агитпроп; blend of Russian агитация agitatsiya "agitation"
and пропаганда propaganda "propaganda";
origin 1930s' from shortened form of отдел агитации и пропаганды,
agitatsii i propagandy, ('Department for Agitation and Propaganda'),
which was part of the Central and regional committees of the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union. The department was later renamedIdeological
- Political (originally communist)
propaganda, especially in art and literature.
Apparatchik plural apparatchiki (Russian:
аппара́тчик) [ɐpɐˈrat͡ɕɪk] (from
Russian аппарат apparat (name
given the Communist Party machine in the former Soviet Union) from Latin apparare to
- (chiefly historical) A member of
the communist party.
- (derogatory or humorous) An
official in a large organization, typically in a political one.
Большеви́к) [bəlʲʂɨˈvʲik] (from
Russian Больше 'majority' or 'greater' with reference to the greater
- (historical) A member of the
majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, which was
renamed to the Communist
Party after seizing power
in the October Revolution in
- (chiefly derogatory) (in general
use) A person with politically subversive or radical views; a
- (adjective) Relating to or
characteristic of Bolsheviks or their views or policies.
Всероссийская чрезвычайная комиссия по борьбе с контрреволюцией и
саботажем, acronym for The
All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution,
Speculation, and Sabotage, abbreviated to Cheka (ChrezvychaynayaKomissiya,
ChK; Чрезвычайная Комиссия,
ЧК – pronounced "Che-Ka") or VCheka;
In 1918 its name was slightly altered to "All-Russian Extraordinary
Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, Profiteering and
Corruption") The first Soviet state security organization (1917–1922),
it was later transformed and reorganized into the GPU.
комисса́р) (Russian комиссариат commissariat reinforced
by medieval Latin commissariatus,
both from medieval Latin commissarius "person
in charge" from Latin committere "entrust"'
term "commissar" first used in 1918)
- An official of the Communist
Party, especially in the former Soviet Union or present day China,
responsible for political education and organization; A head of a
government department in the former Soviet Union before 1946, when
the title was changed to Minister.
- (figurative) A strict or
prescriptive figure of authority.
Демократизация, literally "democratisation") A slogan introduced in 1987
by Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachevwhich called for the infusion of democratic elements into the
Soviet Union government.
ДОСААФ, Добровольное Общество Содействия Армии, Авиации и Флоту,
abbreviation for Free Will
(or Voluntary) Society of Assistance to the Army, Aviation, and the Navy)
Name of a military society of the Soviet Union whose aim was to support
the Soviet military financially and to prepare reserve troops by the use
of paramilitary sports.
Druzhina also Druzhyna, Drużyna (Russian
and Ukrainian: дружина) (Slavic drug (друг)
meaning "companion" or "friend" related to Germanic drotiin,
Proto-Germanic *druhtinaz meaning
"war band") (historical) A detachment of select troops in East Slav
countries who performed service for a chieftain, later knyaz.
Its original functions were bodyguarding, raising tribute from the
conquered territories and serving as the core of an army during war
campaigns. In Ukrainian, the word дружина means legal wife.
Duma (Russian: Ду́ма)
(from Russian word думать dumat', "to think" or "to consider")
- (historical) A pre-19th century
advisory municipal councils in Russia, later it referred to any of
the four elected legislature bodies established due to popular
demand in Russia from 1906 to 1917.
- The legislative body in the
ruling assembly of Russia (and some other republics of the former
Soviet Union) established after the fall of coummunism in 1991.
The State Duma (Russian:
Государственная дума (Gosudarstvennaya Duma), common abbreviation:
Госдума (Gosduma)) in theRussian Federation is
the lower house of the Federal
Assembly of Russia (legislature),
the upper house being the Federation
Council of Russia.
Dvoryanstvo singular dvoryanin,
plural dvoryane (Russian
Дворянство Dvoryanstvo meaning
"nobility" from Russian dvor (двор)
referring to the court of a prince or duke kniaz and
later of the tsar)
(historical) Term for the Russian nobility that arose in the 14th
century and essentially governed Russia until the Russian
Dyachok (historical) A
member of the church workers in Russia who were not part of the official
hierarchy of church offices and whose duties included reading and
FSB (Russian ФСБ,
Федера́льная слу́жба безопа́сности) (Russiantrans. Federalnaya
Sluzhba Bezopasnosti Federal
Security Service) The domestic state security of the Russian
Federation, the successor of KGB.
