A Political and Economic Dictionary of Eastern Europe

By Alan J. Day; Roger East et al. | Go to book overview

J

Jaanilinn question

A border dispute between Estonia and the Russian Federation over the division by their Soviet-era border of the historic town of Narva. The town itself is divided by the River Narva which, from 1945, came to serve as the border between the two countries, leaving the eastern Jaanilinn-in Russian, Ivangorod-district of the town in the Leningrad (St Petersburg) Oblast. The incorporation of Estonia into the Soviet Union made this distinction somewhat arbitrary and the two halves of the town continued to interact as one. In particular, factories in Narva employed almost half of the residents of Jaanilinn. In this way the district acted to draw Russian migrants into eastern Estonia, in line with Soviet efforts to reduce the ethnic homogeneity of its constituent republics.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the independence of Estonia that summer, the question of the sovereignty of Jaanilinn was raised. However, the town is inhabited by an overwhelming ethnic Russian majority, negating Estonian claims to the suburb. The dispute has been muted since initial attempts to redraw the border were resolved in 1995 with grudging recognition of the Soviet-era division.


Jakeš, Miloš

A major figure in the hardline post-1968 communist regime in Czechoslovakia until its overthrow in the 'velvet revolution' of November-December 1989. Born in 1922, Jakeš was a friend and contemporary of Alexander Dubček from the 1950s, when both had attended the Higher Party School in Moscow. He joined the Dubček reform communist leadership in March 1968 as Chairman of the Central Control and Auditing Commission of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), but turned against the 'Prague Spring' experiment, under Soviet pressure, and after the Warsaw Pact invasion he became, with Gustáv Husák, one of the key leaders of the repressive Soviet-inspired process of 'normalization'. In December 1987 Jakeš succeeded Husák as Party General Secretary. Jakeš' harsh rule made him the most despised of the communist leaders. His resignation on

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