اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی

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اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی
Союз Советских Социалистических Республик

 

 

 

۱۹۲۲–۱۹۹۱
پرچم نشان دولتی
شعار
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سرود
انترناسیونال (۱۹۲۲–۱۹۴۴)
سرود ملی اتحاد جماهیر شوروی (۱۹۴۴–۱۹۹۱)
اتحاد شوروی بعد از جنگ جهانی دوم
پایتخت مسکو
زبان‌(ها) روسی (رسمی)[۱]
دولت دولت سوسیالیست تک حزبی
رهبر
 - ۱۹۲۲–۱۹۲۴ (اولین) ولادیمیر لنین
 - ۱۹۸۵–۱۹۹۱ (آخرین) میخائیل گورباچف
قانونگذار کنگره شوراها و کمیته اجرایی مرکزی (۱۹۲۲–۱۹۳۷) شورای عالی (۱۹۳۷–۱۹۸۹; ۱۹۹۱)
کنگره نمایندگان مردم و شورای عالی (۱۹۸۹–۱۹۹۱)
تاریخچه
 - تأسیس ۳۰ دسامبر ۱۹۲۲
 - فروپاشی ۲۶ دسامبر ۱۹۹۱
مساحت
 - ۱۹۹۱ ۲۲۴۰۲۲۰۰کیلومترمربع (۸٬۶۴۹٬۵۳۸مایل‌مربع)
جمعیت
 - حدود ۱۹۹۱ ۲۹۳۰۴۷۵۷۱ 
     تراکم جمعیت ۱۳٫۱ /کیلومترمربع (۳۳٫۹ /مایل‌مربع)
یکای پول روبل شوروی (руб) (SUR)
دامنه سطح‌بالای کد کشوری .su2
فهرست پیش‌شماره تلفنی کشورها
پیش از آن
به دنبال آن
روسیه شوروی
ماورای قفقاز شوروی
اوکراین شوروی
بلاروس شوروی
روسیه
گرجستان
اوکراین
مولداوی
بلاروس
ارمنستان
آذربایجان
قزاقستان
ازبکستان
ترکمنستان
قرقیزستان
تاجیکستان
استونی۳
لتونی۳
لیتوانی۳
1On 21 December 1991, eleven of the former socialist republics declared in آلماآتی (with the 12th republic – Georgia – attending as an observer) that with the formation of the کشورهای مستقل همسود the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist.

2Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.
3The governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania view themselves as continuous and unrelated to the respective Soviet republics.
Russia views the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian SSRs as legal constituent republics of the USSR and predecessors of the modern Baltic states.
The Government of the ایالات متحده آمریکا and a number of other countries did not recognize the پیوست of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the USSR as a legal inclusion.

اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی یا به‌طور خلاصه شوروی، اتحادیه سوسیالیستی بود در اوراسیا که متشکل از روسیه و چندین جمهوری متحد، که از زمان تأسیس در سال ۱۹۲۲ تا زمان انحلال در سال ۱۹۹۱ بخش بزرگی از شرق اروپا و شمال آسیا را در برمی‌گرفت و پهناورترین کشور جهان شناخته می‌شد. برخی به این کشور نام روسیه می‌دهند که این اشتباه است و روسیه فقط بزرگترین جمهوری شوروی بود. نام این کشور به روسی: Союз Советских Социалистических Республик (تلفظ: سایوز ساویِتسکیخ ساتسیالیستیچِیسکیخ رسپوبلیک) است که با مخفف CCCP (تلفظ: اس‌اس‌اس‌اِر) نمایش داده می‌شود. این اتحادیه اقتصاد و دولت متمرکزی داشت و دارای نظام تک حزبی بود که توسط حزب کمونیست شوروی در مقر اصلی اش در مسکو پایتخت بزرگترین کشور، اداره می‌شد. علاوه بر مسکو شهرهای مهم دیگری نیز بودند مانند: لنینگراد، کی یف، مینسک، آلما-آتا و نوسیبیرسک. اتحاد جماهیر شوروی حاصل انقلاب ۱۹۱۷ روسیه بود و روسیه بخش بزرگ‌تر آن را تشکیل می‌داد. پس از پایان جنگ جهانی دوم در سال ۱۹۴۵ و درطی دوره‌ای که به جنگ سرد موسوم است، شوروی و آمریکا ابرقدرت‌های جهانی به‌شمار می‌رفتند، و بر تمام مسایل جهانی مانند سیاست‌های اقتصادی، روابط بین‌المللی، تحرکات نظامی، روابط فرهنگی، پیشرفت دانش به خصوص در فناوری فضایی تأثیر داشتند. در این کشور تمام قدرت سیاسی و اداری در دست تنها حزب مجاز، حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی بود.