Гла́сность [ˈɡlasnəsʲtʲ]; glasnost publicity,
from glas voice,
from Old Church Slavonic glasu)
(late 20th century) An official policy in the former Soviet Union
(especially associated with Mikhail
Gorbachev) emphasizing transparency,
openness with regard to discussion of social problems and shortcomings.
acronym for Main
Administration for Literary and Publishing Affairs, later renamed Main
Administration for the Protection of State Secrets in the Press of the
USSR Council of Ministers Russian:
Главное управление по охране государственных тайн в печати ГУОГТП
(ГУОТ), trans. Glavnoe
upravlenie po okhrane gosudarstvennykh tayn v pechati) (historical)
The official censorship and state secret protection organ in the Soviet
GPU also known as OGPU (Russian:
Государственное Политическое Управление, transliteration Gosudarstvennoye
Politicheskoye Upravlenie State
Political Directorate) (historical) The secret police of the former
Soviet Union from 1922–1934; it succeeded the Cheka in
1922, and it was later reorganized as the NKVD in
Конституционная Демократическая партия, The
Constitutional Democratic Party or
Constitutional Democrats, formally Party
of Popular Freedom, informally called Kadets,
or Cadets from the abbreviation K-D of the party name [the term was
political, and not related to military students who are called cadets])
(historical) A liberal political party in Tsarist Russia founded in
1905, it largely dissolved after the Russian
transliteration of "КГБ") (Russian abbreviation of Комите́т
Госуда́рственной Безопа́сности, Komitet
Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, Committee
for State Security) (historical) Name of the Soviet Union
organization that directed the security agency, secret police, and
intelligence agency from 1954 to 1991.
Khozraschyot or Khozraschet (Russian:
хозрасчёт, хозяйственный расчёт, literally "economic accounting") A
method of the planned running of an economic unit (i.e., of a business,
in Western terms) based on the confrontation of the expenses incurred in
production with the production output, on the compensation of expenses
with the income; often referred to as the attempt to simulate the
capitalist concepts of profit into the planned economy of the Soviet
Kolkhoz plural kolkhozy (Russian: колхо́з, [kɐlˈxos])
(1920s origin; Russian contraction of коллекти́вное хозя́йство, kol(lektivnoe)
farm") A form of collective farming in the former Soviet Union.
Конюший) (Russian literally "equerry" or "master of the horse")
(historical) A boyar in
charge of the stables of the Russian rulers, duties which included
parade equipage, ceremonies of court ride-offs, and military horse
Korenizatsiya also korenization (Russian: коренизация)
(Russian meaning "nativization" or "indigenization", literally "putting
down roots", from the Russian term коренное население korennoye
кула́к, kulak, "fist", literally meaning "tight-fisted" ) Originally a
prosperous Russian landed peasant in czarist Russia, later used
pejoratively by Communists during the October
Revolution as an exploiter;
they were severeley repressed under the rule of Joseph
Stalin in the 1930s.
Krai also Kray (Russian:
край) (Slavic for "border") Term for eight of Russia's 85
federal subjects, often translated as territory, province, or region.
Leninism (after Vladimir
Lenin, the term was coined in 1918) The political, economic and social
principals and practices of the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin,
especially his theory of government which formed the basis for Soviet
лишенец) (from Russian лишение, "deprivation", properly translated as a disenfranchised)
(historical) A certain group of people in the Soviet Union who from 1918
to 1936 were prohibited from voting and denied other rights.
Министерство государственной безопасности, Ministerstvo
Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti, The
Ministry of State Security) (historical) The name of the Soviet
secret police agency from 1946 to 1953. It was merged with the MVD in
Меньшевики) (from Russian word меньшинство menshinstvo "minority"
from men'she "less";
the name Menshivikwas
coined by Lenin when
the party was (atypically) in the minority for a brief period)
(historical) A member of the non-Leninist wing of the Russian Social
Democratic Workers' Party, opposed to the Bolsheviks who
defeated them during the Russian
Civil War that followed the
1917 Russian Revolution.
Mir (Russian: мир)
(from Russian mir,
meaning both "world" and "peace")
- (historical) A peasant farming
commune in pre-Revolutionary Russia.
