Portal:Soviet Union

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Znak kachestva.svg UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS Znak kachestva.svg

Introduction

Flag of USSR
State emblem of USSR
Location of USSR on the map of Eurasia

The Soviet Union (Russian: Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz), officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR; Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲetskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪˈstʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪsˈpublʲɪk]; abbreviated СССР, SSSR), was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991. Russia is the legal successor of the USSR.

The Soviet Union was a single-party state ruled by the Communist Party from its foundation until 1990. Even though the USSR was technically a union of 15 subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The Russian Revolution of 1917 caused the downfall of the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution, there was a struggle for power between the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, and the anti-communist White movement. In December 1922, the Bolsheviks won the civil war, and the Soviet Union was formed with the merger of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin took power, leading the USSR through a large-scale industrialization program. Stalin established a planned economy and suppressed political opposition to him and the Communist party.

April's selected article

Bezhin Meadow (Russian: Бежин луг, Bezhin lug) is a 1937 Soviet film famous for having been suppressed and believed destroyed before its completion. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, it tells the story of a young farm boy whose father attempts to betray the government for political reasons by sabotaging the year's harvest and the son's efforts to stop his own father to protect the Soviet state, culminating in the boy's murder and a social uprising. The film draws its title from a story by Ivan Turgenev, but is based on the life of Pavlik Morozov, a young Russian boy who became a political martyr following his death in 1932, after he denounced his father to Soviet government authorities and subsequently died at the hands of his family. Pavlik Morozov was immortalized in school programs, poetry, music, and in film. (More…)

Selected biography

George Abramovich Koval (Russian: Жорж (Георгий) Абрамович Коваль, Zhorzh Abramovich Koval; December 25, 1913 – January 31, 2006) was an American who acted as a Soviet intelligence officer. According to Russian sources, Koval's infiltration of the Manhattan Project as a Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye (GRU) agent "drastically reduced the amount of time it took for Russia to develop nuclear weapons."

Koval was born to Jewish immigrants in Sioux City, Iowa, USA. Shortly after reaching adulthood he traveled with his parents to the Soviet Union to settle in the Jewish Autonomous Region near the Chinese border. Koval was recruited by the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate, trained, and assigned the code name DELMAR. He returned to the United States in 1940 and was drafted into the US Army in early 1943. Koval worked at atomic research laboratories and, according to the Russian government, relayed back to the Soviet Union information about the production processes and volumes of the polonium, plutonium, and uranium used in American atomic weaponry, and descriptions of the weapon production sites. After the war, Koval left on a European vacation but never returned to the United States. In 2007 Russian president Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded Koval the Hero of the Russian Federation decoration for "his courage and heroism while carrying out special missions". (More…)

Did you know...

  • ... that the proposals for a new Crimean flag after the collapse of the Soviet Union included a white flag with seven rainbow colors at the top and a blue-white-red tricolor design , which was officially adopted in 1999?
  • ... that because Leonid Brezhnev had more than 200 decorations, it was decided to break the Soviet custom of featuring only one decoration on cushions during his funeral?

Selected anniversaries for April

Soviet Union-1965-Stamp-0.12. Cosmonautics Day.jpg

Selected picture

A person
Credit: Communism in Romania

Konstantin Chernenko was the leader of the Soviet Union with the shortest reign of only thirteen months, from February 1984 to March 1985.

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Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky, talking about the national question
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