Staffing and Recruiting in the USSR Nuclear Project




USSR atomic bomb project, personnel policy, nuclear weapons complex, Soviet economic system


This review considers a monograph by N. V. Melnikova dedicated to the reconstruction of the most significant aspects of staffing in the atomic project in the context of the Soviet economic system. Despite the abundance of publications discussing the history of the creation of nuclear weapons in the USSR, this topic has not yet received adequate coverage, and the monograph under review fills this gap with a wide range of problems examined. More specifically, it addresses the issues of who determined the personnel policy in the nuclear project, what its specificity was, how staffing and recruiting occurred in practice, and due to which factors it was possible to quickly create a powerful and qualified team of the nuclear weapons complex and encourage people to work intensively and responsibly. The research makes a significant contribution to the historiography of the atomic project. However, its value is not limited to this. Some generalizations and conclusions in the monograph make it possible to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the “socialist economic system” and to clarify how it was possible to succeed in solving tasks significant for the country.

Author Biographies

Evgeny Artemov

Dr. Hab. (History), Chief Researcher, Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

16, S. Kovalevskaya Str., 620990, Yekaterinburg, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-3683-1063

Evgeny Vodichev

Dr. Hab. (History), Professor, Novosibirsk State Technical University; Professor, National Research Tomsk State University.

20, Karl Marx Ave., 630073, Novosibirsk, Russia.

36, Lenin Ave., 634050, Tomsk, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0001-8266-1723


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How to Cite

Artemov, E., & Vodichev, E. (2023). Staffing and Recruiting in the USSR Nuclear Project. Quaestio Rossica, 11(3), 1111–1122.



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