Kometchikov Igor' Vyacheslavovich, Candidate of historical sciences, associate professor, sub-department of history, Kaluga State University named after K. E. Tsiolkovski (26, Stepana Razina street, Kaluga, Russia), E-mail: email@example.com
Background. The research of the removal of mines in villages of western Russia in the 1940s – middle 1950s is determined by the need to achieve a better understanding of the government power mechanism and collective farming communities at the time and to obtain a more precise knowledge of the evolution of balance between regulatory and emergency measures employed by the power structures. The objective of the research is to find out how and why the approaches to the removal of mines in villages of western Russia in the 1940 – middle 1950s evolved.
Materials and methods. The conclusions and their argumentation are validated by the use of the following sources: 1) the process of rule-making of the State Defense Committee of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the regional committees of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), the executive committees of the Council of Workforce Representatives, regional executive committees, the Military Councils at the frontline and in military districts, the Organization for Assisting Defense, Aerial and Chemical Industries (OADACI), and the National Defense Commissariat of the USSR; 2) the records of party and government establishments and military units; 3) the data on the scale and the process of removing the mines; 4) personal sources, such as opened and inspected by the military censorship authorities correspondence and recordings of interviews with contemporaries and participants of the removal of the mines. The majority of the sources have been discovered in the archives and are introduced into the science sphere for the first time. The story of the removal of the mines is examined from the point of view of the authorities and the OADACI that were involved in this process, but also of the general public. This perspective makes it possible to better understand the reasons for disagreements between the two sides and to explain the gradual change that marked the approach of the government towards the solution of this problem.
Results. We have examined the regulatory framework of the organization, the process of removing the mines in the 1940s – middle 1950s, the scale and the dynamics of the work done, their methods, the scale of damage from detonations executed by the sappers and the civilians, the government and population’s understanding of the problem.
Conclusions. The removal of mines in villages of western Russia in the 1940s – middle 1950s is regarded as a part of controversial relationships between the government and the village community. We propose a chronology of this process which is based on the fact that the emergency measures of removing the mines with the help of the civilians have been replaced by the paid removal by the specialized organizations at the requests of various companies in the end of the 1940s.
western Russian countryside, demining, the Society of assistance to defense, aviation and chemical construction, the Volunteer Society of assistance to the Army, soldier-miners, the authorities and collective farm countryside in the 1940s till the mid 1950s
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