Farewell Perestroika: A Soviet Chronicle

By Boris Kagarlitsky; Rick Simon | Go to book overview

2
The Popular Front Movement in Crisis?

For unofficial social and political groups across the country, August 1988 was a month of conferences. First, the combined conference of the Federation of Socialist Social Clubs (FSOK) and the All-Union Social and Political Club (VSPK) took place in Moscow. After that many of its participants once again boarded trains, not to return home, but to move to Leningrad to the conference of Popular Fronts and democratic movements.

The chief outcome of the meetings between FSOK and VSPK was the unification and some regulation of the information network. This did not, however, have any particular results as both organizations were undergoing an internal crisis and by autumn had in fact disintegrated. Participants in the meetings exchanged addresses, discussed specific questions regarding the political situation and then dispersed.

Undoubtedly, more was expected from Leningrad. While the time was not yet ripe to announce an All-Russian Popular Front, it was essential to take some decisions in preparation for a founding congress of the PF. Nevertheless, not only was no date named in Leningrad for such a congress, but an organizing committee was not even elected and the gathering ended in a clear split. A majority of those who had turned up complained about the conference's poor arrangements. The organizers had been unable to get assistance from the city authorities or receive permission to use any official premises. In moving from one flat to another

-31-

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Farewell Perestroika: A Soviet Chronicle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • 1 - The Hot Summer of 1988 1
  • Notes 29
  • 2 - The Popular Front Movement in Crisis? 31
  • Notes 38
  • 3 - Popular Front or National Front? 39
  • Notes 50
  • 4 - The Restless Borderlands 51
  • Notes 78
  • 5 - A Constitutional Crisis 81
  • Notes 88
  • 6 - Election Fever 89
  • Notes 97
  • A Difficult Hegemony 99
  • Notes 109
  • 8 - The Spring Whirlpool: The Elections, Yeltsin and the Popular Front 111
  • Notes 143
  • 9 - The Congress and Around the Congress 145
  • Notes 162
  • 10 - Onward, Onward, Onward . . . 165
  • Notes 175
  • 11 - Yet Another Hot Summer 177
  • Notes 192
  • 12 - Farewell, Perestroika? 195
  • Index 211
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