تاریخ شوروی[ویرایش]

در اوت ۱۹۱۴ روسیه وارد جنگ جهانی اول شد. ابتدا فقط بلشویکها و انقلابیون سوسیالیست، مخالف جنگ بودند اما شکست‌های روسیه حامیان سلطنت تزار را به حداقل رساند.

انقلاب اولین بار توسط خود دهقانان کارگران و سربازان ناراضی از جنگ و سلطنت در فوریه (که به انقلاب فوریه معروف است) صورت گرفت. در واقع بلشویک‌ها در انقلاب فوریه هیچ نقش خاصی نداشتند. بعد از انقلاب دولت موقت که حامیان لیبرالیسم و تا حدودی حامیان سلطنت و افسران بودند تشکیل شد. در کشاکش انقلاب فوریه، گروه‌های مختلف کارگری و دهقانی شکل گرفت که مهم‌ترین آن‌ها سُویت پترُگراد بود؛ و لئون تروتسکی یکی از سران سُویت پترُگراد بود که بعداً با نفوذ در دولت موقت نخست‌وزیر شد. اختلاف اصلی بین سوسیالیست‌ها اینجا اتفاق می‌افتد که عده‌ای انقلاب را اجتناب ناپذیر می‌دانستند؛ ولی عده‌ای خواهان اصلاحات از طریق دولت موقت بودند. اینجا بود که میان صاحبان مقام بین سوسیالیست‌ها و اشخاصی که حرف‌های شان توسط مردم انجام می‌شد، اختلافی صورت گرفت که باعث شد ولادیمیر لنین با تفسیری که خود از مارکسیسم داشت به نام مارکسیسم-لنینیسم حمایت مردم را به خود جلب کرد و جالب اینجاست اتفاقاتی که در آینده برای شوروی پیش‌آمد و تصمیمات دولت تضاد علنی با نظرات مارکس و حتی لنین داشت[۱]

کارل مارکس در کتاب «ایدئولوژی آلمانی» می‌نویسد: «در جامعه کمونیسم، که دایره آزادی هر فرد بیش از همیشه‌است و وی می‌تواند در رشته مورد علاقه به موفقیت دست پیدا کند، جامعه فرایند تولید را کنترل می‌کند و بنابراین فردی مثل من می‌تواند امروز کاری انجام دهدو فردا کار دیگری، صبح شکار کند، بعدازظهر ماهیگیری کند، شب گله را به چرا ببرد، بعد از شام هم به انتقاد بپردازد، همان چیزی که در ذهنش است را اجرا کند بدون آنکه شکارچی، ماهیگیر، چوپان یا نقاد باشد.»[۲]

انقلاب اکتبر به رهبری بلشویک‌ها صورت گرفت. این برداشت را می‌توان کرد که بلشویک‌ها و لنین حمایت دهقانان را با اجازه دادن برای اداره زمین‌های خودشان به دست خودشان و تشکیل شوراها دهقانی، سربازان خسته از جنگ را برای اطاعت نکردن از سربازانشان و همین‌طور کارگران را گرفتند و به سویت‌ها نفوذ کردند و با این که رهبران معتدل سوسیالیست در شوراها مخالف آن‌ها بودند، اما در یک کشاکش، قدرت را در سویت‌ها به دست گرفتند و انقلاب را هدایت کردند تا دولت را به رهبری لنین به ثبات رساندند.[۱]

در سال ۱۹۱۷ پس از دو انقلاب فوریه و اکتبر در روسیه، حزب بلشویک به رهبری ولادیمیر لنین قدرت را در این کشور به دست گرفت. روسیه بلشویکی با حمله طرفداران نظام گذشته و نیروهای خارجی به ویژه بریتانیا روبرو شد. این دوره به دوران جنگ داخلی روسیه معروف است و طی آن ارتش نوین شوروی با نام ارتش سرخ به کوشش لئون تروتسکی و تحت رهبری او شکل گرفت تا با ارتش جبهه سفید که متشکل از افسران و ژنرال‌های دوران تزاری بودند به جنگ بپردازد. در ۱۹۲۲ و پس از سرکوب مخالفان و دشمنان حزب بلشویک که نام خود را به حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی تغییر داده بود تأسیس کشور «اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی» را اعلام کرد. این کشور از اتحاد روسیه و مناطق متعلق به روسیه تزاری تشکیل شده بود.

