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Smuggling Across the Soviet Borders, 1922-1931: Interpreting the Interceptions

Date & Time

Oct. 13, 2021
1:00pm – 2:00pm ET




Over the span of nine years from October 1, 1922 through September 30, 1931, Soviet authorities recorded at least 345,734 separate seizures of “economic contraband”: goods and valuables allegedly smuggled from abroad or intended to be smuggled out of the country. By analyzing and contextualizing these contraband confiscation data, Kennan Institute Title VIII Research Scholar Dr. Andrey Shlyakhter will identify and explain key changes in the volume, composition, and geography of smuggling across the Soviet borders during this foundational period of Soviet history. Shlyakhter will consider the implications of these findings for our understanding of the development of the Soviet system, and of the dynamics of shadow economies more broadly. The presentation is based on research for his book project, Smuggling Across the Soviet Borders: Contraband Trades, Soviet Solutions, and the Shadow Economic Origins of the Iron Curtain, 1917-1932.

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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange.  Read more

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