Russia history was filled with famine due to the destitute of food and resources, however, there was reported “increases” in population… which doesn’t follow sound logic; shortages does NOT equal increases in populace. In 1937, the Soviet Thirties were coming to a close, with a surprising twist: the death of Adamovich Kraval, the chief of the Central Statistics Department (CSD), followed by his comrades, for reasons cited as “crude violations of the principles of statistical science.”
“Calculations of natural population growth had projected a population of 186.4 million, an increase of 37.6 million since the 1926 census; the actual increase turned out to be only 7.2 million. The population gap spoke so graphically of unnatural death, and so belied the image of a healthy happy society, that the census was squelched.”
After the debacle of the 1937 Census, the 1939 Census proved to be more statistically sound, but still lacked validity. Also, the countryside peasants were noted as hostile towards the census takers, due to the peasants low socio-economic level within society and their lack of accurate representation. They felt as though their depraved life was ignored and conflated for propaganda, and that their injustices were not accounted for.
This video depicts the many interactions between the All-Union Census counters through documenting passengers in a train; and visiting multiple peoples demonstrating how they would account for the population. This was released from the Russian State Film and Archive, denoting definite bias in the “sound” practices of the counters.
A return to the isolationism from self-determination and an emphasis on exclusivity returned as “National self-determination was fundamental to Soviet being, yet by 1939 state ethnographers and anthropologists had compiled lists that categorized groups as major nationalities, ethnic groups or national minorities.” As a result, many minorities were consolidating into larger groups such as the “Uzbeks” and the “Tatars”, losing their individual political and social voices and their right to self determination that was promised under the Soviet regime.