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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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 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 did Stalin push for the Great Purge against the Red Army in 1936?

From what we now know of Stalin, he seemed to have believed in the basics of Marxist-Leninism. As a communist, didn't he fear that killing his own military's leadership would seriously endanger the ...
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Why did the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact take 2 years to sign after the Battle of Khalkin Gol?

The Battle of Khalkin Gol took place in 1939 May - Sep and was the last border battle between Japan and USSR. It was a major victory for the Soviets. But the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact was not ...
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Did Germans and Soviets count casualties differently 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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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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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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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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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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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 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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Was Kaliningrad offered to the Lithuanian SSR; was this offer rejected; and if so, why?

This is a follow up to this other question Why was Kaliningrad placed under the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR? Semaphore's answer states: ... a similar offer was made to give ...
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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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Why was A.K.Gastev purged in 1939?

Gastev was the chief Soviet proponent of Taylorism, aka scientific management: In the Soviet Union, Taylorism was advocated by Aleksei Gastev and nauchnaia organizatsia truda (the movement for the ...
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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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What was the reason for the geographical error in Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech 5th March 1946?

In his celebrated speech, at which he used the term Iron Curtain at Fulton, Missouri, on 5th March 1946, with President Harry Truman present, Churchill said the following: From Stettin in the Baltic ...
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Did Joseph Stalin kill anyone personally?

I read "Stalin: Triumph and tragedy" by Dmitri Volkogonov and (I believe) it said that Stalin didn't kill anyone with his own hands. He signed a lot of "death lists", but those are just pieces of ...
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What was the internal Soviet reaction to the moon landing?

The Soviet Union was a famously restrictive place when it came to news and ideological spin, and obviously their attitude toward the United States was less than supportive and warm. The Space Race ...
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Did Stalin give special treatment for his home country?

Did Stalin during his reign gave any special interest or priviliges to Georgia and the Georgian people?
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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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5answers
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Did the Soviet Union investigate greenhouses in the early 1920's?

The Soviet Union had major food problems in the 1920's, what with the civil war and an attempt at forced requisitions. Their solution was the NEP, which used grain taxes instead of total requisition, ...
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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
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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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1answer
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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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Did the Soviets have an alternate source of oil in Iran during World War II?

Much has been made of the fact that the area around the Caspian Sea was oil rich. Specifically, west of the Caspian Sea, with Soviet oilfields at Maikop, Grozny, and Baku, which were threatened by the ...
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What was the role of the Russian Orthodox church in Soviet Russia?

Considering that Soviet Union was officially atheistic and Bibles and most "Christian" denominations were banned, it is interesting to me that the government left the Russian Orthodox churches ...
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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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When did the word “Holodomor” appear?

Holodomor (Голодомор) is a part of the Soviet famine of 1932–33. The events in Ukraine were called "Holodomor", but when did the word appear? Google Books Ngram Viewer shows no mentions of Holodomor ...
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How did the KPD relate to the German state during the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?

Between August 1939 and June 1941, Germany and the USSR had the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. During this time, many USSR-oriented communist parties in Europe and North America were (forced to be) rather ...
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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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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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Why did the USSR preserve the national republics?

Ever since the inception of the Soviet Union, the central government continued to maintain the existence of national republics such as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. What was the reason behind ...
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Did a German plane really land in Moscow in 1941 May?

I just read this small Wikipedia page about a 1941 Purge of the Red Army. There is something rather shocking: In May, a German Junkers Ju 52 landed in Moscow, undetected by the ADF beforehand, ...
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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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Why did the Soviet Union name their strongest bomb Tsar Bomba?

The Soviet Union has/had the most powerful (Hydrogen) Bomb ever, the Tsar Bomb. Why did they name it Tsar Bomb, when they had freed themself from the Tsars before, and even executed Tsar Nicholas II?
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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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When and how did the West lose its dependency on the USSR for Titanium?

This question was prompted by another one. A long time ago, before I well-documented my internet research, I looked into the history of Titanium, its procurement, refinement, and work-ability. I ...
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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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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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Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

There are books and articles about the Soviet submarine K-129 and the USS Scorpion in 1968, with various stories of attempted nuclear attacks and reprisals. Is there a factual narrative about these ...
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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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1answer
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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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