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 the Soviet Union or China participate in the light bulb cartel? If not, in what ways did they differ and how long did their bulbs last?

The Phoebus cartel was a well known scheme to fix the standard lifespan of incandescent lightbulbs that arose at the beginning of the 20th century. See Spectrum.ieee.org. Although not implemented for ...
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Why was Axis intelligence so poor in relation to Operation Uranus?

Given that the Axis knew the USSR would attack (at some point) in the Caucasus, that the bulk of the USSR's Caucasus forces not committed to Stalingrad had escaped the Fall Blau offensives, and that ...
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Did Stalin offer Hitler peace after Stalingrad?

While reading Winston's War (Max Hastings), I have been repeatedly impressed by the image of Hitler fighting against the Soviet Union, while the latter was supplied by the Allies. A collectivist ...
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Did Germany offer the Soviet Union an opportunity to join the Axis?

This article on Wikipedia claims that Germany and the Soviet Union conducted talks over the possibility for the Soviet Union to join the Axis. talks occurred in October and November 1940 concerning ...
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Why did China decide to support Poland in 1956, but not Hungary?

In 1956, the fate of the Eastern Block was pretty uncertain: The Khrushchev Thaw was causing the satellite countries to rethink their place in the world, as de-Stalinization was bringing the promise ...
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Were the Germans in a position to capitalize on their military objectives at Stalingrad without capturing the whole city?

As I understand it, the military objective of capturing Stalingrad was to be able to cut off north-south river traffic on the Volga, and land traffic on the east bank of the river, using the city as a ...
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Were there any potential areas around Smolensk that Army Group Center might have found as defensible as the Rzhev line?

During Operation Barbarossa the German Army Group Center met perhaps its first serious opposition around Smolensk. That suggests that the region had at least "some" defensive value. After a ...
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How and why did the progress of Army Group A differ from what the terrain in the Caucasus might suggest?

A simplistic description of the southern wing of Fall Blau would be that the Germans advanced "easily" across the relatively flat land of the Kuban and North Caucasus, and stalled after they ...
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What led Guderian as far south as Gomel, in August, 1941?

In June of 1941, Nazi Germany launched operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union with three Army Groups, North, Center, and South. According to the OKW plans, the main axis of advance was ...
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Why were Chinese and Soviet five year plans shorter than five years? [closed]

In the Chinese and Soviet systems of economic planning, they famously used "five year plans". However, most if not all of these plans apparently lasted shorter than five years. For example, ...
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What determined which companies went to which post-Soviet republics after the fall of the Soviet Union as everything was centralized in Moscow?

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 ...
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What was the official theoretical journal of the communist party of the USSR?

Like other ruling communist parties the propaganda organs of the USSR would have also published material covering theoretical topics relating to building socialism, communism, etc. These materials ...
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Given the concern about Soviet oil in World War II, why is so little mention made of captured Soviet coal reserves?

Fall Blau, and a lot of the eastern campaign was centred around capturing Soviet oil reserves, particularly around Maikop, Grozny, and Baku in the Caucasus. But the Germans captured the majority of ...
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Is Bulgaria the only country in modern history to have gained territory after being on the losing side of a war?

According to the sources I could find, Bulgaria was given a piece of land called 'Southern Dobruja' at the end of WW2 even though they officially were part of the Axis powers from 1941 up until 1944, ...
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Did the Soviets lack ball bearings in WWII?

There is a good discussion on this site of the German situation during World War II concerning ball bearings. Does anyone know what the Soviet situation was? I have heard as a result of Barbarossa ...
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Which place in Europe and/or Russia had its catenary lines removed/replaced several times for political reasons?

I could swear I remember reading about a city or rail line -- maybe in Germany? Maybe in Poland? -- that had the overhead electrical wires for trains removed, exported to another city or country, and ...
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Why didn’t the USSR and CCP reinstate ties after Mao’s death?

With Hua Guofeng and especially Deng Xiapoing’s rise to power, why wasn’t there a thaw and rapprochement in their ties, as the main divide was the rift in ideology between the USSR and Mao’s Stalinist ...
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Did the Germans fuel the general's purge?

In the book A Man Called Intrepid the author claims that the Germans contributed greatly to Stalin's purge of the generals. I know this is a poor source yet I have found nothing to confirm nor deny. I'...
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How and why did e.g. Chechnya differ in status from entities like Armenia?

Chechnya, Dagestan, North and South Ossetia, etc. are Russian republics. In this regard, they differ from "Soviet Republics" like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, etc. (My particular interest ...
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After World War II, what happened to the Soviet industrial facilities that had been evacuated?

In late 1941, some 1500 Soviet factories were relocated to the Urals, or other areas east of European Russia to keep them safe from German bombing, or worse, occupation. (My understanding is that ...
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Were some groups in the Soviet Union more likely to collaborate with the Germans than others?

