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 was there a 2nd version of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that gave Lithuania to USSR?

I was shocked to read this at Wikipedia's article on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol ...
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Why the Rzhev battle is not as famous as Stalingrad? [closed]

Since the 4 operation on the EasternFront ( Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus ) are linked, why is the Rzhev battle so unknown ? Didn't Model requested most of the backup to defend his salient ? ...
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Did one or both sides of the cold war plan to strategically attack the others' food production?

I'm basically defining 'Cold War', for the purpose of this question as the whole stretch of time between 1947 and 1991. During this time did either side plan to attack the other's food production on a ...
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How often were Soviet records faked?

In Viktor Suvorov's books, most notably The Liberators, Inside The Soviet Army, Inside Soviet Military Intelligence, a bleak picture is painted of a system where official figures were exaggerated or ...
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What was the structure of the Russian army following reforms in 1917?

Found that although it's apparent that old titles were abolished it is unclear as to whether this was merely formal while retaining a hierarchy of command or whether the army did work collectively.
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In the 1980s, did any Western expert, scholar, official, or politician predict the impending collapse of the Soviet Union?

This claim was made by Foreign Policy in 2011: In the years leading up to 1991, virtually no Western expert, scholar, official, or politician foresaw the impending collapse of the Soviet Union I ...
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What happened to Soviet citizens living abroad?

Before the formation of the Soviet Union and/or before international travel restrictions were imposed, were there Russian, Ukranian, etc. citizens living legally in foreign countries (i.e., as ...
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How did the Czech Legion get home?

The Czech Legion was allied with the Russian Tsars just prior to the Russian revolution. After the Bolsheviks took power, they were unable to return via Europe. So they crossed the whole of Eurasia ...
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Did US and Soviet nuclear war policies allow for a pause?

In the HBO made-for-tv movie "By Dawn's Early Light", the commander of the navy (codename "Harpoon") explains to the US President that USAF nuclear bombers are at their positive check points and await ...
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Why did the Soviet Union have multiple airplane manufacturers?

Generally, Communism believed in economic central planning, with each field being serviced by one "company" (to avoid waste). Why was it that the Soviet Union had multiple airplane manufacturers, ...
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Clarification about 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 inforgraphic, or here. What was the purpose of this referendum? ...
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At the time of Sputnik, what kind of radios were common in the Soviet Union?

Sputnik was launched 1957 Oct 4. At that time, what kind of radios were common in the Soviet Union? I'm interested in what kind of radios were privately owned and kept in people's apartments. What ...
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Were bicycles widespread in the Soviet Union?

In the Soviet Union, did most people own a bicycle? Were streets crowded with bikes? Or was there a shortage of bikes? What was the price of bikes and were they affordable? The time period I'm most ...
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In the Soviet Union, how was payment enforced for public transportation?

From my previous, related question, public transport was not free in the USSR. It seems prices were very low, around 3 to 5 kopecks. This seems so low that I'm surprised the government didn't simply ...
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How popular was the Soviet Union?

How much popular support was there in the Soviet Union? How did this popular support increase and decrease with time? Here is an infographic that sort of summarizes my question. It shows that even at ...
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Was public transportation free in the Soviet Union?

Was public transportation free in the Soviet Union? I'm interested in the metros and buses. If not, what did they cost? I'm most interested in the period around the late 1950's, early 1960's, but it ...
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Fate of Latvian Jewish population sent to gulags in June 1941?

Some of my ancestors were Latvian Jews who came to the U.S. in 1904. I'm trying to figure out whether any part of this branch of my family might still exist in the eastern hemisphere. After the Hitler-...
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Why was Stalin surprised by the German attack in June 1941?

Although he was warned by many, including Churchill, of the forthcoming German attack on 22 June, Stalin did not believe those warnings and was surprised when the attack started. I believe the ...
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Was the population of Moscow wildly overstated during the Cold War?

The science fiction author Robert Heinlein was a socialist in his youth, but became a strident anticommunist during the Cold War. In 1960, he and his wife Virginia went as tourists to the USSR, and he ...
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Did the rule of “all communications lead to Moscow” apply during the Tsarist times?

One of the main arguments for the Germans attacking Moscow during World War II was that it was a transportation (mainly railroad) "hub" for the Soviet Union, and if captured, would seriously disrupt ...
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Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources first before invading Soviet Union?

Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources instead of Soviet Union? Or at least invade Middle East first to secure the resources needed for sustained military operation? I understand Hitler ...
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How dependent were the Germans on horse transport in their invasion of the Soviet Union?

The Germans were very sophisticated in "combined" operations, that is, in using airpower and tanks to attack behind the Soviet lines. That's what gave them the advantage in the early part of the war. ...
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List of Lend Lease deliveries by years

Does someone know where I can find a list of the deliveries to the USSR by the "Lend Lease Act" of the United States 1941 to 1945 by year? Most books like "Russia's Life-Saver" by Albert Weeks do ...
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In the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, was there any secret agreement on the timetable, if any, of taking the spheres of influence?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact included a secret agreement to divide Europe between Germany and USSR. I'm wondering if this secret agreement included timetables for those takeovers, or if they were ...
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Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War?

