The Middle East in Transition: Studies in Contemporary History

By Walter Z. Laqueur | Go to book overview

SOVIET CULTURAL PROPAGANDA IN THE NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST
by IVAR SPECTORTHE YEAR 1956 was marked by an intensification of Soviet cultural propaganda in the Near and Middle East, with some shifts in emphasis as compared with 1955.1 In the first place, Soviet policy makers have attempted to establish a pattern for the conditioning of Asian minds with reference to the significance for the liberation of the Orient of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the October Revolution of 1917, and the 'Soviet victory' over Nazi Germany in 1945. Secondly, it has become apparent that the U.S.S.R. no longer acts alone in the Near and Middle East, but in collaboration with the Chinese Republic and the Soviet European satellites. Finally, the Soviet government has ceased to focus its programme exclusively on the Near East or the Far East, but strives rather for the 'solidarity of Asia' as a whole, with Moscow functioning as its cultural Mecca.
I
1. Since 1954 a whole series of Soviet monographs has linked the rise of the national movements in Turkey, Iran, India, China, Korea, and the Arab countries to the impact throughout Asia of the Russian revolutionary events of 1905. Although as early as 1922 M. Pavlovich, the editor of Novy Vostok, claimed that the 1905 Revolution played the same role in the lives of the peoples of Asia
____________________
1
For Soviet cultural propaganda in the Near and Middle East prior to 1956, see Ivar Spector, The Soviet Union and the Muslim World, 1917-1956 ( Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1956), especially Chapter VIII.

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