در جریان جنگ داخلی و بعد از آن حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی که تنها حزب مجاز در شوروی بود، سیاست اقتصادی سخت‌گیرانه‌ای را تعقیب می‌کرد که به کمونیسم جنگی معروف شد. با پایان گرفتن جنگ داخلی و استقرار حاکمیت حزب بر سراسر کشور، سیاست اقتصادی جدیدی به نام برنامه نوین اقتصادی معروف به «نپ» در پیش گرفته شد. اختلاف رهبران شوروی در نحوه پیشبرد سیاست‌های اقتصادی بالا گرفت. در سال ۱۹۲۴ و پس از مرگ لنین کشمکش بر سر جانشینی او شدیدتر شد و بالاخره ژوزف استالین توانست مخالفان خود به ویژه تروتسکی را سرکوب کند و بر جای لنین بنشیند. او در چند مرحله دست به تصفیه حزب از مخالفان خود زد. پاکسازی بزرگ نامی است که بر این اقدامات استالین گذاشته‌اند. در عرصه کشاورزی با ایجاد مزارع اشتراکی یا کلخوزها چهره کشاورزی روسیه دگرگون شد. سیاست‌های کشاورزی حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی با مخالفت مالکان خرده‌پا (کولاکها) روبرو شد و دولت بی‌رحمانه آنان را سرکوب کرد. در عین حال استالین سیاست صنعتی‌سازی شوروی را پیگیری کرد و در دوران زمامداری او شوروی به ابرقدرت صنعتی بزرگی تبدیل شد.

در ۱۹۳۹ در آستانه شروع جنگ جهانی دوم، اتحاد جماهیر شوروی پیمان عدم تجاوز با آلمان نازی منعقد کرد و به لهستان، همزمان با آلمان حمله برد و همراه با آلمان، لهستان را تصرف کرد، ولی در ۱۹۴۱ با حمله گسترده آلمان به شوروی، اتحاد شوروی نیز به جنگ با آلمان وارد شد. در این جنگ که به‌طور رسمی جنگ کبیر میهنی(великая отечественная война) نامیده می‌شد، دولت و حزب و مردم اتحاد جماهیر شوروی با مقاومت در برابر ارتش آلمان و فداکاری‌ها و قربانی دادن‌های بسیار توانستند جریان جنگ را برگردانده و به خصوص پس از نبرد استالینگراد نیروهای شوروی در موضع حمله قرار گرفتند. شکست آلمان در ۱۹۴۵ که بار اصلی آن بر دوش شوروی بود، این کشور را به یکی از ابرقدرتهای جهان تبدیل کرد.

پس از پایان جنگ جهانی دوم و آغاز دوران جنگ سرد کشمکش و تقابل دو ابرقدرت یعنی اتحاد جماهیر شوروی و آمریکا سیاست تمام جهان را طی چهار دهه تحت تأثیر خود داد. همچنین این تقابل را، تقابل میان سوسیالیسم و سرمایه‌داری نیز دانسته‌اند. شوروی در ۱۹۴۹ توانست دارای قدرت اتمی شود و به انحصار آمریکا در این زمینه پایان داد.

در سال ۱۹۵۳ بعد از مرگ ژوزف استالین، جانشینان او به رهبری دسته‌جمعی پرداختند ولی نهایتاً نیکیتا خروشچف توانست قدرت را به دست آورد. در ۱۹۵۶ خروشچف در کنگره بیستم حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی کشتارهای استالین را مورد شماتت قرار داد و در جهت تخریب چهرهٔ استالین برآمد. در دوران زمامداری خروشچف بسیاری از سخت‌گیری‌های دوره استالین تعدیل شد. بسیاری از زندانیان سیاسی و عقیدتی آزاد شدند و به بسیاری که در دوره استالین به عنوان جاسوس و مخالف اعدام شده بودند، اعاده حیثیت شد. همچنین در این دوران قانون تجارت آزاد تا حدی پذیرفته شد که آثار جبران‌ناپذیری را بر بدنهٔ نظام سوسیالیستی که پشتیبان اقتصاد هدایت شده بود، وارد آورد؛ که بعدها به سلسله حوادث و رخدادهایی انجامید تا فروپاشی شوروی.

