Anti-Sovietism, anti-Soviet sentiment, called by Soviet authorities antisovetchina (Russian: антисоветчина), refers to persons and activities actually or allegedly aimed against the Soviet Union or government power within the Soviet Union.[1]

Russian èmigré anti-Bolshevik poster, c. 1932

Three different flavors of the usage of the term may be distinguished.

Soviet Russia

During the Bolshevik Coup that followed the October Revolution of 1917, the anti-Soviet side was the White movement. Between the wars, some resistance movement, particularly in the 1920s, was cultivated by Polish intelligence in the form of the Promethean project. After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, anti-Soviet forces were created and led primarily by Nazi Germany (see Russian Liberation Movement).

In the time of the Russian Civil War, whole categories of people, such as clergy, kulaks and former Imperial Russian police, were automatically considered anti-Soviet. More categories are listed in the article "Enemy of the people".

"Down with Bolshevism!" - Nazi propaganda poster in Russian for occupied Soviet territories.
Anti-Soviet rally in Lithuania of about 300,000 people in 1988, condemning the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Sąjūdis was a movement which led to the restoration of an Independent State of Lithuania in 1990.

For many people, the major evidence of their guilt was their social status rather than actual deeds. Martin Latsis, chief of the Ukrainian Cheka, explained in a newspaper:

Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused.[2]

After the Velvet Revolution, the city of Prague placed a Soviet-era T-55, a symbol of the Soviet invasion of 1968, on its central square as a target for public ridicule.

Later in the Soviet Union, being anti-Soviet was a criminal offense. The epithet "antisoviet" was synonymous with "counter-revolutionary". The noun "antisovietism" was rarely used and the noun "antisovietist" (Russian: антисоветчик, romanized: antisovetchik) was used in a derogatory sense. Anti-Soviet agitation and activities were political crimes handled by the Article 58 and later Article 70 of the RSFSR penal code and similar articles in other Soviet republics. In February 1930, there was an anti-Soviet insurgency in the Kazak Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic village of Sozak.[3]

After the end of the Second World War, there were Eastern European anti-Communist insurgencies against the Soviet Union.

See also


  1. Conquest, Robert (2007). The Great Terror. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 28–29.
  2. Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia - Past, Present, and Future, 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5.
  3. Niccolò Pianciola; Paolo Sartori (2013). "Interpreting an insurgency in Soviet Kazakhstan : the OGPU, Islam and Qazaq 'Clans' in Suzak, 1930". Islam, Society and States Across the Qazaq Steppe: 297–340.