Soviet Union

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

  • Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик
    Soyúz Sovétskikh Sotsialistícheskikh Respúblik
1922–1991
Anthem: 
The Soviet Union in 1945–91
The Soviet Union in 1945–91
Capital
and largest city
Moscow
55°45′N 37°37′E / 55°45′N 37°37′E / 55.750; 37.617
Official languagesRussian[1][2]
Recognised regional languages
Minority languages
Ethnic groups
(1989)
Religion
Secular state (de jure)[2][3]
State atheism (de facto)
Demonym(s)Soviet
Government
Leader 
• 1922–1924
Vladimir Lenin
• 1924–1953
Joseph Stalin
• 1953–1964
Nikita Khrushchev
• 1964–1982
Leonid Brezhnev
• 1982–1984
Yuri Andropov
• 1984–1985
Konstantin Chernenko
• 1985–1991
Mikhail Gorbachev
Premier 
• 1922–1924 (first)
Vladimir Lenin
• 1991 (last)
Ivan Silayev
LegislatureCongress of Soviets
(1922–1938)
Supreme Soviet
(1938–1991)
Soviet of Nationalities
Soviet of the Union
Historical era20th century
• Treaty of Creation signed
30 December 1922
22 June 1941
9 May 1945
• Admitted
to the UN
24 October 1945
• Last constitution
adopted
9 October 1977
• Warsaw Pact
dissolved
1 July 1991
19–22 August 1991
8 December 1991
26 December 1991
Area
• Total
22,402,200 km2 (8,649,500 sq mi)
Population
• 1991 estimate
293 million (3rd)
• Density
8.4/km2 (21.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)1990 estimate
• Total
$2.7 trillion[9] (2nd)
• Per capita
$9,200
GDP (nominal)1990 estimate
• Total
$2.7 trillion[9] (2nd)
• Per capita
$9,200 (28th)
Gini (1989)0.275
low
HDI (1990)Increase 0.920[10]
very high
CurrencySoviet ruble (руб) (SUR)
Time zone(UTC+2 to +12)
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+7
ISO 3166 codeSU
Internet TLD[3]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Bukharan PSR
Byelorussian SSR
Estonia
Finland
Khorezm PSR
Kingdom of Romania
Latvia
Lithuania
Russian SFSR
Second Polish Republic
Transcaucasian SFSR
Tuvan PR
Ukrainian SSR
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Estonia
Georgia
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Lithuania
Moldova
Russia
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Notes
  1. ^ Declaration № 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, formally establishing the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a state and subject of international law. (in Russian)
  2. ^ Original lyrics used from 1944 to 1956. No lyrics from 1956 to 1977. Revised lyrics from 1977 to 1991.
  3. ^ All-union official since 1990, constituent republics had the right to declare their own official languages.
  4. ^ Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.

The Soviet Union,[a] officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR),[b] was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991.[11] Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics,[c] in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (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: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

The Soviet Union 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 World War I. 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 Communist Party's 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.[12] Despite these improvements, major 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 1932-33, 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.[13]

On 23 August 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers,[14] the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany.[15] After the start of World War II, the formally neutral USSR invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, opening the most extensive and bloodiest theater of war in history. 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 USSR. 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 in 1956 denounced Stalin and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, which 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. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his 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 on 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, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state.[16][17][18]

The Soviet Union 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.[19][20][21] The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[22] 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 (OSCE), the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Warsaw Pact.

Etymology

The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т (sovét) meaning council, assembly, advice, harmony, concord[note 1] and all ultimately deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti ("to inform"), related to Slavic věst ("news"), English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or" (which came to English through French), or the Dutch weten ("to know"; cf. wetenschap meaning "science"). The word sovietnik means "councillor".[23]

Some organizations in Russian history were called "council" (Russian: сове́т). For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905.[23]

During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he initially named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Респу́блик Евро́пы и А́зии, tr. Soyúz Sovétskikh Respúblik Evrópy i Ázii).[24] Stalin initially resisted the proposal but ultimately accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), albeit all the republics began as "Socialist Soviet" and did not change to the other order until 1936. In addition, in the national languages of several republics, the word "Council/Conciliar" in the respective language was only quite late changed to an adaptation of the Russian "Soviet" and never in others, e.g. Ukraine.

The word СССР (in Latin alphabet: SSSR), is the abbreviation of USSR in Russian (Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик). It is written in Cyrillic alphabets, but Latin alphabets users sometimes borrow the word orthographically as "CCCP". In some cases, due to the length of its name, the state was referred to as the Soviet Union or the USSR, primarily when used in the Western media. It was also informally called Russia (and its citizens Russians),[25] though that was technically incorrect since Russia was only one of the republics.[26]

Other Languages
Acèh: Uni Soviet
Afrikaans: Sowjetunie
Alemannisch: Sowjetunion
অসমীয়া: ছ'ভিয়েট সংঘ
авар: СССР
تۆرکجه: شوروی
Bân-lâm-gú: So͘-liân
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Саюз Савецкіх Сацыялістычных Рэспублік
Boarisch: Sowjetunion
bosanski: Sovjetski Savez
Cebuano: Unyong Sobyet
čeština: Sovětský svaz
davvisámegiella: Sovjetlihttu
Deutsch: Sowjetunion
dolnoserbski: Sowjetski zwězk
Esperanto: Sovetunio
estremeñu: Unión Soviética
føroyskt: Sovjetsamveldið
Frysk: Sovjet-Uny
贛語: 蘇聯
گیلکی: شؤروي
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐌲𐌲𐌲𐌸
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sû-lièn
한국어: 소련
हिन्दी: सोवियत संघ
hornjoserbsce: Sowjetski zwjazk
hrvatski: Sovjetski Savez
Bahasa Indonesia: Uni Soviet
interlingua: Union Sovietic
Interlingue: Soviet-Union
íslenska: Sovétríkin
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: صؤوِت اِتِفاق
kernowek: URSS
Lëtzebuergesch: Sowjetunioun
lietuvių: Tarybų Sąjunga
Limburgs: Sovjet-Unie
la .lojban.: sofygu'e
magyar: Szovjetunió
македонски: Советски Сојуз
مازِرونی: شوروی
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Sŭ-lièng
Nederlands: Sovjet-Unie
Nedersaksies: Sovjetuny
Napulitano: Aunione Sovieteca
Nordfriisk: Sowjetunioon
Norfuk / Pitkern: YoSSR
norsk nynorsk: Sovjetunionen
پنجابی: سویت یونین
Papiamentu: Union Sovietiko
ភាសាខ្មែរ: សហភាពសូវៀត
Picard: URSS
Plattdüütsch: Sowjetunion
português: União Soviética
rumantsch: Uniun sovietica
Seeltersk: Sowjetunion
Simple English: Soviet Union
slovenčina: Sovietsky zväz
slovenščina: Sovjetska zveza
Soomaaliga: Midowga Sofiyet
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sovjetski Savez
svenska: Sovjetunionen
Tagalog: Unyong Sobyet
тыва дыл: ССРЭ
Vahcuengh: Suhlienz
Tiếng Việt: Liên Xô
walon: URSS
文言: 蘇聯
West-Vlams: Sovjet-Unie
吴语: 苏联
粵語: 蘇聯
žemaitėška: Tarību Sājonga
中文: 苏联