The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Soviet communist party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It

Property Value
dbo:PopulatedPlace/areaMetro
  • 2.24022E7
dbo:PopulatedPlace/populationDensity
  • 8.4
  • 8.41702705622532
  • 12.7
dbo:abstract
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Soviet communist party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic regime of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis which occurred during Khrushchev's rule was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, Russia and Ukraine have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet property and over the political status of Crimea which was administered by Ukraine until 2014, when it was invaded and annexed by Russia. The USSR produced many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic regime of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis which occurred during Khrushchev's rule was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, Russia and Ukraine have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet property and over the political status of Crimea which was administered by Ukraine until 2014, when it was invaded and annexed by Russia. The USSR produced many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic regime of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, Russia and Ukraine have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet property and over the political status of Crimea which was administered by Ukraine until 2014, when it was invaded and annexed by Russia. The USSR produced many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic regime of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, Russia and Ukraine have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet property and over the political status of Crimea which was administered by Ukraine until 2014, when it was invaded and annexed by Russia. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic regime of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, many post-Soviet states have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet territory and property. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic constitutional monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution of the same year. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, many post-Soviet states have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet territory and property. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic constitutional monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution of the same year. In 1922, shortly before a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the Union was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of forced industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, many post-Soviet states have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet territory and property. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of the Caucasus and Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic constitutional monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution of the same year. In 1922, shortly before a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the Union was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a command economy which led to a period of forced industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, many post-Soviet states have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet territory and property. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The USSR had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic constitutional monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II during the February Revolution of the same year. In 1922, shortly before a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the Union was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the party ideology of Marxism–Leninism and introduced forced industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas. Despite these improvements, significant tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932–1933, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the USSR, opening the bloody Eastern Front. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the Soviets. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin in 1956 and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis, which occurred during Khrushchev's rule, was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964, being replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. After 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet premier, sought to reform and liberalize political life and the economy through new policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule. As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the USSR's rights and obligations and became recognized as the de facto successor state. At the same time, Ukraine declared by law that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Today, many post-Soviet states have ongoing disputes both over formerly-Soviet territory and property. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, and initiated a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and post-war dominance of Eastern Europe. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Communist Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. At the beginning of World War II, Stalin signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler's Germany; the treaty delayed confrontation between the two countries. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, and initiated a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and post-war dominance of Eastern Europe. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Communist Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world by surface area. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, and initiated a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and post-war dominance of Eastern Europe. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Communist Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, and initiated a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and post-war dominance of Eastern Europe. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Communist Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, and initiated a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and post-war dominance of Eastern Europe. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Communist Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–22 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced by Lenin, which led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–33 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won the WWII in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the West that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–22 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced by Lenin, which led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–33 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won the WWII in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the West that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period, known as "de-Stalinization" and "Khrushchev's Thaw", occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent (), Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad ), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also created a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine of 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism, ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous distractive effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as De-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP) which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property, resulting in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy, which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk ([Byelorussian SSR]]), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk ([Belarus SSR]]), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Almaty (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Almaty (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones such as tundra, taiga, steppes, desert, and mountains. Its diverse population was collectively known as Soviet people. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government that had earlier replaced the monarchy. They established the Russian Soviet Republic, beginning a civil war between the Bolshevik Red Army and many anti-Bolshevik forces across the former Empire, among whom the largest faction was the White Guard. The disastrous effect of the war and the Bolshevik policies led to 5 million deaths during the 1921–1922 famine in the region of Povolzhye. The Red Army expanded and helped local Communists take power, establishing soviets, repressing their political opponents and rebellious peasants through the policies of Red Terror and War Communism. By 1922, the Communists had emerged victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced by Lenin, led to a partial return of a free market and private property; this resulted in a period of economic recovery. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule inside the Communist Party, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism and ended the NEP, initiating a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization, which led to a significant economic growth, but also led to a man-made famine in 1932–1933 and expanded the Gulag labour camp system founded back in 1918. Stalin also fomented political paranoia and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death. On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers, the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany. After the start of World War II, the formally neutral Soviets invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including eastern Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941 the Germans invaded, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the cost of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin and won World War II in Europe on 9 May 1945. The territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged in 1947 as a result of a post-war Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe, where the Eastern Bloc confronted the Western Bloc that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization and the Khrushchev Thaw occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took an early lead in the Space Race with the first ever satellite and the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed when the Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan in 1979. The war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to further reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing economic stagnation. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well. Central authorities initiated a referendum—boycotted by the Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the coup, resulting in the banning of the Communist Party. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality. The USSR produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first ministry of health, first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states. It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry. (en)
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  • Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!
  • "Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!"
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  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Soviet communist party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had fi (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of the Caucasus and Northern and Centra (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world by surface area. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central A (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all of (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent (), Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe and all (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as well as part of Northern Europe (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad ), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe as w (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukraine SSR), Minsk (Belarus SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its terri (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk ([Byelorussian SSR]]), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk ([Belarus SSR]]), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Almaty (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Almaty (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its (en)
  • The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma Ata (Kazakh SSR) and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world by surface area, spanning over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It (en)
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  • Soviet Union (en)
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  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (en)
  • the Soviet Union (en)
  • Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik (en)
  • Союз Советских Социалистических Республик (en)
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