Portal:Soviet Union

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The coat of arms of the Soviet Union. A yellow hammer and sickle over the world, with ears of wheat around it. There is a rising Sun under the world, and a ribbon around the wheat. A red five-pointed star is above the world.

The Soviet Union Portal

A gateway to everything about the largest socialist state in history.

The Soviet Union


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The Soviet Union (Russian: Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz), officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR; Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲetskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪˈstʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪsˈpublʲɪk]; abbreviated СССР, SSSR), was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991. Russia is the legal successor of the USSR.

The Soviet Union was a single-party state ruled by the Communist Party from its foundation until 1990. Even though the USSR was technically a union of 15 subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 caused the downfall of the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution, there was a struggle for power between the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, and the anti-communist White movement. In December 1922, the Bolsheviks won the civil war, and the Soviet Union was formed with the merger of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin took power, leading the USSR through a large-scale industrialization program. Stalin established a planned economy and suppressed political opposition to him and the Communist party.

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The Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250 (a.k.a. Samolet N) was a Soviet fighter aircraft developed as part of a crash program in 1944 to develop a high-performance fighter to counter German turbojet-powered aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Me-262. The Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau decided to focus on a design that used something more mature than the jet engine, which was still at an experimental stage in the Soviet Union, and chose a mixed-power solution with the VRDK motorjet powered by the Klimov VK-107 V12 engine. While quite successful when it worked, with a maximum speed of 820 km/h (510 mph) being reached during trials, production problems with the VRDK fatally delayed the program and it was canceled in 1948 as obsolete. (more...)

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Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov (Russian: Михаи́л Андре́евич Су́слов; 21 November 1902 – 25 January 1982) was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1965, and as unofficial Chief Ideologue of the Party until his death in 1982. Suslov was responsible for party democracy and the separation of power within the Communist Party. His conservative attitude toward change made him one of the foremost anti-reformist Soviet leaders.

Born in rural Russia in 1902, Suslov became a member of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in 1921 and studied economics for much of the 1920s. He left his job as a teacher in 1931 to pursue politics full-time, becoming one of the many Soviet politicians who took part in the mass repression begun by Joseph Stalin's regime. Suslov impressed the Soviet leadership to such an extent in the pre-Eastern Front Soviet Union that he was made First Secretary of Stavropol Krai administrative area. During the war, Suslov headed the local Stavropol guerilla movement. He became a member of the Organisational Bureau (Orgburo) of the Central Committee in 1946 and, four years later, was elected to the Presidium (Politburo) of the All-Union Communist Party. (more...)

Did you know...

  • ... that the proposals for a new Crimean flag after the collapse of the Soviet Union included a white flag with seven rainbow colors at the top and a blue-white-red tricolor design , which was officially adopted in 1999?

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An object resembling a dish on an object resembling a bowl with wheels.
Credit: PetarM

The Lunokhod programme (Lunokhod 1 replica pictured) launched the first remote-controlled rovers that successfully landed on celestial bodies.

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Yakov Smirnoff
Yakov Smirnoff, commenting on his life under Soviet rule

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