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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Where can I read the 1966 letters opposing Stalin's rehabilitation?

On 14 February 1966, 25 notable Soviet scientists and cultural figures sent a letter to CPSU General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev urging against the rehabilitation of Joseph Stalin. Another similar ...
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What is the origin of the claim of the 27 million Soviets dead in WWII? [closed]

All throughout the existence of the USSR, there was always the claim that the number of USSR citizens who died in WWII was 20 million. Lately, I am seeing a persistent claim that that number was 27 ...
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Were the Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan officially volunteers?

I always thought they were conscripts, who were ordered to go there, but recently saw a mention that they all were volunteers. So, I wonder whether they signed any paper of consent before being sent ...
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What heavy industrial work, if any, was done in USSR 1923-1927?

In the USSR, the first five-year Plan began in 1928. The Revolution and Civil War ended in 1922 Oct (the "main phase" according to wikipedia). That's, coincidentally, a five-year gap. So I ...
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What was the extent of Kohl's government opposition to the independence of Ukraine?

There's a (paywalled) piece in Der Spiegel summarized as In 1991, the Helmut Kohl government wanted to prevent the eastward expansion of NATO and the independence of Ukraine - this is shown by ...
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Could the leader of the Soviet Union have been removed legally?

The list of Soviet Union's leaders shows that usually leaders remained in office until their death, I'd like to know: What was the legal status of the Soviet Union's leader? How was he elected or ...
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Were there written (draft) Soviet proposals that would have effectively restricted the US navy from (parts of) Europe?

I'm pretty sure that if one trawls the Soviet propaganda, one can find something asking Americans to bugger off from Europe altogether (ok, on a more serious note--Gorbatchev did propose the ...
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Why was Stalin OK with the UN's headquaters being placed in the US?

It feels like Stalin should have objected to this because this gives the US some extra influence. Why not insist on placing the headquaters somewhere more neutral?
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Did (other) PRC or Soviet leaders give 3+ hour congress speeches?

Fidel Castro is well-known for giving 4- or even 7-hour speeches. Xi Jinping gave a 3h 20min communist party congress speech. How does the latter compare to typical PRC or Soviet leaders speeches at ...
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How did the accounting and capital organization system work in communist countries like the USSR? Did ideology justify or undermine the system? [closed]

It's difficult to see how the leaders could have kept track of such a complex system, in such a big country as the Soviet Union (USSR), without recognizing the existence of capital relations, the ...
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Was there a Cold War era Russian safe haven city for politicians and scientists?

I remember learning about a Russian city where, during the Cold War, top politicians and scientists and their families would be evacuated to. It would have existed as a normal city outside of Cold War ...
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Communist Party member Stances on Molotov Ribbentrop Soviety German Treaty [closed]

I am reading "Toward Freedom, The Case against Race Reductionism" by Toure Reed. In his section about Black Progressives, he writes about how the influence of the Communist Party on the NNC ...
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Did the Soviet Union protest against Italy building or acquiring submarines after WW2?

Article 59 of the 1947 Paris peace treaty prohibited Italy from having submarines or aircraft carriers. As far as I can tell, Italy acquired some US-made WW2-era submarines (Gato, Balao, and Tench ...
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What is the origin of the idea of "people's republics"?

How did the idea of the "Soviet Union" (a union of councils) mutated/evolved into a “people's republic” (a certain ethnofederalism) with the ethnicities as the main building blocks? For ...
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Were deportations committed by Stalin during WWII covered in Allies' press? [closed]

Was the deportation of the Chechen and Ingush populations (carried out in 1944) covered in the media of the Allied powers?
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How, exactly, was 30% of Russia's industrial capacity distributed "in and around Moscow" in 1941?

Numerous source allege that the Germans would have crippled the Russian war effort if they had captured "Moscow" because 30% of Russia's industrial capacity was in that area. Given this, ...
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Was Russia or the USSR ever involved in a large military embarrassment alongside or against Vietnam?

I was listening to a Russian politician's (2021, pre-war) declaration of what would happen with the current war in Ukraine, and I was caught offguard by him mentioning a Russian military-related ...
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Why Finland received so little foreign support during the winter war?

Considering the following four facts: Many western countries helped the anti-communist government during the Russian civil war, League of Nation supports Finland, The war lasts really long comparing ...
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What was the ethnic composition of Soviet government?

One often describes USSR in ethnic terms, as Russian domination over other nations (many of which later became independent states). While the USSR certainly practiced ethnic policies (such as ...
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How important were social justice issues in dissident circles in the late USSR?

In the western narrative Soviet dissidents are portrayed as pro-democracy and even pro-market. However literature from the time hints that inequality between the Nomenclatura and the poorer elements ...
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How to get per 1000 deaths numbers for the 1932-34 Holodomor in Ukraine for the rural areas only, against the less starving town population?

As to wikipedia, Holodomor is about: Country: Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union Location: Central and eastern Ukraine Period: 1932–1933 Total deaths: Around 3.5 million And Source: ...
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Where can I find an English translation of the text of the Belovezh Accords?

It is reported in many places on the internet that the decision to abolish the Soviet Union was made in the Belovezh Forest in Belarus, near Poland, by the heads of government of three of the Soviet ...
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What was the Soviet reaction to the revelations about secret US programs like Projects ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA, MOCKINGBIRD, etc., revealed in the 1970s?

I imagine the perception among the party elites in Moscow would have been that all these programs, projects, experiments and so on were initiated with them in mind, and would have inevitably been ...
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Why was the Red Army successful against the Japanese in 1939 but perform poorly against Finland 1939-40 and early part of WW2?

The Soviet Union's Red Army had great difficulty overcoming the vastly outnumbered Finns in the 1939-40 Winter War, and suffered disastrous defeats in the early stages of the German invasion in World ...
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What percentage of people were acquitted in "Stalin's trials"

What proportion of those accused under Article 58 and other political articles were acquitted in 1930-1953 in the USSR?
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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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