To what extent did the Brezhnev regime succeed in silencing opposition to its policies?
Opposition to the policies of the Brezhnev regime came from both inside and outside of the USSR, and, although Laver states that there was "no evidence of widespread dissatisfaction" amongst the Soviet people at this time, the growth of opposition in the form of dissidence, national revolts, and international tension was recognised as highly significant, and was, for the most part, successfully silent. However, the international dimension served to undo all the work done to silence such views from within the USSR, as the BBC Russian service kept citizens aware of opposition in all its forms, leading some to speculate that it was this opposition which eventually lead to the eventual national riots and emergence of other 'political parties' under Gorbachev.
OPPOSITION FROM WITHIN
- Sinyavskey and Daniel - lead to 1967 KGB unit "against ideological diversions"; imprisonment of all dissidents; tighter control over culture and social policy
- 1965 Red Square Protest - lead to the above
- Helsinki Groups - protesting peacefully for human rights; little effect
- Jewish Emigration; silenced by allowing it to happen
- Czechslovakia 1968 - successfully silenced, sent a warning to other nationalities
- worries of Islamic Fundamentalism - silenced through war in Afghanistan
- most people continued to conform; apathy the dominant political force
- writer contacted foreign journalists
- BBC Russian Service
- Boycott of Moscow Olympics sends a signal to the Russian people
- successful within the USSR, but lack of success in the rest of the world counter-balanced this by allowing people to continue to see resistance