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Although more than half a century has passed since official suspension of the organization called the Gulag (Gosudarstvennoe upravlenie lagerei, State Administration of Camps), the Soviet system of incarceration and internal exile, it still retains its elusive omnipresence and heavy imprint on various aspects of everyday lives in contemporary Russia. As a system of concentration camps, the Gulag was officially established in the 1930s with its territory stretching across the Russian North, Siberia, and the Far East, and into Central Asia. Even though amnesties, mass releases, and reduction of the number of camps officially happened in the 1950s, the system was still functioning until the 1980s.
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