Poster Plakat A Collection of Posters from the Soviet Union and its Satellite Nations

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Political Directorate of the Red Army, Decorative-Studio Art Department (PUR)
ПУР, Декора-мастерская художественное отделение

PUR was organized in May 1919 after the All-Russian Bureau of Military Commissars (VBVK) was abolished. PUR was formed (in part) to "guide party political work in the Red Army and Navy".

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PUR was organized in May 1919 after the All-Russian Bureau of Military Commissars (VBVK) was abolished. PUR was formed (in part) to "guide party political work in the Red Army and Navy". According to historian Francesco Benvenuti, the entity “…was beset with difficulties of internal coordination, in particular between the divisional and higher levels.” Its artistic component was formed out of the artist's section of the Political Department of the RVSR (Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic).

Over time, PUR became powerful political arm inside the USSR's military system but it also was a bureaucratic megalith within the nation's government. In the late 1980s, servicemen complained about the effectiveness of PUR and the need for it to be re-organized in a democratic way. PUR was abolished in 1991 by President Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Sources & Citations

Benvenuti, F. (2009). The Bolsheviks and the Red Army, 1918-1921. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Reese, R. R. (2001). The Soviet military experience: A history of the Soviet Army, 1917-1991. Ann Arbor: Routledge.