National anthems of the Soviet Union and Union Republics

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The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its constituent republics each had a national anthem (generally referred as state anthem).

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, was the last republic in adopt a national anthem (1990), before this date had no anthem, and used exclusively that of the Union: The Internationale from 1917 to 1944 and the National Anthem of the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1990.

Unlike most national anthems, few of which were composed by renowned composers, the state anthems were composed by some of the best Soviet composers, including world-renowned Gustav Ernesaks (Estonia), Aram Khachaturian (Armenia), Otar Taktakishvili (Georgia) and Uzeyir Hajibeyov (Azerbaijan).

The lyrics present great similarities, all having mentions to Vladimir Lenin (and, in their initial versions, to Joseph Stalin), to the guiding role of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and to the brotherhood of the Soviet peoples, including a specific reference to the friendship of the Russian people (the Estonian, Georgian and Karelo-Finnish anthems were apparently an exception to this last rule).

Most of these anthems were replaced during or after the collapse of the USSR; Belarus, Kazakhstan (until 2006), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan (until 1997), and Uzbekistan kept the melodies, but with different lyrics. The Russian Federation itself had abandoned the Soviet hymn, replacing it with a tune by Glinka. However, with Vladimir Putin coming to power, the old Soviet tune was restored, with new lyrics written to them.

List of republics[edit]

The Anthem of the Karelo-Finnish SSR was used for the Karelo-Finnish SSR before it was demoted to an ASSR within the Russian SFSR. With the exception of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Autonomous republics of the Soviet Union (ASSRs) did not have their own anthems.

Legal status[edit]

Like the hammer and sickle and red star, the public performance of the anthems of the Soviet republics and the anthem of the Soviet Union itself are considered as occupation symbols as well as symbols of totalitarianism and state terror by several countries formerly either members of or occupied by the Soviet Union. Accordingly, Latvia,[1] Lithuania,[2] Hungary[3] and Ukraine[4][5][6] have banned those anthems amongst other things deemed to be symbols of fascism, socialism, communism and the Soviet Union and its republics. However, in Poland, dissemination of items which are "mediums of fascist, communist or other totalitarian symbolism" was criminalized in 1997. However, in 2011 the Constitutional Tribunal found this sanction to be unconstitutional.[7] In contrast to this treatment of the symbolism, promotion of fascist, communist and other totalitarian ideology remains illegal. Those laws do not apply to the anthems of Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan which used the melody with different lyrics.


  1. ^ "BC, Riga, 16.05.2013". The Baltic course. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Lithuanian ban on Soviet symbols". BBC News. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Hungarian Criminal Code 269/B.§ (1993) "(1) A person who (a) disseminates, (b) uses in public or (c) exhibits a swastika, an SS-badge, an arrow-cross, a symbol of the sickle and hammer or a red star, or a symbol depicting any of them, commits a misdemeanour—unless a more serious crime is committed—and shall be sentenced to a criminal fine (pénzbüntetés)."
  4. ^ Ukraine Bans Soviet-Era Symbols 
  5. ^ LAW OF UKRAINE. On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes, and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Nowelizacja kodeksu karnego." (in Polish). 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 

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