در سال ۱۹۵۷ شوروی با فرستادن ماهواره اسپوتنیک۱(Спутник ۱) به مدار زمین، عصر فضا را آغاز کرد. شوروی برای اولین بار یوری گاگارین را به فضا فرستاد و پس از چندی با سفینهٔ بی‌سرنشین خاک کرهٔ ماه را به زمین آورد.

در اوایل دهه ۱۹۶۰ رهبران حزب، نیکیتا خروشچف را با توطئه لئونید برژنف مجبور به استعفاء کردند و پس از دوره‌ای رهبری دسته‌جمعی، لئونید برژنف قدرت را به دست گرفت. در دوره او اصلاحات سیاسی و اجتماعی که در دوره خروشچف آغاز شده بود به کندی گرایید و تسلط حزب و دولت بر تمام عرصه‌های سیاسی و اجتماعی تقویت شد. در دورهٔ برژنف فسادهای زیادی صورت گرفت به‌طوری‌که فرزندان و داماد وی نیز در آن دست داشتند. با روی کار آمدن یوری آندروپف که به عنوان معاون برژنف با او همکاری می‌کرد پرونده فسادها را به جریان انداخت تا به صورت علنی به وضعیت فسادها رسیدگی کند و جلوی این امر را بگیرد اما برژنف با اعلام او مانع این امر شد، دوران آندروپف و چرننکو حرکت خاصی انجام نشد و در دوران میخائیل گورباچف شوروی به اصلاحات اساسی دست زد.[۳]

فروپاشی شوروی[ویرایش]

در دهه ۱۹۸۰ آثار فروپاشی اتحاد جماهیر شوروی[۴] ظاهر شد و بالاخره در ۱۹۹۱ این کشور رسماً منحل شد و به چند کشور دیگر تجزیه شد. کشورهای تشکیل‌دهنده شوروی پیشین با حفظ استقلال خود در جامعه کشورهای مشترک‌المنافع عضو شدند.[۵]

پس از فروپاشی[ویرایش]

پس از فروپاشی ۱۵ کشور جدید تأسیس شدند و فدراسیون روسیه وارث حقوقی شوروی شد، این کشورهای جدید در اروپای شرقی عبارتند از: بلاروس، اوکراین، مولداوی، در حاشیه دریای بالتیک: استونی، لتونی، لیتوانی، در قفقاز گرجستان، جمهوری آذربایجان، ارمنستان، در آسیای مرکزی ترکمنستان، قزاقستان، قرقیزستان، ازبکستان، تاجیکستان.

چندین مناقشه ارضی حل نشده نیز وجود دارند: جمهوری‌های به رسمیت شناخته نشده پریدنستروییه در مولداوی، قره باغ در آذربایجان و همچنین اوستیای جنوبی و آبخازی در گرجستان که تابستان ۲۰۰۸ از سوی روسیه و نیکاراگوئه به رسمیت شناخته شدند و همین سبب قطع روابط دیپلماتیک بین فدراسیون روسیه و گرجستان شد.

سیاست[ویرایش]

داخلی[ویرایش]

از زمان تأسیس شوروی تا زمان فروپاشی آن تنها حزب سیاسی آن کشور حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی بود. این حزب تمام جنبه‌های زندگی اجتماعی شوروی را در کنترل داشت. تمام فعالیت‌های سیاسی و اجتماعی در کشور طبق نظر این حزب انجام می‌گرفت و مخالفان این حزب مجازات می‌شدند. مطبوعات و انتشارات و هنرها نیز در کنترل حزب و دولت بود. نکتهٔ قابل توجه در این مورد این است که در نظام کشور شوروی، شوراهای محلی و صنفی حکومت می‌کردند. یعنی برخلاف مردم‌سالاری که در آن عده‌ای از مردم هر چند سال یک بار رأی داده و کسانی را برای زمامداری برمی‌گزینند. در سیستم کشور، شوراها و جمیع افرادی که در هزاران شورا در سراسر کشور حضور داشته به تصمیم‌گیری مشغول بودند. هر شورا در حد خود. این شوراها هر یک نماینده یا نمایندگانی در شوراهای بالاتر داشتند و این شیوه تا مراحل بالای حکومتی ادامه داشت. پس در واقع حزب کمونیست در شوروی نمایندهٔ تمام مردم بود. گرچه در اجرای این سیستم بسیار کارآمد و نوین اشکالاتی به وجود آمد. حزب کمونیست برنامه‌های خود را طی کنگره‌های ادواری تنظیم و تصویب می‌کرد و به اجرا می‌گذاشت.[۶]

