26 FEBRUARY 1954, Page 7


I. N at least twelve out of the sixteen Republics of the USSR the Soviet Communist party has been holding, with ,, an air of expedition if not of urgency, its annual congresses. In every case scandals and shortcomings were exposed and the party's local leadership was drastically re- organised; gros legumes from Moscow attended the pro- ceedings, and each new hierarchy includes a higher proportion `e'r Russian names than was customary in the past. In most hases—and particularly in that of Georgia, where the leadership lies undergone almost monthly purges since Stalin's death and follow downfall—these formal and protocolaire changes ollow various ad hoc reshuffles carried out during the past recalls Perhaps the most interesting single development (for it strong so inescapably the old Tsarist tradition of sending out the men from St. Petersburg as provincial Viceroys) was rZi`e _despatch of General Ponomarenko, Minister of Culture in :17 Kazakhstan. government, to take over the Communist party ,,n Nazakhstan. This has been followed by fairly circumstantial 'loons from Stockholm. that Moscow is organising a mass 'migration of young people from European Russia to carry ,,,,°11,t ambitious development schemes in the Kazak Republic. o f over is plenty of room for them to do this. With an area rover one million square miles Kazakhstan is the' second la• rgest of the SSR; but Kazakhstan has only six million 1411.... abitants, against (for instance) 40 million in the Ukraine nch is less than a quarter of the size. It looks as if the • eellin has decided firmly on a process of progressive Russifi- cation for all the Republics, who still—on paper—possess, 11,.. "cnder the Constitution of 1936, the statutory right to secede irn the Union should they so desire.