Glossary -- Belarus (Belarus and Moldova)
- Russian colloquial word for someone who has been engaged full
time in the work of the CPSU (q.v.) and/or the republic
communist parties. Sometimes used in a derogatory sense.
- August coup d'état
- On August 19, 1991, high-ranking officials of the CPSU
(q.v.) and the government of the Soviet Union
(q.v.) announced that they had formed the State Committee
for the State of Emergency and had removed Mikhail S. Gorbachev as
the head of state. Leaders of most of the Soviet republics and many
foreign leaders denounced the coup. Some key military commanders
refused to deploy their forces in support of the coup leaders, and
by August 22 the coup had collapsed. As a consequence of the failed
coup, the CPSU and the Soviet central government were severely
discredited, Gorbachev resigned, ten of the fifteen Soviet
republics declared or reaffirmed their independence (including
Belarus and Moldova), and the Congress of People's Deputies
(q.v.) dissolved the Soviet Union and itself after
transferring state power to a transitional government.
- Belarusian ruble
- The monetary unit of Belarus, introduced in May 1992. In March
1995, the exchange rate was 11,669 Belarusian rubles per US$1. The
Belarusian ruble is convertible, within limits.
- Bessarabia (Basarabia in
- Former principality, originally composed of lands owned by the
Basarab Dynasty of Walachia (q.v.), extending inland from
the Black Sea coast and bounded on the west by the Prut River and
on the east by the Nistru River. In 1812 the name was extended to
all the land between the Prut and Nistru rivers by the Russian
Empire (q.v.), to which Bessarabia was awarded by the
Treaty of Bucharest. The bulk of Bessarabia makes up most of the
present-day Republic of Moldova.
- A member of the radical group within the Russian Social
Democratic Labor Party, which, under Vladimir I. Lenin's
leadership, staged the Bolshevik Revolution. In March 1918, the
Bolsheviks formed the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) and began
calling themselves Communists (q.v.). That party was the
precursor of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU--
- Bukovina (Bucovina in Romanian; Bukovyna
- An area in the eastern foothills of the Carpathian Mountains
populated principally by ethnic Ukrainians and Romanians. Over the
centuries, Bukovina has belonged to various states, including
Kievan Rus', Moldova, and Austria-Hungary. In 1940 the northern
half of Bukovina became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist
Republic, while the southern half remained part of Romania.
- Bund(General Union of Jewish Workers in
Russia and Poland)
- A Jewish socialist movement founded in Vilnius in 1897 by
Jewish workers and intellectuals in the Russian Empire
(q.v.). The Bund divided into two groups in 1920. The
larger group merged with the Bolshevik (q.v.) branch of
the communist party, while the minority remained independent until
it was suppressed by the Bolshevik government. The Bund was active
in Poland between the two world wars.
- Russian word meaning black earth. Rich, highly fertile soil.
- collective farm (kolkhoz in
- Under the communist (q.v.) regime, an agricultural
"cooperative" where peasants worked collectively on state-owned
land under the direction of party-approved plans and leaders and
were paid wages based partly on the success of their harvest.
- Joseph V. Stalin's policy of confiscating privately owned
agricultural lands and facilities and consolidating them, along
with farmers and their families, into large collective farms
(q.v.) and state farms (q.v.).
- Comecon (Council for Mutual Economic
Assistance; sometimes cited as CMEA or CEMA)
- A multilateral economic alliance created in 1949, ostensibly to
promote economic development of member states through cooperation
and specialization, but actually to enforce Soviet economic
domination of Eastern Europe. Members shortly before its official
demise in January 1991 were Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the
German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Mongolia,
Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam.
- Commonwealth of Independent States
- Created on December 8, 1991, with the signing of the Minsk
Agreement by Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The Alma-Ata
Declaration, signed by eleven heads of state on December 21, 1991,
expanded membership in the CIS to all other former Soviet republics
except Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The CIS is a
confederation of former Soviet republics in which "coordinating
bodies" oversee common interests in the economies, foreign policy,
and defense of its members.
