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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 28, 1958

YURI ZHUKOV, 'REGARDING SOVIET PROPAGANDA IN THE EAST AND OUR CULTURAL TIES WITH COUNTRIES OF THE EAST'

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    Report on capitalist countries in Asia and Africa and prospects for propaganda efforts in mobilizing the masses toward socialism.
    "Yuri Zhukov, 'Regarding Soviet Propaganda in the East and Our cultural Ties with Countries of the East'," October 28, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d 293, ll. 37-63. Obtained and translated by Artemy M. Kalinovsky. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177860
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Regarding Soviet Propaganda in the East and Our cultural Ties with Countries of the East.

[October 28, 1958]

1. The political situation in countries of the East and the tasks of our propaganda.

One of the characteristic features of the contemporary political situation in the countries of the East is that the majority of these countries are actively fighting for national independence. The achievement by many of them of political independence serves as a shining example of the irreversible process of collapse of the colonial system and is a strong blow against imperialism in general. However, the imperialists have so far been able to preserve significant political and economic influence in most Asian and African countries and prevent their leaving the capitalist system. At the same time many of the countries of Africa remain under the direct colonial possessions of the imperialist powers.

An important issue in the contemporary political situation in the capitalist countries of Asia and Africa is the combination of national-liberal movements and the fight for democratic developments, in part, with the fight for the liquidation for the remnants of feudalism. In recent years major blows have been delivered against monarchical rule in these countries. Thus, monarchies were liquidated in Egypt, Tunisia, and Iraq, and the [power of] the absolutist monarchy in Saudi Arabia has been greatly restricted. In many eastern countries attempts are being made with the limits of bourgeois-democratic frameworks to carry out land reforms, limit the size of land holdings, to turn over parts of estate lands to peasants. All of this further weakens the position of imperialism in the countries of Asia and Africa…

… although the countries of the East are currently part of the capitalist system, their further development does not necessarily need to lead to the strengthening of that system. On the contrary, the facts demonstrate that among the masses of people of the aforementioned countries, even among the most different strata, the number of supporters of socialism is growing continuously.

The question of which camp the countries of Asia and Africa will be more attracted to as they move forward will to a great extent depend on the real relations of class forces within these countries, on the international situation, as well as to a degree on the correctness and flexibility of our policy in respect to these countries. Soviet propaganda in the East is thus faced with tasks of great magnitude and responsibility.

I. Soviet propaganda must continuously, deeply, and skillfully demonstrate the advantages of the socialist system of the capitalist system, to convince the peoples of the countries of the East of the historical inevitability of the death of capitalism and the worldwide triumph of socialism. In talking from day to day about the world-historical achievements of the Soviet Union and other countries of the socialist camp in the construction of socialism, it is worth emphasizing the continuous growth in the development of socialist countries and to reveal the main law of socialism – the evermore full and multifaceted satisfaction of the economic and cultural needs of the people.

In this connection the correct organization and widespread demonstration of the experience of our Asian republics is of particular importance. We still demonstrate this experience very poorly, which is explained to a significant degree by the fact that workers of the ideological front from these republics have still, in effect, not been mobilized for the propaganda of the achievement of our Asian republics. At the same time wonderful writers, economists, historians, philosophers, people knowing the countries of Asia and Africa, speaking and writing the languages of these countries, have grown up (выросли) in these republics. If we could mobilize them for the everyday participation in the work of the GURV [Main Department for Radio Transmission], Sovinformburo, the publication of literature in foreign languages, we would immediately achieve a break in our most important work. We should also more widely mobilize cultural workers from our Asian republics for participation in cultural ties with foreign countries.

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