“Internationalist Education” and Solidarity with Chile and Latin America in the Late Soviet Period—Between Geopolitics, Protest, and Self-realization?

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Yulia Gradskova

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Abstract

The article explores the problem of mass Soviet campaigns through the example of Chilean solidarity movements (1973–1989). The campaign of solidarity with “the people of Chile” was declared by the Soviet government after the military coup of 1973 and was realized mainly through already existing structures and ideologies of “internationalist education.” These structures included first and foremost the Clubs of International Friendship created at schools, summer camps, and universities in order to propagate Soviet interpretations of the political situation abroad. The main aim of this article is to examine the specifics of the Soviet solidarity campaign and explore its contradictions. The article looks at knowledge about Latin America and Chile among young people during this period as well as at representations of the events in Chile in Soviet publications. Special attention is paid to so-called “informal solidarity”—attempts among small numbers of young people to find their own interpretations of the events in Latin America and Chile during the perestroika period. In Russian, extensive summary in English.

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