Talk:Soviet Union

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Former good article Soviet Union was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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RFC on Infobox[edit]

RfC closed in favour of the 15 state version of the infobox. Continuing disagreements about exactly how to count successor states notwithstanding, there is a clear consensus that the infobox is not the place to make such distinctions. Olaf Davis (talk) 21:50, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

To avoid further edit warring over the infobox, a Request for Comments will be used to obtain consensus on whether to use the 15-state infobox or the 11-1-3-state (1 continuator, 11 successors, 3 restored) infobox. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:43, 8 March 2014 (UTC)


Should the 15-state infobox, or the 11-1-3-state infobox, be used? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:43, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

15 State Version[edit]

15 state format
  • Support because an infobox can simplify and does not need to go into detail that is in the text. Consistent with history. (The Baltics really were occupied for half a century.) Robert McClenon (talk) 03:49, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as grouping them together in this instance is an over-simplification to the point of misleading. It is factually inaccurate and inconsistent with history (if we accept that the Baltics were independent states forcibly incorporated into the USSR for fifty years then it follows they are restored states and not successor states). While the infobox succession parameters are perfectly okay for most cases it is a constraint for the notably unusual case of the USSR. Ease of using parameters should not trump factual accuracy. FWIW, this format actually takes up more space than the alternative. --Nug (talk) 06:06, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: There is no need to provide the level of detail that Nug insists that there be on the succession of states within the infobox including an extensive set of footnotes. We should always apply the KISS principle on infoboxes which are not meant to be substitutes for article prose.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 08:27, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Seems to be the most consistent with mainstream sources and common knowledge. LokiiT (talk) 05:38, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. The infobox should ideally list, as simply as possible, the 15 states that emerged out of the former Soviet Union. That's the basic info most people would surely be interested in and that every real-world source would set out at this level. Any explanation of the differences and subtleties can be left for the main text, where of course they should be noted, including the special case of the Baltics. So long as the heading is the generic, broad term "Succeeded by" rather than "Successors" I don't see the need for pettifoggery about whether we are using the term in its strict legal sense and hence whether the Baltics are, legally, "successor states" or not. N-HH (talk) 09:28, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per over-simplification Jaan Pärn (talk) 15:18, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support While it is oversimplified, an infobox *should* be simplified or even oversimplified, as that is what the article is for, to fill in the more complicated factors. The only change I'd suggest is removing the footnotes for the 1990 date for the top level domain and possibly the second footnote, as that properly belongs in the article proper.Wzrd1 (talk) 21:32, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Agree that this should be kept simple. This is really just semantics.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 22:55, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - I agree that infobox *should* be simplified.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 00:12, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Not only this option is simpler, I also cannot understand why only the three Baltic states were to be categorized as if they "restored" their independence. De facto Armenia, and the two other Caucasian republics restored their independence as well. The 1990 Armenian Independence Declaration makes a clear reference to the First Republic of Armenia (1918-20): "Developing the democratic traditions of the independent Republic of Armenia established on May 28, 1918"[1] --Երևանցի talk 22:32, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The infobox should be easy to read for the readers, and it also is to the point. Also, I'm wondering, I think that Soviet Union could be a GA soon.... WooHoo!Talk to me! 00:10, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support because the Baltic issue should be dealt with in the article prose where it can be fully explained. Which is not to say the occupation was legal or a good thing, only that it happened. De facto, sovereign Baltic governments which actually controlled any territory were only reestablished when the USSR fell. (talk) 16:35, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

1-11-3 State Version[edit]

