Elena V. Shelestyuk

Chelyabinsk State University, Russian Federation


The article gives an excursus into the national and language policies of the post-war USSR, highlights the major stages, and reveals cause-effect connections. We conclude that the national and language policies of the USSR and Russia follow the pattern of dynamic fluctuations, dependent, in the first place, on the domestic political conditions and international situation – calm and prosperous times or the times of external/internal threats. These policies fluctuate from liberal laws providing for democratic self-governance of national territorial units, use of national (ethnic) languages in education and administration, institutionalization of and financing structures for the development of national media, cultures, literatures and languages to such steps as strengthening of the major national language as language of inter-ethnic communication (as well as titular languages of the autonomous republics), return to unifying patriotic ideology and education, civic consolidation, “convergence in a single nation” and etatism. In the second place, there is a dependence on the needs of modernization and technological progress, but this factor, while giving prominence to a single developed national language, also presupposes the development of minor languages based on the practices of translations from/into the H-language and borrowing/enriching terminology thereof.

Keywords: national policy, language policy, indigenization, language building, arabization, romanization, cyrillization, titular language, language of inter-ethnic communication

For citation: Shelestyuk E.V. Soviet language policy and education in the post-WWII period [online] // Sociolinguistics. 2021. No. 4 (8). Pp. 60–85. (In Eng.) DOI: 10.37892/2713–2951–4–8–60–85