Volume 26, No.1 - Spring 1980
Editor of this issue: Thomas Remeikis
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1980 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.



The internal stability of the Soviet Union is highly dependent on the government's success in neutralizing conflict among its various nationalities. Thus, the Soviet Union has developed a nationality policy which promotes the russification of all non-Russian nationalities into the Soviet (Russian) culture. The success or failure of this policy will have definite political repercussions. If the Soviet regime succeeds in assimilating the non-Russian nationalities, it will have tremendously weakened an internal source of opposition and dissent which today continues to jeopardize the legitimacy of Soviet dominion. On the other hand, russification may, instead, exacerbate an already tense situation, thereby creating irreparable cleavages between non-Russians and Soviet authority. This, in turn, could ignite anti-Russian/anti-Soviet movements throughout the Soviet Union, creating conditions for mass reactionary violence. Due to this dynamic and potentially volatile situation, a close investigation into the progress and process of russification in the non-Russian areas of the Soviet Union is required. This paper makes such an inquiry by focusing on the intensity and impact of linguistic russification on titular Baltic nationalities.

There are two reasons for the selection of these nationalities as the units of analysis in this study. First, we must note that the three Baltic republics comprise the most highly industrialized area of the Soviet Union. Since Soviet authorities have indicated that they contemplate rapid industrialization in other regions as well, it becomes important to recognize and study the direct and indirect effects of this industrialization on the national identities of the area. The Baltic republics may be accurate harbingers of the general trends of linguistic russification which should be expected in those other areas as they become more and more industrialized.

Secondly, the Baltic republics are worthy of study for the simpler reason that they have come to occupy a major position in the Soviet economic schema as a result of their industrialization. Due to their primary economic position, it becomes worthwhile to zero in on the processess of russification in the Baltic states as a major sub-unit of the Soviet Union.

As such, an investigation into the Baltic experience will purposefully complement other similar inquiries. In particular, the studies conducted by Brian Silver using a 1959 data base of 93 Soviet nationalities,1 and his inquiry into bilingualism and national language preferences in Soviet Central Asia2 offer valuable bases for cross-national comparisons. It is not within the scope of this paper to present such comparisons, but knowledge of the availability of these studies makes further study in this area simpler.


Western scholars have generally agreed that russification can be defined as the psychological transference by an individual from a non-Russian identity to a Russian one.3 The policies of russification consist of the imposition of Russian cultural values, traditions, and language on indigenous nationalities within the Soviet Union.4 Linguistic russification is of importance, because scholars have contended that use of a native language is a key indicator of national identity. The concept of national or ethnic identity refers to "an individual's emotional attachment to certain core symbols of his ethnic group,"5 the primary symbol being one's historic language.

The concept of national identity becomes increasingly important when one considers that Soviet scholars presently regard "internationalism" to be an overarching concept guiding the course of their nationality policy. The "drawing together of nations" and the rapprochement of Soviet people have become internationalism's primary objective. This objective cannot be fully realized until non-Soviet national identities have been, for the most part abolished; the Soviets have, therefore, expressed a clear desire to extinguish "individual manifestations of nationalism and chauvinism, instances of nonclass approach to the evaluation of historical events, manifestations of parochialism and attempts to glorify the remnants of a patriarchal outlook."6 An adherence to such a position is historically based on the tenets of Marxism-Leninism, as related to nationality policy. Lenin wrote in 1913 that "Marxists resolutely oppose nationalism ... for nationalism strives to safeguard the privileges of one nation, condemning all other nations to an inferior status, with fewer rights, or even no rights at all."7 Lenin felt that a firm conviction in socialist ideology could ensure full equality among all people and nations, and that an internationalist approach rooted in the proliferation of proletariat desires, could overpower and supercede feelings of nationalism. In other words, working class solidarity could transcend the nationalistic sympathies promoted by the bourgeois capitalists, for it was the bourgeoisie who were striving to subert the role of internationalism through its cultivation of nationalist ideology.

These sentiments are still regarded as viable by Soviet scholars. Although the ''drawing together of nations" appears to be an unrealistic goal as far as the world community is concerned, the Soviets believe that they are on the verge of eradicating provinciality and exercising the philosophy of internationalism in the Soviet Union. Moreover, various sources in the Soviet government have indicated that they consider internationalism to be a reality; they have stated that the nationality problem no longer exists in the USSR. Such a contention may be illustrated by a passage from Leonid Brezhnev's speech at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Union:

Summing up the heroic accomplishments of the past half century, we have every reason to say that the national question, as it came down to us from the past, has been settled completely, finally, and for good. This is an accomplishment which can by rights be ranked on par with the victories in the building of the new society in the USSR, such as industrialization, collectivization, and the cultural revolution.8

Soviet scholars claim that every Soviet republic has already assumed a multinational character. This has been made possible, it is believed, only because the inequality left over from capitalist days was liquidated in the process of strengthening socialism and building the "new Soviet man."9 The Soviets have also asserted that, withing Soviet borders, it has been the Soviet government which has continued to protect equality among nationalities. In their opinion, if the Soviet government was not guarding this equality, opportunistic elements would attempt to circumvent the internationalist movement.