- The official ideology of the Soviet Union (q.v.),
based on Marxism-Leninism, which provided for a system of
authoritarian government in which the CPSU (q.v.) alone
controlled state-owned means of production. It sought to establish
a society in which the state withered away and goods and services
were distributed equitably. A communist is an adherent or advocate
- Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe (CSCE)
- Established as an international process in 1972, the group in
1994 consisted of fifty-three nations, including all European
countries, and sponsored joint sessions and consultations on
political issues vital to European security. The Charter of Paris
(1990) changed the CSCE from an ad hoc forum to an organization
having permanent institutions. In 1992 new CSCE roles in conflict
prevention and management were defined, potentially making CSCE the
center of a Europe-based collective security system. In the early
1990s, however, applications of these instruments to conflicts in
Yugoslavia and the Caucasus did not have a decisive impact. In
January 1995, the organizations was renamed the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
- Congress of People's Deputies (S"yezd
narodnykh deputatov in Russian)
- Established in 1988 by constitutional amendment. The highest
organ (upper tier) of legislative and executive authority in the
Soviet Union (q.v.). It elected the Supreme Soviet
(q.v.), but ceased to exist at the demise of the Soviet
- Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty
- An agreement signed in 1990 by the member nations of the Warsaw
Pact (q.v.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to
establish parity in conventional weapons between the two
organizations from the Atlantic to the Urals. The treaty included
a strict system of inspection and information exchange and remained
in force, although not strictly observed by all parties, in the
- Originally peasants (primarily Ukrainian and Russian) who fled
from bondage to the lower Dnepr and Don river regions to settle in
the frontier areas separating fifteenth-century Muscovy, Poland,
and the lands occupied by the Tatars. They later organized
themselves into military formations to resist Tatar raids. Renowned
as horsemen, they were absorbed into the army of the Russian Empire
(q.v.) by the late eighteenth century. In the early 1990s,
there were attempts to reestablish a Cossack military tradition in
- Council of Europe
- Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe is an organization
overseeing intergovernmental cooperation in designated areas such
as environmental planning, finance, sport, crime, migration, and
legal matters. In 1994 the council had thirty-three members.
- CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet
- Since 1952 the official name of the communist party in the
Soviet Union (q.v.). After the August coup d'état
(q.v.), in which the party played a prominent role,
Russian president Boris N. Yeltsin banned the party in Russia and
ordered its property turned over to the government. The Communist
Party of Belarus was banned in Belarus in August 1991, as was the
Communist Party of Moldova in Moldova.
- Cyrillic alphabet
- An alphabet, based on Greek characters, that was created in the
ninth century to serve as a medium for writing Orthodox texts
translated from Greek into Old Church Slavonic (q.v.).
Named for Cyril, the leader of the first religious mission from
Constantinople to the Slavic peoples, Cyrillic is used by modern
Russian, Belarusian, "Moldavian" (q.v.), and several other
languages, both Slavic and non-Slavic.
- "Dnestr Moldavian Republic"
- An extralegal political entity, located on the left bank of the
Nistru River, that declared its independence in September 1990.
Established by Russian-speaking conservatives who wished to remain
part of the Soviet Union. In 1995 the territory of the "Dnestr
Republic" (as it was commonly known) consisted of all Moldovan land
east of the Nistru River, with the exception of two enclaves
bordering the river, one around Cosnita (northeast of Chisinau),
and the other between Dubasari and Malovata to its northwest. In
addition, the "Dnestr Republic" included territory on the west bank
of the Nistru: the city of Tighina and an area to the southeast of
the city that bordered on the river.
- A production establishment, such as a plant or a factory, in
the communist (q.v.) era; not to be confused with a
privately owned, Western-style business.
- An administrative district of the Orthodox and Uniate
(q.v.) churches, usually headed by a bishop. Equivalent to
a diocese in the Roman Catholic Church. A group of eparchies
constitute a metropolitan see.
- ethnic Belorussian/Belarusian
- Person whose ethnic heritage is East Slavic and whose native
language is Belorussian/Belarusian.
- ethnic Bulgarian
- Person whose ethnic heritage is South Slavic and whose native
language is Bulgarian.
- ethnic Pole
- Person whose ethnic heritage is West Slavic and whose native
language is Polish.
- ethnic Romanian
- Person whose ethnic heritage is Latin and whose native language
- ethnic Russian
- Person whose ethnic heritage is East Slavic and whose native
language is Russian.
- ethnic Ukrainian
- Person whose ethnic heritage is East Slavic and whose native
language is Ukrainian.
- European Union (EU)
- Successor organization to the European Community, officially
established by ratification of the Maastricht Treaty of November
1993. The goal of the EU is closer economic unification of Western
Europe, leading to a single monetary system and closer cooperation
in matters of justice and foreign and security. In 1995 members
consisted of Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
- An independent church within the Orthodox Church. The exarch,
head of the exarchate, is an Eastern rite bishop who ranks below a
patriarch and above a metropolitan.
