ソユーズSovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
Proletarii vsekh stran、soyedinyaytes '！
" Интернационал "
" ГосударственныйгимнСССР "
Gosudarstvennyy gimn SSSR
55°45′N37 °37′E / 55.750°N 37.617°E
• 南北戦争 は終わった
• 最初の共和国の 離脱
|22,402,200 km 2（8,649,500平方マイル）|
• 1989年 国勢調査
|12.7 / km 2（32.9 /平方マイル）|
|HDI （1990）||0.920 |
|タイムゾーン||（UTC + 2〜 + 12）|
ソ連、[E]正式にソビエト社会主義共和国連邦[F] （USSR）、[g]がいた連邦 社会主義国家北部にあるユーラシア名目上1922年から1991年まで存在していた組合、複数の国家のソ連共和国を、[H ]実際には、その政府と経済は、その最後の年まで高度に集中化されていました。それはだった一党状態に支配1990年以前にソ連の共産党と、モスクワ最大の共和国であるロシアSFSRの首都として。他の主要な都市中心部は、レニングラード（ロシアSFSR）、キエフ（ウクライナSSR）、ミンスク（ビエロロシアSSR）、タシケント（ウズベクSSR）、アルマアタ（カザフSSR）、ノボシビルスク（ロシアSFSR）でした。表面積で世界最大の国であり、11のタイムゾーンにわたって東西に10,000キロメートル（6,200マイル）以上、南北に7,200キロメートル（4,500マイル）以上に広がっていました。その領土には東ヨーロッパの多くが含まれていました、北ヨーロッパと西アジアの一部、および中央アジアと北アジアのすべて。その5つのバイオームは、ツンドラ、タイガ、ステップ、砂漠、山でした。その多様な人口は公式にはソビエト人として知られていました。
1980年代半ばには、最後のソ連の指導者、ミハイル・ゴルバチョフは、さらなる改革に求め、彼の政策を通じて経済を自由化グラスノスチとペレストロイカ。目標は、経済停滞を逆転させながら共産党を維持することでした。冷戦は彼の在職期間中に終了し、1989年に東ヨーロッパのワルシャワ条約機構の国々はそれぞれのマルクスレーニン主義政権を打倒しました。特に、汎ヨーロッパピクニック後の東欧の支配者たちの優柔不断な行動が鉄のカーテンの崩壊を引き起こした、以前は強力な共産主義者の団結を打ち砕いた。これは、ソ連内でも強力なナショナリストと分離主義運動の台頭につながりました。中央当局は国民投票を開始し、バルト三国、アルメニア、ジョージア、モルドバによってボイコットされました。その結果、参加した市民の大多数が、連合を新たな連邦として維持することに賛成票を投じました。 1991年8月、共産党の強硬派によってクーデターが試みられました。それは失敗し、ロシアのエリツィン大統領がクーデターに立ち向かう際に注目を集めた役割を果たし、共産党の禁止につながった。 1991年12月25日、ゴルバチョフは辞任し、残りの12の構成共和国が独立したポストソビエト国家としてのソビエト連邦の解散。ロシア連邦（旧ロシアSFSRは）ソ連の権利と義務を仮定し、その継続的な法的人格として認識されています。
ソ連は、20世紀の多くの重要な社会的および技術的成果と革新を生み出しました。この国は、世界で2番目に大きな経済と、世界で最大の現存する軍隊を持っていました。  ソ連は、5つの核兵器国の1つとして認められました。それは国連安全保障理事会の創設常任理事国であり、OSCE、WFTUのメンバーであり、相互経済援助評議会とワルシャワ協定の主要メンバーでした。
先史時代 • 古代 • 初期のスラブ人
モンゴルの征服 •ウラジミール- モスクワ大公国•ノヴゴロド共和国
タイムライン860-1721 • 1721-1796 • 1796-1855
1855-1892 • 1892-1917 • 1917-1927
1927-1953 • 1953-1964 • 1964-1982
1982-1991 • 1991-現在
グルジア問題の間、ウラジミール・レーニンは、ジョセフ・スターリンと彼の支持者による偉大なロシア民族のショービニズムの表現を想像し、これらの国家が、彼が最初にソビエト共和国連合と名付けたより大きな連合の半独立した部分としてロシアに加わることを求めた。 （ロシア語：ヨーロッパとアジアのСоюзСоветскихРеспубликЕвропыиАзии、TR。ソユーズSovetskikh Respublik Evropy Azii I）。スターリンは当初提案に抵抗したが、最終的にはそれを受け入れたが、レーニンの合意により名前がソビエト社会主義共和国連合（USSR）に変更されたが、すべての共和国は社会主義ソビエトとして始まった。 そして1936年まで他の順序に変更されませんでした。さらに、いくつかの共和国の各国語では、それぞれの言語の評議会または公会議という言葉は、ロシアのソビエトの適応にかなり遅れて変更されただけであり、他の言語、たとえばウクライナでは決して変更されませんでした。
ソ連は、ロシアと同様に、世界最長の国境を持ち、60,000キロメートル（37,000マイル）以上、つまり1+1 / 2地球の周。その3分の2は海岸線でした。国が国境を接し、アフガニスタン、中国、チェコスロバキア、フィンランド、ハンガリー、イラン、モンゴル、北朝鮮、ノルウェー、ポーランド、ルーマニア、およびトルコの1945年から1991年にベーリング海峡はからソ連を離れ、米国ながら、宗谷海峡を分離しましたそれは日本からです。
|歴史 の |
同時に、ロシア語で「ソビエト」として知られる労働者評議会が全国に出現した。ボリシェヴィキが率いる、ウラジーミル・レーニンのためにプッシュされ、社会主義革命ソ連でと路上で。 1917年11月7日、紅衛兵はペトログラードの冬宮殿を襲撃し、臨時政府の統治を終わらせ、すべての政治権力をソビエトに委ねました。この出来事は、後にソビエトの書誌でグレート・オクトーバー社会主義革命として公式に知られるようになるだろう。 12月、ボルシェビキは中央同盟国と休戦協定を締結しましたしかし、1918年2月までに、戦闘は再開されました。 3月、ソビエトは戦争への関与を終了し、ブレスト・リトフスク条約に署名しました。
ソ連と西側の間のより緊密な協力は1930年代初頭に発展しました。 1932年から1934年まで、国は世界軍縮会議に参加しました。 1933年、米国とソ連の外交関係が樹立され、11月に新たに選出された米国大統領、フランクリンD.ルーズベルトがスターリンの共産党政府を正式に承認することを選択し、両国間の新しい貿易協定を交渉しました。 1934年9月、国は国際連盟に加わった。後にスペイン市民戦争が1936年に勃発した、ソ連は積極的にサポートする共和党勢力に対する国家主義者によってサポートされていました、ファシストイタリアとナチスドイツ。
同年、ソ連はヤルタ会談で連合国との合意を履行し、1945年4月に日ソ中立条約を非難し、1945年8月9日に満州国および他の日本支配地域に侵攻した[43。 ] この紛争はソビエトの決定的な勝利で終わり、日本の無条件の降伏と第二次世界大戦の終結に貢献した。
ソ連は戦争で大きな被害を受け、約2700万人を失いました。 1941年から42年のわずか8か月で、約280万人のソビエト捕虜が飢餓、虐待、または死刑で死亡した。 戦争中、米国、英国、中国と一緒に国を考慮した四大、連合国 、後になった四警官に基づき形成され、国連安全保障理事会を。それは戦後の期間に超大国として出現した。かつて外交承認を拒否された西側世界では、ソ連は1940年代後半までに事実上すべての国と公式の関係を持っていました。1945年に設立された国連加盟国であるこの国は、国連安全保障理事会の5つの常任理事国の1つになり、決議のいずれかを拒否する権利を与えました。
ブレジネフは西側とのデタント全体を主宰し、その結果、兵器管理に関する条約（SALT I、SALT II、弾道弾迎撃ミサイル条約）が生まれ、同時にソビエト軍の力が強化されました。
ブレジネフの次の2人の後継者、彼の伝統に深く根ざした過渡期の人物は、長くは続かなかった。ユーリ・アンドロポフは68歳で、コンスタンティン・チェルネンコは72歳で権力を握っていました。どちらも2年足らずで亡くなりました。 3番目の短命の指導者を避けるために、1985年に、ソビエトは次の世代に目を向け、ミハイル・ゴルバチョフを選びました。彼はペレストロイカと呼ばれる経済と党のリーダーシップに大きな変化をもたらしました。グラスノスチの彼の方針は、何十年にもわたる政府による厳しい検閲の後、情報への一般のアクセスを解放しました。ゴルバチョフも冷戦を終わらせるために動いた。 1988年、ソ連はアフガニスタンでの戦争を放棄しましたそしてその軍隊を撤退させ始めました。翌年、ゴルバチョフはソビエト衛星国の内政に干渉することを拒否し、それが1989年の革命への道を開いた。特に、1989年8月の汎ヨーロッパピクニックでのソビエト連邦の停滞はその後、平和的な連鎖反応を引き起こし、その終わりに東側諸国は崩壊した。ベルリンの壁が崩壊し、東西ドイツが統一を追求したことで、西ドイツとソビエト支配地域の間の鉄のカーテンが崩壊しました。   
同時に、ソビエト共和国は、ソビエト連邦憲法第72条で脱退する自由を理由に、自国の領土に対する主権を宣言する可能性に向けた法的措置を開始しました。 1990年4月7日、国民投票で住民の3分の2以上が投票した場合、共和国が脱退することを認める法律が可決された。多くは、1990年に自国の立法府のためにソビエト時代に最初の自由選挙を行った。これらの立法府の多くは、「法の戦争」として知られているもので組合法と矛盾する立法を作成し始めた。 1989年、ロシアのSFSRは、新たに選出された人民代議員会議を招集しました。ボリス・エリツィン会長に選出されました。1990年6月12日、議会はその領土に対するロシアの主権を宣言し、ソビエトの法律のいくつかに取って代わろうとする法律の可決を進めました。リトアニアでのサユディスの圧勝の後、その国は1990年3月11日に独立が回復したと宣言しました。
ソ連の保全のための投票は、連合の保全のための投票、それらの共和国の人口の大多数で、（残りは投票をボイコットした）9つの共和国で1991年3月17日に開催されました。国民投票はゴルバチョフにわずかな後押しを与えた。 1991年の夏、国をはるかに緩い連合に変えたであろう新連邦条約が8つの共和国によって合意された。しかし、条約の調印は、8月クーデター（クーデター未遂）によって中断されました。ゴルバチョフの改革を覆し、共和国に対する中央政府の支配を再主張しようとした政府の強硬派メンバーとKGBによる。クーデターが崩壊した後、エリツィンは彼の決定的な行動の英雄と見なされ、ゴルバチョフの力は事実上終了しました。勢力均衡は共和国に大きく傾いた。 1991年8月、ラトビアとエストニアは直ちに完全な独立の回復を宣言しました（リトアニアの1990年の例に続く）。ゴルバチョフは8月下旬に書記長を辞任し、その後まもなく党の活動は無期限に停止され、事実上その規則は終了した。秋までに、ゴルバチョフはモスクワ以外の出来事に影響を与えることができなくなり、ロシア大統領に選出されたエリツィンからも挑戦されていた。 1991年7月。
1991年12月8日、ロシア、ウクライナ、ベラルーシ（旧ベラルーシ）の大統領がベラルーシ合意に署名し、ソビエト連邦が解散し、代わりに独立国家共同体（CIS）が設立されたと宣言しました。これを行うための協定の権限については疑問が残りましたが、1991年12月21日、ジョージアを除くすべてのソビエト共和国の代表がアルマアタ議定書に署名し、協定を確認しました。 1991年12月25日、ゴルバチョフはソ連大統領を辞任し、事務所の消滅を宣言した。彼は大統領に与えられていた権力をエリツィンに引き渡した。その夜、ソビエトの旗が最後に下げられ、ロシアのトリコロールが その代わりに育てられました。
解散後、ロシアは国際舞台での法的な後継者として国際的に認められた。そのために、ロシアは自主的にすべてのソビエトの対外債務を受け入れ、ソビエトの海外資産を自国のものとして主張した。 1992年のリスボン議定書の下で、ロシアは他の旧ソビエト共和国の領土に残っているすべての核兵器を受け取ることにも同意した。それ以来、ロシア連邦はソビエト連邦の権利と義務を引き受けました。ウクライナは、ソ連の継承に対するロシアの独占的主張を認めることを拒否し、ウクライナについてもそのような地位を主張しました。これは、1991年のウクライナの法的継承に関する法律の第7条および第8条に成文化されています。. Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has continued to pursue claims against Russia in foreign courts, seeking to recover its share of the foreign property that was owned by the USSR.