Most Western scholars have questioned the accuracy of such nationality policy statements. More importantly, they have remained generally suspect of the success of the "drawing together of nations" and nationalities in the Soviet Union. From this perspective, Westerners have argued that Soviet authorities have advocated not theories of internationalism, but rather policies of russification. That is to say, russification, and not internationalism, has been the objective of Soviet nationality policy.10 Westerners have proposed that, despite Soviet declarations of victory over bourgeois nationalism, the nationality question remains unresolved. This conclusion has been reached in the West, partly because social engineering continues to be a high priority within the Soviet system. In addition, these scholars have asserted that the term "internationalism" has been used by Soviet theoreticians in an attempt to disguise, and at the same time, justify the process of russification. Thus, Soviet nationality policy has not in actuality fostered the conglomeration of nations; instead, it has promoted the disintegration of all non-Russian national identities.11


In the past, researchers have had a difficult time of constructing systematic analyses which explain the phenomenon of russification. The greatest difficulties have been encountered in the area of methodology, because it has been difficult to obtain reliable and corroborative information. Therefore, many researchers in this field have geared their intellectual concerns to a topic that has been considered more manageable: linguistic russification. This compartmental division of russification has attracted the attention of scholars, because it is one of the few indicators of russification that is empirically measurable. The significance of such a quality cannot be denied. The scope of this inquiry, therefore is narrowed to an examination of the impact of linguistic russification on eponymous Baltic nationalities.

As earlier defined, russification involves a psychological transference of identity; linguistic russification, therefore, shall be identified as the transference of emotional attachment from one's native language to the Russian language. Clearly, the use of surveys to measure psychological and emotional dispositions in the Soviet Union, is infeasible. Consequently, knowledge of language alignments will serve in this paper as a basis for operationalizing russification. This being the case, it will be assumed that changing one's native language (in this instance, from a titular Baltic language to Russian) will imply a loss of ethnic attachment and suggest a high degree of russification. Therefore, if the regime's policies of linguistic russification are to be effective, the degeneration of attachment to one's autochthonous language should precipitate the more important psychological transference of identity, since "national language and national self-identification are closely related ethnic determinants."12 On the other hand, if an individual continues to associate himself with his native language, one may conclude that national identity has not been displaced and that original ethnic identification has been maintained.

In order to determine the nature of the (linguistic) russification of titular Baltic nationalities, this study will examine the relationships between two independent variables and russification. The two concepts to be explored are: (1) geographical dispersion and (2) urbanization. These variables will be examined across nationalities, and comparisons will be based primarily on material extracted from the 1970 all-Union census.

It has been said that "geographical dispersion" has facilitated the process of linguistic russification. Individuals of Baltic heritage who have migrated to areas beyond their national borders have, for the most part, found themselves ethnically isolated; as a consequence, they have been forced to communicate in the lingua franca. Thus, prolonged residence in non-indigenous areas has been generally viewed as creating favorable conditions for the russification of emigre" groups.13 Therefore I will consider whether residence outside the Baltic national areas has in fact been more Conducive to linguistic russification than residence within the national areas.

In order to assess the significance of "urbanization" as an instrument of linguistic russification, it will be necessary to ascertain whether urbanization increases or decreases the chances of linguistic russification. This concept will be examined by determining whether urban Baits residing in their national territories have been russified to a greater degree than their rural counterparts.

Before examining these determinants, it is necessary to establish a working definition of linguistic russification. To this end, I will apply methods implemented by Brian Silver in an earlier study.14 In keeping with his design, the units of analysis will be classified according to the language faculties they claim to possess. This type of information can be extracted from the responses to two questions concerning language capabilities, as registered in the 1970 Soviet census:15

The linguistic composition of the population was determined by asking the respondents what they regarded as their native language. If an individual found difficulty in naming any one language as native, the language was entered which he knows best or which he usually employs at home. The native language of children not yet able to speak was entered as that normally used in the home. Identification was also made of any second language of a people of the USSR in which the individual was fluent.16

Only three categories of responses to these questions exist: (1) those claiming the national language as native and either Russian or a third language as a second language (or no fluency in a second language); (2) those claiming Russian as native and either the national language or a third language as a second language (or no fluency in a second language); and (3) those claiming a third language as native and either the national language, Russian, or an other language as second (or no fluency in a second language). Using the elements of these categories, one can apply formulas17 to calculate native language — second language combinations. The figures resulting from such tabulations can then be absorbed into a sensitive classificatory system which delineates levels of linguistic russification. The bottom line of such a process is that one can approximate what proportion of a target population has been linguistically russified.

Table 1: Levels of Linguistic Russification



Native Language

Second Language


Unassimilated Bilinguals
Assimilated Bilinguals

National Language
National language

None (or other non-Russian)
National Language
None (or other non-National)

Source: Brian Silver, "Methods of Deriving Data on Bilingualism From the 1970 Soviet Census," Soviet Studies 27 (October 1975): 584.

Table 1 identifies and characterizes four levels of linguistic russification. "Parochials" constitute that portion of a unit which is fluent in the national language but is not fluent in Russian as a second language. "Unassimilated bilinguals" comprise those who claim the national language as native, but who regard Russian as a second language. "Assimilated bilinguals" claim Russian as their native language and consider their national language as secondary. Finally, those categorized as "assimilated" consider Russian as native, and do not claim fluency in the national language.

Having so arranged the units of analysis, one is then able to compare the success of linguistic russification across various levels. In Soviet ethnography, the conversion from a native language to another one, spoken by a numerically larger population, indicates linguistic assimilation.18 In accordance with Silver's system, those who are "assimilated bilinguals" or "assimilated" should be considered fundamentally russified; this is true because they have been absorbed into a larger population and have assigned the Russian language to a position of greater importance than their national language. Thus, the "assimilated bilinguals" and the "assimilated" will be the primary foci of comparison in this analysis.

In addition to ascertaining levels of linguistic russification, this study will also test the hypothesis that greater exposure to Russians will lead to a greater degree of linguistic russification. To that end, I will use data taken from the 1970 Soviet census which shows the concentration of Russians in relation to the ethnic composition within non-Russian territories. As such, the percentage of Russians in an area will serve as an indicator of the amount of contact between Russians and non-Russians. Pearson Product Moment Correlations will then be computed so as to determine the strength of this hypothesis.19

A final comment concerning the validity of the resultant coefficients must be expressed here. One should be aware that the application of this statistical procedure raises some questions of adaptability, since the elements within the universe under

investigation do not mirror each other very well. Consequently, the act of applying the correlations specifically to the Baltic case can be questioned. Therefore, in formulating an opinion about the saliency of the coefficients produced by this inquiry, one should keep in mind the drawbacks of utilizing this particular statistical technique.


The algorithms developed for calculating levels of linguistic russification were applied to autochthonous Baltic populations living within and beyond their national borders. From these results (see table 2), one can perceive that in all three cases, nationals residing outside their national areas were substantially more linguistically russified than those who were still living within their national territories. Furthermore, as evidenced by table 3,

Latvians, in either context, have been russified to a greater extent than Estonians or Lithuanians, while Lithuanians have been least russified.

Table 2: Levels of Linguistic Russification of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians Living Inside and Outside of Their National Territories: 1970 (in






Unassimilated Bilinguals
Assimilated Bilinguals





Unassimilated Bilinguals
Assimilated Bilinguals




Calculated from: TsSU, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 goda IV (Moskva: Statistika, 1973), 273-280, 317, 362-364.

Table 3: The Linguistic Russification of Titular Baltic Nationalities Inside and Outside Their National Territories: 1970 (in percentages)


Inside National Territory

Outside National Territory




Calculated from: TsSU, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 goda IV, 273-280, 317, 362-364.

Although the degree of russification varies from one unit to the next, the most important insight to be uncovered from this data is that Baits who emigrated to extraterritorial locales have usually found themselves more susceptible to linguistic russification than those who maintained residence in their national area. This appears to be a phenomenon that is not uncommon among all non-Russian nationalities; it should be noted, however, that the highest incidence of language transitions has occurred primarily among the Western Soviet nationalities: Belorussians, Ukrainians, Latvians, and Estonians.20

One can infer from such an observation that mobility increases the vulnerability of ethnic groups to assimilation. This, in part, has been caused by the desires of people to raise their standard of living.21 The desire for better jobs, better educational opportunities, more leisure time, and higher incomes, among other benefits, have lured people, especially those more educated, away from their national areas.22 As a consequence, these people have found themselves severed from their own ethnic group, with little alternative but to assimilate.

It should be noted that of all the benefits mentioned above, education is of special importance; ironically, it has assumed a dominant role in the assimilation of Baltic nationalities.23 This has occurred, because the Soviet school system has not provided primary and secondary education for Baits in a Baltic language outside of their national territories.24 Consequently, deprivation of an education in their national language, coupled with the everyday exposure to Russian as a medium of instruction in school, has greatly facilitated the process of linguistic change. Extraterritorial post-secondary students have also been exposed to similar denationalizing factors,25 since a number of the brighter Baltic students have been sent either to Moscow or Leningrad to study.26 The displacement of these students has lent itself to denationalization, because pressures to linguistically assimilate have proven to be especially strong when individuals are placed into an environment in which there is little room for ethnic expression.

The hypothesis that greater exposure to Russians within the national areas increases the likelihood of linguistic russification will also be tested in this section. As indicated earlier, the percentage of Russians in the national areas will serve as an estimator of the amount of contact between Russians and non-Russians.27 One would, therefore, expect to see a positive correlation between the Russian percentage of an area and the amount of indigenous habitants who have claimed the Russian language as native. Conversely, one would also expect a negative correlation between the percentage of Russians in non-Russian republics and the number of non-Russians who have claimed their national language as native.

A study conducted by Catharine Ewing on a Union-wide level (all Soviet administrative units were included) revealed that this hypothesis does indeed hold true. As table 4 demonstrates, the correlation between "Russian percentage" and "Russian language" (.56) was inversely related to "Russian percentage" and "national language" (-.55). Indeed it would appear that the proportion of Russians in an area has influenced the language loyalties of native residents. However, when one examines this hypothesis on a Union republic rather than a Union-wide level, a different picture emerges. In fact, the strength of the correlations cited above dramatically changes. According to table 5, the correlation between "Russian percentage" and "Russian language" shifted to -.02, while the correlation between "Russian percentage" and "national language" was computed to be .098. These latter correlation coefficients would appear to completely contradict the hypothesis under consideration. However, a solution to this dilemma may be found in Ewing's study.

Table 4: Influence of Area on Language Use on a Union-Wide Level: 1970

Language Use

Russian Percentage Of Area

Native Percentage Of Area

Russian Fluency



Source: Catharine Vaughan Ewing, "Socioeconomic Modernization and the Linguistic Russification of National Minorities in the USSR." (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1977), 199.
* Listed as "Native Language" in Ewing's study.

One can discern from Ewing's work that the direction and magnitude of the correlations are dependent upon "political status."28 As a political unit29 decreases in status, the correlation reflecting linguistic russification increases positively. The inverse of this phenomenon has also been observed.30 The polarity between the "highest" political unit and the "lowest" one would thus tend to explain the divergence between the two sets of correlations discussed above. Ewing offered this solution to explain why there is almost no relationship between the Russian percentage in Union republics and linguistic russification:

... in union republics, Russians tend to concentrate in urban areas, but have very limited contact with persons in the rural areas. (In 1970 the Russians constituted less than ten percent of the rural population in eleven of the fourteen non-Russian union republics. The concentration of Russians was that low only in three of the eighteen oblasti and okrugi.) Thus, there is little russifying pressure outside of the urban areas, and the high visibility of urban Russians in positions of power and privilege may increase group identity by causing resentment. The higher correlations for fluency may indicate that, because of the numerical dominance of the native group, a reasonable degree of fluency in Russian is all that daily living requires.31

Table 5: Influence of Area on Language Use on a Union Republic Level: 1970

Language Use

Russian Percentage Of Union Republics

Native Percentage Of Union Republics

Russian Fluency



Calculated from: TsSU, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 Goda IV, 152-320.

Thus, national city residents "may still have enough communication with and support from their native social and linguistic habitat" to sustain low levels of russification.32


The central thesis derived from urbanization33 as a determinant force of linguistic russification is grounded in the notion that the forces associated with urbanization, primarily industrialization and migration,34 have accelerated the process of linguistic russification. Industrialization has significantly mobilized non-indigenous populations into the Baltic republics, and, with exceptional intensity, into the Baltic cities. Consequently, this flow of non-natives into the national urban areas has disturbed the cities' ethnic composition, creating an ethnic imbalance.35 The heterogeneity of urban Baltic communities has created an environment conducive to denationalization and assimilation,36 because natives come into contact with "external elements," usually of Russian import.37

One would, therefore, expect to find greater levels of linguistic russification in urban areas than in rural locales. Tables 6 and 7 demonstrate that this appraisal is indeed accurate. The percentage of rural "parochials" in each Baltic republic is substantially greater than the proportion of urban "parochials"; the percentage of those linguistically russified in urban areas exceeds the totals in rural residence. This data also reveals that the percentage of "unassimilated bilinguals" is also much greater among urbanites than among rural habitants.

