System whereby literature suppressed by the Soviet government was clandestinely written, printed, and distributed; also, the literature itself. Samizdat began appearing in the 1950s, first in Moscow and Leningrad, then throughout the Soviet Union. It typically took the form of carbon copies of typewritten sheets that were passed from reader to reader. The subjects included dissident activities, protests addressed to the regime, transcripts of political trials, analyses of socioeconomic and cultural themes, and even pornography. Samizdat disappeared when media outlets independent of the government emerged in the early 1990s.
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