- Space Station Mir, a space
station created by the former Soviet Union and continued by Russia until
MVD (MVD) (Russian:
Министерство внутренних дел) (MVD Russian acronym for Ministerstvo
Vnutrennikh Del, Ministry
of Internal Affairs) (The Soviet Union secret police from 1946–1953,
in 1954 its secret police duties were transformed to the KGB,
while the reorganized MVD was assigned to direct the regular police
functions. Downgraded by Nikita
Khruschev and renamed in 1962
to the "Ministry for the Preservation of Public Order" Ministerstvo
okhrany obshchestvennogo poriadka abbreviated
MOOP, it was later strengthened by Leonid
Brezhnev and renamed in 1968
to its former and now current name)
Namestnik (Russian: наме́стник, [nɐˈmʲɛsnʲɪk])
(Russian literally "deputy" or "lieutenant") (historical)
- (12th–16th century) An official
who ruled a uyezd and
was in charge of local administration.
- (18th-20th century) A type of
viceroy in Russia who ruled a namestnichestvo and
had plenipotentiary powers.
Наркомпрос) (Russian Народный комиссариат просвещения, an abbreviation
for the People's
Commissariat for Enlightening (historical)
The Soviet Union agency charged with the administration of public
education and most of other issues related to culture such as literature
and art. Founded by the Bolsheviks during the Russian
Revolution, it was renamed in 1946 to the Ministry of Enlightening.
plural наро́дники, singular наро́дник) (from Russian narod "people",
in turn from expression "Хождение в народ" meaning "going to the
people") (historical) The name for Russian revolutionaries (active
1860's to 1880's) that looked on the peasants and intelligentsia as
revolutionary forces, rather the urban working class.
NEP or The
New Economic Policy (NEP) (Russian:
Новая экономическая политика) (Russian Novaya
Ekonomicheskaya Politika or НЭП)
(historical) An economic policy instituted in 1921 by Lenin to
attempt to rebuild industry and especially agriculture. The policy was
later reversed by Stalin.
NKVD (Russian: НКВД,
Народный комиссариат внутренних дел, Narodniy
Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del or People's
Commissariat for Internal Affairs) (historical) The secret police
agency in the former Soviet Union that absorbed the functions of the
former OGPU in
1934. It was merged with the MVD in
номенклату́ра) (Russian nomenklatura,
from the Latin nomenclatura meaning
a list of names) (historical) In the former Soviet Union, a list of
influential posts in government and industry to be filled by Communist
Party appointees; collectively the holders of these posts, the Soviet
общи́на) (Russian obshchiy common,
commune) Russian peasant agrarian communities during Imperialist
Okhrana in full The
Okhrannoye otdeleniye (Russian:
Охранное отделение) (Russian literally "Protection Section")
(historical) The secret police organization (established in the 1860s)
for protection of the Russian czarist regimes. It ended with the
Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 1917, who set up their own secret police
organization called the Cheka.
о́круг) (Russian okrug is
similar to the German word Bezirk ("district"),
both words refer to something "encircled")
- In the former Soviet Union, an
administrative division of an oblast and krai.
- A federal district in the
опри́чнина) (Russian from obsolete Russian word опричь oprich meaning
"apart from" or "separate") (historical) Term for the domestic policy of
Russian czar Ivan the
Oprichnik plural Oprichniki (Russian:
опри́чник) (historical) Name given to the bodyguards of Russian ruler Ivan
the Terrible who ruthlessly
suppressed any opposition to his reign.
Перестро́йка) (Russian perestroika literally
"restructuring", the term was first used in 1986) The reform of the
political and economic system of the former Soviet Union, first proposed
by Leonid Brezhnev at
the 26th Communist Party Congress in 1979, and later actively promoted
by Mikhail Gorbachev from
подья́чий, sometimes подъячий) (Russian from the Greek hypodiakonos,
"assistant servant") (historical) An office occupation in prikazes
(local and upper governmental offices) and lesser local offices of
Russia from the 15th to the 18th century.
Politburo (Russian politbyuro from polit(icheskoe)
byuro "political bureau")
(historical) The principal policymaking committee in the former Soviet
Union that was founded in 1917; also known as the Presidium from
1952 to 1966.
поса́дник) (from Old Church Slavic posaditi,
meaning to put or place, since originally they were placed in the city
to rule in behalf of the prince of Kiev) (historical) A mayor
(equivalent to a stadtholder, burgomeister, or podesta in the medieval
west) in some East Slavic cities, notably in the Russian cities of Novgorod and Pskov;
the title was abolished in the 15th and 16th centuries.
пра́порщик) (from Slavonic prapor (прапор),
meaning flag, since the praporshchik was a flag-bearer in Kievan Rus
troops) The name of a junior officer position in the military of the
Russian Empire (and in the modern Russian Army), equivalent to ensign.
- (historical) An administrative
(palace, civil, military, or church) or judicial office in Muscovy and
Russia of 15th–18th centuries; abolished by Peter
- In modern Russian, an
military order (to do something).
пропи́ска) (Russian full term Прописка
по месту жительства, "The record of place of residence", from
Russian verbpropisiat "to
write into" in reference to write a passport into a registration book of
the given local office) (historical) a regulation in the former Soviet
Union designed to control internal population movement by binding a
person to his or her permanent place of residence.
силови́к) plural siloviks or siloviki,
Russian: силовики) (Russian word for "power"), a collective name for
persons or personnel of an organisation which have formal and real
power, such as military (usually high-ranked), officers of KGB, FSB, MVD,
SMERSH (Russ: СМЕРть
Шпионам) (Russian acronym of (smer)
t (sh)pionam literally
"death to spies") (historical) The popular name for the Russian
counterespionage organization responsible for maintaining security
within the Soviet armed and intelligence services; it was originally
created during World War II to
deal with traitors, deserters, and spies who undermined or threatened
the Red Army. It essentially
ended in 1946 when its functions were resubordinated to the People's
Commissariat of Military Forces (Наркомат
Вооруженных Сил, or НКВС.
сове́т) (Russian sovet "council")
- A revolutionary council of
workers or peasants in Russia before the Russian
- An elected local, district, or
national council in the former Soviet Union.
- (Soviet) A citizen in the former
- (adjective) of or concerning the
former Soviet Union.
Sovkhoz plural Sovkhozes (Russian:
Совхоз) (Russian Советское
eckoje (khoz)yaistvo, "soviet farm")
- (historical) A state owned farm
in the former Soviet Union.
- A state owned farm in countries
of the of former Soviet Union.
Совнархоз) (Russian Совет
Народного Хозяйства, Sovet
Narodnogo Hozyaistva, Council
of National Economy, usually translated as "Regional Economic
Council") (historical) An organization of the former Soviet Union to
manage a separate economic region.
Совет Министров СССР) (Russian Sovet
Ministrov SSSR, Council
of Ministers of the USSR ,
sometimes abbreviated form Sovmin was
used; between 1918 and 1946 it was named the Council
of People's Commissars of the USSR (Совет
Народных Комиссаров СССР, Russian Sovet
Narodnykh Komissarov SSSR, sometimes Sovnarkom or SNK shortcuts
were used).) (historical) In the former the Soviet Union, the highest
executive and administrative body.
Spetsnaz or Specnaz (Russian:
Войска специального назначения – спецна́з) or Russian
special purpose regiments (Voyska
spetsialnogo naznacheniya) A
general term for the police or military units within the Soviet Union
(later Russian Federation) who engage in special activities. Similar to
South African term Commandos.
стахановец) (after Aleksei
Grigorievich Stakhanov, a coal miner from Donbass noted
for his superior productivity; the Soviet authorities publicized
Stakhanov's prodigious output in 1935 as part of a campaign to increase
- (historical) In the former Soviet
Union, a worker who was exceptionally hardworking and productive,
and thus earned special privileges and rewards
- Any exceptionally hardworking or
zealous person, often with connotations of excessive compliance with
management and lack of solidarity with fellow workers.
the term Stalinism was
first used in 1927; the term was not used by Stalin himself, as he
considered himself a Marxist-Leninist).
- (historical) The political,
economic, and social principles and policies associated with Joseph
Stalin during his rule
(1924–1953) of the Soviet Union; especially the theory and practice
of communism developed by Stalin which included rigid
authoritarianism, widespread use of terror, and often emphasis on
- Any rigid centralized
authoritarian form of government or rule.
