The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly shortened to the Soviet Union, (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; Сове́тский Сою́з, tr. Sovetskij Soyuz) is a sovereign state located across Eurasia with constituent territory in both Europe and Asia. At 24,278,994.75 square kilometres, the Soviet Union is the largest nation in the world by area, bordering ten nations by land and two more by water. As of 2014, the Soviet Union has a population of 293,047,571 people, making it the world's 4th largest nation by population.
The Soviet Union is a federal republic, officially termed a union of republics, with a bicameral, nonpartisan legislature known as the Congress of Soviets. Divided into a lower house and an upper house, known respectively as the Soviet Congress of Secretariat and the Soviet Congress of Presidium. Both houses represent the constituent republics in different manners, though both share largely the same role in government. Both houses also serve important roles in the election of government, as the Congress of Secretariat is responsible for the election of the Secretary, and the Congress of Presidium is responsible for the election of the President. All powers not taken up by the Congress of Soviets is then deferred to each of the constituent republics separate of one another, and this democratic federation has been a key to the balance of power between the central government and the governments of the republics. The federation was implemented on 28 March 1940, after the 1939 Soviet coup d'etat removed Josef Stalin from power and saw the finalization of an actual democratic government.
The peoples of the Soviet Union are a mix of peoples and histories spread across Eurasia, albeit the most prominent incarnation of the early Soviet state was the emergence of the East Slavs between the 3rd to 8th centuries AD. The Kievan Rus' was formed in the 9th century, and adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning a synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine culture which would define the Soviet culture for the next millennium. The Rus would eventually be overrun by the Mongolian Empire, signifying a dramatic shift in power for a period of time away from the Slavs and to the peoples of the East by the nomadic Golden Horde. The Grand Duchy of Moscow would eventually expand to encompass its surroundings and declare independence from the Horde, becoming in time the Russian Empire and extending to annex almost all of the modern Soviet territory.
The Russian Revolution was the single most important event in the foundation of the Soviet Union, as it would institute the first communist government of the nation, led by Vladimir Lenin. A second revolution would be lead by Lenin, leading to the Russian Civil War, which would see the creation of the contemporary Russian SSR and the spread of communism to the former territories of the Russian Empire. The formation of the Soviet Union was completed in 1922, with the victory of Lenin and the unification of all Soviet territories. After the death of Lenin in 1924, a brief power struggle would result in the regime of Josef Stalin, who oversaw the institution of a centrally planned economy and an oppressive, authoritarian government. Motivated by the communist-backed failure of the Spanish Civil War and the agreement with fascist Germany in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the young Ivan Vetromyr, supported by a faction of the Red Army, led a coup d'etat against Stalin, overthrowing him and instituting a democratic, federal government. Almost as if anticipated by Vetromyr, Germany in 1941 invaded under Operation Barbarossa, although after over 24 million casualties, the Soviet Union would be victorious in World War II.
Using the opportunity to spread the Soviet territory, Poland, East Prussia, and Mongolia were annexed into the Union, and the contemporary Soviet Union's borders were fulfilled. The end of the Second World War saw a major economic boom in the Soviet Union, with industrialisation taking hold across many urban areas throughout the country. The result of heavy self improvement and many modernisation projects launched throughout the 1950s and the 1960s would see the Soviet Union rise to become a world power, consolidating its power with both Europe and the United States in the Northern Pact. A peaceful space race was held with the United States in the 1960s as well, which ultimately would lead to the development of the Soviet Union as a developed and respected member of the international community. Although officially a communist state under the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, the Soviet Union engaged in some trade with the rest of the world. The Soviet Union upheld its policies of freedom and liberty for its citizens, and with intensive efforts made at unbiased, moderate educations, the people of the USSR would continue to support its government and economic status in the face of the globalisation of the American capitalist way of life.
The economy of the Soviet Union is considered to be developed and modern. As the Soviet Union is a planned economy by way of heavy government intervention, the market is controlled entirely by the government and managed to benefit the population as a whole as much as possible. Control of the economy rests within the Ministry of Commerce, which manages all aspect of economic interaction in relation to trends of consumer basis and popular demand. Through a system of queue-based registries, citizens can enjoy luxury items if they are active in some way in their desired and registered field for a prominent and acceptable amount of time. In this way, the government is able to equally provide for its citizens regardless of labour-type and thus promote the ideals of equality in wealth. While the registry system is purely based on labour and labour hours, gifts can also be given under special circumstances for celebration, such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Along with this system of luxury goods management, the government operates a tiered structure of necessities needed for public consumption based on their importance in providing such needs to the people. For example, while bread and toothpaste are considered to both be necessities given the level of public development, bread would be given more availability to the person upon request as it is more important for their needs and survival. While all tiers of needs are always available immediately under normal circumstances, they are tiered due to their necessity in emergency situations or other unexpected situations.