It would appear that this dimension of language capabilities is not unique among the Baltic states. In fact, among all fourteen non-Russian republics, the percentage linguistically russified or bilingual (with Russian as a second language) was greater among the urban population than among the rural.38

Table 6: Levels of Linguistic Russification of Urban and Rural Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians Residing in Their National Territories: 1970 (in












Unassimilated Bilinguals
Assimilated Bilinguals







Calculated from: Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 goda IV, 274-275, 281-282, 318-319.

Table 7: The Linguistic Russification of Urban and Rural Titular Baltic Nationalities Residing in Their National Territories: 1970 (in percentages)







Calculated from: TsSU, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 goda, 274-275, 281-282, 318-319.

Focusing in on the three Soviet Baltic republics, one can see that in both the urban and rural settings, the degree of russification is greater in Latvia than in Estonia or Lithuania. Moreover, the percentage of those linguistically russified in both urban and rural areas is least pronounced in Lithuania, while the percentage of "unassimilated bilinguals" varies inconsistently when comparing Estonia with Lithuania. As stated above, one can account for the urban-rural difference within each republic because of industrial performance and the migration of Russians into urban centers. For the same reason, the fact that Latvians have been more russified than Estonians or Lithuanians, and Estonians more so than Lithuanians, can also be attributed to the effects of industrialization and migration.

Migratory patterns and levels of urbanization have been closely related and have been dependent, to a large extent, on the degree of industrialization. Demographic studies of Soviet Eastern Europe have demonstrated that rapid industrialization has been associated with the growth of urban centers, with non-native elements comprising a sizeable portion of the new settlers.39 For example, 43 percent of the residents in the Baltic city of Riga (Latvia) are Russian, and 35 percent of the people in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Tallinn (Estonia) are of Russian nationality.40 This has resulted, because large capital investments have lured outside elements into eponymous regions with the possibilities of better occupational placement. As a consequence, geographical mobility has been highest among the more industrialized republics in the Soviet Union, such as Latvia and Estonia, while the movement of nationalities has not been as sharp in the less industrialized republics.41

Thomas Remeikis has pointed out that since 1940, the Latvian SSR and Estonian SSR have developed at a far quicker rate than any other Soviet republic, so that today

Latvia is the most industrialized and productive republic in the Soviet Union, closely followed by Estonia, while Lithuania is surpassing union averages on many indicators and is quickly catching up with the other Baltic republics.42

Since industrialization was pursued with great intensity from the very outset in Latvia and Estonia, these two republics have assumed an important position in the economic scheme of the Soviet Union. More significantly, the rapidity of this industrialization has altered the posture of native social and cultural institutions.

In order to maintain high levels of industrial growth, a large labor force was required. Since local reserves in Latvia and Estonia could not provide the necessary manpower to stimulate industrial output, these republics imported assistance from neighboring provinces.43 As a consequence, the immigration of extraterritorial nationalities severely damaged the ethnic composition of urban areas, thus increasing the chances of denationalization.

As stated earlier, one may perceive a converse phenomenon in the less industrialized republics, such as Lithuania. Nonindigenous groups have not been attracted to the Lithuanian SSR to the same extent as they have been to the Latvian SSR or Estonian SSR,44 because Lithuania has maintained an economy primarily dependent on agriculture. From 1971 to 1975, gross agricultural output (in comparable prices of 1965), in millions of rubles, was 1926 for Lithuania,45 and only 1160 for Latvia and 748 for Estonia.46 These figures testify to Lithuania's strength in the agrarian sector, and assist in demonstrating why occupational opportunities have been limited. However, in the future, Lithuania may not be fortunate enough to deflect mobilized populations to Latvia or Estonia, since the ninth five-year plan calls for a 49 percent increase in industrial outlays from the Lithuanian SSR, one of the highest increases in the Soviet Union.47

During recent years, the patterns of migration outlined above have attracted the attention of local Baltic Communist Party chieftains. In fact, plans have been initiated by these local decision-makers to limit the immigration of external elements.48 They hope to combat mobilization by establishing new industrial sites near small towns and hamlets, thereby tapping the unused labor sources of seasonal agricultural employees and housewives.49 If successful, this scheme might reduce the need for imported labor. In turn, this may reduce the levels of linguistic russification in all three Baltic republics, but especially in the Latvian SSR and Estonian SSR. However, such a prediction may be somewhat premature, for in 1972, new industrial sites were erected in Latvia despite the protests of Latvian factory managers.50 The fact that these protests were ignored may indicate that it is unlikely that the Kremlin will stand idly by and allow provincial Party members to rebuff the grand Soviet designs of internationalism and ethnic assimilation.