Ста́вка) (historical) The General Headquarters of armed forces in late Imperial
Russia and in the former
Streltsy singular strelitz,
plural strelitzes or strelitzi (Russian:
стрельцы́, singular: стреле́ц strelets "bowman")
(historical) Units of armed guardsmen created by Ivan
the Terrible in the 16th
century and later abolished by Peter
Tovarishch also Tovarich (Russian:
Това́рищ IPA [tɐˈvarʲɪɕɕ]) (Russian archaic товарищ, tovarishch sense
"business companion", often "travelmate", referring to
the noun товар tovar "merchandise";
In the former Soviet Union, a comrade; often used as a form of address.
Tsar also Czar, Tzar, Csar,
and Zar (Russian: царь)
(English pronunciation [zar]; Russian pronunciation is [t͡sarʲ])
(Russian tsar from
- (historical) Title of a Southern
Slav ruler as in Bulgaria (913–1018,
1185–1422, and 1908–1946) and Serbia (1346–1371).
- (historical) Title for the
emperor of Russia from about 1547 to 1917, although the term after
1721 officially only referred to the Russian emperor's sovereignty
over formerly independent states.
- (latter part of 20th century) A
person with great authority or power in a particular area, e.g. drug
czar (spelled only as
"czar" in this usage).
Tsarina also tsaritsa (formerly
spelled czaritsa), czarina,
German zarin, French tsarine (Russian:
цари́ца) (Russian, etymology from tsar)
(historical) The wife of a tsar; also the title for the Empress of
Tsarevna also czarevna (Russian,
etymology from tsar).
- (historical) The daughter of a
- The wife of a tsarevitch.
Tsarevich also tsesarevich, czarevich, tzarevitch (Russian:
царе́вич, early 18th century, from tsar + patronymic -evich]])
(historical) The eldest son of an emperor of Russia; the male heir to a
Tysyatsky also tysiatsky (Russian:
ты́сяцкий) (sometimes translated as dux or Heerzog but
more correctly meaning thousandman;
sometimes translated into the Greek chilliarch literally
meaning "rule of a thousand") (historical) A military leader in Ancient
Rus who commanded a people's
volunteer army called tysyacha (Russian:
ты́сяча), or a thousand.
Ukase (Russian: ука́з [ʊˈkas] ordinance,
edict, from ukazat to
show) (pronunciation yoo-kayz),
- (historical) In Imperial
Russia, a proclamation or edict of the ruling tsar or tsarina, the
Russian government, or a religious leader (patriarch) that had the
force of law.
- (historical) In the former Soviet
Union, a government edict issued by the Presidium
of the Supreme Soviet and
subject to later ratification by the Supreme Soviet.
- In the Russian
Federation, a Presidential decree.
- Any arbitrary command or
decree from any source.
ускоре́ние, literally "acceleration") A slogan and a policy initiated in
1985 by Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev which aimed at the
acceleration of social and economical development of the Soviet Union.
Yevsektsiya also Yevsektsia (Russian:
ЕвСекция) (from the abbreviation of the phrase "Еврейская секция" Yevreyskaya
sektsiya) (historical) The Jewish section of the Soviet Communist
party that was created in 1918 to challenge and eventually destroy the
rival Bund and
Zionist parties, suppress Judaism and "bourgeois nationalism" and
replace traditional Jewish culture with "proletarian culture." It was
disbanded in 1929.
Zampolit A military or
abbreviation of ЗаКлючённый
(З/К), zaklyuchennyi (Z/K) meaning
"incarcerated") (historical) In the former Soviet Union, a person held
in a Gulag or
in a prison.
Russian zemlya "earth"
or "land") (historical) The territory under the rule of the boyars who
stayed in Moscow during the reign of Ivan
the Terrible. It was separate from the rule of Ivan's own territory,
which was administered by the Oprichnina.
Zemsky Sobor (Russian:
зе́мский собо́р) (Russian assembly of the land) (historical) The first
Russian parliament of the feudal Estates type during the 16th and 17th
зе́мство) (historical) A district and provincial assembly in Russia from
1864 to 1917.