We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
3answers
840 views

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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
24
votes
5answers
7k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
304 views

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-...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
333 views

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 ...
12
votes
10answers
10k views

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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

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. ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

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?
0
votes
1answer
269 views

Why is there hostility between Russia and the Baltic states? [closed]

What is the cause of the hostility between Russia and the Baltic states?
14
votes
3answers
347 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
428 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
431 views

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),...
-3
votes
1answer
551 views

Did the USSR have any position on global warming? [closed]

I assume they rejected it, given the anti-malthusian nature of Marxism.
4
votes
1answer
241 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
546 views

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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
630 views

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? ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
692 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
652 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
1k views

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?
50
votes
11answers
17k views

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 ...
20
votes
8answers
8k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

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, ...
6
votes
1answer
392 views

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?
0
votes
2answers
845 views

Did anyone besides Heinz Guderian believe that Germany needed to “liberate” Soviets to prevail on the eastern front?

Germany's Field Marshal Heinz Guderian was quoted as saying: "We lost the war the day we failed to raise the Ukrainian flag over the cathedral in Kiev, that day was when the Ukrainians lost their ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

How did the US vet Soviet refugees for possible spies/infiltrators?

According to White House tumblr, Google co-founder Sergey Brin's family were refugees from the Soviet Union, coming to the US when Brin was 6. Researching further, Since 1975 more than 500,000 ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Why was the Imre Nagy government deported to Romania?

After the 1956 Hungarian upgrising, the KGB briefly deported Imre Nagy and his closest followers (Donáth, Lukács, etc.) to Romania. I understand that the Soviet Union would have wanted to remove Nagy ...
3
votes
2answers
588 views

Was Germany's “Fall Blau” plan in the Soviet Union partly aimed at Mediterranean neutrals or Japan (a neutral vis-vis the Soviets)?

In 1942, Germany adopted Fall Blau, a plan for a southward push in the Soviet Union toward the Caucasus, and the borders of Turkey and Iran. (Stalingrad was added to the plan later.) Decrypts by "...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
888 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
801 views

What was the dominant Soviet strategy for invading Germany in the 1980's?

Through archives and doctrinal publications, was there any bias towards attacking NATO through the North German Plain, the Fulda Gap, or something else?
4
votes
2answers
430 views

Who were these two 1961 Soviet pilot defectors?

During the Viet Nam War, a Soviet pilot nicknamed "Victor" defected from an airbase near Baku, crash landing in Iran in an L-29. In the USAF he was named "Defector Source 306". An earlier incident of ...
16
votes
8answers
5k views

Why did people in the USSR participate in elections?

It is well known that the elections in the USSR had only one candidate on the list, giving no real choice to the voter. While it was possible to vote against a candidate, there was no realistic ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What made the generation-switch hard in Soviet Union?

I always wondered, why didn't the Soviet leadership have similar generation changes like Chinese had later with Deng Xiao Ping? Only Gorbachev could get the leadership as second-generation communist ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

What role if any did Ligachev play in the 1991 coup attempt against Gorbachev?

Ligachev was the head of the we-love-Brezhnevism club in the last days of the Soviet Union. Was he at all involved in the bring-back-Brezhnevism coup in 1991? If not, what did he do and say in that ...
11
votes
3answers
779 views

Have there been any joint US-Russia/Soviet military engagements post WW II?

Reportedly, now both the USA and Russia are engaged in military combat against Islamic State in Syria. Although contexts are different and it remains debatable exactly whom Russia are targeting, the ...