One can conclude from this scenario that the dilution of eponymous urban centers has created feelings of resentment within national populations towards immigrant groups. In the Baltic republics this hostility has been aimed primarily at those representing the Russian nationality, since Russians comprise the largest share of the urban alien population in all three Baltic republics.51 This situation could become further aggravated, since the last Soviet census revealed that Russians accounted for the largest percentage of immigration into the Baltic states.52 As a result of these trends, Soviet policy-makers will most likely have a difficult time engineering the reversal of anti-Russian sentiment, as well as attempting to lessen the friction between indigenous populations and the Soviet apparatchiki in non-Russian areas, since many have come to equate Soviet authority with Russian authority.53


I have, in this paper, presented and examined two variables which have contributed to the illumination of the process of linguistic russification in the Soviet Baltic republics. First of all, I considered whether residence outside the Baltic national territories is more conducive to linguistic russification than residence within the homeland. It was found that residents of extraterritorial locales were substantially more russified than those living within their national borders. This was attributed to deprivation of an education in the national language, isolation from other nationals and greater amounts of contact with individuals of Russian nationality.

Secondly, I determined whether urban Baits were linguistically russified to a greater extent than rural Baits. Derived data suggested that this is the case. This was attributed to the effectiveness of industrialization in attracting Russians to settle in Baltic cities. Consequently, a Russian population substantially larger in urban centers than in peripheral regions has increased the likelihood of contact between Russians and Baits; this in turn has caused greater amounts of linguistic russification in urban Baltic sites than in rural areas.

In addition to the above, using Pearson Product Moment Correlations, I addressed the hypothesis of whether greater amounts of contact with Russians increases the levels of linguistic russification in non-Russian territories. I concluded that this hypothesis is indeed a valid one, but that one should be careful to take into account the size of a "political unit" and its "status" when making judgments about the significance of the variance.

Although this paper has identified and categorized levels of linguistic russification among various Baltic groups, it remains difficult to ascertain the direction of this russification. I have clearly demonstrated that urbanites, for example, have been linguistically russified to a greater extent than rural residents; but I am unable to predict from this information whether this trend will continue. That is why students of Soviet politics should be particularly interested in the results of the 1980 Soviet census, for one will then be able to conduct longitudinal analyses to answer questions concerning the direction and magnitude of russification.

Based on recent economic and political developments in the Baltic republics, I could speculate that the intensity and spread of russification will increase in proportion to the levels presented in this study. I base such a prediction on the observance of two phenomenon: (1) the Baltic republics' need to import human resources to stimulate industrial growth, and (2) a decline in the birth rates in all three Baltic states.54

Newspaper columnists and journalists in the Baltic republics continue to state that the lack of manpower to promote economic expansion is a problem which must be dealt with as soon as possible.55 Levels of linguistic russification will, in my opinion, continue to grow as long as the Baltic states refrain from limiting the immigration of Russians and other aliens into the Baltic region. Only if the local Parties were to impose immigration constraints, could one possibly see a decrease in this rate of growth.

The decline in birth rates of all three Baltic states will more than likely complicate an already serious problem; such a decline will mean that, in the future, the Baltic republics will certainly be forced to import an even larger industrial work force from other areas of the Soviet Union. The decline in births is further aggravated by the fact that the Baltic states have the proportionately largest "60 and above" age group in the USSR.56 As a result, 

... by the late 1980's, the number of 'Europeans' reaching working age will actually decline from the present average of about 4 million per annum to only slightly over 2 million per annum, and the regime will be extremely hard pressed to find enough 'European' workers to replace those whose retirement (even if extended beyond the current norms of 60 for men and 55 for women) can no longer be delayed.57

All in all, one can conclude from the data presented in this paper that the identities of eponymous Baltic nationalities have been, and will continue to be severely taxed. Any positive changes which would promote the enhancement of Baltic national languages and, more importantly, their national identities, will for the most part be determined by the character of both Soviet nationality and economic policies.


* The author is doctoral candidate in Political Science at Northwestern University, Evanston, III.
1 Brian Silver, "Social Mobilization and the Russification of Soviet Nationalities," American Political Science Review, 68 (March 1974): 45-66.
2 Brian Silver, "Bilingualism and the Maintenance of the Mother Tongue in Soviet Central Asia," Slavic Review, 35 (September 1976): 406-424.
3 Vernon V. Aspaturian, "The Non-Russian Nationalities," published in Alien Kassof, ed., Prospects for Soviet Society (New York, 1968), 160. Notice that "russification" is to be differentiated from "russianization" and "sovietization." The former refers to conscious attempts by Soviets to introduce Russian symbols into non-Russian areas. For example, the transformation of native street names to Russian or the introduction of Russian words into non-Russian vocabularies. "Sovietization" refers to the superimposition of Soviet political and economic structures onto lower level administrative units throughout the USSR.
4 Benedict V. Mačiuika, "Acculturation and Socialization in the Soviet Baltic Republics," Lituanus, 18 (Winter 1972): 35.
5 Brian Silver, "Social Mobilization and the Russification of Soviet Nationalities," 46.
6 Leonid Brezhnev, "The Report to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee," Pravda, 25 February 1976, published in Current Digest of the Soviet Press, 28 (no. 8, 1976): 28.
7 Marx Engels Lenin (Moscow, 1975), 86.
8 Cited in P. N. Fedoseyev, Lenin and the National Question, translated by Vic Schneierson (Moscow, 1977), 61.
9 E. Bagramov, "The Development and Drawing Together of Socialist Nations," Pravda, 16 July 1971, published in Current Digest of the Soviet Press, 23 (10 August 1971): 8.
10 Ivan Dzyuba, Internationalism or Russification? (New York, 1974), 171-215.
11 Stephan S. Charney, "From the Ems Ukase to the Twenty-fifth Congress of the CPSU," Ukrainian Quarterly, 32 (Winter 1976): 361.
12 A. I. Kholmogorov, International'nye cherty sovetskikh natsii — na materialakh konkretnosotsiologischeskikh issledovanie v Pribaltike (International Traits of Soviet Nations — Based on Data of Concrete Social Research in the Baltic Area) (Moscow, 1970), translated in Soviet Sociology, 12 (Summer 1973): 5.
13 S. I. Bruk, "Ethnodemograficheskie protsessy v SSSR (po materialam perepisi 1970 goda)" (Ethnodemographic Processes in the USSR (on material from the 1970 Census)). Sovetskaia etnografiia, no. 4 (1971), translated in Soviet Sociology, 10 (Spring 1972): 365.
14 Brian Silver, "Methods of Deriving Data on Bilingualism from the 1970 Soviet Census," Soviet Studies, 27 (October 1975): 574-597.16 Bruk, "Ethnodemograficheskie protsessy v SSSR (po materialam perepisi 1970 goda)," 357.
15 For a general account of the program, format, and procedures used during the 1970 census count, see the article by the Assistant Director of the Lithuanian SSR Central Statistical Administration, P. Adlys, "Visasąjunginis gyventojų surašymas" (The Soviet Census), Komunistas, no. 12 (1969): 64-66.
17 For an explication of the applied algorithms, see Silver, "Methods of Deriving Data on Bilingualism from the 1970 Soviet Census," 574-597.
18 Kholmogorov, Internatsional'nye cherty sovetskikh natsii — na materialakh konkretnosotsiologicheskikh issledovanie v Pribaltike, 4.
19 The Pearson Product Moment Correlations will have an N of 14, representing each non-Russian Union republic.
20 Kholmogorov, Internatsional'nye cherty sovetskikh natsii — na materialakh konkretnosotsiologicheskikh issledovanie v Pribaltike, 4.
21 Karl W. Deutsch, Nationalism and Social Communication: An Inquiry Into the Foundations of Nationality (Cambridge, 1966), 118-130.
22 Albertas Zubras, "Rusifikacija Sovietų Sąjungoje" (Russification in the Soviet Union), Aidai, no. 3 (1973): 50.
23 A. Blažys, "Tautų santykiai Sovietų Sąjungoje" (Relations Between the Nations of the Soviet Union), Akiračiai, no. 1 (January 1974): 5.
24 Harry Lipset, "The Status of National Minority Languages in Soviet Education," Soviet Studies, 19 (October 1967): 185-186.
25 Draugas (Chicago), 28 November 1977.
26 Komjaunimo Tiesa (Vilnius), 24 October 1972.
27 This estimation of contact is based on aggregate data. One should, therefore, avoid the ecological fallacy of disaggregating the results presented in this paper for the purpose of drawing inferences on the individual case level.
28 "Political status" refers to the rank of administrative units in the Soviet Union. For example, autonomous republics have greater "status" than autonomous oblasts.
