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 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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What is the context for Glennon's 1956 intelligence gathering trip to the USSR?

In 1956, my father, John J. Glennon (Librarian of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, now the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) was one of the few fluent Russian speakers in ...
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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 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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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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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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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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Why did the USSR stop in the Winter War against Finland in 1940?

To me, this is one of the biggest history mysteries. By the end of February 1940, the USSR breached the Mannerheim line, and the Finnish troops were exhausted and short of ammunition. I have little ...
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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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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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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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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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What political party did Stalin belong to? [closed]

What political party did Stalin belong to? I know he identified as a communist, but he didn't act like one: he occupied a somewhat large portion of the Baltic states(Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia). He ...
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Did the Soviet military in fact fear that the Space Shuttle would be used as an orbital bomber? If so, why?

I have read on this blog (scroll down to section "what happened to make it fail) dedicated to failed cold war space projects that the Soviet leadership was deeply concerned about the STS, fearing that ...
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What are the text and subtext of this 1949 Soviet cartoon?

Over on Wikipedia, we find this cover from the March 1949 issue of Soviet satire mag Krokodil: The person who uploaded it to Wikipedia captioned it "Antisemitic caricature of rootless cosmopolitan." ...
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Border crossings between USSR and Afghanistan in the 1960s

For a (fictional, but set in the real world) story set in 1962, I need to get my protagonists from the USSR into Afghanistan. I've done some research and found no reliable information about the ...
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Under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, how many of each aircraft did the USSR receive?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed 1939 Aug 23, and lasted till 1941 Jun 22. During that time, how many aircraft were delivered to the Soviet Union, and what types were they? I'm especially ...
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What happened to Soviet POWs taken by non-German armies on WW2 Eastern front?

I have initially posted this question in relation to the Romanian army, which was second to the German on the Eastern front, but I have updated the title to include all other non-German armies on that ...
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WWII - documents on turn around point in German Foreign strategy - "stop we are not going to pass Finland to USSR"

I want to find the turn around point in German Foreign strategy: ok we leave Finland to USSR - stop we would not do it. In documents. Some of them are there: https://archive.org/search.php?query=...
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Did Soviet Union really consider using atomic bomb against US aircraft battlegroup?

In this video youtube narrator says that: "During Cold War Soviet Union considered American battle-group such a dire threat that they predicted the only way to defend against them would be by use ...
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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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What was the liquor that was based on petrol which was produced in the USSR during the Second World War?

I have a 1971 Spanish edition of the book "Stuka Pilot" by Hans-Ulrich Rudel where he recounts his memories of war. In the second chapter, in which he talks about the first combats of "Operation ...
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Why weren't German V-2 weapons used against the Russians? [duplicate]

Late in World War II, the Nazis deployed the V-2 weapons against Britain. That is, early missiles were launched against mainly British cities from bases in France, as "strategic" strikes. Apparently, ...
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What was the content of Solzhenitsyn's critique of the West?

Solzhenitsyn is a dissident writer in the former Soviet Union. He's famous for writing the Gulag Archipelago. I recall that he eventually managed to escape to the West, in fact to the USA where after ...
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What Happened To Men In the Soviet Union? [closed]

Ignoring the question but trying to understand the context of one part of the answer: Men disappearing , Soviet style I searched for what this could mean and came up with nothing. Many Soviet men ...
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How did the Apollo-Soyuz test project affect the relationship between the USSR and USA during the cold war?

Did the Apollo-Soyuz test project really impact the relationship of the the USA and USSR politically? And if so, in what way?
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Did the Soviet Union hand over thousands of Jews to the Nazis in the spirit of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact?

The most recent episode of the Italian documentary TV series Ulisse - Il piacere della scoperta (Ulysses - The pleasure of discovery) covered the deportation of Jews from Italy, and at some point it ...
6 votes
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How much did the western world know about the Soviet Union pre-WWII?

This question is inspired by being surprised at the insight of George Orwell's Animal Farm. For some reason, I had the impression that the western world was in the dark about the horribleness of the ...
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What is this Soviet Uniform? Made in 1975

I recently got this uniform off a Russian website, but I the website did't specify which it was, and I haven't been able to identify it using google searches? Anyone here know?
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Why did many scientists spy for the Soviet Union and contribute to their atomic program?

I want to understand why some scientists collaborated with the Soviet Union and its atomic program during and after the WWII. What I want to know is if there were some specific characteristics or ...
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What was the logic behind Stalin's brutality?

In this article Stalin's behaviour is argued to be the result of a calculated and fanatical strategy. Stephen Kotkin's book 'Stalin' is referenced, and the suggestion is that criticism of Stalin as ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 and when did the border regime change when the USSR broke up?

According to my knowledge, borders between individual SSR's were generally open and consisted just of signs during Soviet times. With the breakup of the union, the problem of border security arose. ...
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What did Russia do about Caucasus oil after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

During World War II, something like 72% of the Soviet Union's oil came from Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Caucasus. More like 86% if you count Grozny (Chechnya), and other Caucasus territories, leaving ...
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Can you identify this Soviet uniform from the 1970s to ~90s

I really like this uniform, but I don't know what the name of it is or where to find one. It would be really nice if somebody could identify this uniform for me.
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Did Truman threaten a nuclear strike if the Soviet Union didn't withdraw from Iran in 1946?

In episode 4 of Oliver Stone's documentary series, Untold History of the United States, Stone claims that then-president Truman issued an ultimatum to the Soviet Union: either withdraw from Iran (...
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