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|Union of Soviet Socialist
Союз Советских Социалистических
Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
(Translit.: Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!)
English: Workers of the world, unite!
(literally: Proletarians of all countries, unite!)
Славься, Отечество наше свободное!
Slavs'ya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye!
"Be glorious, our free Fatherland!"
The Soviet Union after World War II, not including aligned countries.
|Religion||None (state atheism)(see text)|
Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state (until 1990)
Federal semi-presidential republic (after 1990)
|•||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)|
|•||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|
|•||1991||22,402,200 km² (8,649,538 sq mi)|
|Density||13.1 /km² (33.9 /sq mi)|
|Currency||Soviet ruble (руб) (SUR)|
|Today part of||
China (parts disputed)
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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