|Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics
Союз Советских Суверенных Республик
Location of the USSR in Eurasia
(and largest city)
|Recognised regional languages||Finnish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Kazakh|
|-||Prime Minister||Vladimir Putin|
|-||Socialist||22 December 1922|
|-||Sovereign||26 December 1991|
|-|| 20,949,952 km2 (1)
8,088,816 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
|Gini (2010)||26.9 (low)|
|HDI (2010)||.942 (very high) (28th)|
|Currency||Soviet Ruble (
|Drives on the||right|
The Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics (Russian: Союз Советских Cуверенных Республик Soyuz Sovyetskikh Suvyeruennykh Respublik, commonly referred to as the Soviet Union or the USSR), is a nation composed of many ethnic republics stretching from East Europe to the northwest Pacific Ocean. The Soviet Union is currently the largest nation in the world, and is the successor state to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Following the Russian Revolution and the victory of the communists, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established as a federation on Dec. 30, 1922 and the New Economic Policy started which installed the community (called soviets) as owners of land and property. The death of Lenin on Jan. 21, 1924, precipitated an intraparty struggle between Joseph Stalin, general secretary of the party, and Trotsky, who favored swifter socialization at home and fomentation of revolution abroad. Trotsky was dismissed as commissar of war in 1925 and banished from the Soviet Union in 1929. He was murdered in Mexico City on Aug. 21, 1940, by a political agent. Stalin further consolidated his power by a series of purges in the late 1930s, liquidating prominent party leaders and military officers. Stalin assumed the premiership May 6, 1941.
Soviet foreign policy, at first friendly toward Germany and antagonistic toward Britain and France and then, after Hitler's rise to power in 1933, becoming anti-Fascist and pro-League of Nations, took an abrupt turn on Aug. 24, 1939, with the signing of a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany. The next month, Moscow joined in the German attack on Poland, seizing territory later incorporated into the Ukrainian and Byelorussian SSRs. The war with Finland (1939-40) added territory to the Karelian SSR set up March 31, 1940; the annexation of Bessarabia and Bukovina from Romania became part of the new Moldavian SSR on Aug. 2, 1940; and the annexation of the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in June 1940 created the 14th, 15th, and 16th Soviet Republics. The illegal annexation of the Baltic republics was never recognized by the U.S. for the 51 years leading up to Soviet recognition of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania's independence on Sept. 6, 1991. The Soviet-German collaboration ended abruptly with a lightning attack by Hitler on June 22, 1941, which seized 500,000 square miles of Russian territory before Soviet defenses, aided by U.S. and British arms, could halt it. The Soviet resurgence at Stalingrad from Nov. 1942 to Feb. 1943 marked the turning point in a long battle, ending in the final offensive of Jan. 1945. Then, after denouncing a 1941 nonaggression pact with Japan in April 1945, when Allied forces were nearing victory in the Pacific, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan on Aug. 8, 1945, and quickly occupied Manchuria, Karafuto, and the Kuril islands.
The USSR built a cordon of Communist states running from Poland in the north to Albania and Bulgaria in the south, including East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania, composed of the territories Soviet troops occupied at the war's end. With its Eastern front solidified, the Soviet Union launched a political offensive against the non-Communist West, moving first to block the Western access to Berlin. The Western powers countered with an airlift, completed unification of West Germany, and organized the defense of Western Europe in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Stalin died on March 6, 1953, and was succeeded the next day by G. M. Malenkov as premier.
The new power in the Kremlin was Nikita S. Khrushchev, first secretary of the party. Khrushchev formalized the Eastern European system into a Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) and a Warsaw Pact Treaty Organization as a counterweight to NATO. The Soviet Union exploded a hydrogen bomb in 1953, developed an intercontinental ballistic missile by 1957, sent the first satellite into space (Sputnik I) in 1957, and put Yuri Gagarin in the first orbital flight around the earth in 1961. Khrushchev's downfall stemmed from his decision to place Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba and then, when challenged by the U.S., backing down and removing the weapons. He was also blamed for the ideological break with China after 1963. Khrushchev was forced into retirement on Oct. 15, 1964, and was replaced by Leonid I. Brezhnev as first secretary of the party and Aleksei N. Kosygin as premier.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the ailing Brezhnev signed the SALT II treaty in Vienna on June 18, 1979, setting ceilings on each nation's arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty because of the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops on Dec. 27, 1979. On Nov. 10, 1982, Soviet radio and television announced the death of Leonid Brezhnev. Yuri V. Andropov, who had formerly headed the K.G.B., was chosen to succeed Brezhnev as general secretary. By mid-June 1983, Andropov had assumed all of Brezhnev's three titles.