1-11-3 state format
  • Neutral - Do not support or oppose. More complicated than would prefer, but acceptable, including to those who focus on international law rather than history. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:49, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The purpose of an infobox is to summarize key facts in the article and it is a fact that the Baltic states were independent states before 1940 and are considered restored states identical with these pre-1940 republics and Russia is considered a continuator. The inbox guide[2] clearly expresses a first preference for listing states "under international law" and a second preference for listing additional states beyond those defined under international law, if required. As the guide states, the majority of readers expect to see states listed in terms of international law, and invoking the second preference does not mean that the expectation to see the official successors suddenly disappears. The expectation remains, and appropriate annotation of the second preference with the 1-11-3 format to meet that expectation is within the spirit of the infobox guide per WP:IAR. Reliable sources show that these classifications are generally accepted by both the international community and writers of international law. Sources also show that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a uniquely complex event, with the status of Russia as continuator and the special case of the Baltic states being highly notable given the volume written on the topic. The issue of what happened in the past with respect to occupation isn't really relevant to the infobox discussion. What is relevant is the view held today that the Baltic states were independent nations before their incorporation into the USSR. There is a distinction between the newly created "post-soviet" states that never existed before (i.e. the 11 official successors) on one hand, and states that had existed previously (i.e. the 3 restored states and the one continuator) on the other hand. Thus the 1-11-3 format justified in this case. --Nug (talk) 06:06, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my argument above.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 08:27, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose If the Soviet Union illegally occupied the Baltic states, then they do not belong in the infobox. Or if they do, then so do all the countries that the Soviet Union legally occupied at some point, which would mean including most Eastern Europe countries, such as Poland. TFD (talk) 21:27, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
    Poland wasn't incorporated into the USSR as an SSR, though. The Baltics were.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 22:31, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
According to Statehood and the Law of Self-determination, "The Baltic States' position is that they never de jure formed part of the Soviet Union." Instead, the Baltic states were "preserved" during the years of occupation, not transformed into SSRs. If they had become SSRs, then they would be successor states of the USSR and not a continuation of the previously existing states which would have been extinguished upon incorporation into the USSR. TFD (talk) 11:09, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per my above comments. Also too technical/complicated for people not already versed in Soviet history (i.e. most readers). LokiiT (talk) 05:43, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose if it is to include, as currently, the specific sub-headings for each group which applies terms only narrowly used in specialist fields as if they are definitive and universal. Just as we should not describe all 15 specifically as "successors" we should not describe only 11 with that term – it's best avoided altogether due to the fact that different sources use it in different ways. I wouldn't object to a split without such sub-headings but with brief footnotes if it would finally put an end to this one/two-person obsessive campaign on this issue but I don't see that it's actually necessary. As noted by most people across most of this discussion, the main body is the place to explain the complexities and nuances here, not the infobox. N-HH (talk) 09:33, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per relevant and simple distinction. Jaan Pärn (talk) 15:21, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the infobox *should* be simplified.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 00:12, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Something Else[edit]

  • No infoboxOmit from infobox Too much information for the infobox. TFD (talk) 21:24, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
    I don't think this solves anything and in fact causes other problems.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 22:26, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I should have said do not mention in infobox. TFD (talk) 05:47, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Threaded Discussion[edit]

Note: The Russian Federation is the continuator state. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania were restored. Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, , Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine are successor states.

Robert, why did you set it up so people effectively vote twice such that Nug has posted his argument twice in a row?—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 08:27, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I offered two versions so that those who support one approach had the choice of Oppose or Neutral on the other in order to provide information as to the strength of views for the closer. I did that because, unlike the two edit-warriors who made this RFC necessary, I support one solution but do not oppose the other, and thought that some other editors might have nuanced views. Maybe I was mistaken and everyone else has rigid views. However, the idea that some editors might have nuanced views is consistent with the rule to assume good faith. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:18, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Ryulong: This section is for comments, including on the !votes, so that you don't have to insert comments into the sections for !votes. (I'm leaving the comments in place now, but if the inserted comments make reading the sections difficult, I will move them.) Robert McClenon (talk) 00:05, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
TFD: There is a difference between countries that were occupied by Soviet forces between 1945 and 1989 and had so-called satellite (that is, puppet) governments, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary (to pick a few examples) governments, and the Baltic republics, which were occupied by Soviet forces and incorporated into the Soviet Union as "republics" (that is, subdivisions). Any map between 1945 and 1989 will show Poland as a nation and Estonia as a subdivision of the Soviet Union. Only legalists will say that Estonia was a sovereign nation during that time. One can argue over whether considering Poland to be "sovereign" is questionable, but there is a difference. If there weren't a difference, we might have consensus and not need this RFC. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:18, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
The issue of occupation isn't relevant here. What is relevant (and is missing in the infobox) is that the Baltic states were independent nations before their incorporation into the USSR. As Asbjorn Eide writes[3]
"State restoration occurs when a previously independent state has been incorporated into a larger entity for some time but subsequently has regained its independence. The prime examples from recent time are the three Baltic states which were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 and regained their independence in 1991."
Thus there is a distinction between the newly created "post-soviet" states that never existed before (i.e. the 11 successors) on one hand, and states that had existed previously (i.e. the 3 restored states and the one continuator). --Nug (talk) 03:48, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
The theory that the Baltic states are "restored states" means that they were never incorporated into the Soviet Union. Had they been incorporated, then they would be successor states. If Scotland for example becomes independent, it will be a successor state of the UK, not a revived Scotland, because historic Scotland was incorporated into the UK. TFD (talk) 04:28, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Nobody disputes that the Baltic states were incorporated into the Soviet Union, that's irrelevant. Your hypothetical example of Scotland is also irrelevant since Scotland isn't independent yet and WP:CRYSTALBALL applies. What is relevant is what these post-communist states assert themselves and whether the international community accepts that assertion of continuator/successor/restored state, which they do. --Nug (talk) 05:10, 9 March 2014 (UTC)


