HOWARD M. HENSEL (Monterey, Calif., U.S.A.) Soviet Policy toward the Kurdish Question, 1970-75 Soviet leaders have often been confronted with separatist movements struggling for national self-determination against central authorities. When relations between the USSR and the central government are strained, the existence of the separatist movement does not present any difficulty for the Soviets. Indeed, in such cases, the Kremlin may feel that it is to its advantage to support the rebels and thereby use them as a lever against the central government. A dilemma emerges, however, when Moscow attempts to main- tain friendly ties with the central government. In these situations, the Krem- lin comes under great pressure from both the separatist movement and the central government to take its side in the dispute. Moscow could, of course, support the separatists under the assumption that the movement would be heavily dependent upon the USSR for aid and, consequently, if the movement was successful, a new Soviet satellite state would be established. Such a strategy would, however, make it extremely likely that the central government would adopt an anti-Soviet position. Furthermore, even if the rebellion were to succeed, the establishment of a Soviet satellite would confirm allegations that
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1979
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