Portal:Soviet Union

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


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] (About this sound listen); 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 even from his own party, the Russian Communist party.

March's selected article

The Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250 (a.k.a. Samolet N) was a Soviet fighter aircraft developed as part of a crash program in 1944 to develop a high-performance fighter to counter German turbojet-powered aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Me-262. The Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau decided to focus on a design that used something more mature than the jet engine, which was still at an experimental stage in the Soviet Union, and chose a mixed-power solution with the VRDK motorjet powered by the Klimov VK-107 V12 engine. While quite successful when it worked, with a maximum speed of 820 km/h (510 mph) being reached during trials, production problems with the VRDK fatally delayed the program and it was canceled in 1948 as obsolete. (more...)

Selected biography

Lavrenty Beria.jpg

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (Georgian: ლავრენტი პავლეს ძე ბერია, Lavrenti Pavles dze Beria; Russian: Лавре́нтий Па́влович Бе́рия; 29 March 1899 – 23 December 1953) was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years (1946–1953).

Beria was the longest lived and most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs, wielding his most substantial influence during and after World War II. He simultaneously administered vast sections of the Soviet state and served as de facto Marshal of the Soviet Union in command of the NKVD field units, responsible for anti-partisan operations against anti-Soviet ethnic groups and Nazi collaborators, and the apprehension and summary execution of thousands of "turncoats, deserters, cowards and suspected malingerers". Beria administered the vast expansion of the Gulag slave labor camps, and was primarily responsible for the Katyn massacre. He also played the decisive role in coordinating the Soviet partisans, developing an impressive intelligence and sabotage network behind German lines, thus contributing mightily to the ultimate Soviet victory. He attended the Yalta Conference with Stalin, who introduced him to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "my Himmler". After the war, he organized the communist takeover of the countries of Central Europe and Eastern Europe, usually through coup d'etat. Beria's uncompromising ruthlessness in his duties and skill at producing results by intimidating his subordinates culminated in his success in overseeing the Soviet atomic bomb project. (more...)

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[[File:|center|300px|Vladimir Lenin|alt=Vladimir Lenin]]
Credit: L. Léonidov

Vladimir Lenin was the first leader of the Soviet Union.


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Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin, talking about the national question
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