Riccardo Mario Cucciolla

The Cotton Affair. A mass purge in the name of perestroika

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


The Cotton Affair (1983-1989) was the largest purge in the post-Stalinist USSR. This episode, which occurred in the Uzbek periphery, grew out in a complex judicial and political imbroglio concerning the falsification of data on cotton production and the corruption that served to cover it up. The scandal rapidly overwhelmed the ruling class and expanded to other sectors, finding connections to the Moscow power centers. This season of mass purges and criminal prosecutions constitutes a relatively obscure episode of perestroika but one of great importance in late Soviet history by which we can interpret, from a local perspective, Andropov’s legacy in early Gorbachev policy, the extent of reform and change in the Soviet periphery, and how this triggered a crisis within the communist party of Uzbekistan and in relations with the Moscow center, accelerating the Soviet collapse.


  • Cotton
  • Uzbekistan
  • Perestroika


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat