Portal:Soviet Union

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The coat of arms of the Soviet Union. A yellow hammer and sickle over the world, with ears of wheat around it. There is a rising Sun under the world, and a ribbon around the wheat. A red five-pointed star is above the world.

The Soviet Union Portal

A gateway to everything about the former socialist and largest country in the world.

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Location of the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union (Russian: Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz), officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR; Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲetskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪˈstʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪsˈpublʲɪk]; abbreviated СССР, SSSR), was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991. Russia is the legal successor of the USSR.

The Soviet Union was a single-party state ruled by the Communist Party from its foundation until 1990. Even though the USSR was technically a union of 15 subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 caused the downfall of the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution, there was a struggle for power between the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, and the anti-communist White movement. In December 1922, the Bolsheviks won the civil war, and the Soviet Union was formed with the merger of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin took power, leading the USSR through a large-scale industrialization program. Stalin established a planned economy and suppressed political opposition to him and the Communist party.

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The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyńska, 'Katyń crime'; Russian: Катынский расстрел), was a mass murder of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police NKVD in April-May 1940. It was based on Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated 5 March 1940. This official document was then approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including Joseph Stalin. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, the most commonly cited number being 21,768. The victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkov prisons and elsewhere. About 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, the rest being Polish doctors, professors, lawmakers, police officers, and other public servants arrested for allegedly being "intelligence agents, gendarmes, saboteurs, landowners, factory owners, lawyers, priests, and officials." Since Poland's conscription system required every unexempted university graduate to become a reserve officer, the NKVD was able to round up much of the Polish intelligentsia, and the Russian, Ukrainian, Protestant, Muslim Tatar, Jewish, Georgian, and Belarusian intelligentsia of Polish citizenship. Template:/box-footer

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Lavrenty Beria.jpg

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (Georgian: ლავრენტი პავლეს ძე ბერია, Lavrenti Pavles dze Beria; Russian: Лавре́нтий Па́влович Бе́рия; 29 March 1899 – 23 December 1953) was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years (1946–1953).

Beria was the longest lived and most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs, wielding his most substantial influence during and after World War II. He simultaneously administered vast sections of the Soviet state and served as de facto Marshal of the Soviet Union in command of the NKVD field units, responsible for anti-partisan operations against anti-Soviet ethnic groups and Nazi collaborators, and the apprehension and summary execution of thousands of "turncoats, deserters, cowards and suspected malingerers". Beria administered the vast expansion of the Gulag slave labor camps, and was primarily responsible for the Katyn massacre. He also played the decisive role in coordinating the Soviet partisans, developing an impressive intelligence and sabotage network behind German lines, thus contributing mightily to the ultimate Soviet victory. He attended the Yalta Conference with Stalin, who introduced him to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "my Himmler". After the war, he organized the communist takeover of the countries of Central Europe and Eastern Europe, usually through coup d'etat. Beria's uncompromising ruthlessness in his duties and skill at producing results by intimidating his subordinates culminated in his success in overseeing the Soviet atomic bomb project. (more...)

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  • ... that because Leonid Brezhnev had more than 200 decorations, it was decided to break the Soviet custom of featuring only one decoration on cushions during his funeral?

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  • Soviet Army Day - 23 February - formation of the Red Army in February 1918. Unlike others, it was not an official holiday.
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Three people sitting in chairs.
Credit: Unknown photographer

Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference with Clement Attlee and Harry Truman.

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Template:/box-header2 Things you can do Привет and welcome! Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. If you are interested in the Soviet Union and have some information that can be added to an existing article, please help. Here are some things you can do:

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Andrei Gromyko
Andrei Gromyko, talking about Soviet foreign affairs

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