On June 26, 2019 the lecture by Orysia Kulick "When Ukraine Ruled Russia: Regionalism and Party Politics After Stalin" took place.
The rise to prominence of Ukrainian regional elites is tied not only to patronage, but also regionalism and the politics of arms production in the Soviet Union. Especially important were changes to the built environment in the 1950s and 1960s, when cities like Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv and even Lviv became involved in high priority military-industrial production. The vast network of enterprises, design bureaus, research institutes, and defense plants of the Cold War era are more than a cumbersome Soviet legacy for Ukraine. They provide a blueprint for crucial economic changes that fundamentally altered the political landscape of the Soviet Union.
The lecture focused on three cities — Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv and Lviv — and local officials in them, as they navigated the myriad (and often conflicting) reforms of the post-Stalin period. Key themes will include the evolition of regional elite networks after Stalin, the impact of the sovnarkhoz reforms and decentralization on local and republican politics, as well as the transformation of cities and regions involved in Soviet defense production.
Dr. Orysia Kulick is the Petro Jacyk Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto.