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Soviet Union

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**Establishment and Dissolution**:
– Established in 1922 and dissolved in 1991.
– Capital and largest city: Moscow.
– Population of 286,730,819 in 1989.
– Official language: Russian.
– Flag, state emblem, motto, and anthem details.
– Originated from the October Revolution of 1917.
– Led by Vladimir Lenin post-revolution.
– Decline and fall marked by Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies in the mid-1980s.
– Attempted coup against Gorbachev in 1991.
– Dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991.

**Historical Events and Key Figures**:
– Joseph Stalin’s era marked by industrialization and collectivization.
– Signed nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany in 1939.
– Played a key role in defeating Axis powers in World War II.
– Cold War tensions with the United States.
– Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.
– Modern revolutionary activities in the Russian Empire.
– Bolsheviks’ communist revolution in 1917.
– Civil War between Reds and Whites.
– The February Revolution in 1917.
– Treaty on the Creation of the USSR in 1922.

**Economy and Industry**:
– The Civil War’s impact on the economy.
– Heavy industry output fell during the Civil War.
– Food requisitioning and famine.
– Effects of forced collectivization of farms.
– Stalin’s first five-year plan for socialist economy.
– State control over existing enterprises.
– Intensive industrialization program.
– Economic developments pre-World War II.
– Cooperation with the West in the early 1930s.

**Social Policies and Foreign Relations**:
– Progressive measures like universal education and healthcare.
– The Red Terror to suppress opposition.
– Women’s equal rights under Lenin’s government.
– Democratic centralism in the Communist Party’s rule.
– Peace of Riga and territorial disputes.
– Soviet relations with newly independent nations.
– Resistance movements like the Tambov Rebellion.
– Diplomatic relations and alliances.
– Support for Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War.

**World War II and Cold War Era**:
– German invasion and Soviet role in World War II.
– Impact of WWII on the Soviet Union.
– USSR as a superpower post-WWII.
– Cold War tensions and proxy wars.
– Formation of the Warsaw Pact and Comecon.
– De-Stalinization under Nikita Khrushchev.
– Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and globally.
– Control over Communist parties in satellite states.
– Clash with the UK and US in the Cold War.

Soviet Union (Wikipedia)

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), commonly known as the Soviet Union, was a transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. It was the largest country in the world by area, extending across eleven time zones and sharing land borders with twelve countries. A successor state to the Russian Empire, the country was nominally organized as a federal union of fifteen national republics, the largest and most populous of which was the Russian SFSR; in practice both its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was the world's third-most populous country and Europe's most populous country. As a one-party state governed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, it was a flagship communist state. Its capital as well its largest city was Moscow. Other highly urbanized centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Tashkent and Baku.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
(in Russian; for names of the Soviet Union
in other official languages, see this list)
Flag of Soviet Union
State Emblem (1956–1991) of Soviet Union
State Emblem
Motto: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
"Workers of the world, unite!"
Anthem: Интернационал
"The Internationale" (1922–1944)

Государственный гимн СССР
"State Anthem of the Soviet Union" (1944–1991)
The Soviet Union during the Cold War
The Soviet Union during the Cold War
and largest city
55°45′N 37°37′E / 55.750°N 37.617°E / 55.750; 37.617
Official languagesRussian
Recognised regional languages
Ethnic groups
70% East Slavs
17% Turkic
13% other
Secular state (de jure)
State atheism (de facto)
GovernmentSee: Government of the Soviet Union
CPSU Leader 
• 1922–1924
Vladimir Lenin
• 1924–1953
Joseph Stalin
• 1953
Georgy Malenkov
• 1953–1964
Nikita Khrushchev
• 1964–1982
Leonid Brezhnev
• 1982–1984
Yuri Andropov
• 1984–1985
Konstantin Chernenko
• 1985–1991
Mikhail Gorbachev
Head of State 
• 1922–1946 (first)
Mikhail Kalinin
• 1988–1991 (last)
Mikhail Gorbachev
• 1922–1924 (first)
Vladimir Lenin
• 1991 (last)
Ivan Silayev
LegislatureCongress of Soviets
Supreme Soviet
Soviet of Nationalities
Soviet of Republics
Soviet of the Union
Historical era
7 November 1917
30 December 1922
• End of the Civil War
16 June 1923
31 January 1924
5 December 1936
24 October 1945
25 February 1956
9 October 1977
11 March 1990
19–22 August 1991
8 December 1991
26 December 1991
• Total
22,402,200 km2 (8,649,500 sq mi) (1st)
• Water
2,767,198 km2 (1,068,421 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 1989 census
Neutral increase 286,730,819 (3rd)
• Density
12.7/km2 (32.9/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)1990 estimate
• Total
$2.7 trillion (2nd)
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)1990 estimate
• Total
$2.7 trillion (2nd)
• Per capita
$9,000 (28th)
Gini (1989)0.275
HDI (1990 formula)0.920
very high
CurrencySoviet ruble (Rbl) (SUR)
Time zone(UTC+2 to +12)
Driving sideright
Calling code+7
ISO 3166 codeSU
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian SFSR
Ukrainian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
Transcaucasian SFSR
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Russian Federation

The Soviet Union's roots lay in the October Revolution of 1917, which saw the Bolsheviks overthrow the Russian Provisional Government that formed earlier that year following the February Revolution that had dissolved the Russian Empire. The new government, led by Vladimir Lenin, established the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), the world's first constitutionally socialist state. The revolution was not accepted by all within the Russian Republic, resulting in the Russian Civil War between the Bolsheviks and the anti-communist Whites. As the war progressed in the Bolsheviks' favor, the RSFSR began to incorporate land acquired from the war into various puppet states, which were merged into the Soviet Union in December 1922. Following Lenin's death in 1924, Joseph Stalin came to power, inaugurating a period of rapid industrialization and forced collectivization that led to significant economic growth, but also contributed to a famine between 1930 and 1933 that killed millions. The forced labour camp system of the Gulag was also expanded in this period. During the late 1930s, Stalin conducted the Great Purge to remove actual and perceived opponents, resulting in mass death, imprisonment, and deportation. In 1939, the USSR and Nazi Germany signed a nonaggression pact despite their ideological incongruence; nonetheless, in 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in the largest land invasion in history, opening the Eastern Front of World War II. The Soviets played a decisive role in defeating the Axis powers in 1945, suffering an estimated 27 million casualties, which accounted for the majority of Allied losses. In the aftermath of the war, the Soviet Union consolidated the territory occupied by the Red Army, forming various satellite states, and undertook rapid economic development which cemented its status as a superpower.

Following World War II, ideological tensions with the United States eventually led to the Cold War. The American-led Western Bloc coalesced into NATO in 1949, prompting the Soviet Union to form its own military alliance, commonly known as the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. Neither side ever engaged in direct military confrontation, and instead fought on an ideological basis and through proxy wars. In 1953, following Stalin's death, the Soviet Union undertook a campaign of de-Stalinization under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, which saw reversals and rejections of Stalinist policies. This campaign caused tensions with Communist China. During the 1950s, the Soviet Union rapidly expanded its efforts in space exploration and took an early lead in the Space Race with the first artificial satellite, the first human spaceflight, the first space station, and the first probe to land on another planet (Venus). The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into full-scale nuclear war.

The 1970s saw a brief détente in the Soviet Union's relationship with the United States, but tensions emerged again following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. From 1985, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform the country through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. In 1989, various countries of the Warsaw Pact overthrew their Soviet-backed regimes, and nationalist and separatist movements erupted across the entire Soviet Union. In 1991, amid efforts to reform and preserve the country as a renewed federation, an attempted coup d'état against Gorbachev by hardline communists prompted the three most populous and economically developed republics—Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus—to secede from the Union. On December 26, Gorbachev officially recognized the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Boris Yeltsin, the leader of the RSFSR, oversaw its reconstitution into the Russian Federation, which became the Soviet Union's successor state; all other republics emerged as fully independent post-Soviet states.

During its existence, the Soviet Union produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations. It had the world's second-largest economy and largest standing military. An NPT-designated state, it wielded the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. As an Allied nation, it was a founding member of the United Nations as well as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Before its dissolution, the USSR was one of the world's two superpowers through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, global diplomatic and ideological influence (particularly in the Global South), military and economic strengths, and scientific accomplishments.

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