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Soviet Union

Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics
Союз Советских Социалистических
Республик

Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
1922–1991
Flag State Emblem
Motto
Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
(Translit.: Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!)
English: Workers of the world, unite!
(literally: Proletarians of all countries, unite!)
Anthem
The Internationale
(1922–1944)

Славься, Отечество наше свободное!
Slavs'ya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye!
"Be glorious, our free Fatherland!"
(1944–1991)
The Soviet Union after World War II, not including aligned countries.
Capital Moscow
Languages Russian
Religion None (state atheism)(see text)
Demonym Soviet, Russian
Government Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state (until 1990)
Federal semi-presidential republic (after 1990)
General Secretary
 •  1922–1952 Joseph Stalin (first)
 •  1991 Vladimir Ivashko (last)
Head of state
 •  1922–1938 Mikhail Kalinin (first)
 •  1988–1991 Mikhail Gorbachev (last)
Head of government
 •  1922–1924 Vladimir Lenin (first)
 •  1991 Ivan Silayev (last)
Legislature Supreme Soviet
 •  Upper house Soviet of the Union
 •  Lower house Soviet of Nationalities
Historical era Interwar period / World War II / Cold War
 •  Treaty of Creation 30 December 1922
 •  Constitution adopted 9 October 1977
 •  Union dissolved 26 December 1991
Area
 •  1991 22,402,200 km² (8,649,538 sq mi)
Population
 •  1991 est. 293,047,571 
     Density 13.1 /km²  (33.9 /sq mi)
Currency Soviet ruble (руб) (SUR)
Internet TLD .su
Calling code +7
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian SFSR
Transcaucasian SFSR
Ukrainian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
Bukharan People's Soviet Republic
Khorezm People's Soviet Republic
Estonia
Latvia
Lithuania
Russia
Ukraine
Belarus
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Estonia
Georgia
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Lithuania
Moldova
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Today part of  Russia
 Ukraine
 Belarus
 Abkhazia
 Armenia
 Azerbaijan
 China (parts disputed)
 Estonia
 Georgia
 Kazakhstan
 Kyrgyzstan
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Moldova
 Mongolia
 Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
 South Ossetia
 Tajikistan
 Transnistria
 Turkmenistan
 Uzbekistan
Notes
  1. ^ Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.
  2. ^ Constituent republics had right to declare their own official languages
  3. ^ States with limited recognition.

For details on the succession of states see below.


For details on the succession of states see below.

The Soviet Union (Russian: Сове́тский Сою́з, tr. Sovetskiy Soyuz; IPA: [sɐ'vʲetskʲɪj sɐˈjʉs]), officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲɛtskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪsˈtʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪˈspublʲɪk]), abbreviated to USSR (Russian: СССР, tr. SSSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. A union of multiple subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The Soviet Union was a one-party federation, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital.

The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government that had replaced Tsar Nicholas II. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all political opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism (which he created), and initiated a centrally planned command economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and post-war dominance of Eastern Europe. Stalin also fomented political paranoia, and conducted the Great Purge to remove opponents of his from the Communist Party through the mass arbitrary arrest of many people (military leaders, Communist Party members, and ordinary citizens alike) who were then sent to correctional labor camps or sentenced to death.


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