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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 leadership ever address the American people on American TV?

As part of the détente between the United States and the Soviet Union, American president Richard Nixon made an 18-minute address to the Soviet people, which was broadcast on Soviet state television ...
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Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources first before invading Soviet Union?

Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources instead of Soviet Union? Or at least invade Middle East first to secure the resources needed for sustained military operation? I understand Hitler ...
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Did Cuba Benefit More Economically by Dealing with the Soviets [closed]

The Soviets arguably had a good reason to deal with Cuba as it led to them having an attacking point in the event of a hot war. However, the US are usually inclined to boost a country's economy up to ...
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Is it true that Adolf Hitler foresaw a surrender on the Western front in the last week of April 1945? [closed]

David Irving's controversial book Hitler's War seems to imply that after his nervous breakdown during the battle of Berlin, Hitler realized that defeat was imminent and decided that surrendering in ...
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Did the Germans “mix up” Army Groups A and B during Fall Blau?

Fall Blau was the 1942 campaign conducted by Germany's Army Group South. This was subdivided during the campaign into Army Groups A and B. I was surprise to read that Army Group A was sent to the ...
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How popular was the Soviet Union?

How much popular support was there in the Soviet Union? How did this popular support increase and decrease with time? Here is an infographic that sort of summarizes my question. It shows that even at ...
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Why didn't all non-Russian states become independent during the collapse of the Soviet Union?

There are so many sub-divisions in the country who are not Russian in their language and ethnicity, Tuva, Dagestan, Chechnya etc. When states like the Baltics, Ukraine, and Central Asia were gaining ...
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Was it ever possible to see students with burka/paranji having education at the schools and universities of the Uzbek Soviet Republic?

Despite strict 'hujum' (assault in English) policies against veiling as part of the liberation of women in Muslim populated less-developed areas of the Soviet Union during the early years of the ...
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How did Red Army achieve to manipulate German Army in 1942 and 1943?

I had read during past days some books and internet texts about the East front campaign, during WW2. I took some information out of that, and it is very surprising to me. First, I read that Russian ...
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Why did the Soviet Union get 3 seats in the UN?

Even before the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Belarus (which were then officially part of the Soviet Union) had independent seats at the United Nations. Why didn't the US or the UK get 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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Help identify details from a Soviet military uniform?

My family on my great-grandfather's side came from Romania and I have a picture of one of his brothers in a soviet military uniform. I know nothing of his involvement in the military and was hoping ...
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Why did Japan fail to interfere with shipping from America to Vladivostok from 1941-1945?

Throughout World War II, the United States was able to supply Russia with food and many crucial war materials, such as aluminum, via Russia's Pacific port, Vladivostok. Japan steadfastedly refused to ...
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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 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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Was the assassination of Kirov really that significant in consolidating Stalin's power? [closed]

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 was the Soviet plan to respond to a nuclear first strike post WW 2?

I'm interested in the period between the war ending and the Soviets making their own bomb. Did they have a plan? Were they expecting a first strike?
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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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Did the Red Army and German Army clash in Poland in 1939?

I found a youtube lecture by Stephen Kotkin. He is a professor of history, wrote 2 books on Stalin with a 3rd on the way, and has access to certain Russian archives. That's all I know about him, ...
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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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Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?

It was virtually impossible for citizens of Soviet Union to move or travel abroad. Only some ethnic minorities (e.g. Jewish) with family members abroad could move out, yet with great difficulty. Why ...
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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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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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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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Is Snyder's claim about Soviet-German friendship propaganda posters (1939‒41) supportible?

Upon reading Putin’s New Nostalgia article by Timothy Snyder, I was specifically intrigued by one particular historical point he mentioned. Given the charged nature of current events, and Snyder’s ...
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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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Is there documentary evidence that Stalin intended/prepared to fight Germany after the Nazi-Soviet pact?

It's often said the peace was only both sides buying time. There's ample evidence Hitler always intended to break the pact. Did Stalin? Suvorov's thesis that Stalin was preparing for an offensive ...
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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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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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What are the main reasons historians give for the Soviet Union's collapse?

(I thought that How and Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse? is a good question so would like to rephrase it a bit but the question was too far gone to edit) The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 with ...
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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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Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union?

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union? That is what the world history teacher told me. Please show your sources.
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What are some major military successes the Soviet Union achieved against the Western World?

What are some major military successes achieved by the former Soviet Union against the Western World that shook the US and its Cold War allies?
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Are tech workers in the Siberian city of Tomsk really “descendants of those sent to the gulags”?

I've been listening to the BBC podcast The Hackers of Siberia. The notes on the web page include: Intellectuals banished to an inhospitable land, settled in Siberia and created a pool of talent ...
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Why did Gorbachev go to see “Prince Igor” after the August 1991 coup attempt?

After the 1991 coup attempt in the Soviet Union failed, Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev arrived back in Moscow in the wee hours of August 21. That night or the night after, it was reported on US news ...
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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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How much oil did the USSR export in the 1930's?

The Grozny-Tuapse Pipeline appears to be the first major crude oil pipeline in the USSR, built in 1927 - 1928. (Note, the Russian version of that article has more information.) Tuapse is a port city ...
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Did Japan ever attack Vladivostok in WW2? Why or why not?

That's a screenshot from Battlefield Season 4 Episode 3. I added the location of Vladivostok. In all my readings, I have never found a Japanese attack on Vladivostok during or right before WW2. You ...
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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 happened to US's Lend-Lease machinery given to the Soviet Union?

Although most sources say that the Russians were supplied with great amounts of equipment and food as part of Lend-Lease program, I have not in all my years living in Russia seen US labeled machinery. ...
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Did it matter that the Red Army clung on to Stalingrad's West bank in 1942?

All histories of the Stalingrad battle emphasize the heroic defense of the west bank of the Volga by the Red Army in 1942. It implies that if the German 6th Army had just managed to oust the last ...
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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 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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When planning Barbarossa, did Germany conceive of the Soviet migration of heavy industry?

Wikipedia has a very tiny article on this. Basically, when Barbarossa was launched, the Soviet Union started evacuating the factories. They were migrated to places beyond the Ural Mountains. I'm ...
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When did Josef Wissarionowitsch become “sexy” Stalin?

According to KnowYourMeme, among others, a relatively young Stalin is so good looking in a certain picture that he is often referred to as "sexy Stalin": This is indeed a pretty picture of a ...
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Does this CIA report describe the Soviet T-54 tank?

This CIA report from March 1954 describes an "Improved T-34 Tank" at the "V.I. Lenin Works at Pilsen". The report lists Czechoslovakia as the country of origin. This logically makes since as the T-34 ...
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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 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, ...