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May 8, 2013

Hoover acquires papers of Vadim Volkov

Vadim Vasil’evich Volkov (1944-2010), a Leningrad/St. Petersburg political figure, was active in the late- and post-Soviet political opposition and trade union movements. He helped form the Leningrad Popular Front (Leningradskii narodnyi front) in 1988 and in 1990 worked with the Movement for Democratic Reform (Dvizhenie demokraticheskikh reform) and later the Yabloko political party. In 1994 he joined the Social Democratic Party of Russia (Sotsial-demokraticheskaia partiia Rossii), which later split; he then became one of the founders of the Social-Democratic Union of St. Petersburg (he also became editor of the union’s newspaper). In 2000, partly as a result of Volkov’s efforts, his and other social-democratic parties combined to form the Russian United Social-Democratic Party (Rossiiskaia ob”edinennaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia partiia). Aside from  party activities, he participated in the organizational work of trade unions, where he was known for his centrist views and antagonism to extremists.

The collection contains minutes of meetings of the various political parties and groups to which Volkov belonged, as well as manifestos, programs, and other materials derived from social-democratic activity. A small but significant part of the collection concerns the emergence of the Leningrad Popular Front and related organizations during the perestroika period. There is also a good deal of printed matter (serials and ephemera) produced by social-democratic organizations and trade unions, most of it  rare and  unique outside the Russian Federation.

The Vadim Volkov papers fit well with the Igor Dashkevich papers, Demokraticheskaia Rossiia records, Aleksandr Suetnov papers, Aleksandr Skobov papers, and the Hoover Institution’s other collections on perestroika and the post-Soviet transformation of the Russian Federation.