در دوره لنین با سیاست اقتصادی جدید (سجا) و در دوره استالین با سیاست‌های برنامه ۵ ساله، انقلاب و آرمان‌های بلشویک‌ها از مسیر اصلی خود منحرف کرد. آن‌ها به یک نظام سرمایه‌دار دولتی بدل شدند. علت این امر را می‌توان سرعت بخشی استالین به صنعتی سازی و اشتراکی‌سازی کشاورزی دانست. زیرا بلشویک‌ها با یک کشور فقیر و عقب مانده رو به رو بودند و نه یک کشور سرمایه‌دار پیشرفته. پس آن‌ها تلاش برای صنعتی‌سازی را شروع کردند؛ ولی در دوران پس از صنعتی‌سازی نیز نتوانستند نظام حاکم را به یک نظام سوسیالیستی نزدیک کنند. استالین با این برنامه و اشتراکی‌سازی اجباری و قهری زمین‌های دهقانان، رنج فراوانی را متحمل طبقه دهقان کرد. این عمل موجب مهاجرت شدید دهقانان از روستاها به شهرها و پیدا شدن طبقه کارگر جدیدی که آموزش چندانی هم ندیده بودند، شد.[۱]

با اینکه نظام اتحاد جماهیر شوروی به نام کمونیسم یا سوسیالیسم خوانده می‌شود ولی نمی‌توان آن را کمونیستی یا سوسیالیستی خواند زیرا حکومت اتحاد جماهیر شوروی در عمل با تعاریفی که فریدرش انگلس و کارل مارکس از کمونیسم و سوسیالیسم ارائه دادند؛ تضاد علنی داشت. از حکومت اتحاد جماهیر شوروی به عنوان سرمایه‌داری دولتی یاد کرد[۱][۲]

خارجی[ویرایش]

اتحاد جماهیر شوروی پس از پایان جنگ جهانی دوم و آغاز جنگ سرد بین ابرقدرتها، بزرگ‌ترین رقیب ایالات متحده آمریکا در مسائل بین‌الملل شد و در بسیار از مناقشات تا سرحد جنگ هسته‌ای نیز پیش رفتند.[نیازمند منبع] اصلی‌ترین تقابل اتحاد جماهیر شوروی و ایالات متحده آمریکا در زمان نیکیتا خروشچف رهبر شوروی و جان اف کندی رئیس‌جمهور آمریکا بر سر مسئله بحران موشکی کوبا بود.[۷]

تقسیمات کشوری[ویرایش]

اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی (۱۹۵۶ — ۱۹۸۹)
پرچم جمهوری پایتخت نقشه اتحاد جماهیر شوروی
۱ Flag of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (1952–1990).svg ارمنستان ایروان
Republics of the Soviet Union
۲ Flag of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (1956–1991).svg آذربایجان باکو
۳ Flag of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (1951–1991).svg بلاروس مینسک
۴ Flag of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (1953–1990).svg استونی تالین
۵ Flag of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (1951–1990).svg گرجستان تفلیس
۶ Flag of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.svg قزاقستان آلماتی
۷ Flag of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic.svg قرقیزستان بیشکک
۸ Flag of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg لتونی (لاتویا) ریگا
۹ Flag of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1953–1988).svg لیتوانی ویلنیوس
۱۰ Flag of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg مولداوی کیشینف
۱۱ Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg روسیه مسکو
۱۲ Flag of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic.svg تاجیکستان دوشنبه
۱۳ Flag of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic.svg ترکمنستان عشق آباد
۱۴ Flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg اوکراین کی یف
۱۵ Flag of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.svg ازبکستان تاشکند

اقتصاد[ویرایش]

.[۸]

واحد پول «روبل تزاری» باطل شد و جای ان واحد کار «ترود» به معنای کار و زحمت مورد استفاده قرار گرفت. توزیع بر اساس نیاز یعنی آنچه در نظام اقتصاد کمونیستی پیش‌بینی شده بود انجام می‌گرفت و نه بر مبنای کار.