29 "Political units" are classified as: Union republics, autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts, and national okrugs.
30 Catharine Vaughan Ewing, "Socioeconomic Modernization and the Linguistic Russification of National Minorities in the USSR" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1977), 203-204.
31 Ibid., 205-206.
32 Brian Silver, "The Impact of Urbanization and Geographical Dispersion on the Linguistic Russification of Soviet Nationalities," Demography, 11 (February 1974): 102.
33 In this paper "urbanization" does not refer to a process; instead it makes reference to urban-rural population differences in the areas under investigation.
34 Robert A. Lewis, Richard H. Rowland, Ralph S. Clem, Nationality and Population Change in Russia and the USSR (New York, 1976), 8.
35 Tonu Parming, "Roots of Nationality Differences," published in Edward Allworth, ed., National Croup Survival in Multi-Ethnic States (New York, 1977), 35-46.
36 Thomas Remeikis, "The Impact of Industrialization on the Ethnic Demography of the Baltic Countries," Lituanus, 13 (Spring 1967): 30.
37 Brian Silver, "Social Mobilization and the Russification of Soviet Nationalities," 64.
38 Tsentral'noe Staticheskoe Upravlenie, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 goda IV (Moskva, 1973), 152-320.
39 Juris Dreifelds, "Characteristics and Trends of Two Demographic Variables in the Latvian SSR," Bulletin of Baltic Studies, no. 8 (Winter 1971): 8-13.
40 Tsentral'noe Staticheskoe Upravlenie, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1970 Goda IV, 283, 320; A. Stanaitis. P. Adlys, Lietuvos TSR gyventojai (Residents of the Lithuanian SSR) (Vilnius, 1973), 112.
41 Vytautas Vardys, "Soviet Nationality Policy Since the XXII Party Congress," Russian Review, 24, no. 4 (1965), 332.
42 Thomas Remeikis, "Modernization and National Identity in the Baltic Republics: Union and Multi-Directional Change in the Components of Modernization," published in Ihor Kamenetsky, ed., Nationalism and Human Rights (Littleton, 1977), 116-118.
43 V. Stanley Vardys, "Soviet Nationality Policy as Instrument of Political Socialization," published in Adolf Sprudzs, Armins Rusis, eds., Res Baltica (Netherlands, 1968), 129-130; Dreifelds, "Characteristics and Trends of Two Demographic Variables in the Latvian SSR," 10-13.
44 This is reflected in the 1970 census data which showed that Latvians comprised only 56.8 percent of their republic's population and Estonians made up only 68.2 percent of the Estonian SSR, while the reported percentage of Lithuanians registered in the Lithuanian SSR was 80.1 percent. VESA (Vilnius), 17 April 1971.
45 Genuine statistikos valdyba prie Lietuvos TSR Ministry tarybos, Lietuvos TSR ekonomika ir cultural (Vilnius, 1976), 100.
46 Central Statistical Board, The Council of Ministers of the USSR, The USSR in Figures for 7975 (Moscow, 1976), 106.
47 Thomas Remeikis, "Modernization and National Identity in the Baltic Republics: Uneven and Multi-Directional Change in the Components of Modernization," 116.
48 V. Stanley Vardys, "How the Baltic Republics Fare in the Soviet Union," foreign Affairs, 44 (April 1966): 516.
49 This plan is evidenced in Lithuania where 70 percent of all industrial construction from 1967 to 1970 took place in small towns. Tarybinis Mokytojas (Vilnius), 3 March 1971.
50 Mary Ann Grossman, "Soviet Efforts at the Socioeconomic Integration of Latvians," published in Ralph S. Clem, ed., The Soviet West (New York, 1975), 76.
51 Russians comprise 33.9 percent of the population in Estonian cities, 38 percent in Latvian urban sites and 14.5 percent in Lithuanian urban centers. TsSU, tog; vsesoiuznoi peep/si naseleniia 1970 goda, IV, 274, 281, 318.
52 TsSU, Itogi vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 7970 goda, VII, 137, 141,156.
53 Mark Perakh, "Would the Fall of its Colonial Empire be a Catastrophe for Russia?," Ukrainian Quarterly, 32 (Summer 1976): 172.
54 U.S. Department of Commerce, Social and Economic Statistics Administration, Projections of the Population of the U.S.S.R. and Eight Subdivisions, by Age and Sex: 1973 to 2000, by Godfrey Baldwin, International Population Report P-91, no. 24 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1975), 5-12, 21.
55 Komjaunimo Tiesa, 5 January 1972.
56 K. Blaževičius, A. Kondratas, "Gyventojų senėjimo procesas Lietuvoje" (The Process of Aging in Lithuania), Liaudies Ūkis, 2 (February 1974): 52.
57 United States Air Force, Emergent Nationality Problems in the USSR, by Jeremy Azrael, Report R-2172-AF (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 1977), 9.