- fiscal year (FY)
- A one-year period for financial accounting purposes, which can
coincide with the calendar year. In both Belarus and Moldova, it
coincides with the calendar year.
- Russian word meaning openness. Public discussion of issues;
accessibility of information so that the public can become familiar
with it and discuss it. Mikhail S. Gorbachev's policy of using the
media to make information available on some controversial issues in
order to provoke public discussion, challenge government and party
bureaucrats, and mobilize greater support for his policy of
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by
the domestic economy of a country during a given period, usually
one year. Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector
of the economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees,
and depreciation (consumption of capital). Only domestic production
is included, not income arising from investments and possessions
owned abroad, hence the use of the word "domestic" to distinguish
GDP from gross "national" product (GNP--q.v.).
- gross national product (GNP)
- The total market value of final goods and services produced by
a country's economy during a year. Obtained by adding the gross
domestic product (GDP--q.v.) and the income received from
abroad by residents and by subtracting payments remitted abroad to
- Group of Seven
- The seven major noncommunist economic powers: Britain, Canada,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
the IMF is specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations
and responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. Its main function is to provide loans to its members
(including industrialized and developing countries) when they
experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently
have conditions that require substantial internal economic
adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing
countries. Belarus and Moldova both became members of the IMF in
- KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti in
- Committee for State Security. The predominant Soviet security
police organization since its establishment in 1954 as the
successor to the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs; Ministerstvo
vnutrennykh del, in Russian). In October 1991, when Mikhail S.
Gorbachev decreed that the KGB be disbanded because of its
involvement in the August coup d'état (q.v.), the assets
and willing personnel of the KGB in Moldova were transferred to the
new republic's government, to the Ministry of National Security. In
Belarus the new government took control of the KGB but did not
change its name.
- leu (pl., lei)
- The monetary unit of Moldova, introduced in November 1993. The
exchange rate was 4.27 lei per US$1 at the beginning of 1995. The
leu is convertible.
- A member of a wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party
before and during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917. Unlike
the Bolsheviks (q.v.), the Mensheviks believed in the
gradual achievement of socialism by parliamentary methods.
- "Moldavian" (moldavskiy in
- Term used by the Soviet government to describe the language and
nationality of the ethnic Romanians (q.v.) in Bessarabia
(q.v.). Joseph V. Stalin claimed that their language and
nationality were different and distinct from the language and
nationality of the ethnic Romanians in Romania as a justification
for creating the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1940. In
actuality, the "Moldavian" language is a dialect of Romanian. Under
the Soviet regime, "Moldavia" was used as the short form for the
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.
- Former principality, one of two major historical regions
inhabited by a Romanian-speaking population (along with Walachia,
q.v.). Moldovan territory east of the Prut River was added
to the original Bessarabia (q.v.), and the entire region
was called Bessarabia when it was annexed by the Russian Empire
(q.v.) in 1812. Also the name of a region in modern
- most-favored-nation status
- Under the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT), when one country accords another most-favored-nation
status, it agrees to extend to that country the same trade
concessions, such as lower tariffs or reduced nontariff barriers,
that it grants to any other recipient having most-favored-nation
status. The United States granted Moldova most-favored-nation
status in 1992. Belarus was granted that status in 1993.
- Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact
- Agreement signed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union
(q.v.) on August 23, 1939, immediately preceding the
German invasion of Poland, which began World War II. A secret
protocol divided Poland between the two powers and gave Bessarabia
(q.v.), Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the eastern part
of Poland to the Soviet Union. Also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop
- net material product (NMP)
- The official measure of the value of goods and services
produced in countries having a planned economy during a given
period, usually a year. It approximates the term "gross national
product" (GNP--q.v.) used by economists in the United
States and in other countries having a market economy.
- New Economic Policy (NEP; Novaya
ekonomicheskaya politika in Russian)
- Instituted in 1921, it let peasants sell produce on an open
market and permitted small enterprises (q.v.) to be
privately owned and operated. The NEP declined with forced
collectivization (q.v.) of farms and was officially ended
by Stalin in December 1929.
- Old Believers
- A sect of the Russian Orthodox Church that rejected the changes
made by Patriarch Nikon in the mid-seventeenth century.
