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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Russian Leadership

#chernobyl #soviet

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

Adam Higginbotham

2019

Link

2019-06-17

"Although by the early 70's...the mass purges and the random executions of the three decades under Stalin were over, across the USSR, party leader and heads of large enterprises...governed their staff by bullying and intimidation....The humiliation of enduring an expletive splattering dressing-down delivered at screaming pitch was a ritual repeated daily in offices everywhere. It engendered a top-down culture of toadying yes-men who learned to anticipate the whims of their superiors and agree with everything they said, while threatening their own underlings." - Adam Higginbotham, Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (2019)

Dyatlov comes off as a bit of a jerk, but by way of context, that is the style expected of Soviet leadership. It is appropriate to threaten those questioning orders, no matter how unsafe they may seem.