Melting Down and Moving Forward

1991 - Ukraine leaves the Soviet Union

Welcome to the final edition of the weekly digest for the fall of 2014. The meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign proved to be the most popular topics by far, but the dissolution of the Warsaw pact, the problems of the Soviet health system, the Russian fascination with Western music, and the failing economy all inspired good posts that shed insight on the collapse of Soviet communism.

On behalf of your devoted editorial team, I want to thank all of the contributors for the time and talent invested here over the semester. Despite the ongoing technical glitches and slow load times on our site, you all made the mother blog a dynamic space and valuable resource this semester, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished together. I greatly appreciate your patience and perseverance with the bumps we encountered along the way, and especially cherish the sense of humor and creativity you brought to the class, your blogs, and even the last day of class.

All of the red stars have been distributed, but the editorial team has a few more recognitions to bestow: We commend Garland P. for consistently formulating the punniest post titles, especially, Crimea River and Give Me Latvia or Give Me Death.  We also recognize the author of Pass the Vodka, Comrade as the Phantom of the Motherblog. Since we have devoted so much attention to outstanding posts, we thought it only fair to present a Stakhanovite-commenter award to Comrades Amanda, Catherine, Kelly, Anna and Joe for commenting above and beyond the norm. And finally, we recognize just a fraction of the outstanding titles we’ve enjoyed this semester: Don’t Stand So Close to Me (on the Sino-Soviet Split), Corn Flakes for Comrades (on agriculture under Khrushchev), To Free or Not to Free, Treblemakers in a National Cause, and Sticking it to Stolypin.

Blog on, and thanks for making this a semester to remember.

Image source: World Wide News Ukraine | Ukrainian Independence

A. Nelson

I am a historian of Russia with expertise in cultural history and emerging interests in animal studies and environmental history. My current research projects include studies of the Soviet space dogs, the significance of the Belyaev fox domestication project, and the cultural implications of domestication, particularly in Eurasia. 

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