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 former socialist and largest country in the world.

The Soviet Union

Location of the Soviet Union

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 Second Battle of Kharkov, so named by Wilhelm Keitel, was an Axis counter-offensive against the Red Army Izium bridgehead offensive conducted from 12 May to 28 May 1942, on the Eastern Front during World War II. Its objective was to eliminate the Izium bridgehead (Russian: Изюмский плацдарм) over Seversky Donets, or the "Barvenkovo bulge" (Russian: Барвенковский выступ) which was one of the Soviet offensive's staging areas. After a successful winter counter-offensive that had driven German troops away from Moscow, but also depleted the Red Army's reserves, the Kharkov offensive was a new Soviet attempt to expand upon their strategic initiative, although it failed to secure a significant element of surprise.

On 12 May 1942, Soviet forces under the command of Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched an offensive against the German 6th Army from a salient established during the winter counter-offensive. After initial promising signs, the offensive was stopped by German counterattacks. Critical errors by several staff officers, and by Joseph Stalin himself, who failed accurately to estimate the 6th Army's potential and overestimated their own newly-trained forces, led to a successful German pincer attack which cut off advancing Soviet troops from the rest of the front. (more...)

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Pavel Vladimirovich Bure (Russian: Па́вел Влади́мирович Буре́; IPA: [ˈpavʲɪl buˈre]; born March 31, 1971) is a retired Russian professional ice hockey right winger. Nicknamed "the Russian Rocket" for his speed, Bure played for 12 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers. Trained in the Soviet Union, where he was known as "Pasha", he played three seasons with the Central Red Army team before his NHL career.

Selected 113th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by Vancouver, he began his NHL career in 1991–92 and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie, then helped the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. After seven seasons with the Canucks, Bure was dealt to the Panthers, where he won back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophies as the league's leading goal-scorer (he also led the league in goal scoring with Vancouver in 1993–94, before the trophy's inauguration). Bure struggled with knee injuries throughout his career, resulting in his retirement in 2005 as a member of the Rangers, although he had not played since 2003. He averaged better than a point per game in his NHL career (779 points with 437 goals in 702 NHL games).


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Selected anniversaries for October

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  • USSR Constitution Day - 7 October - arguably the largest celebration of the year. Most of the traditions that were originally associated with Christmas in Russia (Father Frost, a decorated fir-tree) moved to New Year's Eve after the Revolution and are associated with New Year's Eve to this day.

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360° Panoramic view of the Red Square in Moscow. The photograph was made early in the morning by a nearly empty square.
Quality images logo.svg Credit: A.Savin

Red Square (Russian: Красная площадь, Krásnaya plóshchad’) is a city square in Moscow. During the Soviet era, Red Square maintained its significance, becoming a focal point for the new state. Besides being the official address of the Soviet government, it was renowned as a showcase for military parades.


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Dmitri Shostakovich, talking about life living in the USSR

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