The dissolution was followed by a severe drop in economic and social conditions in post-Soviet states, including a rapid increase in poverty, crime, corruption, unemployment, homelessness, rates of disease, infant mortality and domestic violence, as well as demographic losses and income inequality and the rise of an oligarchical class, along with decreases in calorie intake, life expectancy, adult literacy, and income. Between 1988/1989 and 1993/1995, the Gini ratio increased by an average of 9 points for all former socialist countries. The economic shocks that accompanied wholesale privatization were associated with sharp increases in mortality. Data shows Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia saw a tripling of unemployment and a 42% increase in male death rates between 1991 and 1994. In the following decades, only five or six of the post-communist states are on a path to joining the wealthy capitalist West while most are falling behind, some to such an extent that it will take over fifty years to catch up to where they were before the fall of the Soviet Bloc.
In summing up the international ramifications of these events, Vladislav Zubok stated: "The collapse of the Soviet empire was an event of epochal geopolitical, military, ideological, and economic significance." Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry.
The analysis of the succession of states for the 15 post-Soviet states is complex. The Russian Federation is seen as the legal continuator state and is for most purposes the heir to the Soviet Union. It retained ownership of all former Soviet embassy properties, as well as the old Soviet UN membership and permanent membership on the Security Council.
Of the two other co-founding states of the USSR at the time of the dissolution, Ukraine was the only one that had passed laws, similar to Russia, that it is a state-successor of both the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR. Soviet treaties laid groundwork for Ukraine's future foreign agreements as well as they led to Ukraine agreeing to undertake 16.37% of debts of the Soviet Union for which it was going to receive its share of USSR's foreign property. Although it had a tough position at the time, due to Russia's position as a "single continuation of the USSR" that became widely accepted in the West as well as a constant pressure from the Western countries, allowed Russia to dispose state property of USSR abroad and conceal information about it. Due to that Ukraine never ratified "zero option" agreement that Russian Federation had signed with other former Soviet republics, as it denied disclosing of information about Soviet Gold Reserves and its Diamond Fund. The dispute over former Soviet property and assets between the two former republics is still ongoing:
The conflict is unsolvable. We can continue to poke Kiev handouts in the calculation of "solve the problem", only it won't be solved. Going to a trial is also pointless: for a number of European countries this is a political issue, and they will make a decision clearly in whose favor. What to do in this situation is an open question. Search for non-trivial solutions. But we must remember that in 2014, with the filing of the then Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, litigation with Russia resumed in 32 countries.— Sergey Markov
Similar situation occurred with restitution of cultural property. Although on 14 February 1992 Russia and other former Soviet republics signed agreement "On the return of cultural and historic property to the origin states" in Minsk, it was halted by Russian State Duma that had eventually passed "Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR as a Result of the Second World War and Located on the Territory of the Russian Federation" which made restitution currently impossible.
There are additionally four states that claim independence from the other internationally recognised post-Soviet states but possess limited international recognition: Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transnistria. The Chechen separatist movement of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria lacks any international recognition.
During his rule, Stalin always made the final policy decisions. Otherwise, Soviet foreign policy was set by the commission on the Foreign Policy of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, or by the party's highest body the Politburo. Operations were handled by the separate Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was known as the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs (or Narkomindel), until 1946. The most influential spokesmen were Georgy Chicherin (1872–1936), Maxim Litvinov (1876–1951), Vyacheslav Molotov (1890–1986), Andrey Vyshinsky (1883–1954) and Andrei Gromyko (1909–1989). Intellectuals were based in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
- Comintern (1919–1943), or Communist International, was an international communist organization based in the Kremlin that advocated world communism. The Comintern intended to "struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state". It was abolished as a conciliatory measure toward Britain and the United States.
- Comecon, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Russian: Совет Экономической Взаимопомощи, Sovet Ekonomicheskoy Vzaimopomoshchi, СЭВ, SEV) was an economic organization from 1949 to 1991 under Soviet control that comprised the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with several communist states elsewhere in the world. Moscow was concerned about the Marshall Plan, and Comecon was meant to prevent countries in the Soviets' sphere of influence from moving towards that of the Americans and Southeast Asia. Comecon was the Eastern Bloc's reply to the formation in Western Europe of the Organization for European Economic Co-Operation (OEEC),
- The Warsaw Pact was a collective defence alliance formed in 1955 among the USSR and its satellite states in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Comecon, the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO.
- The Cominform (1947–1956), informally the Communist Information Bureau and officially the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties, was the first official agency of the international Marxist-Leninist movement since the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943. Its role was to coordinate actions between Marxist-Leninist parties under Soviet direction. Stalin used it to order Western European communist parties to abandon their exclusively parliamentarian line and instead concentrate on politically impeding the operations of the Marshall Plan. It also coordinated international aid to Marxist-Leninist insurgents during the Greek Civil War in 1947–1949. It expelled Yugoslavia in 1948 after Josip Broz Tito insisted on an independent program. Its newspaper, For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy!, promoted Stalin's positions. The Cominform's concentration on Europe meant a deemphasis on world revolution in Soviet foreign policy. By enunciating a uniform ideology, it allowed the constituent parties to focus on personalities rather than issues.
Early policies (1919–1939)
The Marxist-Leninist leadership of the Soviet Union intensely debated foreign policy issues and change directions several times. Even after Stalin assumed dictatorial control in the late 1920s, there were debates, and he frequently changed positions.
During the country's early period, it was assumed that Communist revolutions would break out soon in every major industrial country, and it was the Soviet responsibility to assist them. The Comintern was the weapon of choice. A few revolutions did break out, but they were quickly suppressed (the longest lasting one was in Hungary)—the Hungarian Soviet Republic—lasted only from 21 March 1919 to 1 August 1919. The Russian Bolsheviks were in no position to give any help.
By 1921, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin realized that capitalism had stabilized itself in Europe and there would not be any widespread revolutions anytime soon. It became the duty of the Russian Bolsheviks to protect what they had in Russia, and avoid military confrontations that might destroy their bridgehead. Russia was now a pariah state, along with Germany. The two came to terms in 1922 with the Treaty of Rapallo that settled long-standing grievances. At the same time, the two countries secretly set up training programs for the illegal German army and air force operations at hidden camps in the USSR.
Moscow eventually stopped threatening other states, and instead worked to open peaceful relationships in terms of trade, and diplomatic recognition. The United Kingdom dismissed the warnings of Winston Churchill and a few others about a continuing Marxist-Leninist threat, and opened trade relations and de facto diplomatic recognition in 1922. There was hope for a settlement of the pre-war Tsarist debts, but it was repeatedly postponed. Formal recognition came when the new Labour Party came to power in 1924. All the other countries followed suit in opening trade relations. Henry Ford opened large-scale business relations with the Soviets in the late 1920s, hoping that it would lead to long-term peace. Finally, in 1933, the United States officially recognized the USSR, a decision backed by the public opinion and especially by US business interests that expected an opening of a new profitable market.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Stalin ordered Marxist-Leninist parties across the world to strongly oppose non-Marxist political parties, labor unions or other organizations on the left. Stalin reversed himself in 1934 with the Popular Front program that called on all Marxist parties to join together with all anti-Fascist political, labor, and organizational forces that were opposed to fascism, especially of the Nazi variety.
In 1939, half a year after the Munich Agreement, the USSR attempted to form an anti-Nazi alliance with France and Britain. Adolf Hitler proposed a better deal, which would give the USSR control over much of Eastern Europe through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In September, Germany invaded Poland, and the USSR also invaded later that month, resulting in the partition of Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II.
World War II (1939–1945)
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Cold War (1945–1991)
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There were three power hierarchies in the Soviet Union: the legislature represented by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the government represented by the Council of Ministers, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), the only legal party and the final policymaker in the country.
At the top of the Communist Party was the Central Committee, elected at Party Congresses and Conferences. In turn, the Central Committee voted for a Politburo (called the Presidium between 1952 and 1966), Secretariat and the General Secretary (First Secretary from 1953 to 1966), the de facto highest office in the Soviet Union. Depending on the degree of power consolidation, it was either the Politburo as a collective body or the General Secretary, who always was one of the Politburo members, that effectively led the party and the country (except for the period of the highly personalized authority of Stalin, exercised directly through his position in the Council of Ministers rather than the Politburo after 1941). They were not controlled by the general party membership, as the key principle of the party organization was democratic centralism, demanding strict subordination to higher bodies, and elections went uncontested, endorsing the candidates proposed from above.
The Communist Party maintained its dominance over the state mainly through its control over the system of appointments. All senior government officials and most deputies of the Supreme Soviet were members of the CPSU. Of the party heads themselves, Stalin (1941–1953) and Khrushchev (1958–1964) were Premiers. Upon the forced retirement of Khrushchev, the party leader was prohibited from this kind of double membership, but the later General Secretaries for at least some part of their tenure occupied the mostly ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the nominal head of state. The institutions at lower levels were overseen and at times supplanted by primary party organizations.
However, in practice the degree of control the party was able to exercise over the state bureaucracy, particularly after the death of Stalin, was far from total, with the bureaucracy pursuing different interests that were at times in conflict with the party. Nor was the party itself monolithic from top to bottom, although factions were officially banned.
The Supreme Soviet (successor of the Congress of Soviets) was nominally the highest state body for most of the Soviet history, at first acting as a rubber stamp institution, approving and implementing all decisions made by the party. However, its powers and functions were extended in the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, including the creation of new state commissions and committees. It gained additional powers relating to the approval of the Five-Year Plans and the government budget. The Supreme Soviet elected a Presidium (successor of the Central Executive Committee) to wield its power between plenary sessions, ordinarily held twice a year, and appointed the Supreme Court, the Procurator General and the Council of Ministers (known before 1946 as the Council of People's Commissars), headed by the Chairman (Premier) and managing an enormous bureaucracy responsible for the administration of the economy and society. State and party structures of the constituent republics largely emulated the structure of the central institutions, although the Russian SFSR, unlike the other constituent republics, for most of its history had no republican branch of the CPSU, being ruled directly by the union-wide party until 1990. Local authorities were organized likewise into party committees, local Soviets and executive committees. While the state system was nominally federal, the party was unitary.
The state security police (the KGB and its predecessor agencies) played an important role in Soviet politics. It was instrumental in the Great Purge, but was brought under strict party control after Stalin's death. Under Yuri Andropov, the KGB engaged in the suppression of political dissent and maintained an extensive network of informers, reasserting itself as a political actor to some extent independent of the party-state structure, culminating in the anti-corruption campaign targeting high-ranking party officials in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Separation of power and reform
The constitution, which was promulgated in 1924, 1936 and 1977, did not limit state power. No formal separation of powers existed between the Party, Supreme Soviet and Council of Ministers that represented executive and legislative branches of the government. The system was governed less by statute than by informal conventions, and no settled mechanism of leadership succession existed. Bitter and at times deadly power struggles took place in the Politburo after the deaths of Lenin and Stalin, as well as after Khrushchev's dismissal, itself due to a decision by both the Politburo and the Central Committee. All leaders of the Communist Party before Gorbachev died in office, except Georgy Malenkov and Khrushchev, both dismissed from the party leadership amid internal struggle within the party.
Between 1988 and 1990, facing considerable opposition, Mikhail Gorbachev enacted reforms shifting power away from the highest bodies of the party and making the Supreme Soviet less dependent on them. The Congress of People's Deputies was established, the majority of whose members were directly elected in competitive elections held in March 1989. The Congress now elected the Supreme Soviet, which became a full-time parliament, and much stronger than before. For the first time since the 1920s, it refused to rubber stamp proposals from the party and Council of Ministers. In 1990, Gorbachev introduced and assumed the position of the President of the Soviet Union, concentrated power in his executive office, independent of the party, and subordinated the government, now renamed the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR, to himself.
Tensions grew between the Union-wide authorities under Gorbachev, reformists led in Russia by Boris Yeltsin and controlling the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR, and communist hardliners. On 19–21 August 1991, a group of hardliners staged a coup attempt. The coup failed, and the State Council of the Soviet Union became the highest organ of state power "in the period of transition". Gorbachev resigned as General Secretary, only remaining President for the final months of the existence of the USSR.
The judiciary was not independent of the other branches of government. The Supreme Court supervised the lower courts (People's Court) and applied the law as established by the constitution or as interpreted by the Supreme Soviet. The Constitutional Oversight Committee reviewed the constitutionality of laws and acts. The Soviet Union used the inquisitorial system of Roman law, where the judge, procurator, and defence attorney collaborate to establish the truth.
Constitutionally, the USSR was a federation of constituent Union Republics, which were either unitary states, such as Ukraine or Byelorussia (SSRs), or federations, such as Russia or Transcaucasia (SFSRs), all four being the founding republics who signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR in December 1922. In 1924, during the national delimitation in Central Asia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were formed from parts of Russia's Turkestan ASSR and two Soviet dependencies, the Khorezm and Bukharan SSRs. In 1929, Tajikistan was split off from the Uzbekistan SSR. With the constitution of 1936, the Transcaucasian SFSR was dissolved, resulting in its constituent republics of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan being elevated to Union Republics, while Kazakhstan and Kirghizia were split off from Russian SFSR, resulting in the same status. In August 1940, Moldavia was formed from parts of Ukraine and Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (SSRs) were also admitted into the union which was not recognized by most of the international community and was considered an illegal occupation. Karelia was split off from Russia as a Union Republic in March 1940 and was reabsorbed in 1956. Between July 1956 and September 1991, there were 15 union republics (see map below).
While nominally a union of equals, in practice the Soviet Union was dominated by Russians. The domination was so absolute that for most of its existence, the country was commonly (but incorrectly) referred to as "Russia". While the RSFSR was technically only one republic within the larger union, it was by far the largest (both in terms of population and area), most powerful, most developed, and the industrial center of the Soviet Union. Historian Matthew White wrote that it was an open secret that the country's federal structure was "window dressing" for Russian dominance. For that reason, the people of the USSR were usually called "Russians", not "Soviets", since "everyone knew who really ran the show".
|Republic||Map of the Union Republics between 1956 and 1991|
Under the Military Law of September 1925, the Soviet Armed Forces consisted of three components, namely the Land Forces, the Air Force, the Navy, Joint State Political Directorate (OGPU), and the Internal Troops. The OGPU later became independent and in 1934 joined the NKVD, and so its internal troops were under the joint leadership of the defense and internal commissariats. After World War II, Strategic Missile Forces (1959), Air Defense Forces (1948) and National Civil Defense Forces (1970) were formed, which ranked first, third, and sixth in the official Soviet system of importance (ground forces were second, Air Force Fourth, and Navy Fifth).
The army had the greatest political influence. In 1989, there served two million soldiers divided between 150 motorized and 52 armored divisions. Until the early 1960s, the Soviet navy was a rather small military branch, but after the Caribbean crisis, under the leadership of Sergei Gorshkov, it expanded significantly. It became known for battlecruisers and submarines. In 1989 there served 500 000 men. The Soviet Air Force focused on a fleet of strategic bombers and during war situation was to eradicate enemy infrastructure and nuclear capacity. The air force also had a number of fighters and tactical bombers to support the army in the war. Strategic missile forces had more than 1,400 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed between 28 bases and 300 command centers.
In the post-war period, the Soviet Army was directly involved in several military operations abroad. These included the suppression of the uprising in East Germany (1953), Hungarian revolution (1956) and the invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968). The Soviet Union also participated in the war in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989.
In the Soviet Union, general conscription applied.
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At the end of the 1950s, with the help of engineers and technologies captured and imported from defeated Nazi Germany, the Soviets constructed the first satellite – Sputnik 1 and thus overtook the United States. This was followed by other successful satellites and experimental dogs were sent. On April 12, 1961, the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, was sent to the space. He once flew around the Earth and successfully landed in the Kazakh steppe. At that time, the first plans for space shuttles and orbital stations were drawn up in Soviet design offices, but in the end personal disputes between designers and management prevented this.
The first big fiasco for the USSR was the landing on the moon by the Americans, when the Russians were not able to respond to the Americans in time with the same project. In the 1970s, more specific proposals for the design of the space shuttle began to emerge, but shortcomings, especially in the electronics industry (rapid overheating of electronics), postponed the program until the end of the 1980s. The first shuttle, the Buran, flew in 1988, but without a human crew. Another shuttle, Ptichka, eventually ended up under construction, as the shuttle project was canceled in 1991. For their launch into space, there is today an unused superpower rocket, Energia, which is the most powerful in the world.
In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union managed to build the Mir orbital station. It was built on the construction of Salyut stations and its tasks were purely civilian and research. In the 1990s, when the US Skylab was shut down due to lack of funds, it was the only orbital station in operation. Gradually, other modules were added to it, including American ones. However, the technical condition of the station deteriorated rapidly, especially after the fire, so in 2001 it was decided to bring it into the atmosphere where it burned down.
The Soviet Union adopted a command economy, whereby production and distribution of goods were centralized and directed by the government. The first Bolshevik experience with a command economy was the policy of War communism, which involved the nationalization of industry, centralized distribution of output, coercive requisition of agricultural production, and attempts to eliminate money circulation, private enterprises and free trade. After the severe economic collapse, Lenin replaced war communism by the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921, legalizing free trade and private ownership of small businesses. The economy quickly recovered as a result.