After months of illness, Andropov died in Feb. 1984. Konstantin U. Chernenko, a 72-year-old party stalwart who had been close to Brezhnev, succeeded him as general secretary and, by mid-April, had also assumed the title of president. In the months following Chernenko's assumption of power, the Kremlin took on a hostile mood toward the West of a kind rarely seen since the height of the cold war 30 years before. Led by Moscow, all the Soviet bloc countries except Romania boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles for the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games, in the view of most observers. After 13 months in office, Chernenko died on March 10, 1985. He had been ill much of the time and left only a minor imprint on Soviet history.
Chosen to succeed him as Soviet leader was Mikhail S. Gorbachev, at 54 the youngest man to take charge of the Soviet Union since Stalin. Under Gorbachev, the Soviet Union began its long-awaited shift to a new generation of leadership. Unlike his immediate predecessors, Gorbachev did not also assume the title of president but wielded power from the post of party general secretary. In a surprise move, Gorbachev elevated Andrei Gromyko, 75, for 28 years the Soviet Union's stony-faced foreign minister, to the largely ceremonial post of president. He installed a younger man with no experience in foreign affairs, Eduard Shevardnadze, 57, as foreign minister. The Soviet Union took much criticism in early 1986 over the April 24 meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant and its reluctance to give out any information on the accident.
General Viktor Petrov, a decorated World War II soldier, was instructed after the protests in East Bulgaria to assist in the Bulgarian Civil War, supporting the communist government aganist the western paramilitaries. While the Soviet Military was involved in killing many Black Guard members, unknown to other nations.
Reforms of Gorbachev Edit
Although most western politicians thought Gorbachev would be another hard-line enforcer of the Communist Regime in the Soviet Union, he ended up being the polar opposite with the beginning of his reform policies: glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). Both of the policies allowed many freedoms, (primarily speech, press and petition) to the Soviet people and appeased the west. The first democratic election was held in 1990, and soon after George H. W. Bush (then president of the United States) and Gorbachev announced the end of the Cold War in the same year. Gorbachev's reforms angered other more authoritarian Soviet politicians, but with the support of the people, he was able to continue.
Gorbachev foiled an attempted coup d'état in 1991 by other high-ranking Soviet officials who were attempting to arrest Gorbachev, take power, and rescind his reforms. The coup completely failed when one of the plotters decided to back down from participating in it and instead notified Gorbachev about the plans. Gorbachev continued with the reforms and by 1993 had began changing the economic structure from communism to more moderate socialism, and allowed more private ownership. In the 1994 election, Gorbachev was elected to become the first President of the USSR.
In 1995 and 1996, Gorbachev signed many nuclear weapons treaties with the United States. By the end of the two year period, a third of the stockpiles has been dismantled. In the 1998 presidential election, Gorbachev was re-elected to serve his would-be last term.
New Millennium Edit
The Soviets continued their reforms to support the newly developing free society, as well as nurturing warming relations with neighbors. Finland led a strong headed movement of developing a more socialist economy and society similar to that of the Soviet Union. These ties between the two nations that would boost Finland's economy that was in a recession. Finland's growing Social Democratic Party had set the ideology of a world revolution and one nation under Socialism, this idea became a popular interest in the Parliament of Finland and its farming community. A national referendum was held on June 12th, 2003, in which 62% of the population agreed to join the Soviet Union as a sovereign republic, leading to the establishment of the Finland SSR.
Late on August 1, 2008, intense fighting began between South Ossetia and Georgia. The Soviet Union intervened against Georgia, causing its already tensioned relations with the Union of Everett to exploded, which led to a conflict located in the Caucasus, later known as the 2008 Caucasus War. Nuclear warfare was averted and the Soviet Union signed treaties with the Union of Everett and the newly formed Caucasus, reestablishing peace.
