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Besides wars and revolution, Russia and its neighbours suffered two major agricultural shocks in the last century: the collectivisation crisis of 1929–33 and the collapse of the collective farms in the 1990s. Both were in some sense policy-induced and linked with sharp declines in agricultural terms of trade. The crises were connected by the historical coincidence of the formation and collapse of the collectives, and the political and philosophical bases of Communist rule. This article investigates relative price changes, the consequences for rural people, and the political backgrounds of the crises. It draws attention to international aspects which many studies neglect.

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