Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

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"Soviet Russia" redirects here. For the Soviet Union as a whole, see Soviet Union. For other uses, see Soviet Russia (disambiguation).
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика

1917–1991
Flag (1954–1991) Coat of arms
Anthem
Worker's Marseillaise (1917–1918)
The Internationale (1918–1944)
National Anthem of the Soviet Union (1944–1991)
Patrioticheskaya Pesnya (1990–1991)a
Extent of the Russian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union
(red and white) following World War II (1956).
Capital Petrograd (1917–1918)
Moscow (March 1918 – 1991)[1]
Languages Russianb
Government Federal Soviet republic
Head of state
 -  1917 (first) Lev Kamenevc
 -  1990-1991 (last) Boris Yeltsind
Head of government
 -  1917-1924 (first) Vladimir Lenine
 -  1990-1991 Ivan Silayevf
 -  1991 (last) Boris Yeltsing
Legislature VTsIK / All-Russian Congress (1917–38)
Supreme Soviet (RSFSR) (1938–90)
Supreme Soviet (RSFSR) / Congress
of People's Deputies
(1990–91)
Historical era 20th century
 -  October Revolution November 7, 1917
 -  Established November 9, 1917
 -  Renamed[2] into Russian Federation December 25, 1991
a. Remained the national anthem of Russia until 2000.
b. Official language in the courts from 1937.[3]
c. As Chairman of the VTsIK (All-Russian Central Executive Committee).
d. As Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, from May 29, 1990 to July 10, 1991, then as President of Russia.
e. As Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR
f. As Chairmen of the Council of Ministers — Government of the Russian SFSR
g. Served as acting head of government while President of Russia
Hero of the USSR Seven Hero City awards
The Russian Democratic Federative Republic existed briefly on January 19, 1918, but actual sovereignty was still in the hands of the Soviets even after the Russian Constituent Assembly opened its first and last session.[4]

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian: Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, tr. Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika About this sound listen ) commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, the Russian Federation, or simply Russia,[2][5] was a sovereign state in 1917–22, the largest, most populous, and most economically developed republic of the Soviet Union in 1922-91 and a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with own legislation in 1990–91.[6] The Republic comprised sixteen autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais, and forty oblasts.[6] Russians formed the largest ethnic group.

The RSFSR was established on November 7, 1917 (October Revolution) as a sovereign state. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In 1922 Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR.

The economy of Russia became heavily industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in the USSR. It was[when?] the third largest producer of petroleum, trailing only the United States and Saudi Arabia. In 1974, there were 475 institutes of higher education in the republic providing education in 47 languages to some 23,941,000 students. A network of territorially-organized public-health services provided health care.[6] After 1985, the restructuring policies of the Gorbachev administration relatively liberalised the economy, which had gone stagnant since the late 1970s, with the introduction of non-state owned enterprises such as cooperatives. The effects of market policies led to the failure of many enterprises and total instability by 1990.

On June 12, 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty. On June 12, 1991, Boris Yeltsin was elected the first President. On December 8, 1991, heads of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords. The agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its founder states (i.e. denunciation of 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the USSR) and established the CIS. On December 12, the agreement was ratified by the Russian Parliament, therefore Russian SFSR denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and de facto declared Russia's independence from the USSR.

On December 25, 1991, the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation (Russia). On December 26, 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, which by that time was the only functioning house of Soviet parliament (the other house, Soviet of the Union, had already lost the quorum after recall of its members by the union republics). After dissolution of the USSR, Russia declared that it assumed the rights and obligations of the dissolved central Soviet government, including UN membership.

The new Russian constitution, adopted on December 12, 1993 after a constitutional crisis, abolished the Soviet system of government in its entirety.

Nomenclature[edit]

Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, the Bolsheviks established the Soviet state on 7 November [O.S. 25 October] 1917, immediately after the Russian Provisional Government, which governed the Russian Republic, was overthrown during the October Revolution. Initially, the state did not have an official name and wasn't recognized by neighboring countries for five months. Meanwhile, anti-Bolsheviks coined the mocking label "Sovdepia" for the nascent state of the "Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies".[7]

On January 25, 1918 the third meeting of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets renamed the unrecognized state the Soviet Russian Republic.[8] The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed on March 3, 1918, giving away much of the land of the former Russian Empire to Germany in exchange for peace during the rest of World War I. On July 10, 1918, the Russian Constitution of 1918 renamed the country the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.[9] By 1918, during the Russian Civil War, several states within the former Russian Empire seceded, reducing the size of the country even more.

Internationally, in 1920, the RSFSR was recognized as an independent state only by Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania in the Treaty of Tartu[disambiguation needed] and by the short-lived Irish Republic.[10]

On December 30, 1922, with the creation of the Soviet Union, Russia became one of six republics within the federation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The final Soviet name for the republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, was adopted in the Soviet Constitution of 1936—by that time, Soviet Russia gained roughly the same borders of the old Tsardom of Russia before the Great Northern War of 1700.

For most of the Soviet Union's existence, it was commonly referred to as "Russia," even though technically "Russia" was only one republic within the larger union—albeit by far the largest, most powerful and most highly developed.

On December 25, 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the republic was renamed the Russian Federation, which it remains to this day.[11] This name and "Russia" were specified as the official state names in the April 21, 1992 amendment to the existing constitution and were retained as such in the 1993 Constitution of Russia.

Geography[edit]

The international borders of the RSFSR touched Poland on the west; Norway and Finland on the northwest; and to its southeast were the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolian People's Republic, and the People's Republic of China. Within the Soviet Union, the RSFSR bordered the Ukrainian, Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian SSRs to its west and Azerbaijan, Georgian and Kazakh SSRs to the south.[6]

Roughly 70% of the area in the RSFSR consisted of broad plains, with mountainous regions mainly concentrated in the east. The area is rich in mineral resources, including petroleum, natural gas, and iron ore.[12]

History[edit]

Early years (1917–20)[edit]

The Soviet regime first came to power on November 7, 1917, immediately after the Russian Provisional Government, which governed the Russian Republic, was overthrown in the October Revolution. The state it governed, which did not have an official name, would be unrecognized by neighboring countries for another five months.

On January 25, 1918, at the third meeting of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the unrecognized state was renamed the Soviet Russian Republic.[8] On March 3, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, giving away much of the land of the former Russian Empire to Germany, in exchange for peace in World War I. On July 10, 1918, the Russian Constitution of 1918 renamed the country the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.[9] By 1918, during the Russian Civil War, several states within the former Russian Empire had seceded, reducing the size of the country even more.

The RSFSR was recognized as an independent state internationally by only Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania, in the Treaty of Tartu[disambiguation needed] in 1920.

1920s[edit]

The Russian SFSR as a part of the USSR before 1936 Russian territorial changes.

On December 30, 1922, the First Congress of the Soviets of the USSR approved the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, by which Russia was united with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic into a single federal state, the Soviet Union. Later treaty was included in the 1924 Soviet Constitution,[clarification needed] adopted on January 31, 1924 by the Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR.

Paragraph 3 of Chapter 1 of the 1925 Constitution of the RSFSR states the following:[13]

By the will of the peoples of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, who decided on the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Tenth All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, being a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, devolves to the Union the powers which according to Article 1 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are included within the scope of responsibilities of the government bodies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

1930s[edit]

Many regions in Russia were affected by the Soviet famine of 1932–1933: Volga; Central Black Soil Region; North Caucasus; the Urals; the Crimea; part of Western Siberia; and the Kazak ASSR.

With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on December 5, 1936, the size of the RSFSR was significantly reduced. The Kazakh ASSR and Kirghiz ASSR were transformed into the Kazakh and Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republics. The Karakalpak Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic was transferred to the Uzbek SSR.

The final name for the republic during the Soviet era was adopted by the Russian Constitution of 1937, which renamed it the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

1940s[edit]

On October 11, 1944, the Tuvan People's Republic joined the Russian SFSR as the Tuvan Autonomous Oblast, in 1961 becoming an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

At the end of World War II Soviet troops occupied southern Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands, making them part of the RSFSR. The status of the southernmost Kurils remains in dispute with Japan.

On April 17, 1946, the Kaliningrad Oblast—the northern portion of the former German province of East Prussia—was annexed by the Soviet Union and made part of the Russian SFSR.

1950s[edit]

Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

The Karelo-Finnish SSR was transferred back to the RSFSR as the Karelian ASSR in 1956.

1960s–1980s[edit]

In 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was removed from his position of power and replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. Under his rule, the Russian SFSR and the rest of the Soviet Union went through an era of stagnation. Even after he died in 1982, the era didn’t end until Mikhail Gorbachev took power and introduced liberal reforms in Soviet society.

Early 1990s[edit]

Flag adopted by the Russian SFSR national parliament in 1991

On May 29, 1990, at his third attempt, Boris Yeltsin was elected the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR.

On June 12, 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies of the Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian SFSR, which was the beginning of the "War of Laws", pitting the Soviet Union against the Russian Federation and other constituent republics.

On March 17, 1991, an all-Russian referendum created the post of President of the RSFSR. On June 12, Boris Yeltsin was elected President of Russia by popular vote.

During an unsuccessful coup attempt on August 19–21, 1991 in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union and Russia, President of Russia Yeltsin strongly supported the President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.

On August 23, after the failure of GKChP, in the presence of Gorbachev, Yeltsin signed a decree suspending all activity by the Communist Party of the Russian SFSR in the territory of Russia.[14] On November 6, he went further, banning the Communist Parties of the USSR and the RSFSR from the territory of the RSFSR.[15]

On December 8, 1991, at Viskuli near Brest (Belarus), the President of the Russian SFSR and the heads of Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR signed the "Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States" (known in media as Belavezha Accords). The document, consisting of a preamble and fourteen articles, stated that the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality. However, based on the historical community of peoples, relations between them, given the bilateral treaties, the desire for a democratic rule of law, the intention to develop their relations based on mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty, the parties agreed to the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 12, the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR by an overwhelming majority: 188 votes for, 6 against, 7 abstentions. On the same day, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and recalled all Russian deputies from the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The legality of this act is the subject of discussions because, according to the 1978 Constitution (Basic Law) of the Russian SFSR, the Russian Supreme Soviet had no right to do so.[16] However, by this time the Soviet government had been rendered more or less impotent, and was in no position to object. Although the December 12 vote is sometimes reckoned as the moment that the RSFSR seceded from the collapsing Soviet Union, this is not the case. It appears that the RSFSR took the line that it was not possible to secede from an entity that no longer existed.

On December 24, Yeltsin informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations that by agreement of the member states of the CIS Russian Federation would assume the membership of the Soviet Union in all UN organs (including permanent membership in the UN Security Council). Thus, Russia is considered to be an original member of the UN (since October 24, 1945) along with Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR) and Belarus (Byelorussian SSR).

On December 25--just hours after Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union--the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation (Russia), reflecting that it was now a sovereign state.[2] The change was originally published on January 6, 1992 (Rossiyskaya Gazeta). According to law, during 1992, it was allowed to use the old name of the RSFSR for official business (forms, seals and stamps).

The Russian Federation's Constitution (Fundamental Law) of 1978, though with the 1991–1992 Amendements, remained in effect until the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis.

The name "Russian Federation" had also been used in Soviet times.[17]

Government[edit]

The Government was known officially as the Council of People's Commissars (1917–1946), Council of Ministers (1946–1978) and Council of Ministers–Government (1978–1991). The first government was headed by Vladimir Lenin as "Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR" and the last by Boris Yeltsin as both head of government and head of state under the title "President".

The Russian SFSR was controlled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, until the abortive 1991 August coup, which prompted President Yeltsin to suspend the recently created Communist Party of the Russian SFSR.

Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs) within the Russian SFSR[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ LENINE'S MIGRATION A QUEER SCENE, Arthur Ransome for The New York Times, March 16, 1918.
  2. ^ a b c Закон РСФСР от 25 декабря 1991 года № 2094-I «Об изменении названия государства „Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика“» // Ведомости Съезда народных депутатов РСФСР и Верховного Совета РСФСР. — 1992. — № 2. — ст. 62. (Russian)
  3. ^ article 114 of the 1937 Constitution, article 171 of the 1978 Constitution
  4. ^ Riasanovsky, Nicholas (2000). A History of Russia (sixth edition). Oxford University Press. p. 458. ISBN 0-19-512179-1. 
  5. ^ Declaration of Rights of the laboring and exploited people (original VTsIK variant, III Congress revision), article I
  6. ^ a b c d The Free Dictionary Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. Encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved on 22 June 2011.
  7. ^ Mawdsley, Evan (2007). "Sovdepia: The Soviet Zone, October 1917 – November 1918". The Russian Civil War. Pegasus Books. p. 70. ISBN 9781933648156. Retrieved 2014-01-25. "The Bolsheviks' enemies gave the name 'Sovdepia' to the area under the authority of the Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies. The comic-opera term was intended to mock [...]." 
  8. ^ a b Declaration on the rights of working and exploited people. Hist.msu.ru. Retrieved on June 22, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Soviet Russia information. Russians.net (August 23, 1943). Retrieved on June 22, 2011.
  10. ^ Carr, EH The Bolshevik Revolution 1917–23, vol 3 Penguin Books, London, 4th reprint (1983), pp. 257–258. The draft treaty was published for propaganda purposes in the 1921 British document Intercourse between Bolshevism and Sinn Féin (Cmd 1326).
  11. ^ Chronicle of Events. Marxistsfr.org. Retrieved on June 22, 2011.
  12. ^ "Russia the Great: Mineral resources | RIN.ru: Russian Information Network". Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ Constitution (Basic Law) of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (approved by Twelfth All-Russian Congress of Soviets on May 11, 1925).
  14. ^ Decree of the President of the Russian SFSR of August 23, 1991 No. 79
  15. ^ Decree of the President of the Russian SFSR 06.11. 1991 N169 "On activity of the CPSU and the Communist Party of the Russian SFSR"
  16. ^ The Russian SFSR has constitutional right to "freely seccede from the Soviet Union" (art. 69 of the RSFSR Constitution, Article 72 of the USSR Constitution), but according to USSR laws 1409-I (enacted on April 3, 1990) and 1457-I (enacted on April 26, 1990) this can be done only by a referendum and only if two-thirds of all registered voters of the republic has supported that motion. No special referendum on the secession from the USSR was held in the RSFSR
  17. ^ See for example, the log of the meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 19, 1954 (in Russian)

External links[edit]