Was there a constant 'fear of the bomb' in the Soviet Union and America during the Cold War? Or were there times where there wasn't such a fear? Possibly during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente, or ...
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Was electricity free in the Soviet Union?

Did people receive free electricity in their homes in the Soviet Union? If so, how was it rationed out? Were there any quotas on how much you could use?
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Why is there hostility between Russia and the Baltic states? [closed]

What is the cause of the hostility between Russia and the Baltic states?
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Has there ever been a mass migration of factories comparable to the USSR's in WW2?

When the Soviet Union was invaded in 1941, the authorities quickly decided to move their factories east across the Urals in anticipation of the Blitzkrieg. This saved a lot of production capacity and ...
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What was British spy Greville Wynne supposed to be selling?

I'm researching a history of the British hippy movement. I've interviewed an old hippy who claimed that he travelled to India along the hippy trail in a vehicle that had been converted for British spy ...
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Did the Soviet Union get a net border gain from China during World War II?

The border changes between the Soviet Union and China between 1917 and 1945 seem to be very complicated. At the end, in 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria wholeheartedly, and in violation of ...
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Why did Japan fail to interfere with shipping from America to Vladivostok from 1941-1945?

Throughout World War II, the United States was able to supply Russia with food and many crucial war materials, such as aluminum, via Russia's Pacific port, Vladivostok. Japan steadfastedly refused to ...
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How has it happen, that Soviet Union, after the win in WW2 did not took German technologies? [closed]

Germany, in the 40-x was a one of most technological advanced state in the world. Following big concerns had created it's industry: VW, Mercedes(created in 1926, Benz & Daimler), Siemens(in 1847),...
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Did the USSR have any position on global warming? [closed]

I assume they rejected it, given the anti-malthusian nature of Marxism.
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How did the supplies shipped in winter over the “Road of Life” to Leningrad compare to those at other times of the year?

A key factor in the survival of Leningrad during its 900 day siege was the "Road of Life" built across a frozen Lake Ladoga during the winter months of 1941, 1942, and 1943, and lasting nearly half a ...
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What was the biggest cause of Holodomor? [closed]

Historian Mark Tauger points out that the peasants shot themselves in the foot in addition to having a natural famine as well as the commissioners (who weren't Jewish but ethnic Ukrainians) being ...
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Where can I get information used to make Soviet economic plans?

One kind of information used by Gosplan to create plans was a list of commodities and relationships between them, i.e. what things were required to produce other things. I managed to find higher ...
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Were major foreign films allowed in the USSR?

I'm thinking of really major films that came from Hollywood, like Star Wars, Back to the Future, Planet of the Apes, etc. Were these allowed to be shown in the USSR? Did they have to wait for ...
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Did Soviet Republics like Kazakstan and Azerbaijan have their own military units?

Were Soviet units typically separated by national origin or were all men from all Soviet nations mixed together in divisions? I'm not talking just through World War II, but from the 1940s all the way ...
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In post-WW2 Soviet Union, did most people have bank accounts?

Did most citizens in the USSR have bank accounts? How did they work? Plain checking accounts, or was credit allowed? Were banks open 7 days a week like non-religious government is supposed to? Was ...
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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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Did Soviet cars have seatbelts or laws enforcing them?

I know in America, the seatbelt has a history involving legislation and Ralph Nader, and didn't really exist before the 1960's. What about in the Soviet Union? Did they go through a similar process? ...
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Why did Russian Federation declare independence from Soviet Union? [closed]

In June 12th 1990, the Russian Federation declared its independence from the Soviet Union, effectively ending the Soviet Union. While I understand that other parts of the former Soviet Union like ...
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Cryptography used by Red Army in Polish-Bolshevik war

In a film "Bitwa Warszawska 1920" which tells the story of the Polish-Bolshevik war there is a scene with two cryptographers that are able to break the cipher used by Red Army. Turns out it was a ...
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How much resemblance did the industrialization of the Soviet Union bear to those of the rest of the world?

I was thinking about the industrialization of the Soviet Union, most notably the death toll involved. The policies (such as forced-labour, prison camps for those who under performed, extremely poor ...
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How many Old Bolsheviks outlived Stalin?

The term "Old Bolshevik" refers to those who joined the Bolshevik party before the Russian Revolution of 1917. According to D. A. Chygayev (as quoted by Mark Deutsch), in 1922 there were 44,148 ...
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Soviets, their war equpment and performance in WWII [closed]

If the Soviets excelled in their military equipment, why were the Germans able to inflict such heavy casualties on them through-out the war?
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Did the Soviets excel in one area of weaponry during World War II?

The Germans had some of the best machine guns and tanks during World War II. Likewise, the Americans had a big advantage with the M1 Garand (which Patton famously called "The greatest battle implement ...
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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 believe in the basics of Marxist-Leninism. As a communist, didn't he fear that killing his own military's leadership would seriously endanger the world's ...
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How much of “Russia” was actually occupied by the Germans in World War II?

I am well aware that the German invasion of the Soviet Union, as depicted on maps like these, showed large German gains in 1941, and subsequently on the road to Stalingrad in 1942. My understanding, ...
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What happened to schizophrenics in the USSR?

I'm looking for information on people who were unable to work because of schizophrenia or other major mental illness. Does anyone know what happened to them in the USSR?

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