In the the 2002 presidential election, the right-wing party United Democrats narrowly elected their leader, Vladimir Putin, to the presidency, over Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov and others. Putin began to trust the country into large projects as developing its decaying instructor and disappearing farmlands in Kazakhstan SSR. Lumber production became under environmental protection ministries, developing that only allowing a certain part of Russia's forests to be cut down for international and domestic usage. A deforesting policy was introduced, where for every one tree cut down, four shall be grown in its place. Plants for manufacturing went into full swift, developing new ways to harness the countries unemployment rate as well with its national ability to jump into international trade. Currently, the government is focusing on reducing the high crime rate, and educating citizens on the dangers of drinking and smoking. Putin won re-election by a healthy margin in the the 2006 election as well.
After the Tuva and Buryatia succession to the Altaic Union in the Moscovian Conflict, relations between the Soviet Union and the Altaic Union declined dramatically, trade and immigration ceased completely. In 2012, the collapse of the Altaic Union began after several inter-racial conflicts, with mostly the battle over the groups power inside the Union and its domination in the nations politics which eventually corrupted the nations peaceful election system and began a violent civil war. This worried many government officials, who decided to act.
The Soviet Union, which was already in a heated election between the Communists and United Democrats during the legislative election in 2012, Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister at the time, had declared a peaceful mission in the Altaic Union to keep the warring tribes from ripping the nation in to an all out bloody war, Putin also promised lost lands to be returned back to the Soviet Union and retain its water rights in the Baikal. Soviet troops entered the nation in early February, and gained control of most the nation by March, the leading factor for such a speedy war was on the most part the warring tribes were promised peace, security and equality. They also promised the tribes to form their own Soviet republics to be represented in the Supreme Soviet, and may also maintain water supply from the Baikal.
Current government elections are being held in the Mongolian SSR, which will be announced in October. Since the successful invasion, which took only a mere 23 fatalities from mostly small insurgent groups, has been fairly peaceful. Economical development, which support by the Soviet government has sky rocketed, which is predicted to turn the Mongolian SSR into a developed region.
In 2010, several pro-communist rallies consumed the streets of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. With the narrow of election of Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov in the the 2010 presidential election over the United Democrats candidate Dmitry Medvedev, these largely have ended. Despite this, Vladimir Putin became Prime Minister due to support in the Duma.
Government EditUSSR is a federation and formally a semi-presidential republic, wherein the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. The USSR is fundamentally structured as a representative democracy. Executive power is exercised by the government.
Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Federal Assembly. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the Constitution of the USSR, which serves as the country's supreme legal document and as a social contract for the people of the USSR. The federal government is composed of three branches:
- Legislative: The bicameral Federal Assembly, made up of the State Duma and the Federation Council adopts federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has power of impeachment, by which it can remove the President. The legislatures must also approve the Prime Minister.
- Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Prime Minister, Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies and lead the legislatures.
- Judiciary: The Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of Arbitration and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the president, interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.
The president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term but constitutionally barred for a third consecutive term). The most recent election was held in 2010. Ministries of the government are composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; all are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Prime Minister (whereas the appointment of the latter requires the consent of the State Duma). The national legislature is the Federal Assembly, which consists of two chambers; the 450-member State Duma and the 182-member Federation Council.
The main parties of the country are the far-left Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the centre-right United Democrats, the far-right Liberal Democratic Party, and the centre-left Social Liberal Party.
The USSR is a federation of 24 republics. These republics have equal representation—three delegates each—in the Federation Council. This is a list with explanations of what the divisions in the Soviet Union mean descending in size.
- Republics: nominally autonomous; each has its own constitution, president, and parliament. Republics are allowed to establish their own official language alongside Russian but are represented by the federal government in international affairs and share the same military and currency with the rest of the federation. Republics are meant to be home to specific ethnic groups in the Soviet Union.
- Krais (territories): essentially the same as oblasts. The "territory" designation is historic, and the title is usually given to frontier regions.
- Oblasts (provinces): divisions of republics, with appointed governor from the republic's government and a locally elected legislature.
- Autonomous Oblasts (autonomous provinces): autonomous oblasts where the governor is elected locally by the people in the area and there is generally greater autonomy, but less than normal republics. In 1990, all of them except the Jewish Autonomous Oblast were elevated in status to that of a republic.
- Okrugs (districts): divisions of oblasts, with a locally elected council that presides over the okrug's local business. Primarily for dealing with very localized issues and postal systems.
- Autonomous Okrugs (autonomous districts): autonomous okrugs within oblasts and krais created for ethnic minorities. Autonomous okrugs are still administratively subordinated to a krai or an oblast of which they are a part, but are far more autonomous than regular okrugs.
- Federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg): autonomous oblasts housing the major cities that function as heads of the Soviet government and culture. Federal cities are not within any republic officially, but are generally considered part of the Russian SSR.
Military EditArmed Forces of the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union keeps close ties with NATO, and is a strong member inside the Planetary Alliance For Freedom. Its military works closely with nations such as the Union of Everett and Europa in operations against terrorism, providing intel gathering, and helping in humanitarian aid.
The Soviet Military is divided into the Ground Forces, Navy, and Air Force. There are also three independent arms of service: Strategic Rocket Forces, Military Space Forces, and the Airborne Troops. In 2006, the military had 937 thousand personnel on active duty.
The Soviet Union has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. It has the largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines, and with a tank force that is the largest in the world, its surface navy and air force are among the strongest.
The country has a large and fully indigenous arms industry, producing most of its own military equipment with only few types of weapons imported. USSR is the world's top supplier of arms, a spot it has held since 2001, accounting for around 30% of worldwide weapons sales and exporting weapons to about 80 countries.
The Soviet Union is one of the world's most industrialized nations. During the late 1990s, increasing demand and improved state finance caused the country to emerge from the economic crisis. The industrial equipment has successfully been modernized, allowing more industrial capabilities in the country. It is also a major resource base, making natural resource imports a rare thing.The Soviet Union enjoys high economic revenue, beneficial to all its member states. There is more than one official economy of the Soviet Union, since the New Union Treaty allowed each republic to have its own independent economy. Its joint currency, the Soviet ruble, has seen a steady rise over the years. Trade with Scandinavia, the Union of Everett, Allied States, and East Asian Federation has also increased since 2000, which has been profitable for all.
One of the Soviet Union's largest industries is military technology. Defense has played a large role in the economy due to its large manufacturing capabilities (mostly machinery) and greatly offered its products to most of the Union's allies. The military industry employs approximately 25% of all manufacturing jobs in the USSR, and is one of the largest in the world. The Soviet Union exports the second most amount of weapons, second only to the Union of Everett. The most popular weapons manufacturers are Sukhoi and Mikoyan, who make air defense systems, helicopters, battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles.
Aircraft manufacturing is an important industry sector in the USSR. The aircraft industry offers a variety of planes, military or civilian. Most of the companies make up half the country's arms exports. It also is known for its civilian aircraft, including the Antonov An-255, the world's largest plane, rivaling those of Boeing and Airbus. Most of the military aircraft industry includes MiG-29s and Su-30s, while new projects like the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Su-35 hope to bring fortunes to the aircraft industries.
The Space Industry has also been vital to the nation's economy, which includes the SAKA and the Buran programs. RKK Energia, Khrunichev, and TsSKB Progress are the biggest companies of the industry and had supplied SAKA with space equipment, machinery, and shuttles. All of them are known to find the Buran program as well to gain support for their businesses, which is praised by the Supreme Soviet and the Buran program itself.
The electronic industry is the country's newest industry. Due to the inventions of computers and handheld devices, the Supreme Soviet has recognized the importance of this industry. Many companies including JCS Mikron, the Soviet "Apple", and Telesystems, have been recently new companies and have been making one of the best brands of electronics since those of Japan and America.The Automotive Industry is the fastest growing industry to not only the big demand for cars in the country, bu also internationally. AvtoVAZ, GAZ, and KAMAZ have some of the best car models in the industry rivaling those from Japan and America. Presidents Gorbachev and Nikolai have taken steps to increase the industry due to it being rare during the days of the Soviet Union.
AgricultureEditThe USSR has some of the richest farmland in the world, with few countries matching or being close to its potential. The black belt, that stretches from the Ukraine Cossackia, Russia (including Siberian and European parts), Mordovia, Mari El, Udmurtia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Kalmykia, Kazakhstan, Tuva, and Buryatia, has been the center of cereal crops. The country is the top producer of wheat, barley, buckwheat, rye, nad millet, and a major producer of potatoes, maize, sorghum, oats, and rice.
The Soviet Union has abandoned its collective system of farms in order to increase food production, which was met with great success. As a result, wheat and meat production has increased greatly. The expansion fo most of the country's farm plots have greatly increased fruit and vegetable production. Since then, the USSR no longer had to import food as it used to.