In the case of Yugoslavia, to take one example, there were three main groups: Croat Ustaze, the largely Serbian Chetniks, and the Titoites, who were largely drawn "neither of the above." ...
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How did the Soviet Union support the development of their atomic bomb in 1949?

The Manhattan Project cost the United States a reported $2 billion. The Soviet Union managed to come up with an A-bomb four years later, even though their economy was about one third the size of ...
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Who is Brezhnev's aide on this 1978 photo?

Here is Brezhnev awarding the Order of the Red Banner of Labor to chess player Karpov on 27 Dec 1978. Who is the man smiling in the background?
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How efficiently did the Red Army conduct itself during the invasion of Poland in 1939?

In 1937, Stalin purged the majority of his top military officers, starting with Marshal Tukhachevsky This disorganized the Red Army, to say the least, and helped account for its later poor performance ...
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Why were Soviet losses consistently so high?

The combat losses of Soviet Union were always higher than Nazi Germany, regardless of whether they won or lost. Even in Stalingrad or at the siege of Berlin the losses of Soviet Union were higher. In ...
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How secure was Germany's last foothold in the Caucasus in 1943?

In January, 1943, after the collapse of Fall Blau and just before the fall of Stalingrad, Germany withdrew most of Army Group A from the Caucasus. But they left a rearguard consisting of the ...
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Why did Stalin pressure Allies to open second front even though his purpose was to grab as much land as possible for his future satellite states?

After the surprise German attack in 22 June 1941 on Soviet Union, the latter suffered a series of catastrophic defeats during the following months, up to the point it is still debatable today whether ...
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1answer
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Is Alexander Matrosov's service record publicly available?

Alexander Matrosov is a Hero of the Soviet Union who perished on the 27th of February in 1943 during the Battles of Rzhev (8th of January, 1942 - 31rd of March, 1943) when he blocked the fascist ...
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What operations were carried out by the partisans of the Chernihiv junction in the Great Patriotic War?

I am interested in finding out more about the Chernihiv partisan junction which was an important force throughout the Great Patriotic War, and their leader Alexei Fyodorovich Fyodorov. Unfortunately, ...
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Which operation came last in World War 2? [closed]

Which operation came last in World War 2? I know that the Kwantung Army was defeated on the 2nd of September 1945 during the Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation (9th of August - 2nd of ...
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Did the Balkans campaign delay Operation Barbarossa for the Nazis and was it therefore an important reason why they lost against the Soviets in WWII?

I have heard it previously that the Balkans Campaign delayed Operation Barbarossa, but I found out that Antony Beevor wrote in his 2012 book "the Second World War" the following: Hitler was ...
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What was the policy on academic research being published beyond the iron curtain?

If a little background to my curiosity were to help: when I was studying logic as a philosophy student, we covered the topic of defining probability, where we looked at Kolmogorov's axioms of ...
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261 views

How did conditions in Nazi labor camps and the Gulag compare?

I've recently read first-person accounts of men who were held at Auschwitz and the Gulag, respectively. The foci of the narratives are very different (Primo Levi, Walter Ciszek), although at least in ...
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Why did the Soviet Union out-pace the US during the space-race?

At the end of World War II, the US Government's Operation Paperclip plucked rocket scientists from Germany and brought them to the U.S. to work on military weapons. Most famous among these scientists ...
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After the Cold War, how did Berlin develop so much more rapidly than Moscow? [closed]

How did Berlin redevelop so rapidly that today its economy is way better than Moscow's following the Cold War?
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Why didn't the Soviets keep their encircled forces supplied by airlifting supplies? [closed]

I was watching a video on World War 2 and learned that the Nazis kept their encircled troops supplied by air for weeks, till the pocket was liberated. I also know that earlier in the war, Soviet ...
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Why wasn’t the USSR “rebranded” communist?

I found that the Third International sponsored a worldwide transformation of former “socialist” parties (that was concretely related to the rejection of so-called “reformism”, to be somewhat upgraded ...
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Had the Chinese leadership considered the famine in Soviet Union in 1930s before starting the Great Leap Forward?

It was strange that the collectivization in the Soviet Union led to the Soviet famine of 1932-33 and the history repeated itself in 1959-61 in China. So far as I know the Soviet Union helped the ...
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In which way are the industrial revolution and the famine during the first years of Soviet rule comparable? [closed]

The other day, I was having a conversation about corruption in Russia under Putin rule, and his use of 'altered' historical narratives according to what would more beneficial to his rule as Russia's ...
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How did the countries devolved from USSR turn from communism to democracy or other ideology peacefully after the collapse?

After the Soviet Union dissolution, the countries independent from the Union, or the countries in the East Europe that were puppets of the Soviet Union turned to the current government without a civil ...
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Was the US dollar, the Soviet reserve currency too?

Was the Soviet rouble also backed by the US dollar, which was the global reserve currency at the time? I remember reading something about Soviets taking aid from the US, in the 1970s, after Soviet ...
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1answer
430 views

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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