Questions tagged [soviet-union]

The Soviet Union or USSR (1922–1991) was a socialist state in Eurasia. After the 1924 death of founding leader Lenin (who led the October Revolution in 1917), Stalin established a planned economy and suppressed political opposition. After World War II, the Soviet Union emerged as one of the world's two superpowers, opposing the USA in the Cold War. 1980s leader Gorbachev attempted reform with perestroika and glasnost but the country collapsed in 1991.

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Did Soviet people know Stalin's birth name?

We all know now that Stalin's real name was Jughashvili (Ioseb Besarionis dzе Jughashvili). Lenin was actually Ulyanov, Trotsky was Lev Davidovich Bronstein, Kamenev was Leo Rosenfeld, etc. Searching ...
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Why was Lenin's brother executed, when he himself was only banished?

Alexander was executed. But Lenin was sent abroad. He settled in Germany, before he came back for the Revolution (and, as some people say, to avenge his brother). (A related question.)
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How true is the Soviet killing quota under Stalin? [closed]

In The Soviet Story from 1:37:54 to 1:38:54, killing quotas of Soviet citizens are talked about. I could not find any concrete reason, evidence, or documentation suggesting that such "killing ...
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What was the source of “presidium” as used by the Soviets?

A presidium/praesidium, was frequently used by the Soviets to refer to various executive councils such as the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet which in 1938 replaced the Presidium of the Central ...
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Were there often intra-USSR wars? If not, why not?

There's an article listing many post-Soviet conflicts on Wikipedia, which indicates that there have been many wars between regions/countries that were once part of the USSR. The causes of the wars, ...
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Was Zhukov's wit portrayed accurately in The Death of Stalin?

The Death of Stalin is a black comedy about a period of Soviet history running from the event from which the title is taken to the execution of Beria near the end of the film. I am perfectly aware ...
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Did the Germans try to “Pearl Harbor” Russia's Black Sea fleet?

Pearl Harbor of course, is a reference to the Japanese sneak attack that destroyed half the battleships of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Earlier in the war, the Germans managed to decimate the Russian ...
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How did residents of Estonia and Latvia prove that their family settled in the country prior to 1940, in order to become citizens in 1989?

In a related question, @defaultlocale posted this excerpt: Article 2. Possession of Latvia citizenship Citizens of Latvia are: persons who were citizens of Latvia on June 17, 1940 and their ...
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What alternate north-south supply routes did the Soviet Union have when the Volga and Stalingrad were under attack?

During World War II, an important route for getting supplies to Russia was the Persian Corridor. After landing on the south coast of Iran, Lend Lease supplies could be transported north across the ...
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During the breakup of the Soviet Union, on what basis was citizenship granted or withheld for each of the fifteen new republics?

The politics and economics of the Soviet Union caused large numbers of people to be transplanted from one region to another, for example: The Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia; Ethnic ...
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How were USSR oblasts and cities governed?

From Wikipedia “During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the “Oblast” CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest ...
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Why were so many Soviet films shot in 1938–39 about a future German invasion?

Why were so many Soviet films about an anticipated Nazi German invasion into the USSR shot in 1938–1939, both before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and after it? Before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Nazi ...
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How successful was the NDEA?

The National Defence Education Act (NDEA) was passed shortly after the Soviet launch of the satellite Sputnik I with the goal of remedying what the American government believed to be a gap in ...
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Which Soviet leader has said “there is censorship in the West too - it's called money”!

I vaguely remember hearing a quote from soviet leader (might be Gorbachev, could be someone else), acknowledging media censorship in the Eastern bloc but arguing there is censorship in the West as ...
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When did the Russians first employ a successful envelopment tactic?

Greetings fellow history buffs. I read a book on the Soviet Army called, not surprisingly, Inside the Soviet Army. The author, Victor Suvorov (note this is an edit as there was confusion with the ...
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How much damage was USSR already capable of doing by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

How much damage was USSR already capable of doing, in the event of a nuclear war, by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis? How many ICBMs and strategic bombers did it have, and what were their ...
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Why did the Soviet Union take the risk of deploying missiles to Cuba, which precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis? [closed]

During the Cuban Missile Crisis both sides risked further escalation into a WW3. However, under MAD, Wikipedia says: By the time of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, both the United States and the ...
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Why did the USSR have two sources of currency?

An inscription on the 1, 3, and 5 rubles notes says that it is a State Treasury Note (Государственный Казначейский Билет), and that it is guaranteed by the entire property of the Union of SSR (...
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Did any deputies in the USSR ever get recalled via provisions in the 1977 constitution?

Many socialist countries, including the USSR, had provisions in their constitutions for recalling deputies by voters/citizens. For instance, 1977 constitution of the USSR has Article 107. Deputies ...
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Did the Soviet Union's successful northern campaign have an impact on Swedish iron ore shipments to Germany?

Late in World War II, the Soviet Union successfully invaded Finland and forced her to disassociate herself from Nazi Germany. This happened to the point where the Finns were forced to allow Soviet ...
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Which Soviet submarine was HMS Splendid tracking on 30th March 1982?

In 'Vulcan 607', R. White describes the background of the submarines that headed to the Falkland Islands. For the HMS Splendid, he notes that the submarine, under CO Lane-Nott was engaged in a mission ...
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Were there Jewish diplomats in Nazi Germany?

It is pretty well known that Nazis discouraged US companies from having local representatives who were Jews. I imagine it did not happen all at once and the way foreign Jews were treated was quite ...
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Why was there a “workers' militia” in Eastern Europe but not in the USSR?

After WWII, especially after 1956 in several Eastern European countries the ruling Communist Parties formed "workers' and peasants' militias", see for example, Worker's Militia or Combat ...
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Did the Soviet Union or its satellite states have any broadcast propaganda media for an international audience?

Since 1949, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has been a U.S. Government funded broadcasting service aimed at Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. During the Cold War, it mainly targeted ...
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Did China repay Soviet grain aid?

The Sino-Soviet rift/split is a complicated issue. But there can be little doubt that it was complete by mid 1963, when the «Polemics on the General Line» were released by the Chinese Communist Party. ...
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Why did the USSR support the PRC entry into the UN?

In 1971, the USSR (and satellites) voted in favor of UN Resolution 2758, which recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United ...
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Can we meaningfully compare the poverty levels in the USSR to those in the USA at the same time and to those in the USA today? [closed]

I was told (by people who had lived there) that the USSR had homeless people but I would guess that the levels of homelessness were much lower and in general there were far fewer desperate people due ...
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Could the Soviet Union have supported Czechoslovakia primarily by air in 1938?

The Soviet Union was bound by treaty to support Czechoslovakia in 1938. One "sticking point" was that the Soviet Union would have to cross Polish and/or Romanian territory to do so. Was ...
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Did Boris Belousov join in his brother's conspiracy to kill the Emperor?

I'm working on a paper about the Belousov-Zhabotinsky-reaction (a chemical oscillator). I included some information about the history of oscillation reaction, in particular about Boris Pavlovich ...
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Did Boris Pavlovich Belousov die in 1970 or 1976?

I'm working on a paper about the Belousov-Zhabotinsky-reaction (a chemical oscillator). I included some information about the history of oscillation reaction, in particular about Boris Pavlovich ...
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Was the Volga really Russia's last line of defense before the Urals?

That was a claim made by General Vasily Chuikov in "The Battle For Stalingrad." He even went so far as to postulate a German column heading for Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan), toward the Chinese border. That ...
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Why wasn't Stalin deposed? How did he keep power for so long? [closed]

Stalin's two next successors, Malenkov and Khrushchev, were both ousted. Why wasn't Stalin? Note that the cult of personality around Stalin was not so much directly tied to the man and his vanity, ...
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How did the world react to Trotsky's assassination?

Exiled former Russian leader Leon Trotsky was murdered in Mexico in August 1940 (with an ice pick) by a Soviet agent in the interest of Trotsky's old rival for power, the then Soviet dictator Stalin. ...
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Were barcodes used in the Soviet Union?

I recently saw photos online taken from supposedly Soviet Russian shop, displaying a number of products as well as other interior of the shop. The cashier machines look extremely mechanical, but there ...
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What was the Soviet reasoning for developing their Airborne Forces (VDV) into a powerful military branch?

The Soviet Airborne Forces (the VDV, or the Воздушно-десантные войска, or the Aerial Descent Force as a more precise translation) were one of the more prestigious units in the Soviet military (see '...
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What incentives were there for Soviet and Chinese politicians to try climb to the top when there was so much history of deposing their own? [closed]

USSR had 1936-1938 Great Purge, 1941 Red Army purges, Leningrad affair. Beria was executed. Nikita Khrushchev, Zhukov, Podgorny were ousted. In China, Hua Goufeng was ousted, Zhao Ziyang house ...
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Were the NKVD hated by the regular army like the SS was?

I remember reading about how the Wehrmacht and the SS soldiers never got along, and I was wondering if it was the same way in the Soviet Union, with the regular Red Army not liking the NKVD?
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Could the Germans have “sealed off” the Sea of Azov in World War II?

After the fall of Sevastopol in June, 1942, the Soviet navy retreated to the east coast of the Black Sea. North of the Black Sea is the much smaller Sea of Azov, with a narrow access through the ...
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Why did Fall Blau start at Voronezh instead of further south?

The main objectives of Fall Blau, the German 1942 summer offensive, were the Volga River, to cut off Soviet oil supplies from further south, and the Caucasus oil fields themselves, for German use. ...
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Why did USSR lay down undersea communications cable between Petropavlovsk and Vladivostok?

Why not just use a land cable that goes around the Sea of Okhotsk? A land cable is safer, and tapping it is harder. I screen cap Google Maps. I know the undersea cable is more direct, but did it ...
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Can the German success on the Eastern front be largely explained by superior air power?

My understanding is that the Russians were mostly superior on the ground to the Germans (except for armor, in the early stages of the war), and the main German advantage was in the air. The ...
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Why was the Soviet Naval Infantry disbanded in 1947?

According to Peter Antill: The naval Infantry performed a number of important landings in both World Wars including raids against the Turks around the Black Sea and the capture of Sakhalin Island and ...
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How much of the Jonestown money actually got given to the USSR?

So, I was reading the Wikipedia page on the Jonestown massacre, and I noticed that several members of the People's Temple (including their leadership) willed all of their money to the Communist Party ...
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What is this illustration portraying?

While doing my presentation I have come across this illustration titles "Downfall of the Soviet Union". I am, however, unable to determine, who are the people on this illustration and what is it ...
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Were Soviets invited to the Marshall Islands to observe the first hydrogen bomb detonations?

In 1952, did the US invite, or consider inviting, Russian scientist to observe the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb? These were above-ground tests far away from Russian in the Marshall Islands, ...
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How obvious was lend-lease equipment to the average Soviet soldier?

As the question says, was the average USSR soldier aware that the equipment isssued to them had come from the United States? Jeeps and aircraft are well known to have been sent to the USSR - would the ...
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Was the 1939 Red Army more disciplined / better behaved than the 1943-1945 Red Army?

The Soviet Union Red Army had two westbound offensives into Central Europe (approximately the territory that is currently Belarus, Kaliningrad, Poland) as part of World War II: The Soviet invasion of ...
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Did the Allies ever seriously contemplate a “Northern Intervention” in Russia during World War II?

Late in World War I, Britain and America conducted a Northern Intervention around the Russian ports of Murmansk and Archangel to try to prevent the occupation of northern Russia by either the Germans ...
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Did the Soviet ever attempt “innocent passage” thru American waters?

In 1986 and 1988, the US Navy sent warships into Soviet Crimean Sea territorial waters as exercises of innocent passage (which essentially means that you can sail through an unfriendly nation's waters ...
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Did the Germans consider an amphibious landing for Fall Blau?

In the operation Fall Blau (Case Blue) the German Wehrmacht advanced towards the Don river, and then sent Army Group A into the Caucasus region to take the oil fields in the region. They managed to ...

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