After a long debate among the members of the Politburo about the course of economic development, by 1928–1929, upon gaining control of the country, Stalin abandoned the NEP and pushed for full central planning, starting forced collectivization of agriculture and enacting draconian labor legislation. Resources were mobilized for rapid industrialization, which significantly expanded Soviet capacity in heavy industry and capital goods during the 1930s. The primary motivation for industrialization was preparation for war, mostly due to distrust of the outside capitalist world. As a result, the USSR was transformed from a largely agrarian economy into a great industrial power, leading the way for its emergence as a superpower after World War II. The war caused extensive devastation of the Soviet economy and infrastructure, which required massive reconstruction.
By the early 1940s, the Soviet economy had become relatively self-sufficient; for most of the period until the creation of Comecon, only a tiny share of domestic products was traded internationally. After the creation of the Eastern Bloc, external trade rose rapidly. However, the influence of the world economy on the USSR was limited by fixed domestic prices and a state monopoly on foreign trade. Grain and sophisticated consumer manufactures became major import articles from around the 1960s. During the arms race of the Cold War, the Soviet economy was burdened by military expenditures, heavily lobbied for by a powerful bureaucracy dependent on the arms industry. At the same time, the USSR became the largest arms exporter to the Third World. Significant amounts of Soviet resources during the Cold War were allocated in aid to the other socialist states.
From the 1930s until its dissolution in late 1991, the way the Soviet economy operated remained essentially unchanged. The economy was formally directed by central planning, carried out by Gosplan and organized in five-year plans. However, in practice, the plans were highly aggregated and provisional, subject to ad hoc intervention by superiors. All critical economic decisions were taken by the political leadership. Allocated resources and plan targets were usually denominated in rubles rather than in physical goods. Credit was discouraged, but widespread. The final allocation of output was achieved through relatively decentralized, unplanned contracting. Although in theory prices were legally set from above, in practice they were often negotiated, and informal horizontal links (e.g. between producer factories) were widespread.
A number of basic services were state-funded, such as education and health care. In the manufacturing sector, heavy industry and defence were prioritized over consumer goods. Consumer goods, particularly outside large cities, were often scarce, of poor quality and limited variety. Under the command economy, consumers had almost no influence on production, and the changing demands of a population with growing incomes could not be satisfied by supplies at rigidly fixed prices. A massive unplanned second economy grew up at low levels alongside the planned one, providing some of the goods and services that the planners could not. The legalization of some elements of the decentralized economy was attempted with the reform of 1965.
Although statistics of the Soviet economy are notoriously unreliable and its economic growth difficult to estimate precisely, by most accounts, the economy continued to expand until the mid-1980s. During the 1950s and 1960s, it had comparatively high growth and was catching up to the West. However, after 1970, the growth, while still positive, steadily declined much more quickly and consistently than in other countries, despite a rapid increase in the capital stock (the rate of capital increase was only surpassed by Japan).
Overall, the growth rate of per capita income in the Soviet Union between 1960 and 1989 was slightly above the world average (based on 102 countries). According to Stanley Fischer and William Easterly, growth could have been faster. By their calculation, per capita income in 1989 should have been twice higher than it was, considering the amount of investment, education and population. The authors attribute this poor performance to the low productivity of capital. Steven Rosenfielde states that the standard of living declined due to Stalin's despotism. While there was a brief improvement after his death, it lapsed into stagnation.
In 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to reform and revitalize the economy with his program of perestroika. His policies relaxed state control over enterprises but did not replace it by market incentives, resulting in a sharp decline in output. The economy, already suffering from reduced petroleum export revenues, started to collapse. Prices were still fixed, and the property was still largely state-owned until after the country's dissolution. For most of the period after World War II until its collapse, Soviet GDP (PPP) was the second-largest in the world, and third during the second half of the 1980s, although on a per-capita basis, it was behind that of First World countries. Compared to countries with similar per-capita GDP in 1928, the Soviet Union experienced significant growth.
In 1990, the country had a Human Development Index of 0.920, placing it in the "high" category of human development. It was the third-highest in the Eastern Bloc, behind Czechoslovakia and East Germany, and the 25th in the world of 130 countries.
The need for fuel declined in the Soviet Union from the 1970s to the 1980s, both per ruble of gross social product and per ruble of industrial product. At the start, this decline grew very rapidly but gradually slowed down between 1970 and 1975. From 1975 and 1980, it grew even slower,[clarification needed] only 2.6%. David Wilson, a historian, believed that the gas industry would account for 40% of Soviet fuel production by the end of the century. His theory did not come to fruition because of the USSR's collapse. The USSR, in theory, would have continued to have an economic growth rate of 2–2.5% during the 1990s because of Soviet energy fields.[clarification needed] However, the energy sector faced many difficulties, among them the country's high military expenditure and hostile relations with the First World.
In 1991, the Soviet Union had a pipeline network of 82,000 kilometres (51,000 mi) for crude oil and another 206,500 kilometres (128,300 mi) for natural gas. Petroleum and petroleum-based products, natural gas, metals, wood, agricultural products, and a variety of manufactured goods, primarily machinery, arms and military equipment, were exported. In the 1970s and 1980s, the USSR heavily relied on fossil fuel exports to earn hard currency. At its peak in 1988, it was the largest producer and second-largest exporter of crude oil, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia.
Science and technology
The Soviet Union placed great emphasis on science and technology within its economy, however, the most remarkable Soviet successes in technology, such as producing the world's first space satellite, typically were the responsibility of the military. Lenin believed that the USSR would never overtake the developed world if it remained as technologically backward as it was upon its founding. Soviet authorities proved their commitment to Lenin's belief by developing massive networks, research and development organizations. In the early 1960s, the Soviets awarded 40% of chemistry PhDs to women, compared to only 5% in the United States. By 1989, Soviet scientists were among the world's best-trained specialists in several areas, such as energy physics, selected areas of medicine, mathematics, welding and military technologies. Due to rigid state planning and bureaucracy, the Soviets remained far behind technologically in chemistry, biology, and computers when compared to the First World.
Under the Reagan administration, Project Socrates determined that the Soviet Union addressed the acquisition of science and technology in a manner that was radically different from what the US was using. In the case of the US, economic prioritization was being used for indigenous research and development as the means to acquire science and technology in both the private and public sectors. In contrast, the USSR was offensively and defensively maneuvering in the acquisition and utilization of the worldwide technology, to increase the competitive advantage that they acquired from the technology while preventing the US from acquiring a competitive advantage. However, technology-based planning was executed in a centralized, government-centric manner that greatly hindered its flexibility. This was exploited by the US to undermine the strength of the Soviet Union and thus foster its reform.
Transport was a vital component of the country's economy. The economic centralization of the late 1920s and 1930s led to the development of infrastructure on a massive scale, most notably the establishment of Aeroflot, an aviation enterprise. The country had a wide variety of modes of transport by land, water and air. However, due to inadequate maintenance, much of the road, water and Soviet civil aviation transport were outdated and technologically backward compared to the First World.
Soviet rail transport was the largest and most intensively used in the world; it was also better developed than most of its Western counterparts. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Soviet economists were calling for the construction of more roads to alleviate some of the burdens from the railways and to improve the Soviet government budget. The street network and automotive industry remained underdeveloped, and dirt roads were common outside major cities. Soviet maintenance projects proved unable to take care of even the few roads the country had. By the early-to-mid-1980s, the Soviet authorities tried to solve the road problem by ordering the construction of new ones. Meanwhile, the automobile industry was growing at a faster rate than road construction. The underdeveloped road network led to a growing demand for public transport.
Despite improvements, several aspects of the transport sector were still[when?] riddled with problems due to outdated infrastructure, lack of investment, corruption and bad decision-making. Soviet authorities were unable to meet the growing demand for transport infrastructure and services.
The Soviet merchant navy was one of the largest in the world.
Excess deaths throughout World War I and the Russian Civil War (including the postwar famine) amounted to a combined total of 18 million, some 10 million in the 1930s, and more than 26 million in 1941–5. The postwar Soviet population was 45 to 50 million smaller than it would have been if pre-war demographic growth had continued. According to Catherine Merridale, "... reasonable estimate would place the total number of excess deaths for the whole period somewhere around 60 million."
The birth rate of the USSR decreased from 44.0 per thousand in 1926 to 18.0 in 1974, mainly due to increasing urbanization and the rising average age of marriages. The mortality rate demonstrated a gradual decrease as well – from 23.7 per thousand in 1926 to 8.7 in 1974. In general, the birth rates of the southern republics in Transcaucasia and Central Asia were considerably higher than those in the northern parts of the Soviet Union, and in some cases even increased in the post–World War II period, a phenomenon partly attributed to slower rates of urbanistion and traditionally earlier marriages in the southern republics. Soviet Europe moved towards sub-replacement fertility, while Soviet Central Asia continued to exhibit population growth well above replacement-level fertility.
The late 1960s and the 1970s witnessed a reversal of the declining trajectory of the rate of mortality in the USSR, and was especially notable among men of working age, but was also prevalent in Russia and other predominantly Slavic areas of the country. An analysis of the official data from the late 1980s showed that after worsening in the late-1970s and the early 1980s, adult mortality began to improve again. The infant mortality rate increased from 24.7 in 1970 to 27.9 in 1974. Some researchers regarded the rise as mostly real, a consequence of worsening health conditions and services. The rises in both adult and infant mortality were not explained or defended by Soviet officials, and the Soviet government stopped publishing all mortality statistics for ten years. Soviet demographers and health specialists remained silent about the mortality increases until the late-1980s, when the publication of mortality data resumed, and researchers could delve into the real causes.
Women and fertility
Under Lenin, the state made explicit commitments to promote the equality of men and women. Many early Russian feminists and ordinary Russian working women actively participated in the Revolution, and many more were affected by the events of that period and the new policies. Beginning in October 1918, Lenin's government liberalized divorce and abortion laws, decriminalized homosexuality (re-criminalized in the 1930s), permitted cohabitation, and ushered in a host of reforms. However, without birth control, the new system produced many broken marriages, as well as countless out-of-wedlock children. The epidemic of divorces and extramarital affairs created social hardships when Soviet leaders wanted people to concentrate their efforts on growing the economy. Giving women control over their fertility also led to a precipitous decline in the birth rate, perceived as a threat to their country's military power. By 1936, Stalin reversed most of the liberal laws, ushering in a pronatalist era that lasted for decades.
