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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
1922–1991
Motto: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
(Translit.: Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!)
English: Workers of the world, unite!
Anthem: The Internationale (1922–1944)
National Anthem of the Soviet Union (1944-1991)
The Soviet Union after World War II
The Soviet Union after World War II
Capital
and largest city
Moscow
Common languagesRussian, many others
Demonym(s)Soviet
GovernmentVarious
General Secretary 
• 1922–1952
Joseph Stalin (first)
• 1991
Vladimir Ivashko (last)
Head of State 
• 1922–1938
Mikhail Kalinin (first)
• 1988–1991
Mikhail Gorbachev (last)
Head of Government 
• 1922–1924
Vladimir Lenin (first)
• 1991
Ivan Silayev (last)
LegislatureSupreme Soviet
Soviet of the Union
Soviet of Nationalities
Historical eraInterwar period / Cold War
30 December 1922
26 December 1991
Area
199122,402,200 km2 (8,649,500 sq mi)
Population
• 1991
293047571
CurrencySoviet ruble (руб) (SUR) (SUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 to +13
Calling code7
Internet TLD.su2
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian SFSR
Transcaucasian SFSR
Ukrainian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
Russia
Georgia
Ukraine
Moldova
Belarus
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan
Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Estonia3
Latvia3
Lithuania3
1On 21 December 1991, eleven of the former socialist republics declared in Alma-Ata (with the 12th republic – Georgia – attending as an observer) that with the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist.

2Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.

3The governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania view themselves as continuous and unrelated to the respective Soviet republics.
Russia views the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian SSR's as legal constituent republics of the USSR and predecessors of the modern Baltic states.
The Government of the United States and a number of other countries did not recognize the annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the USSR as a legal inclusion.

The Soviet Union (short for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR) [1] was a single-party Marxist-Leninist state. It existed from 1922 until 1991, and was the first country to declare itself socialist and build towards a communist society. It was a union of 14 Soviet Socialist Republics and 1 Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russia).

The Soviet Union was created after Vladimir Lenin led the overthrow of Alexander Kerensky. The communist government developed industry and over time became a major, powerful union. The largest country in the Union was Russia, and Kazakhstan was the second. The capital city of the Soviet Union was Moscow. Although the constitution said the Republics could leave the Union if they wanted, in practice it was a completely centralized government, with no states' rights for the member countries. Many believe that the Soviet Union was the final stage of the Russian Empire; since the USSR covered most of the land of the former Empire.

The Union was formed with the professed idea to give everyone equal social and economic rights. There was virtually no private property - everything belonged to the state. "Soviets", or workers' councils were created to speak for the workers, and served as an elite group to govern them. It was successful in many fields; putting the first man and satellite into space and winning World War II alongside the United States and United Kingdom. However, its centralized government found innovation and change difficult to handle. The union collapsed in 1991, partly due to the efforts at reform by its leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

From 2016, the document that confirmed the dissolution of the Soviet Union is missing.

  1. ^ Russian: Союз Советских Социалистических Республик/Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik