refer to persons and activities actually or allegedly aimed against the Soviet Union
or the Soviet
power within the Soviet Union.
Three different flavors of the usage of the term may be distinguished.
- Anti-Sovietism in the international politics, such as American opposition to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
- Anti-Soviet opponents of Bolsheviks shortly after the Russian Revolution and during the Russian Civil War.
- As applied to Soviet citizens involved or allegedly involved in anti-Soviet activities.
In the USSR, the epithet
"antisoviet" was synonymous
". The noun "antisovietism" was rarely used and the noun "antisovietist" (антисоветчик, antisovetchik
) was used in a derogatory sense.
During the Russian Civil War that followed the October Revolution of 1917, the anti-Soviet side was the White movement.
Whole categories of people, such as clergy, kulaks, former Imperial Russian police, etc. were automatically considered anti-Soviet. More categories are listed in the article "Enemy of the people".
Being anti-Soviet was a criminal offense in the Soviet Union. Anti-Soviet agitation and activities were political crimes handled by the Article 58 of the RSFSR penal code and similar articles in other Soviet republics.
For many people the major evidence of their guilt was their social status rather than actual deeds. Martin Latsis, chief of the Ukrainian Cheka, explained in a newspaper:
- "Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused."