Tolyatti’s Rivals: The Volga Cities Competing for the New Automobile Plant as an Instance of Regional Lobbying in the Late Socialism Era


УДК 94(47)

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2020-3-862-874

Yu. S. Nikiforov

K. D. Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University, Yaroslavl, Russian Federation

Tolyatti’s Rivals: The Volga Cities Competing for the New Automobile Plant as an Instance of Regional Lobbying in the Late Socialism Era


The article addresses the topic of interactions of center and periphery in the recent national history. The publication of the office memorandums that are being thus introduced into scientific use throws light on the construction of the industrial plant. The article examines the problem of regional lobbying in the USSR in the mid-1960s, at the dawn of the Brezhnev era. It focuses on the declassified archival documents from the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI) and the Center for Documentation on the Contemporary History of the Yaroslavl Region (TsDNIYaO). The article analyzes office memorandums on the organization of a new car plant. The record keeping documents of 1965, sent to the Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU for the RSFSR from several regions, are well reasoned petitions. The authors of the memos are Soviet regional leaders of the 1960s: A. A. Skochilov and V. P. Vasiliev (the Ulyanovsk Obkom of the CPSU and the Regional Executive Committee), S. L. Knyazev (Tatar Obkom of the CPSU), F. I. Loschenkov (Yaroslavl Obkom of the CPSU). The analysis of the documents provides answers to a number of questions. Firstly, what were the general trends of lobbying for regional interests in the system of arguments of the local elite? Secondly, what hidden potential problems of regional development of the RSFSR in the mid-1960s can be traced in the petitions of Soviet regional leaders? Thirdly, what were the peculiarities of the local elite language in lobbying for regional interests? Well-reasoned petitions of regional leaders of the late Soviet era on the organization of a new industrial facility are original and little-studied historical sources. The analyzed type of archival documents carries high source study potential, it is of great value for studying regional lobbyism in the early Brezhnev era. The study of such documents can shed light on the invisible processes of the economic life of the late USSR.


Archival sources, car industry in the USSR, L. I. Brezhnev, late socialism, lobbying, regional elite, communication practices, AvtoVAZ.

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About the authors

Nikiforov Yury Sergeevich, PhD in History, associate professor, K. D. Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University, national history department, assistant professor, Yaroslavl, Russian Federation, +7-920-115-99-15, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Grant information

This article has been prepared with financial support from of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (research project no. 18-39-00068 “The Soviet regional elites and their interaction with the center in the 1950-1980s: In archival documents and in historical memory”).

Submitted 30.07.2019, published (for citation):

NIKIFOROV, Yu. S. Soperniki Tol'yatti: bor'ba volzhskikh gorodov za novyi avtozavod kak chastnyi sluchai regional'nogo lobbizma epokhi pozdnego sotsializma [Tolyatti’s Rivals: The Volga Cities Competing for the New Automobile Plant as an Instance of Regional Lobbying in the Late Socialism Era. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2020, no. 3, pp. 862-874. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2020-3-862-874

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