You quoted Statehood and the Law of Self-determination, "The Baltic States' position is that they never de jure formed part of the Soviet Union and that consequently, they do no consider themselves to be successors of the Soviet Union." (21:14, 26 May 2013) "Incorporated" means to become de jure a part of a country.

You also provided lengthy quotes from the UK government's paper on Scottish independence[4] "Reversion to a previous independent state such as the pre-1707 Scottish state may not be excluded. But it normally depends on conditions that are absent here, such as the unwilling subjugation of the former state." "What these statements suggest is that their formal legal identity of the Baltic states, rather than being extinguished in 1940 and then revived in 1991, was preserved throughout that period. It was significant that Russia’s control, though effective, was tainted by illegality." (12:38, 23 December 2013)

Crystal ball btw does not preclude our use of informed sources that write about possible future events.

Anyway, can you please decide whether the Baltic states were incorporated into the USSR and are therefore no different from any other SSR or were they never incorporated and were preserved during the period of occupation?

TFD (talk) 06:03, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Your claim that "Incorporated" means to become de jure a part of a country is synthesis and is in any case a red herring. It is immaterial whether or not all the SSRs were considered equal in the past during the Soviet period, or how Scotland could be regarded in the future. What counts is how the post-entity states are viewed today at present. As Webber writes[5]:
"The Baltic states themselves have taken the stand that they continue the identities of the states existing before 1940. Accordingly this view states cannot be regarded as new states and therefore they cannot be successor states of the ex-USSR. This view has also been accepted by both the international community and the writers of international law. …. If Russia were not seen as the continuator state of the ex-USSR, the question would be of total succession. In that case all former federations, excluding the Baltic states which deserve special treatment, are equal successor states of the USSR. …. This is not the case, however, as the opposite view that Russia is the continuator state has gained acceptance and therefore the question is of partial succession."
By partial succession the author means that only 11 states are accepted as true successors. --Nug (talk) 06:55, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
It is not synthesis to say that to become incorporated into something means to become part of it. That is what the word means. See for example the Insular cases article which explains how the U.S. distinguishes between incorporated territories, which are part of the U.S. and unincorporated territories, such as Puerto Rico, that are under the control of the U.S. but not part of it. But lets use your language. If the Baltic states were never part of the USSR and were merely occupied, just as Poland was, why include them at all?
TFD (talk) 07:13, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
It is synthesis if you attempt to apply the status of territories acquired by the United States in the Spanish–American War to the Baltic states, unless there is a source that makes such a connection. The issue isn't what occurred during the Soviet period, but how 15 post-communist states that emerged after the Soviet period are viewed now. Reliable sources say that the view of Russia as continuator, the three Baltic states as restored states and the remaining eleven as new successors is generally accepted. --Nug (talk) 08:54, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure who the "Webber" being cited as the author of the quote above is. The quote comes from a specialist international law book, in which the name Webber does not appear, which discusses the issues of state succession in a convoluted and technical fashion and in the specific context of international law and its interpretation. That's a level of debate way above what is needed in an infobox and in any event, the author is not quite as conclusive as you are trying to suggest – they talk for example, about differing "views" and as your own excerpt notes, about the title of continuator as simply having "gained acceptance". Nor of course is it the one and only text to analyse the issue legally; and, besides, others apply the terminology in non-legal contexts.
As for that latter point and as for Mark Webber, as pointed out previously, he in fact is on record as saying on p3 of this book that the term successor state, while having a specific meaning in international law that can be said to exclude the Baltics and Russia, is "to be preferred above others" when discussing all 15 states as it has "fallen into common usage" and is the tag "favoured in academic and diplomatic discourse". Even if the infobox went so far as to use "successor" for all 15, regardless of any arcane legal debates, we'd have justification for that right there – not an individual example of use but an explicit meta-assertion about wider usage – but of course the infobox doesn't and nor is anyone proposing that it should: it in fact relies on the broader phrase and standard infobox parameter "succeeded by".
You're framing this, as ever, as if the question is: "are all 15 states or just 11 considered Successor States under international law?" Everyone else is asking the question: "what states emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union, and hence succeeded it in ordinary English language terms, and how do we best represent that simply and per usual WP practice in an infobox?" Of course you're getting a different answer to everyone else. The former is a complicated issue which needs to be in the text of the main body, which in turn needs to take in a variety of views rather than being reduced to simplistic and definitive labels. The latter is what is needed in the infobox. N-HH (talk) 10:25, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Nug, you have stated that the Baltic States were never part of the Soviet Union., but merely occupied. If they were not part of the Soviet Union, why do you think that they should be in the infobox? OTOH, if they were part of the Soviet Union, they have now succeeded the Soviet Union, as has Russia, and there are 15 successor states. TFD (talk) 12:48, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
@N-HH, as explained to you before Webber's assertion that the label "successor" has "fallen into common usage" because it is "favoured in academic and diplomatic discourse" is contradicted by another source also written in 1996 where Talari writes that the view of the Baltic states not being successors is "accepted by both the international community and the writers of international law", since it is through academic and diplomatic discourse that writers of international law and the international community respectively communicate. The fact that Webber evidently needed to devote an entire page in his book arguing a justification for his alternate definition shows that it is not commonly held, and in fact his usage is confined to his own study.
The inbox guide[6] clearly expresses as a first preference for listing states "under international law" and a second preference for listing additional states beyond those defined under international law, if required. As the guide states, the majority of readers expect to see official successors under international law, it is consistent with that expectation to appropriately annotate those minority of cases those states that are not official successors.
Your claim that annotating these additional states appropriately is some kind of unjustifiably narrow legalistic "pettifogery" just isn't supported by the spirit and intent of the infobox guide. --Nug (talk) 21:40, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Stop claiming that first point as the end all be all of the documentation. Clearly the USSR falls under the second preference.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 05:12, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Stop wiki-lawyering. Invoking the second preference does not mean that the expectation of most readers to see the official successors suddenly disappears. The expectation remains, and appropriate annotation of the second preference with the 1-11-3 format to meet that expectation is within the spirit of the infobox guide per WP:IAR. --Nug (talk) 05:44, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
How am I the one wikilawyering in this argument?—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 06:16, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't see "wiki"-lawyering in this argument, that is, playing games about Wikipedia rules. Maybe I have missed something. I do see hostility and incivility. I also reliance on international lawyering. The whole argument has gotten tiresome, therefore this RFC so as to get this issue resolved for a while. Robert McClenon (talk) 11:56, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
And I see a ton of bad faith. Wikilawyering is "Abiding by the letter of a policy or guideline while violating its spirit or underlying principles", the underlying principle of the infobox guideline is the preference for indicating official successors under international law, annotating the infobox with the 1-11-3 format is within the spirit of that. --Nug (talk) 19:29, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────You keep twisting the wording of the template's documentation to suit your needs. That's wikilawyering.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 05:32, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Indeed. As has already been pointed out, by me and others, the guidance says that one option is for the infobox to note simply "the main and/or official .. successor (under international law)". When it then talks about the alternative of listing "every state that was formed", which readers might well "expect to see", it says nothing whatsoever about international law or about noting any minor differences in status under it. What the first option is clearly getting at, which it explains by referring to the example of Turkey and the Ottoman empire, is naming the one state that has, above others, broadly assumed the personality and legal responsibilities of the former entity (ie in fact, in the terminology Nug prefers, the "continuator" rather than the "successor[s]"). In this case, this would simply be Russia on its own, an option no one is calling for. There's nothing there to back up this campaign. It really is time to drop this and let this page move on to bigger things. N-HH (talk) 09:47, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
ps: as for a point made a few posts back by Nug in response to my observations about Webbers assessment, there is no contradiction between his comments and those you quote from another writer. Webber is not arguing that the Baltics are "successor states" under international law, as he makes explicitly clear. If you really don't understand what he is saying and, after all this debate, you still do not get the fundamental point that the term is used with different meanings in different contexts, you are either genuinely confused or are deliberately stringing this debate out. In any event this is a whole side-debate, as we are not talking about using the precise term "successor state". N-HH (talk) 09:54, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
pps: it's quite a stretch, which no one else commenting seems to agree with, to say that the "spirit" of the guidance is that the infobox should be an exposition of international law per se and that this means we need to differentiate, annotate and use sub-headings. It talks about the "official .. successor" and "international law" in the case of the first option for the simple reason that if you're going to choose one state out of many, you have to have criteria for making that choice. Once you take the other option of simply listing all the states, there is no such choice to make and hence the issue is redundant. N-HH (talk) 10:21, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

@Jaan: Oversimplification is the point. Detail doesn't belong in infobox, should be in prose, ad infinitum.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 16:25, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Simplification is desirable, but when oversimplification impacts factual accuracy then it becomes a problem, as the aim of inboxes is to present a summary of key facts.
@N-HH: Webber is simply adapting his own particular definition for the purpose of his book and wrote a one page justification to defend that definition lest he gets smacked by his peers. He didn't write the inbox guidelines and his cherry-picked definition is doesn't apply here.
Again, it is a fallacy to insist that the info-box options are mutually exclusive. As been pointed out to you, invoking the second option to list "every state that was formed, not just the official predecessor/successor", does not suddenly deprecate the expectation of readers in seeing the official successors as defined by international law. That expectation still remains and there is nothing in the letter of the guideline prohibiting appropriate annotation that removes the confusion that arises from a reader having formed an expectation after seeing most info-boxes list only the official successors. Readers out number editors and it is unreasonable to expect them to be familiar with the info-box guidelines and to understand in some exceptional cases additional states have been listed. The aim is to improve the encyclopaedia, not damage its reputation by inconsistently presenting information across articles. --Nug (talk) 18:01, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, they are mutually exclusive. One suggests "list only the primary successor under international law" (in this case Russia) and the other says "list everything that people commonly associate with the end of the country" (the modern fifteen sovereign states). You can't combine them.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 18:24, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
And for the umpteenth time, the infobox should not substitute for discussion in the text. The issues with continuation, succession, and independence are covered in the prose where it should be. Nowhere in the template documentation does it say "make a complex table describing the intricacies of the status of the nations under international law should there be multiple means of the new means of sovereignty".—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 18:31, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This is a terrible article...[edit]

While I don't intend to sound arrogant, I can't understand that you guys have spent how many months discussing how the infobox should be formatted when there are other pressing issues in the article. Seriously, this article is terrible, and you guys seem to be discussing if Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were or were not successor state.. This is minor stuff compared with the problems... --TIAYN (talk) 19:01, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Because it's all Nug cares about and threw this page into a lockdown until he got his way.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 16:31, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
What a load of malicious bullshit. The reason the article was locked down was due to incessant IP vandalism, nothing to do with the current issue. The article was stable with the 1-11-3 format since May last year until Ryulong (talk · contribs) disrupted a previous RFC started by a blocked sock in January by edit warring the infobox before that RFC had been completed. The reason the discussion has gone on so long for such a minor improvement is that Ryulong continues to make these lurid bullshit assertions and personal attacks, he just doesn't quit. --Nug (talk) 18:41, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
No, it only goes on because you cling to this idea that you are infallible when it comes to coverage of the Baltics in the Soviet era.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 19:16, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
More egregious bullshit, Q.E.D. You are basically admitting that your toxic WP:Bad faith is driving your involvement here. --Nug (talk) 21:10, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
No. I disagreed with the ways things were formatted and preferred the simpler method of presenting the information. It is the constant arguing with you over this matter that has made me feel this way about you.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 05:20, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
And I disagreed with the ways things were formatted and preferred the more accurate method of presenting the information. Nobody is forcing you to continue to argue with anyone. You appear to be singularly unable to understand that people may have a different opinion to yourself and disagree with your POV, as evidenced by your consistent resort to personal attacks as a substitute for "argument". --Nug (talk) 09:14, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
This is what I was talking about... --TIAYN (talk) 06:55, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Well at least the community has spoken and decided the simple list of 15 is how it should be parsed, so now everyone can work on the other issues the article has.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 06:57, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Are you also incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time? Everyone who wanted to work on the article continued to do so during the discussion, claiming that the discussion somehow held that up is perverse. It is on your own head that in thinking the improvement is lame from the very beginning you ended up spending so much time opposing it. --Nug (talk) 09:14, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
It's TIAYN's complaint.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 12:45, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Nug, maybe the article should begin "the Soviet Union was a country that occupied the Baltic states for 50 years." That way, it begins with the most important aspect of the Soviet Union. TFD (talk) 05:22, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with your suggestion per WP:LEADSENTENCE. --Nug (talk) 08:40, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Soviet Union referendum, 1991[edit]