- Old Church Slavonic
- Also called Church Slavonic. The liturgical language of the
Eastern Orthodox and Uniate (q.v.) churches in Slavic
- Russian word meaning restructuring. Mikhail S. Gorbachev's
campaign to revitalize the economy, communist party, and society by
adjusting economic, political, and social mechanisms. Announced at
the Twenty-Seventh Party Congress of the CPSU (q.v.) in
- Polonize, Polonization
- The process of changing the national identity of non-Poles to
one culturally similar to that of the Poles.
- The agency responsible for the investigation and prosecution of
lawbreakers. The Procuracy was subject to the authority of the CPSU
(q.v.) and had limited purview over political matters. In
Moldova the Procuracy (and its successor organization, the General
Prosecution Office) was the subject of substantial controversy in
discussions on constitutional reform in the early 1990s.
- raion (pl., raioane in
Romanian; rayon/rayony in Belarusian and
- A low-level territorial and administrative subdivision, roughly
equivalent to a county in the United States. Originally used by the
- See raion.
- Russian Empire
- Formally proclaimed by Tsar Peter the Great in 1721 and
significantly expanded during the reign of Catherine II, becoming
a major multinational state. It collapsed during the revolutions of
- The policy of several Soviet regimes promoting Russian as the
national language of the Soviet Union. Russian was given equal and
official status with local languages in most non-Russian republics;
it was made the official language of the Soviet Union in state and
diplomatic affairs, in the armed forces, and on postage stamps,
currency, and military and civilian decorations.
- Russify, Russification
- A process of changing the national identity of non-Russians to
one culturally similar to that of the Russians. An official policy
of the Russian Empire (q.v.) although not of any Soviet
regime. However, such assimilation often resulted from the policy
of Russianization (q.v.), particularly in the case of
ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians, and non-Russian educated elites.
- Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist
- Founded December 1922; dissolved in December 1991. The Soviet
Union included the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
(originally called the Moldavian Autonomous Oblast) from 1924 until
1940, at which time the Soviet government created the Moldavian
Soviet Socialist Republic on somewhat different territory until
1941. In 1947 the Soviet Union regained control until Moldova
declared its independence in August 1991. The Belorussian Soviet
Socialist Republic was established in 1919 and remained a part of
the Soviet Union until it declared its independence in August 1991.
- state farm (sovkhoz in
- Under the communist regime, a government-owned and government-
managed agricultural enterprise (q.v.) in which workers
were paid salaries.
- The vast, semiarid, grass-covered plain in the southeastern
portion of Europe, extending into Asia.
- Supreme Soviet (Verkhovnyy sovet in
- Under the communist regime, the lower tier of the legislature.
Elected by the Congress of People's Deputies (q.v.). The
Moldovan Supreme Soviet changed its name to the Moldovan Parliament
in May 1991 and declared the country sovereign one month later. The
name of the Belarusian Supreme Soviet remained unchanged after
Belarus declared its independence.
- Transnistria (Transdnestria in
- From 1941 to 1944, a Romanian judet (province)
encompassing the land between the Nistru and Pivdennyy Buh rivers
in the German-occupied Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Currently, the region between the Nistru River and Moldova's
eastern border. In September 1990, Slavs in Transnistria proclaimed
it the "Dnestr Moldavian Republic" (q.v.).
- Uniate Church
- An Eastern Christian Church that preserves the Eastern rite and
discipline but submits to papal authority. The Uniate Church was
established in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (which included
Ukraine and Belarus) in 1596 at the Union of Brest.
- Former principality; a region in modern southern Romania.
- Warsaw Pact
- Informal name for Warsaw Treaty Organization, a mutual defense
organization founded in 1955, including the Soviet Union, Albania
(which withdrew in 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German
Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
The Warsaw Pact enabled the Soviet Union to station troops in the
countries to its west to oppose the forces of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO). The pact was the basis of the invasions
of Hungary (1956) and of Czechoslovakia (1968); it was disbanded in
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated
international institutions--the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
(MIGA). The IBRD provides loans to developing countries for
productive projects. The IDA furnishes credits to the poorest
developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC supplements the activities of the
IBRD through loans and assistance designed to encourage the growth
of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries.
The MIGA insures private foreign investment in developing countries
against such noncommercial risks as expropriation, civil strife,
and inconvertibility of currency. To participate in the World Bank
group, member states must first belong to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).