By 1917, Russia became the first great power to grant women the right to vote. After heavy casualties in World War I and II, women outnumbered men in Russia by a 4:3 ratio. This contributed to the larger role women played in Russian society compared to other great powers at the time.
Anatoly Lunacharsky became the first People's Commissar for Education of Soviet Russia. In the beginning, the Soviet authorities placed great emphasis on the elimination of illiteracy. All left-handed children were forced to write with their right hand in the Soviet school system. Literate people were automatically hired as teachers. For a short period, quality was sacrificed for quantity. By 1940, Stalin could announce that illiteracy had been eliminated. Throughout the 1930s, social mobility rose sharply, which has been attributed to reforms in education. In the aftermath of World War II, the country's educational system expanded dramatically, which had a tremendous effect. In the 1960s, nearly all children had access to education, the only exception being those living in remote areas. Nikita Khrushchev tried to make education more accessible, making it clear to children that education was closely linked to the needs of society. Education also became important in giving rise to the New Man. Citizens directly entering the workforce had the constitutional right to a job and to free vocational training.
The education system was highly centralized and universally accessible to all citizens, with affirmative action for applicants from nations associated with cultural backwardness. However, as part of the general antisemitic policy, an unofficial Jewish quota was applied[when?] in the leading institutions of higher education by subjecting Jewish applicants to harsher entrance examinations. The Brezhnev era also introduced a rule that required all university applicants to present a reference from the local Komsomol party secretary. According to statistics from 1986, the number of higher education students per the population of 10,000 was 181 for the USSR, compared to 517 for the US.
Nationalities and ethnic groups
The Soviet Union was an ethnically diverse country, with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups. The total population was estimated at 293 million in 1991. According to a 1990 estimate, the majority were Russians (50.78%), followed by Ukrainians (15.45%) and Uzbeks (5.84%).
All citizens of the USSR had their own ethnic affiliation. The ethnicity of a person was chosen at the age of sixteen by the child's parents. If the parents did not agree, the child was automatically assigned the ethnicity of the father. Partly due to Soviet policies, some of the smaller minority ethnic groups were considered part of larger ones, such as the Mingrelians of Georgia, who were classified with the linguistically related Georgians. Some ethnic groups voluntarily assimilated, while others were brought in by force. Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians shared close cultural ties, while other groups did not. With multiple nationalities living in the same territory, ethnic antagonisms developed over the years.[neutrality is disputed]
Members of various ethnicities participated in legislative bodies. Organs of power like the Politburo, the Secretariat of the Central Committee etc., were formally ethnically neutral, but in reality, ethnic Russians were overrepresented, although there were also non-Russian leaders in the Soviet leadership, such as Joseph Stalin, Grigory Zinoviev, Nikolai Podgorny or Andrei Gromyko. During the Soviet era, a significant number of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians migrated to other Soviet republics, and many of them settled there. According to the last census in 1989, the Russian "diaspora" in the Soviet republics had reached 25 million.
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1941
Number and share of Ukrainians in the population of the regions of the RSFSR (1926 census)
Number and share of Ukrainians in the population of the regions of the RSFSR (1979 census)
In 1917, before the revolution, health conditions were significantly behind those of developed countries. As Lenin later noted, "Either the lice will defeat socialism, or socialism will defeat the lice". The Soviet principle of health care was conceived by the People's Commissariat for Health in 1918. Health care was to be controlled by the state and would be provided to its citizens free of charge, a revolutionary concept at the time. Article 42 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution gave all citizens the right to health protection and free access to any health institutions in the USSR. Before Leonid Brezhnev became General Secretary, the Soviet healthcare system was held in high esteem by many foreign specialists. This changed, however, from Brezhnev's accession and Mikhail Gorbachev's tenure as leader, during which the health care system was heavily criticized for many basic faults, such as the quality of service and the unevenness in its provision. Minister of Health Yevgeniy Chazov, during the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, while highlighting such successes as having the most doctors and hospitals in the world, recognized the system's areas for improvement and felt that billions of Soviet rubles were squandered.
After the revolution, life expectancy for all age groups went up. This statistic in itself was seen by some that the socialist system was superior to the capitalist system. These improvements continued into the 1960s when statistics indicated that the life expectancy briefly surpassed that of the United States. Life expectancy started to decline in the 1970s, possibly because of alcohol abuse. At the same time, infant mortality began to rise. After 1974, the government stopped publishing statistics on the matter. This trend can be partly explained by the number of pregnancies rising drastically in the Asian part of the country where infant mortality was the highest while declining markedly in the more developed European part of the Soviet Union.
Soviet dental technology and dental health were considered notoriously bad. In 1991, the average 35-year-old had 12 to 14 cavities, fillings or missing teeth. Toothpaste was often not available, and toothbrushes did not conform to standards of modern dentistry.
Under Lenin, the government gave small language groups their own writing systems. The development of these writing systems was highly successful, even though some flaws were detected. During the later days of the USSR, countries with the same multilingual situation implemented similar policies. A serious problem when creating these writing systems was that the languages differed dialectally greatly from each other. When a language had been given a writing system and appeared in a notable publication, it would attain "official language" status. There were many minority languages which never received their own writing system; therefore, their speakers were forced to have a second language. There are examples where the government retreated from this policy, most notably under Stalin where education was discontinued in languages that were not widespread. These languages were then assimilated into another language, mostly Russian. During World War II, some minority languages were banned, and their speakers accused of collaborating with the enemy.
As the most widely spoken of the Soviet Union's many languages, Russian de facto functioned as an official language, as the "language of interethnic communication" (Russian: язык межнационального общения), but only assumed the de jure status as the official national language in 1990.
Christianity and Islam had the highest number of adherents among the religious citizens. Eastern Christianity predominated among Christians, with Russia's traditional Russian Orthodox Church being the largest Christian denomination. About 90% of the Soviet Union's Muslims were Sunnis, with Shias being concentrated in the Azerbaijan SSR. Smaller groups included Roman Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, and a variety of Protestant denominations (especially Baptists and Lutherans).
Religious influence had been strong in the Russian Empire. The Russian Orthodox Church enjoyed a privileged status as the church of the monarchy and took part in carrying out official state functions. The immediate period following the establishment of the Soviet state included a struggle against the Orthodox Church, which the revolutionaries considered an ally of the former ruling classes.
In Soviet law, the "freedom to hold religious services" was constitutionally guaranteed, although the ruling Communist Party regarded religion as incompatible with the Marxist spirit of scientific materialism. In practice, the Soviet system subscribed to a narrow interpretation of this right, and in fact utilized a range of official measures to discourage religion and curb the activities of religious groups.
The 1918 Council of People's Commissars decree establishing the Russian SFSR as a secular state also decreed that "the teaching of religion in all [places] where subjects of general instruction are taught, is forbidden. Citizens may teach and may be taught religion privately." Among further restrictions, those adopted in 1929 included express prohibitions on a range of church activities, including meetings for organized Bible study. Both Christian and non-Christian establishments were shut down by the thousands in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1940, as many as 90% of the churches, synagogues, and mosques that had been operating in 1917 were closed.
Under the doctrine of state atheism, a "government-sponsored program of forced conversion to atheism" was conducted. The government targeted religions based on state interests, and while most organized religions were never outlawed, religious property was confiscated, believers were harassed, and religion was ridiculed while atheism was propagated in schools. In 1925, the government founded the League of Militant Atheists to intensify the propaganda campaign. Accordingly, although personal expressions of religious faith were not explicitly banned, a strong sense of social stigma was imposed on them by the formal structures and mass media, and it was generally considered unacceptable for members of certain professions (teachers, state bureaucrats, soldiers) to be openly religious. While persecution accelerated following Stalin's rise to power, a revival of Orthodoxy was fostered by the government during World War II and the Soviet authorities sought to control the Russian Orthodox Church rather than liquidate it. During the first five years of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks executed 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and over 1,200 Russian Orthodox priests. Many others were imprisoned or exiled. Believers were harassed and persecuted. Most seminaries were closed, and the publication of most religious material was prohibited. By 1941, only 500 churches remained open out of about 54,000 in existence before World War I.
Convinced that religious anti-Sovietism had become a thing of the past, and with the looming threat of war, the Stalin regime began shifting to a more moderate religion policy in the late 1930s. Soviet religious establishments overwhelmingly rallied to support the war effort during World War II. Amid other accommodations to religious faith after the German invasion, churches were reopened. Radio Moscow began broadcasting a religious hour, and a historic meeting between Stalin and Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Sergius of Moscow was held in 1943. Stalin had the support of the majority of the religious people in the USSR even through the late 1980s. The general tendency of this period was an increase in religious activity among believers of all faiths.
Under Nikita Khrushchev, the state leadership clashed with the churches in 1958–1964, a period when atheism was emphasized in the educational curriculum, and numerous state publications promoted atheistic views. During this period, the number of churches fell from 20,000 to 10,000 from 1959 to 1965, and the number of synagogues dropped from 500 to 97. The number of working mosques also declined, falling from 1,500 to 500 within a decade.
Religious institutions remained monitored by the Soviet government, but churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques were all given more leeway in the Brezhnev era. Official relations between the Orthodox Church and the government again warmed to the point that the Brezhnev government twice honored Orthodox Patriarch Alexy I with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. A poll conducted by Soviet authorities in 1982 recorded 20% of the Soviet population as "active religious believers."
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The legacy of the USSR remains a controversial topic. The socio-economic nature of communist states such as the USSR, especially under Stalin, has also been much debated, varyingly being labelled a form of bureaucratic collectivism, state capitalism, state socialism, or a totally unique mode of production.The USSR implemented a broad range of policies over a long period of time, with a large amount of conflicting policies being implemented by different leaders. Some have a positive view of it whilst others are critical towards the country, calling it a repressive oligarchy. The opinions on the USSR are complex and have changed over time, with different generations having different views on the matter as well as on Soviet policies corresponding to separate time periods during its history. Leftists have largely varying views on the USSR. Whilst some leftists such as anarchists and other libertarian socialists, agree it did not give the workers control over the means of production and was a centralized oligarchy, others have more positive opinions as to the Bolshevik policies and Vladimir Lenin. Many anti-Stalinist leftists such as anarchists are extremely critical of Soviet authoritarianism and repression. Much of the criticism it receives is centered around massacres in the Soviet Union, the centralized hierarchy present in the USSR and mass political repression as well as violence towards government critics and political dissidents such as other leftists. Critics also point towards its failure to implement any substantial worker cooperatives or implementing worker liberation as well as corruption and the Soviet authoritarian nature.
Many Russians and other former Soviet citizens have nostalgia for the USSR, pointing towards most infrastructure being built during Soviet times, increased job security, increased literacy rate, increased caloric intake and supposed ethnic pluralism enacted in the Soviet Union as well as political stability. The Russian Revolution is also seen in a positive light as well as the leadership of Lenin, Nikita Khrushchev and the later USSR, although many view Joseph Stalin's rule as positive for the country. In Armenia, 12% of respondents said the USSR collapse did good, while 66% said it did harm. In Kyrgyzstan, 16% of respondents said the collapse of the USSR did good, while 61% said it did harm. In a 2018 Rating Sociological Group poll, 47% of Ukrainian respondents had a positive opinion of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982. Much of the admiration of the USSR comes from the failings of the modern post-Soviet governments such as the control by oligarchs, corruption and outdated Soviet-era infrastructure as well as the rise and dominance of organised crime after the collapse of the USSR all directly leading into nostalgia for it.
The 1941–45 period of World War II is still known in Russia as the "Great Patriotic War". The war became a topic of great importance in cinema, literature, history lessons at school, the mass media, and the arts. As a result of the massive losses suffered by the military and civilians during the conflict, Victory Day celebrated on 9 May is still one of the most important and emotional dates in Russia.
In the former Soviet Republics
In some post Soviet republics, there is a more negative view of the USSR, although there is no unanimity on the matter. In large part due to the Holodomor, ethnic Ukrainians have a negative view of it. Russian-speaking Ukrainians of Ukraine's southern and eastern regions have a more positive view of the USSR. In some countries with internal conflict, there is also nostalgia for the USSR, especially for refugees of the post-Soviet conflicts who have been forced to flee their homes and have been displaced. This nostalgia is less an admiration for the country or its policies than it is a longing to return to their homes and not to live in poverty. The many Russian enclaves in the former USSR republics such as Transnistria have in a general a positive remembrance of it.
By the political left
The left's view of the USSR is complex. While some leftists regard the USSR as an example of state capitalism or that it was an oligarchical state, other leftists admire Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution.
Council communists generally view the USSR as failing to create class consciousness, turning into a corrupt state in which the elite controlled society. Anarchists are critical of the country, labeling the Soviet system as red fascism. Soviets actively destroyed anarchist organizations and anarchist communities, labeling anarchists as "enemies of the people". The Soviet invasion of the anarchist Free Territory and suppression of the anarchist Kronstadt rebellion and the Norilsk uprising, in which prisoners created a radical system of government based on cooperatives and direct democracy in the Gulag, led to animosity and hatred towards the USSR. Anarchist organizations and unions were also banned during the Spanish Civil War under the Republican government by orders from the Soviet government. Due to this, anarchists generally hold a large animosity towards the USSR.
The culture of the Soviet Union passed through several stages during the USSR's existence. During the first decade following the revolution, there was relative freedom and artists experimented with several different styles to find a distinctive Soviet style of art. Lenin wanted art to be accessible to the Russian people. On the other hand, hundreds of intellectuals, writers, and artists were exiled or executed, and their work banned, such as Nikolay Gumilyov who was shot for alleged conspiring against the Bolshevik regime, and Yevgeny Zamyatin.
The government encouraged a variety of trends. In art and literature, numerous schools, some traditional and others radically experimental, proliferated. Communist writers Maxim Gorky and Vladimir Mayakovsky were active during this time. As a means of influencing a largely illiterate society, films received encouragement from the state, and much of director Sergei Eisenstein's best work dates from this period.
During Stalin's rule, the Soviet culture was characterized by the rise and domination of the government-imposed style of socialist realism, with all other trends being severely repressed, with rare exceptions, such as Mikhail Bulgakov's works. Many writers were imprisoned and killed.
Following the Khrushchev Thaw, censorship was diminished. During this time, a distinctive period of Soviet culture developed, characterized by conformist public life and an intense focus on personal life. Greater experimentation in art forms was again permissible, resulting in the production of more sophisticated and subtly critical work. The regime loosened its emphasis on socialist realism; thus, for instance, many protagonists of the novels of author Yury Trifonov concerned themselves with problems of daily life rather than with building socialism. Underground dissident literature, known as samizdat, developed during this late period. In architecture, the Khrushchev era mostly focused on functional design as opposed to the highly decorated style of Stalin's epoch. In music, in response to the increasing popularity of forms of popular music like jazz in the West, many jazz orchestras were permitted throughout the USSR, notably the Melodiya Ensemble, named after the principle record label in the USSR.
In the second half of the 1980s, Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost significantly expanded freedom of expression throughout the country in the media and the press.
Founded on 20 July 1924 in Moscow, Sovetsky Sport was the first sports newspaper of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Olympic Committee formed on 21 April 1951, and the IOC recognized the new body in its 45th session. In the same year, when the Soviet representative Konstantin Andrianov became an IOC member, the USSR officially joined the Olympic Movement. The 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki thus became first Olympic Games for Soviet athletes. The Soviet Union was the biggest rival to the United States at the Summer Olympics, winning six of its nine appearances at the games and also topping the medal tally at the Winter Olympics six times. The Soviet Union's Olympics success has been attributed to its large investment in sports to demonstrate its superpower image and political influence on a global stage.
The Soviet Union national ice hockey team won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament between 1954 and 1991 and never failed to medal in any International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) tournament in which they competed.
The advent[when?] of the state-sponsored "full-time amateur athlete" of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage. The Soviet Union entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession – in reality, the state paid many of these competitors to train on a full-time basis. Nevertheless, the IOC held to the traditional rules regarding amateurism.
A 1989 report by a committee of the Australian Senate claimed that "there is hardly a medal winner at the Moscow Games, certainly not a gold medal winner...who is not on one sort of drug or another: usually several kinds. The Moscow Games might well have been called the Chemists' Games".
A member of the IOC Medical Commission, Manfred Donike, privately ran additional tests with a new technique for identifying abnormal levels of testosterone by measuring its ratio to epitestosterone in urine. Twenty percent of the specimens he tested, including those from sixteen gold medalists, would have resulted in disciplinary proceedings had the tests been official. The results of Donike's unofficial tests later convinced the IOC to add his new technique to their testing protocols. The first documented case of "blood doping" occurred at the 1980 Summer Olympics when a runner[who?] was transfused with two pints of blood before winning medals in the 5000 m and 10,000 m.
Documentation obtained in 2016 revealed the Soviet Union's plans for a statewide doping system in track and field in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Dated before the decision to boycott the 1984 Games, the document detailed the existing steroids operations of the program, along with suggestions for further enhancements. Dr. Sergei Portugalov of the Institute for Physical Culture prepared the communication, directed to the Soviet Union's head of track and field. Portugalov later became one of the leading figures involved in the implementation of Russian doping before the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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Official Soviet environmental policy has always attached great importance to actions in which human beings actively improve nature. Lenin's quote "Communism is Soviet power and electrification of the country!" in many respects summarizes the focus on modernization and industrial development. During the first five-year plan in 1928, Stalin proceeded to industrialize the country at all costs. Values such as environmental and nature protection have been completely ignored in the struggle to create a modern industrial society. After Stalin's death, they focused more on environmental issues, but the basic perception of the value of environmental protection remained the same.
The Soviet media has always focused on the vast expanse of land and the virtually indestructible natural resources. This made it feel that contamination and uncontrolled exploitation of nature were not a problem. The Soviet state also firmly believed that scientific and technological progress would solve all the problems. Official ideology said that under socialism environmental problems could easily be overcome, unlike capitalist countries, where they seemingly could not be solved. The Soviet authorities had an almost unwavering belief that man could transcend nature. However, when the authorities had to admit that there were environmental problems in the USSR in the 1980s, they explained the problems in such a way that socialism had not yet been fully developed; pollution in a socialist society was only a temporary anomaly that would have been resolved if socialism had developed.
The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was the first major accident at a civilian nuclear power plant. Unparalleled in the world, it resulted in a large number of radioactive isotopes being released into the atmosphere. Radioactive doses have scattered relatively far. 4,000 new cases of thyroid cancer were reported after the incident, but this led to a relatively low number of deaths (WHO data, 2005). However, the long-term effects of the accident are unknown. Another major accident is the Kyshtym disaster.
After the fall of the USSR, it was discovered that the environmental problems were greater than what the Soviet authorities admitted. The Kola Peninsula was one of the places with clear problems. Around the industrial cities of Monchegorsk and Norilsk, where nickel, for example, is mined, all forests have been destroyed by contamination, while the northern and other parts of Russia have been affected by emissions. During the 1990s, people in the West were also interested in the radioactive hazards of nuclear facilities, decommissioned nuclear submarines, and the processing of nuclear waste or spent nuclear fuel. It was also known in the early 1990s that the USSR had transported radioactive material to the Barents Sea and Kara Sea, which was later confirmed by the Russian parliament. The crash of the K-141 Kursk submarine in 2000 in the west further raised concerns. In the past, there were accidents involving submarines K-19, K-8, and K-129.
- Baltic states under Soviet rule (1944–91)
- Collective Security Treaty Organization
- Eurasian Economic Union
- France–Russia relations#USSR: 1918-1991
- Index of Soviet Union-related articles
- Islam in the Soviet Union
- Orphans in the Soviet Union
- Sino-Soviet border clashes
- Soviet Empire
- Ukrainian nationalism
- ^ De facto before 1990.
- ^ De facto.
- ^ March–September.
- ^ Unicameral
- ^ Russian: Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz, IPA: [sɐˈvʲetskʲɪj sɐˈjus] (listen).
- ^ Russian: Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik, IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲetskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪˈsʲtʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪˈspublʲɪk] (listen).
- ^ Russian: СССР, tr. SSSR.
