Wrecking (Soviet crime)


Wrecking (Soviet crime)

era.

It is often translated as "sabotage"; however "wrecking" and "diversionist acts" and "counter-revolutionary sabotage" were distinct sub-articles of Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code) (58-7, 58-9, and 58-14 respectively), and the meaning of "wrecking" is closer to "undermining".

These three categories are distinguished in the following way.

*Diversions are acts of immediate infliction of physical damage on state and cooperative property.
*Wrecking are deliberate acts aimed against normal functioning of state and cooperative organisations, e.g., giving deliberately wrong commands.
*Sabotage was non-execution or careless execution of one's duties.

As applied in practice, "wrecking" and "sabotage" could refer to any actions which could be broadly construed to negatively impact the economy in some way, including failing to meet economic targets, causing poor morale among subordinates, lack of effort, or alleged or real incompetence. Thus, it referred to economic or industrial sabotage only in the very broadest sense. Many who were charged were merely scapegoats. In many cases, even those who were not engaged in industrial activity (including scientists) were charged with wrecking.

Many of the victims of the Great Purge were charged with wrecking. The term is mentioned and described in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago".


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