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Red Army Propaganda for Uzbek Soldiers and Localised Soviet Internationalism during World War II

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During World War II, the Red Army, which had been a predominantly Slavic institution, felt the need to ‘learn the languages’ of its non-Slavic Central Asian soldiers when a large number of recruits from Central Asia arrived at the front. The Red Army authorities mobilised Central Asian political and cultural apparatuses to produce propaganda materials targeting these non-Slavic soldiers. The mobilised Uzbek propagandists and frontline entertainers reinterpreted the Soviet motherland (rodina) using the local metaphor of the Uzbek fatherland (el/yurtt/o‘tov). In this process of reimagining the Soviet/national space, Soviet heroism and internationalism, promoted as a part of Soviet patriotism, reshaped the Uzbek national identity as an Asiatic liberator. This paper explores the propaganda materials and frontline entertainment tailored to the Uzbek Red Army soldiers and traces the nationalised war hero narrative in Komil Yashin’s 1949 play General Rahimov.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge,


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