- ^ As outlined in Part III of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, "The National-State Structure of the USSR".
- ^ Later renamed the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (1918) and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1936).
- ^ Ukrainian: рада (rada); Polish: rada; Belarusian: савет/рада; Uzbek: совет; Kazakh: совет/кеңес; Georgian: საბჭოთა; Azerbaijani: совет; Lithuanian: taryba; Romanian: soviet (Moldovan Cyrillic: совиет); Latvian: padome; Kyrgyz: совет; Tajik: шӯравӣ/совет; Armenian: խորհուրդ/սովետ; Turkmen: совет; Estonian: nõukogu.
- ^ The consolidation into a one-party state took place during the first three and a half years after the revolution, which included the period of War communism and an election in which multiple parties competed. See Schapiro, Leonard (1955). The Origin of the Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition in the Soviet State, First Phase 1917–1922. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- ^ American historian J. Arch Getty concludes: "Many who lauded Stalin's Soviet Union as the most democratic country on earth lived to regret their words. After all, the Soviet Constitution of 1936 was adopted on the eve of the Great Terror of the late 1930s; the "thoroughly democratic" elections to the first Supreme Soviet permitted only uncontested candidates and took place at the height of the savage violence in 1937. The civil rights, personal freedoms, and democratic forms promised in the Stalin constitution were trampled almost immediately and remained dead letters until long after Stalin's death."
- ^ According to British historian Geoffrey Hosking, "excess deaths during the 1930s as a whole were in the range of 10–11 million." American historian Timothy D. Snyder claims that archival evidence suggests maximum excess mortality of nine million during the entire Stalin era. Australian historian and archival researcher Stephen G. Wheatcroft asserts that around a million "purposive killings" can be attributed to the Stalinist regime, along with the premature deaths of roughly two million more amongst the repressed populations (i.e. in camps, prisons, exils, etc.) through criminal negligence.
- ^ "In War II Russia occupies a dominant position and is the decisive factor looking toward the defeat of the Axis in Europe. While in Sicily the forces of Great Britain and the United States are being opposed by 2 German divisions, the Russian front is receiving attention of approximately 200 German divisions. Whenever the Allies open a second front on the Continent, it will be decidedly a secondary front to that of Russia; theirs will continue to be the main effort. Without Russia in the war, the Axis cannot be defeated in Europe, and the position of the United Nations becomes precarious. Similarly, Russia's post-war position in Europe will be a dominant one. With Germany crushed, there is no power in Europe to oppose her tremendous military forces."
- ^ 34,374,483 km2.
- ^ Historian Mark Kramer concludes: "The net outflow of resources from eastern Europe to the Soviet Union was approximately $15 billion to $20 billion in the first decade after World War II, an amount roughly equal to the total aid provided by the United States to western Europe under the Marshall Plan."
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historical (in general use) a national of the former Soviet Union.
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The proletarian state must effect the transition to collective farming with extreme caution and only very gradually, by the force of example, without any coercion of the middle peasant.
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2.8 million young, healthy Soviet POWs" killed by the Germans, "mainly by starvation ... in less than eight months" of 1941–42, before "the decimation of Soviet POWs ... was stopped" and the Germans "began to use them as laborers.
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Neoliberal austerity has created demographic losses exceeding Stalin's deportations back in the 1940s (although without the latter's loss of life). As government cutbacks in education, healthcare and other basic social infrastructure threaten to undercut long-term development, young people are emigrating to better their lives rather than suffer in an economy without jobs. More than 12% of the overall population (and a much larger percentage of its labor force) now works abroad.
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autowas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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- ^ Ruiz, Rebecca R. (13 August 2016). "The Soviet Doping Plan: Document Reveals Illicit Approach to '84 Olympics". nytimes.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
The document – obtained by The New York Times from a former chief medical doctor for Soviet track and field – was signed by Dr. Sergei Portugalov, a Soviet sports doctor who went on to capitalize on a growing interest in new methods of doping. [...] Now, more than 30 years later, Dr. Portugalov is a central figure in Russia's current doping scandal. Last fall, the World Anti-Doping Agency named him as a key broker of performance-enhancing drugs in Russia, someone who in recent years injected athletes personally and made a business of covering up drug violations in exchange for money. [...] Dr. Portugalov came to global prominence in 2014 when two Russian whistle-blowers identified him as a linchpin distributor in Russia's state-run doping scheme.
- ^ Ziegler, Charles E. (July 1985). "Soviet Images of the Environment". British Journal of Political Science. 15 (3): 365–380. doi:10.1017/S0007123400004233. JSTOR 193698.
- ^ Baverstock, Keith; Williams, Dillwyn (2006). "The Chernobyl Accident 20 Years on: An Assessment of the Health Consequences and the International Response". Environmental Health Perspectives. 114 (9): 1312–1317. doi:10.1289/ehp.9113. PMC 1570049. PMID 16966081.
- ^ Hønneland, Geir; Jørgensen, Anne-Kristin (December 2002). "Implementing Russia's International Environmental Commitments: Federal Prerogative or Regional Concern?". Europe-Asia Studies. 54 (8): 1223–1240. doi:10.1080/0966813022000025862. JSTOR 826384. S2CID 156340249.
- Ambler, John; Shaw, Denis J.B.; Symons, Leslie (1985). Soviet and East European Transport Problems. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-7099-0557-8.
- Comrie, Bernard (1981). The Languages of the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press (CUP) Archive. ISBN 978-0-521-29877-3.
- Davies, Robert; Wheatcroft, Stephen (2004). The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 5: The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture 1931–1933. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-23855-8.
- Fischer, Louis (1964). The Life of Lenin. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
- Fischer, Stanley; Easterly, William (1994). "The Soviet Economic Decline, Historical and Republican Data" (PDF). World Bank. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- Janz, Denis (1998). World Christianity and Marxism. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-511944-2.
- Lane, David Stuart (1992). Soviet Society under Perestroika. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-07600-5.
- Leggett, George (1981). The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-822552-2.
- Lewin, Moshe (1969). Lenin's Last Struggle. Translated by Sheridan Smith, A. M. London: Faber and Faber.
- Rayfield, Donald (2004). Stalin and His Hangmen: An Authoritative Portrait of a Tyrant and Those Who Served Him. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-375-75771-6.
- Service, Robert (2000). Lenin: A Biography. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-72625-9.
- Simon, Gerard (1974). Church, State, and Opposition in the U.S.S.R. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02612-4.
- Volkogonov, Dmitri (1994). Lenin: Life and Legacy. Translated by Shukman, Harold. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-255123-6.
- White, James D. (2001). Lenin: The Practice and Theory of Revolution. European History in Perspective. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-333-72157-5.
- Wilson, David (1983). The Demand for Energy in the Soviet Union. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-7099-2704-4.
- World Bank and OECD (1991). A Study of the Soviet economy. 3. International Monetary Fund. ISBN 978-92-64-13468-3.
- Palat, Madhavan K. (2001). Social Identities in Revolutionary Russia. UK: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-333-92947-6. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Warshofsky Lapidus, Gail (1978). Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development, and Social Change. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03938-4.
- Wheatcroft, Stephen (1996). "The Scale and Nature of German and Soviet Repression and Mass Killings, 1930–45" (PDF). Europe-Asia Studies. 48 (8): 1319–1353. doi:10.1080/09668139608412415. JSTOR 152781.
- A Country Study: Soviet Union (Former). Library of Congress Country Studies, 1991.
- Brown, Archie, et al., eds.: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union (Cambridge University Press, 1982).
- Fitzpatrick, Sheila (2007). "Revisionism in Soviet History". History and Theory. 46 (4): 77–91. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2303.2007.00429.x. JSTOR 4502285. historiographical essay that covers the scholarship of the three major schools, totalitarianism, revisionism, and post-revisionism.
- Gilbert, Martin. Routledge Atlas of Russian History (4th ed. 2007) excerpt and text search.
- Gorodetsky, Gabriel, ed. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1991: A Retrospective (2014).
- Grant, Ted. Russia, from Revolution to Counter-Revolution, London, Well Red Publications, 1997.
- Hosking, Geoffrey. The First Socialist Society: A History of the Soviet Union from Within (2nd ed. Harvard UP 1992) 570 pp.
- Howe, G. Melvyn: The Soviet Union: A Geographical Survey 2nd. edn. (Estover, UK: MacDonald and Evans, 1983).
- Kort, Michael. The Soviet Colossus: History and Aftermath (7th ed. 2010) 502 pp.
- McCauley, Martin. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union (2007), 522 pages.
- Moss, Walter G. A History of Russia. Vol. 2: Since 1855. 2d ed. Anthem Press, 2005.
- Nove, Alec. An Economic History of the USSR, 1917–1991. (3rd ed. 1993) online free to borrow.
- Pipes, Richard. Communism: A History (2003).
- Service, Robert. A History of Twentieth-Century Russia (2nd ed. 1999).
Lenin and Leninism
- Clark, Ronald W. Lenin (1988). 570 pp.
- Debo, Richard K. Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918–1921 (1992).
- Marples, David R. Lenin's Revolution: Russia, 1917–1921 (2000) 156pp. short survey.
- Pipes, Richard. A Concise History of the Russian Revolution (1996) excerpt and text search, by a leading conservative.
- Pipes, Richard. Russia under the Bolshevik Regime. (1994). 608 pp.
- Service, Robert. Lenin: A Biography (2002), 561pp; standard scholarly biography; a short version of his 3 vol detailed biography.
- Volkogonov, Dmitri. Lenin: Life and Legacy (1994). 600 pp.
Stalin and Stalinism
- Daniels, R. V., ed. The Stalin Revolution (1965).
- Davies, Sarah, and James Harris, eds. Stalin: A New History, (2006), 310pp, 14 specialized essays by scholars excerpt and text search.
- De Jonge, Alex. Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union (1986).
- Fitzpatrick, Sheila, ed. Stalinism: New Directions, (1999), 396pp excerpts from many scholars on the impact of Stalinism on the people (little on Stalin himself) online edition.
- Fitzpatrick, Sheila. "Impact of the Opening of Soviet Archives on Western Scholarship on Soviet Social History." Russian Review 74#3 (2015): 377–400; historiography.
