Soviet Electoral Campaigns of 1950-1951 in the Western Ukrainian Regions of the Ukrainian SSR
The paper describes the organization and holding of elections to the Supreme Soviets of the USSR, the Ukrainian SSR and local authorities in Western Ukrainian Regions during the 1950-1951. The government's control over the ideological and organizational and technical part of the electoral process is shown. The scale and variety of forms of agitation and propaganda are accentuated. The author emphasizes the use of military force and administrative means of influence for the unhindered conducting of pre-election activities and the receipt of controlled voting results. The forms and methods of struggle against the nationalist underground at the time of holding the election campaigns are characterized.
It is noted that during the election campaigns of 1950-1951 there was hardly any opposition from the participants of the national liberation movement, since the weakened underground could no longer be a real obstacle to the realization of such large-scale controlled events. At the same time, taking into account the experience of the previous elections, the leaders of the OUN did not see the sense of a large-scale confrontation, because the authorities, having neglected the will of the populace, were again preparing to announce a result, well-known in advance.
As during the first post-war election campaigns, the Western Ukrainian population in 1950-1951 did not show interest in the electoral process, adhering to the policy of absenteeism. People understood all the insincerity and absurdity of the Soviet electoral system, disregarded their formal role in Soviet rituals, but avoided conflicts with the authorities. The number of people who agreed to vote of their own free will to avoid repressions or in return for loyalty of the regime grew. Social mimicry, as an adaptive form of people’s life, for many years, had become the main form of coexistence of Western Ukrainians with the new government.
It is concluded that after the election campaigns of 1950-1951 the authorities did not receive legitimate recognition from the population of the region, whose sympathy remained on the side of the participants of the national liberation movement. The official election results that showed general support for pro-government candidates were obtained through military and administrative pressure, numerous violations of electoral legislation by election process organizers, in particular, the falsification of election results.