In post World War II Soviet society, the Party’s power seized the reigns on cultural movements including arts and sciences. Through his prior connections with Stalin, Zhdanov ascended to power in an autocratic, post war environment, where he would constrict ideological parameters. Zhdanov’s imposition in the scientific sphere ultimately led to the repression of Soviet genetics research, which remained postponed until the 1960’s. This was because Stalin and other Party officials saw Lysenkoism, a farming method in which the seed is conditioned with cold water in order to maximize production, as more important than genetics research, despite the method’s lack of evidence. This had a disastrous long-term effect on the progress of genetics research and the biological discipline as a whole. Zhdanov’s suppression of cultural progress manifested itself in the form of vehement anti-cosmopolitanism, which simultaneously pressured artists into creating more ideologically friendly pieces and in turn diminishing potential artistic transcendence. Another method Zhdanov used to perpetuate his strict ideologies was his creation of “Cominform”, a propaganda machine that used periodicals as the means to further the Party’s influence. Zhdanov’s abrupt death in 1948 led to instability in the political ring. The Leaders of Leningrad and Russian Federation executed a mass purge of thousands of Party officials as a result of the insecurity in the political atmosphere.
I imagine that this would create drag for the Soviet Union in the competition that emerged between the USSR and the United States after World War II, where they were the two remaining super powers, and ultimately had an impact on the Cold War down the stretch. It also portrays the lack of inner stability and further fear in the Soviet Union, which was most likely a residual effect, left by Stalin and mixed with Zhdanov’s fervor.