After the fall of the Soviet Union, all the post-Soviet republics (e.g., Ukraine, Kazakhstan) inherited some state-owned corporations. However, since all the corporations were under the control of the central government in Moscow despite having had operations in republics other than the Russian soviet socialist republic, what determined which corporations and enterprises were given to which republic?

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    There was no Russian SSR, only a Russian SFSR
    – Jan
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:12
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    It's quite straighforward to just give out production assets according to their physical location, isn't it? Kiev aircraft plant to Ukraine, Tiflis aircraft plant to Georgia etc.
    – Jan
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:21
  • I've a vague recolection of the USSR, in the late '80s, complaining that independence for the Baltic states would leave them out of pocket because most of the infrastructure investment had been provided by the Kremlin. Not sure how to search for news articles that far back. Sep 20, 2021 at 13:31
  • @Jan yes, and that's largely what happened. Though the Russians did try to truck and fly anything that wasn't bolted down back home. Which is part of the reason for the resentment against them by many of the other former Soviet republics.
    – jwenting
    Sep 21, 2021 at 8:49
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    @Schwarz Kugelblitz: That's not how independence works. If some area gets Independent, it takes those state-owned assets that can be brought under its control with it. Both because it can and because it has the right to do so. "The Uzbek rail network was the property of the whole Soviet people, but now it is only the property of the Russian people" is not going to work.
    – Jan
    Sep 21, 2021 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Corporations and plants were divided between republics according to their geographical location. Under Soviet Union they were in some sense "controlled by Moscow government" but not directly. Republics also had their governments and control organs. Each republic had its own supreme control organ called (republican) Gosplan, and ministries for various branches of industry. And there was also central all-union Gosplan in Moscow. Some enterprises (a minority) were controlled from Moscow directly, but most by republican governments. But there was no question to whom a specific plant belongs after separation: the plants went to the republics where they were located. Control organs had to be reorganized, and in many republics, many plants were privatized.

Several facilities on the territories of former soviet republics were leased to Russia, for example the space launch site in Kazakhstan (Baikonur), and the naval base in Ukraine (Sevastopol).

Added remark. There was no such thing as a "corporation" in Soviet Union. There were plants (factories), and "manufacturing unions" which combined several plants or factories. A plant or a union was immediately controlled by its director. The main goal of a plant or a union was not making profit, but fulfilling the "state plan". These plans were designed by the Federal or republican Gosplan. Other governance was performed by the federal or republican ministries.
The planners decided how many of widgets of each kind have to me made, and where, and a special government committee in Moscow called Goskomcen established prices for them.

  • What about something like the outer space rocket launching thing in Kazakhstan? I'm given to understand that it's Russian, even to this day. Sep 21, 2021 at 11:51
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    This place (Baikonur) was subject to special negotiations. Kazakhstan has no space industry of its own, so it could not use the testing site. It is owned by Kazakhstan but leased to Russia. Same happened to the naval base in Crimea. It was a subject of negotiations, and part of it was leased to Russia, to host Russia'a Black sea fleet, though it remains Ukrainian territory.
    – Alex
    Sep 21, 2021 at 11:58
  • @Alex can you please provide some references about the Gospaln if possible? Thank you for the answer! Sep 21, 2021 at 13:42
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    @Alex same thing happened to Soviet nukes in Ukraine, which Ukrainian politicians gave up in exchange for a piece of paper promising not to invade them... Sep 21, 2021 at 22:24
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    JonathanReez: Already Bismarck said that "treaties with Russia are not worth the price paper on which they are written". What is really disturbing that this particular agreement was co-signed by the US and UK.
    – Alex
    Sep 22, 2021 at 0:53

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