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Veterans and the Village: The Impact of Red Army Demobilization on Soviet Urbanization, 1945–1955

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This article re-evaluates a classical historical question: the impact on the process of urbanization of the demobilization of Red Army soldiers after 1945. One historical school focuses on the mass return to the village, while a rival interpretation claims that demobilization led to a further spurt in urbanization as soldiers refused to return to collective farms. Archival data now suggest a two-part process: first, soldiers returned to the village, expecting a loosening of the kolkhoz regime; once their expectations were frustrated, they left the village, leading to a resumption of the prewar trend of forsaking the village.


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