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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1answer
198 views

Did the Soviet ever attempt “innocent passage” thru American waters?

In 1986 and 1988, the US Navy sent warships into Soviet Crimean Sea territorial waters as exercises of innocent passage (which essentially means that you can sail through an unfriendly nation's waters ...
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Did the Germans consider an amphibious landing for Fall Blau?

In the operation Fall Blau (Case Blue) the German Wehrmacht advanced towards the Don river, and then sent Army Group A into the Caucasus region to take the oil fields in the region. They managed to ...
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Was there car insurance in the USSR?

I can't imagine how it works in a planned economy. Does the government replace your car if you crash it? Was there no sort of insurance?
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What was the strategic importance of Moscow to the Soviet Union in Dec 1941?

According Rodric Braithwaite the British Ambassador to Russia in 2005 "Four-fifths of the fighting in Europe took place on the Eastern Front, and that is where the Germans suffered 90% of their ...
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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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77 views

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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3answers
392 views

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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365 views

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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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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365 views

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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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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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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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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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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232 views

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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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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1answer
210 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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188 views

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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192 views

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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1answer
838 views

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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1answer
559 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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3answers
618 views

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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1answer
323 views

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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