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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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1answer
247 views

The US and Soviet Soldiers story related to Normandy [closed]

This is from President Obama’s speech, and I have no idea what it means. It seems like a historical story, but I could not find anything on Google. Why did he think of it when he visited Normandy? And ...
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439 views

Did Soviet Union have the requirement that people submit yearly tax returns?

My understanding of Soviet Union is that private enterprise was not allowed and that everyone essentially 'worked for the government'. With this in mind, was there still an expectation that people ...
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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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How many were “deliberately” killed after Stalin's rule in Soviet Russia?

According to Wikipedia, the historian Timothy D. Snyder argues that Stalin might have deliberately killed about 6 to 9 million people. Other historians estimate a much higher number of deaths due to ...
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Did the Soviets cooperate with the Americans in catching criminals in post-war Vienna?

I'm writing a novel that is set in Vienna during the period when it was occupied by, among others, the Americans and the Soviets (1945-1955). The central district (grey in the image below) belonged to ...
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Why was the Cold War carried out over the whole world instead of between Siberia and Alaska?

I was wondering why the conflicts, missile deployments etc. throughout the Cold War were basically all taking place in Europe, Africa and Asia, when in fact the US and Soviet Union were only separated ...
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559 views

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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Why was Kaliningrad placed under the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR?

Kaliningrad was (and still is) Russia's only (non-trivial*) exclave. Why did Stalin and the Soviet leaders transfer Kaliningrad to the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR (with which ...
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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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What role, if any, did the Chinese Communist Party play in the Soviet invasion of Xinjiang?

The Soviets invaded Xinjiang to support their client, a warlord who had no connection to the CCP. Did the CCP support this invasion? Oppose it? Or just try to avoud talking about it? Related: were ...
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3answers
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Why would chickens be blue in the Soviet Union?

A 2017-12-30 NYRB article mentions "blue chickens sold in state grocery stores". An anecdote about life in the Soviet Union also mentions that "[b]lue chickens would sometimes be sold outside" the "...
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Did West Russia really have a rock shortage in WW2? And if so, what was the cause?

I have a previous question that led to this one. There is an article talking about German rail activities in Russia during WW2, and it also talks about the state of the Russian rail network to begin ...
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What did the smaller values from the “Percentages Agreement” actually mean?

I am currently living in Romania and I have heard on several occasions about the Percentages agreement. The article mentions that it was a secret agreement, so most of the information about it was ...
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4answers
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Did Stalin have full control of the government in 1936?

I know that Stalin was only one of several successors to Lenin (and not a favored one at that) when Lenin died. However, Stalin was able to quickly forge alliances within the Party to oust his most ...
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1answer
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Why didn't Lenin improve life in Russian villiages before his death?

I mean, it's universally agreed that farmers in rural areas in Russia suffered the most after 1917. Grain requisitioning during war communism had destroyed the economy in the villiages. Even after ...
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3answers
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How many trucks did Russia and Germany have at the start of Barbarossa?

I've seen many times the lend-lease help cited for Russia, about 450,000 trucks (actually they were "jeeps and trucks" so it's hard to know trucks exactly). However, what I've never seen is citing how ...
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240 views

Was Nikolai Bukharin told at trial his job was “to confess and repent, not to argue”?

A recent Economist article claims: As Nikolai Bukharin, a close Lenin ally, was told during his own trial, his job was “to confess and repent, not to argue”. I've searched without success for a ...
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1answer
503 views

Statement Issued by Communist Party regarding Collectivization: Contradictory?

As seen in the following statement issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party: (https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/e2livest.html) Addendum to point 20, Politburo minutes no. 94 ...
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What kind of heating did Moscow have in the early Soviet Union (1917 - 1930)?

I would like to know what kind of residential heating was prevalent in Moscow in the time period around 1917 - 1930. What kind of fuel was used? Did they have district heating back then? Otherwise ...
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How did Lenin secure his regime? [closed]

As we know, Bolsheviks seemed to overthow Provisional Government easily in November Revolution. Many political parties are inspired and feel like taking over the same way. War Communism also ...
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Was the East Prussian operation “unequalled in munitions expenditure”?

In his memoirs (text in Russian), Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky claims the following (emphasis added by me): I will note in passing that in terms of munitions consumption the East Prussian operation ...
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Why were Soviet attitudes towards Israel inconsistent in the late 40's and 50's?

What are the different theories explaining the inconsistent attitude Soviet Russia had towards the nascent State of Israel between the years 1947 and 1953? Communist Russia's hate of Zionism is well ...
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What happened to people's houses during the Soviets' reign?

With the adoption of Communism in the Soviet Union, what happened to private property and those who occupied it? Did landowners (including the oligarchy and simpler land owners) retain any rights to "...
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Income versus living expense in USSR during the 1980's and 1990's

My understanding of life in the USSR was that both the salaries and living costs were more or less state controlled and fixed with very little variation. I wanted to ask about the sizes of peoples ...
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2answers
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Was there a “European Balance of Power Strategy” for Anglo-American interests in between 1925 and 1935?

There is a meme in the US about British meddling in Europe. It says, basically, that the British didn't want a single power to dominate the continent, so it would support the second strongest power to ...
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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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Where and how did the allies scrounge enough food for the Soviets AND the British?

In many ways Hitler's push into the Soviet Union was similar to Napoleon's into Imperial Russia. Britain was happy a war was fought abroad, not on home soil and this sentiment was shared by the US. ...
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Participation of Jewish Red Army Soldiers in Rape/Atrocities in Germany?

I recall reading but not where I read it that soldiers of Jewish extraction or actual Jews tended to avoid the excesses of the Red Army once German civilians were encountered. Is there any evidence of ...
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How does Louise Bryant's assessment of how the Soviet Union would fall hold up at the beginning of the 21st century?

Louise Bryant, an American bohemian spent six months in Russia during the turbulent times that presaged the October Revolution - and which she wrote up as Six Red Months in Russia. In her conclusion ...
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453 views

Political opposition groups in the Russian revolution?

Ok, so I do understand that there were the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. In school we learned that Soviets consisted of the peasantry, the industrial workers, and the soldiers. But later on, the ...
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545 views

Were children in Soviet Union commonly expected to thank Stalin for food, even when he was not present?

I recently read an article in a Finnish newspaper about the persecution of Finnish people in Soviet Union during 1930's. According to the article (here in Finnish), most of the victims were either ...
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GULAG vs the US prison system [closed]

From my memory the GULAG was abolished, because it was not economical. The prison guards cost much more than the inmates produced and were corrupt as a rule. Yet, for decades, we can read about the ...
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How did the Soviet Union officially justify the need for foreign travel and emigration restrictions?

As discussed on this question the Soviet Union heavily regulated the travel and emigration of its citizens to foreign countries, with the border heavily fortified with machine guns in some areas to ...
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Was the Wehrmacht a mechanized army?

I read random descriptions of Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, and I got the impression that besides tanks, the armies carried with them millions of horses and that the bulk of the soldiers were ...
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In the Soviet Union, why was the Cheka renamed so many times?

The Cheka was the secret police of the USSR. Wikipedia maintains a list of the Cheka and its subsequent renamings: 1917: Cheka 1922: GPU 1923: OGPU 1934: NKVD 1941: NKGB 1941: NKVD (again) 1943: NKGB ...
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What was the first fossil fuel pipeline in the Soviet Union?

I recently searched for any pipelines that might have existed in the Soviet Union before WW2. I did not find any. I also looked into the 5-year plans starting in 1928 and did not find any mention of a ...
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1answer
444 views

How big were the two German pockets at the end of the battle of Stalingrad?

I've often read about Stalingrad, but one piece of info eludes me. At the time of their surrender, the Germans were reduced to 2 'pockets'. How big were they in terms of area?
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925 views

Was there an embargo of Soviet gold in 1932, and was grain the primary exportable good?

In this article, the author and leader of "The Great Fatherland Party" Nikolai Starikov, claims one of the causes of the Holodomor may have been that the USSR was unable to export anything other than ...
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360 views

What kind of ID Number, if any, did the Soviets institute for all their citizens?

In the United States, every citizen has a social security number for income purposes. It's a 9-digit number. This began in 1935, though I was surprised to learn from wikipedia that until 1986, most ...
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1answer
381 views

During WW2, did the USSR re-gauge railways in conquered areas?

Basically, Germany uses 1435 mm gauge train track while Russia used 1524 mm. I recently came across this question about the Germans re-gauging the track that they could during their invasion of Russia....
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1answer
300 views

Does anyone know the name of the student who died during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956? If not, why not?

I'm reading up on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and it seems that if that one student hadn't died, the revolution never would have started. The revolt began as a student demonstration, which ...
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2answers
277 views

Why did the Hungarians protest and react so much about Khrushchevs secret speech? [closed]

I know that Khrushchev made a secret speech but I don't really understand what the speech was about and why it made the Hungarians so angry to protest. I know that the protest was about the lack of ...
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1answer
265 views

Why did Americans oppose Richard Nixon's visit to China? What “past policies” were Nixon going against? [closed]

Many people opposed Nixon's visit to China. Why? I read an article saying people complained that Nixon's visit to China was going against past policies. What policies were they referring to? Article ...
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What did Yuri Gagarin do while waiting for his ride?

So I found out from a post on skeptics:SE that when Yuri Gagarin landed from being the first human in space during the Vostok 1 mission, he parachuted down and landed in the Soviet Union near the ...
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1answer
557 views

Did the USSR pledge support to Czechoslovakia before the Munich Agreement?

Did the USSR pledge support to Czechoslovakia before the Munich Agreement (1938 Sep 29 - 30)? If so, what kind of support did it pledge? The reason I ask is because I recently came across this ...
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Who taught Russian in Eastern-bloc satellite countries?

After the USSR gained many satellites countries in central/eastern Europe in 1945, Russian became obligatory at school. It seems those Russian courses were highly unpopular and only a small minority ...
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3answers
461 views

What was the reason for the ubiquitous pigeon farms in Soviet cities?

They were in just any district.
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139 views

Who was the general Ivan Tscherniakowski? [closed]

I have been reading Ian Kershaw's Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis. At a certain point, he writes: “On 16 October, the ‘3rd White Russian Front’, led by General Ivan Tscherniakowski, had broken through into ...
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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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605 views

Why did India sign the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation?

India had a policy of non-alignment during the cold war. But just before war broke out between India and Pakistan in December 1971, India signed the treaty in August 1971. What were the reasons that ...