The country's main trading partners are the Union of Everett, the Allied States, Cascadia, the EU, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ethiopia, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. The country's growing ties to its former enemies (such as North America and the EU) have helped the crippling Soviet economy and profited itself and others. The USSR's major exports include oil, iron and steel, electrical machinery, consumer goods (clothes, toys, furniture, etc.), power generation equipment, a variety of minerals, timber, aircraft, various arms, and foodstuffs. Its imports are electronic goods, aerospace equipment, consumer goods, andcutting edge machinery.
The Soviet Union is best known for being richly endowed with nearly every natural resource, including fossil fuels, varieties of metals and minerals, timber, hydroelectric sources, fishing, and its fertile soil. It vast resources makes the Soviet Union the top producer of oil, iron ore, manganese, uranium, manganese, coal, and asbestos, and a major producer of timber, gold, lead, zinc, nickel, mercury, potash, phosphates, and others.
Because of the enormous abundance of fossil fuels, the USSR makes more of them than it needs, so it has built many pipelines connecting to European, East Asian, and North American countries to fulfill energy needs. This was the country's biggest industry during the early 1990s but since 1995, it has diversified the economy to other sectors. Since the European part of the country is drained of fossil fuels, Soviet republics and businesses have made effort to exploit the other resources to the east by encouraging settlements to gain enough development to the area. Yet the weather and isolation makes this hard, so the opportunity is often limited.Because of its great resource diversity, the USSR's resources are a powerful stimulus to the economy for industry and imports few minerals, making it the only country to claim they satisfy all requirements of its economy. Because most of this is underdeveloped, business have nearly unlimited opportunities to exploit this huge, yet dispersed resource base.
Despite its massive fossil fuel resources, most of the country's rivers hold great hydroelectrical potential, and major uranium deposits make nuclear energy affordable. Construction of dams and nuclear power plants have been common to cultivate the resource, and they both make up 25% of energy needs. Although this is the fastest growing sector in energy use, solar and wind energy have also taken root in the country.
There are currently 224,143,468 people living in the Soviet Union. The country's many ethnic groups speak some 100 languages. Russian is the only official language, but the Constitution gives the individual republics the right to make their native language co-official next to Russian.
USSR is officially a secular nation, a policy of separation of church and state, similar to that of the former United States. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism are the major religions in the USSR, along with non-religion. Estimates of religious people widely fluctuate among sources, and most reports put the number of nonreligious people in Russia around 8% of the population. Russian Orthodoxy is the dominant religion in the Russian SSR. Christianity, Catholicism and Protestantism are the dominant religions in Ukrainian SSR, Belarusian SSR and Karelo-Finnish SSR, while Islam is the dominant religion in Kazakh SSR and a few Caucasian SSRs.
USSR has a free education system guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution, and has a literacy rate of 99.4%. Entry to higher education is highly competitive. As a result of great emphasis on science and technology in education, Soviet medical, mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is generally of a high order. Universities in the Soviet Union have improved greatly since 1990, but many of the best students choose to attend schools in the United States or West Europe anyway.
Before 1990 the course of school training in the Socialist Soviet Union was 10 years, but at the end of 1990 the 11 year course has been officially entered. Education in public secondary schools is free; first tertiary (university level) education is free with reservations: a substantial share of students is enrolled for full pay. In 2004 state spending for education amounted to 3.6% of GDP, or 13% of consolidated state budget.
The Government allocates funding to pay the tuition fees within an established quota, or number of students for each state institution. This is considered crucial because it provides access to higher education to all skilled students, as opposed to only those who can afford it. In addition, students are paid a small stipend and provided with free housing. Apart from public higher education institutions, many private ones have emerged to address the need for a skilled work-force for high-tech and emerging industries and economic sectors.
Foreign Relations Edit
See Also: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Soviet Union has kept silent with the recent years of the world and holds a policy of more domestic devlopment. With the Cold War ended by between Soviet Union and the Union of Everett, ties with the world have began to heal and the recent attempts to settle grounds with the OIS are still ongoing. The signing of the Treaty of Alpena led to a thawing of relations with the Union of Everett.
Its currently most closely related trading partners, are East Germany, Bulgaria, Cuba, China, Vietnam, Laos, its also closely related to these nations in political terms due to its deep tradition of socialism and communism. While the Soviet Union itself is not communist, nor socialist, it appears that recent pressure from East Germany and East Bulgaria is that Moscow needs to return back to the old socialist system.