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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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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Why did the Soviet Union out-pace the US 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?

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 does Russia have the most nukes in the world? [closed]

In the Cold War, Soviets/Russia produced 55,000 nukes and it made 30,000 warheads in 1991. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.2968/066004008#:~:text=Russia%20has%20released%20very%20little,end%...
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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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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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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 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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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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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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What was the purpose of the 1991 referendum on the future of the Soviet Union?

In 1991, the Soviet Union held a referendum about its future political structure. The results of that referendum are presented in this infographic, or here. What was the purpose of this referendum? ...
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During the breakup of the Soviet Union, on what basis was citizenship granted or withheld for each of the fifteen new republics?

The politics and economics of the Soviet Union caused large numbers of people to be transplanted from one region to another, for example: The Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia; Ethnic ...
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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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How were USSR oblasts and cities governed?

From Wikipedia “During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the “Oblast” CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest ...
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Why were so many Soviet films shot in 1938–39 about a future German invasion?

Why were so many Soviet films about an anticipated Nazi German invasion into the USSR shot in 1938–1939, both before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and after it? Before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Nazi ...
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How successful was the NDEA?

The National Defence Education Act (NDEA) was passed shortly after the Soviet launch of the satellite Sputnik I with the goal of remedying what the American government believed to be a gap in ...
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How close was the Soviet Union to collapsing during WW2?

Are there any sources or reports which explain how close the country was to collapsing under the Nazi assault? By 'collapse' I mean 'completely lacking either the willpower (as seen by France in 1940 ...
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Which Soviet leader has said “there is censorship in the West too - it's called money”!

I vaguely remember hearing a quote from soviet leader (might be Gorbachev, could be someone else), acknowledging media censorship in the Eastern bloc but arguing there is censorship in the West as ...
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What was the Soviet reasoning for developing their Airborne Forces (VDV) into a powerful military branch?

The Soviet Airborne Forces (the VDV, or the Воздушно-десантные войска, or the Aerial Descent Force as a more precise translation) were one of the more prestigious units in the Soviet military (see '...
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Why was the Soviet Naval Infantry disbanded in 1947?

According to Peter Antill: The naval Infantry performed a number of important landings in both World Wars including raids against the Turks around the Black Sea and the capture of Sakhalin Island and ...
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When did the Russians first employ a successful envelopment tactic?

Greetings fellow history buffs. I read a book on the Soviet Army called, not surprisingly, Inside the Soviet Army. The author, Victor Suvorov (note this is an edit as there was confusion with the ...
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How much damage was USSR already capable of doing by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

How much damage was USSR already capable of doing, in the event of a nuclear war, by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis? How many ICBMs and strategic bombers did it have, and what were their ...
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Why did the Soviet Union take the risk of deploying missiles to Cuba, which precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis? [closed]

During the Cuban Missile Crisis both sides risked further escalation into a WW3. However, under MAD, Wikipedia says: By the time of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, both the United States and the ...
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Did Stalin believe Israel would go communist?

In Anne Applebaum's recent book Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 she claims the USSR supported the new state of Israel and states "Stalin believed Israel would quickly join the ...
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Why did the USSR have two sources of currency?

An inscription on the 1, 3, and 5 rubles notes says that it is a State Treasury Note (Государственный Казначейский Билет), and that it is guaranteed by the entire property of the Union of SSR (...
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Was there any terrorism in the Soviet Union?

Did terrorist attacks ever occur within the borders of the USSR? By this, I do not mean: terrorist acts committed by the USSR against its own people terrorists abroad sponsored by the USSR acts of ...

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