- Hoffmann, David L. ed. Stalinism: The Essential Readings, (2002) essays by 12 scholars.
- Laqueur, Walter. Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations (1990).
- Kershaw, Ian, and Moshe Lewin. Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison (2004) excerpt and text search.
- Kotkin, Stephen (2014). Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9944-0. 976 pp.; First volume of a trilogy.
- Kotkin, Stephen (2017). Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59420-380-0.; 1184 pp.; Second volume of a trilogy.
- Lee, Stephen J. Stalin and the Soviet Union (1999) online edition.
- Lewis, Jonathan. Stalin: A Time for Judgement (1990).
- McNeal, Robert H. Stalin: Man and Ruler (1988).
- Martens, Ludo. Another view of Stalin (1994), a highly favorable view from a Maoist historian.
- Service, Robert. Stalin: A Biography (2004), along with Tucker the standard biography.
- Trotsky, Leon. Stalin: An Appraisal of the Man and His Influence, (1967), an interpretation by Stalin's worst enemy.
- Tucker, Robert C. Stalin as Revolutionary, 1879–1929 (1973); Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1929–1941 (1990) online edition with Service, a standard biography; at ACLS e-books.
World War II
- Barber, John, and Mark Harrison. The Soviet Home Front: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II, Longman, 1991.
- Bellamy, Chris. Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War (2008), 880pp excerpt and text search.
- Berkhoff, Karel C. Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule. Harvard U. Press, 2004. 448 pp.
- Berkhoff, Karel C. Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II (2012) excerpt and text search covers both propaganda and reality of homefront conditions.
- Braithwaite, Rodric. Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War (2006).
- Broekmeyer, Marius. Stalin, the Russians, and Their War, 1941–1945. 2004. 315 pp.
- Dallin, Alexander. Odessa, 1941–1944: A Case Study of Soviet Territory under Foreign Rule. Portland: Int. Specialized Book Service, 1998. 296 pp.
- Kucherenko, Olga. Little Soldiers: How Soviet Children Went to War, 1941–1945 (2011) excerpt and text search.
- Overy, Richard. The road to war (4th ed. 1999), covers 1930s; pp 245–300.
- Overy, Richard. Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941–1945 (1998) excerpt and text search.
- Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953 (2006).
- Schofield, Carey, ed. Russian at War, 1941–1945. (Vendome Press, 1987). 256 pp., a photo-history, with connecting texts. ISBN 978-0-86565-077-0.
- Seaton, Albert. Stalin as Military Commander, (1998) online edition.
- Thurston, Robert W., and Bernd Bonwetsch, eds. The People's War: Responses to World War II in the Soviet Union (2000).
- Uldricks, Teddy J. "War, Politics and Memory: Russian Historians Reevaluate the Origins of World War II," History and Memory 21#2 (2009), pp. 60–82 online, historiography.
- Vallin, Jacques; Meslé, France; Adamets, Serguei; Pyrozhkov, Serhii (2002). "A New Estimate of Ukrainian Population Losses during the Crises of the 1930s and 1940s". Population Studies. 56 (3): 249–264. doi:10.1080/00324720215934. JSTOR 3092980. PMID 12553326. S2CID 21128795. Reports life expectancy at birth fell to a level as low as ten years for females and seven for males in 1933 and plateaued around 25 for females and 15 for males in the period 1941–1944.
- Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century (1989).
- Edmonds, Robin. Soviet Foreign Policy: The Brezhnev Years (1983).
- Goncharov, Sergei, John Lewis and Litai Xue, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao and the Korean War (1993) excerpt and text search.
- Gorlizki, Yoram, and Oleg Khlevniuk. Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945–1953 (2004) online edition.
- Holloway, David. Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939–1956 (1996) excerpt and text search.
- Mastny, Vojtech. Russia's Road to the Cold War: Diplomacy, Warfare, and the Politics of Communism, 1941–1945 (1979).
- Mastny, Vojtech. The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years (1998) excerpt and text search; online complete edition.
- Matlock, Jack. Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended (2005).
- Nation, R. Craig. Black Earth, Red Star: A History of Soviet Security Policy, 1917–1991 (1992).
- Sivachev, Nikolai and Nikolai Yakolev, Russia and the United States (1979), by Soviet historians.
- Taubman, William. Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2004), Pulitzer Prize; excerpt and text search.
- Taubman, William. Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Detente to Cold War (1983).
- Taubman, William. Gorbachev: His Life and Times (2017).
- Tint, Herbert. French Foreign Policy since the Second World War (1972) online free to borrow 1945–1971.
- Ulam, Adam B. Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1973, 2nd ed. (1974).
- Wilson, James Graham. The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War (2014).
- Zubok, Vladislav M. Inside the Kremlin's Cold War (1996) 20% excerpt and online search.
- Zubok, Vladislav M. A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2007).
- Beschloss, Michael, and Strobe Talbott. At the Highest Levels:The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (1993).
- Bialer, Seweryn and Michael Mandelbaum, eds. Gorbachev's Russia and American Foreign Policy (1988).
- Carrère d'Encausse, Hélène. Decline of an Empire: the Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt. First English language ed. New York: Newsweek Books (1979). 304 p. N.B.: Trans. of the author's L'Empire éclaté. ISBN 0-88225-280-1.
- Garthoff, Raymond. The Great Transition: American–Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (1994), detailed narrative.
- Grachev, A. S. Gorbachev's Gamble: Soviet Foreign Policy and the End of the Cold War (2008) excerpt and text search.
- Hogan, Michael ed. The End of the Cold War. Its Meaning and Implications (1992) articles from Diplomatic History.
- Roger Keeran and Thomas Keeny. Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union, International Publishers Co Inc., US 2004.
- Kotkin, Stephen. Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970–2000 (2008) excerpt and text search.
- Matlock, Jack. Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador's Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1995).
- Ostrovsky Alexander. Кто поставил Горбачёва? (2010). («Who brought Gorbachev to power?») — М.: „Алгоритм-Эксмо". ISBN 978-5-699-40627-2 («Проект «Распад СССР: Тайные пружины власти» — М. «Алгоритм», 2016. Переиздание книги «Кто поставил Горбачёва?») ("Project" Collapse of the USSR: Secret Springs of Power ". Reissue of the book «Who brought Gorbachev to power?» — М.: «Алгоритм», 2016).
- Ostrovsky Alexander. Глупость или измена? Расследование гибели СССР. (2011). («Foolishness or treason? Investigation into the death of the USSR») М.: „Крымский мост". ISBN 978-5-89747-068-6.
- Pons, S., Romero, F., Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War: Issues, Interpretations, Periodizations, (2005) ISBN 0-7146-5695-X.
- Remnick, David. Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, (1994), ISBN 0-679-75125-4.
- Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. Rebuilding Russia: Reflections and Tentative Proposals, trans. and annotated by Alexis Klimoff. First ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991. N.B.: Also discusses the other national constituents of the USSR. ISBN 0-374-17342-7.
Social and economic history
- Bailes, Kendall E. Technology and society under Lenin and Stalin: origins of the Soviet technical intelligentsia, 1917–1941 (1978).
- Bailes, Kendall E. "The American Connection: Ideology and the Transfer of American Technology to the Soviet Union, 1917–1941." Comparative Studies in Society and History 23.3 (1981): 421–448.
- Brooks, Jeffrey. "Public and private values in the Soviet press, 1921–1928." Slavic Review 48.1 (1989): 16–35.
- Caroli, Dorena. "'And all our classes turned into a flower garden again'–science education in Soviet schools in the 1920s and 1930s: the case of biology from Darwinism to Lysenkoism." History of Education 48.1 (2019): 77–98.
- Dobson, Miriam. "The Social History of Post-War Soviet Life" Historical Journal 55.2 (2012): 563–569. Online
- Dowlah, Alex F., et al. The life and times of soviet socialism (Greenwood, 1997), Emphasis on economic policies. Online.
- Engel, Barbara, et al. A Revolution of Their Own: Voices of Women in Soviet History (1998), Primary sources; Online.
- Fitzpatrick, Sheila. Everyday Stalinism: ordinary life in extraordinary times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford UP, 2000). Online.
- Graham, Loren R. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A short history (Cambridge UP, 1993).
- Hanson, Philip. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy: An Economic History of the USSR 1945–1991 (2014).
- Heinzen, James W. Inventing a Soviet Countryside: State Power and the Transformation of Rural Russia, 1917–1929 (2004).
- Lapidus, Gail Warshofsky. Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union (1982) Online.
- Lutz, Wolfgang et al. Demographic Trends and Patterns in the Soviet Union before 1991 (1994) online.
- Mironov, Boris N. "The Development of Literacy in Russia and the USSR from the Tenth to the Twentieth Centuries". History of Education Quarterly 31#2 (1991), pp. 229–252. [www.jstor.org/stable/368437 Online].
- Nove, Alec. Soviet economic system (1986).
- Weiner, Douglas R. "Struggle over the Soviet future: Science education versus vocationalism during the 1920s." Russian Review 65.1 (2006): 72–97.
- Katz, Zev, ed.: Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities (New York: Free Press, 1975).
- Nahaylo, Bohdan and Victor Swoboda. Soviet Disunion: A History of the nationalities Nationalities problem in the USSR (1990) excerpt.
- Rashid, Ahmed. The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism? (2017).
- Smith, Graham, ed. The Nationalities Question in the Soviet Union (2nd ed. 1995).
- Armstrong, John A. The Politics of Totalitarianism: The Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1934 to the Present. New York: Random House, 1961.
- Moore, Jr., Barrington. Soviet politics: the dilemma of power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1950.
- Rizzi, Bruno: The Bureaucratization of the World: The First English edition of the Underground Marxist Classic That Analyzed Class Exploitation in the USSR, New York, NY: Free Press, 1985.
- Schapiro, Leonard B. The Origin of the Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition in the Soviet State, First Phase 1917–1922. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955, 1966.
- Smolkin, Victoria/ A Sacred Space is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism (Princeton UP, 2018) online reviews
- Wikimedia Atlas of the Soviet Union
- Impressions of Soviet Russia by John Dewey
- A Country Study: Soviet Union (Former)