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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Was the assassination of Kirov really that significant in consolidating Stalin's power? [on hold]

I understand that the assassination of Kirov was what triggered the launch of the Great Purge and therefore, what allowed for Stalin to consolidate his power, but would there be something more ...
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What are some good sources on the everyday life of Soviet troops during WWII?

Imagine I wanted to get a basic understanding what the everyday life of a Soviet soldier (especially infantry, tank units, air force) during WWII was like. What books and other resources in English, ...
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Analysis of the Cold War, Particularly its Origins [closed]

I have been doing an in-depth study of the Cold War for a while now, and I really want to understand the main reasons why it began. There are a few questions I have regarding a few specifics that I ...
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Were Soviet Union's best trained and equipped forces deployed on the Chinese border and not against NATO?

I heard a scholarly gentleman make this claim (without giving any details of his sources) that after the Sino-Soviet split the most capable forces were not aligned for a war with the West but were ...
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Did Yuri Gagarin really mention Anna Magnani in his flight in space?

This NYTimes article about the Italian actress Anna Magnani states: Perhaps the best way to describe her effect on audiences is to quote from a documentary on the Italian actress by the Belgian ...
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Did the Soviet army intentionally send troops (e.g. penal battalions) running over minefields?

You can hear this story/claim stated in various way, from just regular troops doing it, to just penal battalions, to strenuous denial nobody ever did this in the Soviet army. (Just look at a Quora ...
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Why did the Soviet Union not “grant” Inner Mongolia to Mongolia after World War Two?

In the brief Soviet anti-Japanese campaign of 1945, Soviet and Mongol troops entered Inner Mongolia. Mongolia itself had been essentially a client state of the Soviet Union since 1921. Also the ...
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170 views

How much were lottery prizes taxed in Soviet Union?

I was a bit surprised to learn from this YouTube video (about Lottery in Soviet Union) that lottery of the kind where you had to guess like 6 numbers out of 49 or so existed in Soviet Union since ...
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During the Soviet era, were people charged with crimes able to hire lawyers of their own?

Recently, I watched HBO's mini-series Chernobyl where the accused were brought for justice. But I was wondering why there was no lawyer for them.
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How did the the Soviet-China near-war in 1969 affect the supply of arms to North Vietnam?

This is a bit of what I am looking for:vietnamwar/chinese-and-soviet-involvement/, but it seems incomplete. Specifically, as the Soviets increased their aid to North Vietnam, where did Soviet weapons ...
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Confusion on the Tabulation of Casualties on the Eastern Front of WW2, Particularly at the Battle of Kursk

I've been reading a good bit on the Soviet-Axis war of World War 2 as of late. Something that continually strikes me is the large variation in casualties for any given operation or battle that ...
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What were the international space arrangements and scientific purposes Eisenhower spoke of in October 1957?

Background: Explorer 1 was successfully launched into orbit by the US 1958-02-01 about four months after Sputnik 1 was successfully launched by the Soviet Union 1957-10-04, and Vanguard 1 wasn't ...
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How strongly defended was Baku in 1942?

Baku was the single largest source of oil in the Soviet Union in World War II. The Germans captured Maikop and seemed on the verge of capturing Grozny. But Baku was much larger than either of the ...
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What is the context for Glennon's intelligence gathering trip to Russia in 1956

In 1956 my father, John J. Glennon (Librarian for the what is now the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), was one of the few fluent Russian speakers in the US, as I was given to ...
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Did Stalin kill all Soviet officers involved in the Winter War?

Did Stalin kill all of the Soviet officers involved in the Winter War, when it ended? A documentary called "Warlords: Hitler vs Stalin" made this claim, but Wikipedia doesn't seem to mention this. ...
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What was the impact of Fischer vs. Spassky 1972 on the relationship between the USA and the Soviet Union?

In 1948, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) organized the first Chess World Championship after WW2. Its winner was Mikhail Botvinnik. Further Chess World Champions were Vasily Smyslov, ...
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How many troops did Hitler send back from the Eastern front to face the Allies' assault?

