Pravda (Moscow)

Pravda (Moscow) («Правда»; Truth). A daily Russian-language organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It appeared from May 1912 to July 1914 and from March 1917 (with frequent interruptions and under different names) in Petrograd. Since March 1918 it has been published in Moscow. Some of its early editorial board members and contributors were Ukrainian Communists, such as Mykola Skrypnyk and Yurii Kotsiubynsky, especially in the so-called preconference Party discussions. With Joseph Stalin’s consolidation of power the paper became the normative organ of the CC CPSU: its materials reflected the official line of the Politburo on all issues, both domestic and foreign. Its articles on the nationality question in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and on Ukrainian affairs were no exception. Printed from matrices prepared in Moscow and flown to the major cities, the paper often reached the newsstands before the local papers. For these reasons Pravda enjoyed wide circulation, over 11 million in 1981. In the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic it was an important instrument of Russification. Under Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of perestroika, Pravda’s circulation declined drastically, as the Communist Party lost its authority in society. Suspended briefly in 1991, it resumed publication as a newspaper of conservative orientation.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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