nd type of transfers; hundreds of thousands were murdered but the transfer was westwards to Germany rather than eastwards to Siberian villages or GULAGs.

    The “collective punishment” argument is part of Soviet propaganda. I have not seen any evidence that were more German sympathizers in the groups deported en-masse than in groups deported partly or groups not deported.

    3.Through a third type of population transfers the communities Russians and Russophones were established by doing a “counter-transfer” – that is moving hundreds of thousands Russians to the area where the locals have been expelled, frequently into their nationalized homes. In such way, as noted in the article, in Latvia and Estonia in 1989 there were over 30% Russians with all the major cities Russian-majority (50%+). Typically the Russians made a disproportional part of local elite as some key jobs were unavailable to locals. The same situation happened in many other places and are a reason why, for example, Transnistria is no longer Moldovan majority. In addition to ethnic Russians other Soviet ethnic groups, especially Ukrainians, Belarusians were relocated this way. This was a transfer simply to work at a different titular homeland, frequently a better job than would be available at home. After relocation however the transferred people (even if non-Russian) largely used to adopt Russian culture as there was no ethnic/linguistic institutions in non-Russian “Soviet languages” beyond the titular homeland (and, for the ethnicities who have been expelled from their titular homeland there were no ethnic/cultural institutions at all, and continuation of ethnic/linguistic culture was frequently frowned upon as “fascist”). This way many Soviet minorities eventually adopted Russian language and culture. See this article on Russophones of Lithuania: http://www.truelithuania.com/russophones-ukrainians-belarussians-and-others-130 . Among the goals of such transfers was to dilute the ethnic homelands by moving in people of “more loyal” ethnic groups. These transfers continued after Stalin’s death.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thank you for your insightful comments! I too noticed the discrepancy regarding the Lithuanian figure, but included it as is anyway. Thank you for pointing it out.

      One more recent instance of population transfer I would like to look at some day is the resettlement of people from the Chernobyl area… (there were similar resettlements from other nuclear accident sites too in earlier days, of course).

      http://geocurrents.info/place/russia-ukraine-and-caucasus/siberia/kyshtym-57-a-siberian-nuclear-disaster

      • Eskarpas

        Yes, those were also resettlements although the total numbers of post-disaster resettlements are small when compared to millions resettled or murdered in other ways. I have a neighbor resettled from Pripyat and also been there myself. From what I know (but this is sourced to what these people said) the key personnel were resettled “as far as possible” from Chernobyl and spread so the “rumours” (or true information) would not spread; the neighbors were given a few options to live at in coastal towns 500-2000 km away. I assume simple workers were mostly relocated to Slavutych.

        • Eskarpas

          I checked the map, the true numbers are 1000-2000 km

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            Thanks, Eskarpas! I know that some were resettled into northern Belarus… so I’d like to know more.

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  • Unom Nacajit

    Search for “History of Romania part 15 – Holocaust” on youtube to see the lies of the anti-Romanian propaganda exposed.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      What does it have to do with the subject of this post?

      • Unom Nacajit

        just watch the video and you will understand …

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          I did—that’s why I am asking what this anti-semitic drivel have to do with Stalin’s deportation of various ethnic groups.

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  • https://twitter.com/Suada1976 Suada

    A very good article. I’d also note that as late as the 1980s, Soviet authorities deported (albeit on a much smaller scale) a significant number of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, and likewise a significant number of Azerbaijanis were deported from Armenia.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Do you mean Armenians deported into Armenia and Azeris into Azerbaijan? Or deported altogether from the Caucaus?

      • https://twitter.com/Suada1976 Suada

        Mostly deported to Armenia/Azerbaijan respectively. Though I think some Armenians were deported to Uzbekistan.

        Edit: Apologies, it was Tajikistan. There were actually riots by Tajiks, as it was believed that this would exacerbate the already existing severe housing shortages.