Anti-Soviet agitation

Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Red flag II.svg
Anti-Soviet Agitation and Propaganda (ASA) (Russian: Антисове́тская агита́ция и пропага́нда (АСА)) was a criminal offence in the Soviet Union. To begin with the term was interchangeably used with counter-revolutionary agitation. The latter term was in use immediately after the first Russian Revolution in February 1917. The offence was codified in criminal law in the 1920s, and revised in the 1950s in two articles of the RSFSR Criminal Code. The offence was widely used against Soviet dissidents.

The new Criminal Codes of the 1920s introduced the offence of Anti-Soviet Agitation and Propaganda as one of the many forms of counter-revolutionary activity grouped together under Article 58 of the Russian RSFSR Penal Code. The article was put in force on 25 February 1927 and remained in force throughout the period of Stalinism. Article 58:10, "propaganda and agitation that called to overturn or undermining of the Soviet regime", was punishable with at least 6 months of imprisonment, up to and including the death sentence in periods of war or unrest.

As applied in Stalin's time, the phrase in practise could mean virtually anything that a State security interrogator or informant wanted it to mean; consequently, the charge became an exceedingly potent weapon in political or personal quarrels and intrigues.

The offence was significantly revised in the post-Stalin Criminal Code of the RSFSR, introduced in 1958. Article 58.10 was replaced by Article 70, Anti-Soviet Agitation and Propaganda.

It was defined as:

– Vladimir Bukovsky

This page was last edited on 22 May 2018, at 20:59 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed