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a daily newspaper for the peasants; organ of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik); published in Moscow from Mar. 27, 1918, to Jan. 31, 1931. Bednota’s predecessors were the newspapers Derevenskaia Bednota, Soldatskaia Pravda in Petrograd, and Derevenskaia Pravda in Moscow, which were published during the period of preparation and carrying out of the October Socialist Revolution. The editorial board was headed by V. A. Karpinskii (from 1918 to 1922, with interruptions), L. S. Sosnovskii (from 1921), Ia. A. Iakovlev (from 1924), M. S. Grandov (from 1928), and E. P. Atakov (from 1929). M. I. Kalinin wrote for Bednota, and M. S. Ol’minskii, Em. Iaroslavskii, D. Bednyi, and others were active contributors.
During the Civil War period, Bednota mobilized the toilers in the countryside for the armed struggle against the White Guards and the interventionists and for support at the front. During this time Bednota was also a Red Army newspaper—half of its circulation (at the end of 1919 its circulation was 750,000 copies) was distributed in the army. The newspaper played a significant role in the struggle for the realization of Communist Party policies in the countryside. The peasants took an active part in the newspaper; their letters and reports were constantly printed in Bednota. The editors of Bednota prepared surveys of the peasants’ letters for V. I. Lenin under the name of The Barometer of Poverty. Hailing the newspaper, Lenin wrote in 1922: “The newspaper has labored honorably and successfully in order to serve the interests of the toiling peasantry” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 58).
Bednota paid a great deal of attention to work with rural correspondents; it organized meetings and seminars and gathered around itself approximately 4,000 active rural correspondents. Bednota directed its efforts at education of the peasant masses, propaganda on the advantages of large-scale collectivized agriculture, and elucidation of problems related to raising the level of village culture. During the period of industrialization of the country and collectivization of agriculture, Bednota mobilized the toiling peasantry for the implementation of party and Soviet government measures and the struggle against the kulaks for the socialist reconstruction of the countryside.
Bednota’s agricultural laboratory—the section of the newspaper devoted to the study and dissemination of advanced agricultural methods—was a great success among the peasants. In 1928 the laboratory had approximately 12,000 correspondents. In 1930, Bednota had 150,000 subscribers. On Feb. 1, 1931, Bednota merged with the newspaper Sotsialisticheskoe zemledelie.
N. V. TERPSIKHOROVA