After the Battle of Kursk, Hitler called back a lot of his forces to defend against the British and American invasion. My question is how much of his forces did he call back from the Eastern front?
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Did the Germans attempt the easier or harder of two possible objectives in the Caucasus?

During the summer and fall of 1942, German Army Group A advanced into the Caucasus pursuant to Fall Blau. This consisted of two armies, the First Panzer Army and the Seventeenth Army. The advanced ...
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Did people on the Bridge of Death in Pripyat actually die?

It is a long-circulating claim that the Pripyat residents and policemen who watched the Chernobyl explosion from a railway bridge, mostly (or even all) died. Sometimes even a dose of 500 rem (which is ...
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Was Frisbee criticized in the Soviet Union?

In the U.S. of the 1950s, the Space Age and molded plastic flying discs (Frisbees) were both novel. New materials and a supposed resemblance to UFOs made this linkage irresistible for early disc ...
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How accessible was the port of Archangelsk from the east?

During World War II, something like one half of Lend Lease supplies reached Russia via Vladivostok and the Trans Siberian railroad (what I call the eastern route); one quarter to south Russia from the ...
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What happened to all the nuclear material being smuggled after the fall of the USSR?

I'm currently on my lunch break and deep in the Wikipedia hole which brought me to this article that details thwarted nuclear smuggling incidents in 1993/6. Many of the incidents involve elements that ...
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How old was the Pripyat hospital МСЧ-126 at the time of Chernobyl disaster?

After seeing praises (both in general and about the historically accurate display of Soviet Union) on the Chernobyl series, I decided to watch it. In the first episode we see a hospital. What striked ...
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How long might the campaigning season in the Caucasus have lasted for the Germans?

The Caucasus Mountains included some of the most southerly points in the former Soviet Union, but also some of the highest altitude points. The book, "Marching Orders" referred to "ice and snow" for ...
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Did the Soviets have an official campaign to remove foreign nationals to Siberia? [closed]

Specifically, in the Ukraine. And more specifically, to remove foreign nationals out of the way of the impending German invasion during WW 2? The intent and impact always intersect. But the question ...
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Identification of a badge with Russian text

Here's a curious badge that I found somewhere years ago, but didn't know whom to ask. (click to enlarge) Could someone please identify it? I learnt the Cyrillic script and tried googling it, but ...
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Looking for good documentation about daily life under Stalinist USSR

I am contemplating the idea of making a role playing game set in USSR under Stalin, specifically the period between when he gained full power (roughly 1930) and operation barbarossa (June 1941). I am ...
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How (not why) did the Bolshevik party seize such complete control of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets?

How (not why) did the Bolshevik party seize such complete control of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets ("the supreme governing body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917 ...
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468 views

Why did Stalin exile Trotsky instead of killing or imprisoning him?

Leon Trotsky, one of the original founders of the Bolshevik Revolution, was strongly opposed to the leadership and policies of Joseph Stalin. In response to Trotskys public criticism of him, Stalin ...
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Where can I find documents from the Nuremberg trials about war crimes of the Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union?

I want to read documents that were used to prove German war crimes in the Soviet Union, incl. crimes against civilians and treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. So far I found the following: ...
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Why did the Germans forbid the possession of pet pigeons in Rostov-on-Don in 1941?

Photograph made by Max Alpert shows a dead boy holding a pigeon. It seems that the child has been tortured before he was killed. Source: Federal Archive Agency of Russia, Russian state archive of ...
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How did the USSR manage to innovate in an environment characterized by government censorship and high bureaucracy?

Despite the high bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, some design bureaus still achieved spectacular feats in science and engineering (mostly in defense and aerospace) e.g. Mir space station, Soyuz ...
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What did Frank Sinatra think of the Sinatra Doctrine?

Frank Sinatra died seven years after the introduction of the Sinatra Doctrine in the Soviet Union. I'm wondering if he ever commented on it, especially since the Soviets named it after him.
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Why did Jodrell Bank assist the Soviet Union to collect data from their spacecraft in the mid 1960's?

I've just listened to the short BBC News audio podcast clip How British academics spied on the superpowers: Tim O’Brien from the Jodrell Bank radio telescope discusses 50 year old recordings which ...
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How many of the secret agents betrayed by Aldrich Ames were executed during Gorbachev's tenure?

Basically, I've always been a big fan of Gorbachev and, knowing that the CIA spies spying on the USSR were betrayed right before his arrival on the Soviet political scene, I was wondering if he had ...
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To what extent were practitioners of Judaism persecuted during the Soviet Union?

I know that as a result of the policy that atheism was to be the only public religion, the Soviet Union did their best to attack Christianity. However, I am interested in knowing the extent that ...
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Why were the Soviets better at replacing their lost men and material? [duplicate]

Battle of Kursk is considered a Soviet decisive victory, no doubt it was the last major German offensive at the Eastern front. But why so? Casualties indicate the Soviets suffered 1 million ...
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Did German civilians really offer the Red Army to publicly shoot 30-40 civilians in exhange for free food?

According to this article (Russian), in June 1945 General Serov reported to Beriia about the following incident. On May 28th, 1945, a Red Army soldier was shot at by someone from a window in Berlin’s ...
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What proportion of the population of Soviet Union were taken into custody by the state during Stalin's time?

Started reading The Gulag Archipelago, and its sort of mind numbing, the scale of it described in the book. Some were taken and summarily executed, some were tried and executed, some were sent to ...
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What political party did Stalin belong to? [closed]

What political party did Stalin belong to? I know he identified as a communist, but he didn't act like one: he occupied a somewhat large portion of the Baltic states(Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia). He ...
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Did the Soviet military in fact fear that the Space Shuttle would be used as an orbital bomber? If so, why?

I have read on this blog (scroll down to section "what happened to make it fail) dedicated to failed cold war space projects that the Soviet leadership was deeply concerned about the STS, fearing that ...
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What are the text and subtext of this 1949 Soviet cartoon?

Over on Wikipedia, we find this cover from the March 1949 issue of Soviet satire mag Krokodil: The person who uploaded it to Wikipedia captioned it "Antisemitic caricature of rootless cosmopolitan." ...
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Border crossings between USSR and Afghanistan in the 1960s

For a (fictional, but set in the real world) story set in 1962, I need to get my protagonists from the USSR into Afghanistan. I've done some research and found no reliable information about the ...
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Under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, how many of each aircraft did the USSR receive?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed 1939 Aug 23, and lasted till 1941 Jun 22. During that time, how many aircraft were delivered to the Soviet Union, and what types were they? I'm especially ...
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383 views

What happened to Soviet POWs taken by non-German armies on WW2 Eastern front?

I have initially posted this question in relation to the Romanian army, which was second to the German on the Eastern front, but I have updated the title to include all other non-German armies on that ...
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319 views

Did Army Group Center have easier going up to Smolensk than between Smolensk and Moscow?

To try to get an answer to this question, I would like to explore its factual bases, including, but not limited to the following: 1) How did the road/railroad communication network west of Smolensk ...
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255 views

WWII - documents on turn around point in German Foreign strategy - “stop we are not going to pass Finland to USSR”

I want to find the turn around point in German Foreign strategy: ok we leave Finland to USSR - stop we would not do it. In documents. Some of them are there: https://archive.org/search.php?query=...
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391 views

Did Soviet Union really consider using atomic bomb against US aircraft battlegroup?

In this video youtube narrator says that: "During Cold War Soviet Union considered American battle-group such a dire threat that they predicted the only way to defend against them would be by use ...
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What were traffic lights like in the USSR?

I'm interested in the design of illuminated traffic lights (for automobiles) in the USSR, especially the old history. I tried to google this for what year the first illuminated traffic light was ...
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What was the liquor that was based on petrol which was produced in the USSR during the Second World War?

I have a 1971 Spanish edition of the book "Stuka Pilot" by Hans-Ulrich Rudel where he recounts his memories of war. In the second chapter, in which he talks about the first combats of "Operation ...