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.

January's selected article

The Ministry of Finance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) (Russian: Министерство финансов СССР), formed on 15 March 1946, was one of the most important government offices in the Soviet Union. Until 1946 it was known as the People's Commissariat for Finance (Russian: Народный комиссариат финансовNarodnyi komissariat finansov, or "Narkomfin"). Narkomfin, at the all-Union level, was established on 6 July 1923 after the signing of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, and was based upon the People's Commissariat for Finance of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) formed in 1917. The Ministry was led by the Minister of Finance, prior to 1946 a Commissar, who was nominated by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and then confirmed by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. The minister was a member of the Council of Ministers.

During the Russian Civil War, and immediately afterwards, the Commissariat usually confiscated property to support government operations. Following a short period of stability after the civil war the Commissariat introduced several governmental taxes on the population. The commissariat's structure differed little from its Tsarist predecessor, the only notable difference was that the Soviet ministry was very centralised while the Tsarist's finance ministry was a very decentralised one. The Commissariat, and later the Ministry, prepared the state budget in a joint process with its republican and local branches. The Ministry's structure went through few changes due to the Soviet government's conservative approaches to change. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced several reforms during his rule which had the unintended consequence of considerably hurting the ministry's prestige. (more...)

Selected biography

Eduard Anatolyevich Streltsov (Russian: Эдуа́рд Анато́льевич Стрельцо́в) (21 July 1937 – 22 July 1990) was a Soviet footballer who represented Torpedo Moscow as a forward. Joining Torpedo at the age of 16 from the Fraser factory team in 1953, Streltsov made his international debut two years later and played a key role in winning the gold medal for the Soviet national team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Judged by Western European sports journalists to be among the top seven footballers in Europe during 1957, Streltsov's promising career was then interrupted at the age of 20 by a conviction of rape that led to five years in prison.

Streltsov was accused of raping a 20-year-old woman, Marina Lebedeva, in 1958. After being told an admission of guilt would allow his participation in the 1958 World Cup, Streltsov confessed to the crime, despite inconclusive evidence against him. Instead sentenced to twelve years in a labour camp, Streltsov was released after five and resumed his football career with Torpedo Moscow two years later. In the first season of his comeback, Torpedo won the Soviet Championship for only the second time in their history. He returned to the Soviet national team in 1966, won the Soviet Cup with his club two years later, and was named Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1967 and 1968. (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 January

  • New Year's Day - 1 January - arguably the largest celebration of the year. Most of the traditions that were originally associated with Christmas in Russia (Father Frost, a decorated fir-tree) moved to New Year's Eve after the Revolution and are associated with New Year's Eve to this day.
  • Old New Year - 13 or 14 January (varies) - is an informal traditional Slavic Orthodox holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar.

Selected picture

An elder man with a number of decorations on his suit.
Credit: Soviet government

Leonid Brezhnev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982.

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Selected quote

This smiling man wearing a hat and a coat was the first human to journey to outer space.
Yuri Gagarin, reported in Kerrod, Robin (2004). Dawn of the Space Age. Gareth Stevens. p. 1968. ISBN 0836857127. 
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