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.

February's selected article

The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyńska, 'Katyń crime'; Russian: Катынский расстрел), was a mass murder of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police NKVD in April-May 1940. It was based on Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated 5 March 1940. This official document was then approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including Joseph Stalin. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, the most commonly cited number being 21,768. The victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkov prisons and elsewhere. About 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, the rest being Polish doctors, professors, lawmakers, police officers, and other public servants arrested for allegedly being "intelligence agents, gendarmes, saboteurs, landowners, factory owners, lawyers, priests, and officials." Since Poland's conscription system required every unexempted university graduate to become a reserve officer, the NKVD was able to round up much of the Polish intelligentsia, and the Russian, Ukrainian, Protestant, Muslim Tatar, Jewish, Georgian, and Belarusian intelligentsia of Polish citizenship.

Selected biography

Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov (Russian: Валентин Серге́евич Павлов; 27 September 1937 – 30 March 2003) was a Soviet official who became a Russian banker following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Born in the city of Moscow, then part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Pavlov began his political career in the Ministry of Finance in 1959. Later, during the Brezhnev Era, he became head of the Financial Department of the State Planning Committee. Pavlov was appointed to the post of Chairman of the State Committee on Prices during the Gorbachev Era, and later became Minister of Finance in Nikolai Ryzhkov's Second Government. He went on to succeed Ryzhkov as head of government in the newly established post of Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, and became de facto Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers. (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?

Selected anniversaries for February

  • Soviet Army Day - 23 February - formation of the Red Army in February 1918. Unlike others, it was not an official holiday.

Selected picture

A man sitting at a desk with a tag with Russian text on it.
Credit: ITAR-TASS

Originally a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin became Mikhail Gorbachev's political enemy, and later, the first President of the Russian Federation.

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Dmitri Shostakovich, talking about life living in the USSR
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