In the opening it reads:

Central authorities initiated a referendum, boycotted by the Baltic republics and Georgia, which resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favour of preserving the Union as a renewed federation.

This makes it sound as though only by the Baltic and Georgian boycott was the result what it was. Maybe change it to "[...] initialiated a referendum which resulted in [...]. It had an 80% USSR-wide turnout despite being boycotted by [...]"? That 80% figure is from Soviet Union referendum, 1991. Fedjmike (talk) 23:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

USSR socialist?[edit]

It is disputed by reliable sources whether USSR ever established socialism to any form or to any degree, most stating that the USSR was in fact state capitalist.

Here's just a few: 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7

So please do not write that the USSR was a "socialist" state, much less "communist". It can only be written that it self-described as socialist or that it has commonly been described as socialist. Zozs (talk) 04:49, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry but none of these sources -,, - are reliable for the claim being made.Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:57, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
According to who? You? These sources are collections of texts and they include very important authors. Zozs (talk) 06:07, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Stating that the USSR was a "Marxist-Leninist single-party state" is absolutely unquestionable, stating that it achieved socialism is controversial... mind-boggling just how much others want to push their own opinion when perfectly neutral terms are available. Zozs (talk) 06:23, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
@Volunteer Marek: I would disagree that is unreliable in terms of information; it's an archive, they don't just create their own stuff to archive. So you are just wrong there. The things that were in the archive may change up the situation a bit, though, so I will agree that the claim being made does not have enough support, in my opinion. No change should be made. Dustin (talk) 15:02, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
According to WP:RS and WP:FRINGE. Specifically, within WP:RS, these would fall under WP:SPS (self published sources). And since these are not mainstream sources they would obviously fall under WP:FRINGE.
It's possible that these could fall under WP:BIASED. Well, if they weren't self-published. Basically if you could come up with published scholarly sources which represent these opinions, then they could be used under WP:BIASED in *some* articles, with proper attribution ("according to...") and in an appropriate place (not the lede), although care would have to be taken to ensure that no WP:UNDUE WEIGHT is given.
Now, please stop edit warring against multiple editors across multiple articles in order to push your views through.Volunteer Marek (talk) 06:50, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
The article only claims once - in the lead - that the USSR was socialist. The USSR "was a socialist state on the Eurasian continent that existed between 1922 and 1991." It is sourced to "Marxist Approaches in Anthropology", which is behind a paywall. While I doubt many sources would say it was capitalist, we should not say unequivocally that it was socialist. TFD (talk) 11:29, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Funnily enough, only the last source (No. 7) seems like it could be treated as reliable and it pretty much concludes that the Soviet Union was not capitalist: "Thus the state capitalist hypothesis is unpersuasive, in either its ‘internalist’ or ‘externalist’ form". I do not think that Soviet Union was genuinely 'socialist', but it is definitely described as socialist country by a ton of sources. (talk) 12:41, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Still gives proof of the notability of the dispute between whether it is really socialist or not. Zozs (talk) 16:48, 2 June 2014 (UTC)