۲. مرحله سیاست نوین اقتصادی(۱۹۲۲–۱۹۲۸): این مرحله با عقبگردی آشکار و ناگهانی نسبت به نظریات کارل مارکس

۳. مرحله اجرای عمرانی پنج ساله (۱۹۲۸–۱۹۶۴): این مرحله با بازگشت به اصول مارکسیسم آغاز می‌شود. تولید دیگر تابع نوسانات قیمت و شرایط بازار نیست، بلکه براساس برنامه‌ریزی متمرکز تعیین می‌شود. در این نوع برنامه‌ریزی فرمان‌ها از بالا یعنی سازمان برنامه‌ریزی مرکزی (گوسپلان) به واحدهای تولیدی جریان می‌یابد؛ که البته این برنامه که مهم ترن هدف آن اشتراکی‌سازی کشاورزی قهری و اجباری کشاورزی بود، انحراف بزرگی از اصول مارکسیسم بود.[۱][۹]

طرح‌های عمرانی که از سال ۱۹۲۸ به اجرا گذاشته شد، پنج ساله بود اما از سال ۱۹۷۵ به صورت طرح هفت ساله‌ای به اجرا گذاشته شد. اگرچه هدف از اجرای طرح‌های عمرانی بازگشت به اصول مارکسیسم بود اما جهت‌گیری طرح‌ها متغیر و درجه کاربرد اصول، با توجه به شرایط متفاوت بود. دو طرح عمرانی اول با هدف بازگشت به سوسیالیسم و بر محور توسعه صنایع سنگین تدوین و به اجرا گذاشته شد؛ کلیه صنایع بزرگ دولتی شدند؛ بازرگانی خصوصی حذف شد؛ پول با نقشی بسیار محدود حفظ شد؛ توزیع محصولات با کارت‌های جیره‌بندی انجام گرفت. ضمن تعیین سهم هر یک از افراد از کالاهای مختلف و محل تهیه ان، قیمت‌های مختلفی در مورد هر کالا برای مصرف‌کنندگان حرفه‌های گوناگون اعلام شد که به معنی از کار افتادن مکانیسم بازار بود.

طرح‌های عمرانی سوم با این هدف تدوین شد که برنامه‌ریزی متمرکز با آزادی بیشتری برای مصرف‌کننده تلفیق یابد، توزیع بر اساس جیره‌بندی حذف شودو فروش آزادانه با قیمت‌های برابر برای همه امکانپذیر گردد.

طرح عمرانی چهارم پس از جنگ جهانی دوم در سال ۱۹۴۶ تهیه شد. هدف این طرح بازسازی مناطق آسیب دیده و تکمیل تجهیزات صنعتی و کشاورزی همراه با ایجاد انگیزه شخصی بود. به این منظور، حق ساختن خانه‌های مسکونی روی زمینهایی که دولت برای همیشه به افراد واگذار می‌کرد و حق تصاحب آن‌ها به افراد داده شد.

طرح عمرانی پنجم ۱۹۵۰–۱۹۵۵ نیز ضمن هدف قرار دادن گسترش صنایع سنگین، رشد هماهنگ میان کالاهای تولیدی و کالاهای مصرفی را مورد توجه قرار داد.

طرح ششم (۱۹۵۶–۱۹۶۱) به منظور پیشی گرفتن از کشورهای سرمایه‌داری که دارای بالاترین سطح باروری بودند تنظیم شد اما ناتمام ماند. هدف این طرح هفت ساله «رشد مداوم» و ارتقای سطح زندگی بود.

۴. مرحله لیبرالیسم (از ۱۹۶۴ تا تحولات اخیر): هدف طرح لیبرمن حفظ نظام برنامه‌ریزی با ایجاد حداکثر کارایی است. در طرح لیبرمن هدف بر این است که نفع جامعه باید نفع مؤسسه باشد؛ که به دلایل زیر مورد مخالفت قرار گرفت:

  1. انحراف از اصول مارکسیسم
  2. سست شدن اقتدار حزب و قدرت یافتن مدیران بانک‌ها
  3. عدم امکان توسعه صنایع سنگین با انگیزه شخصی و در نتیجه رشد تولید کالاهای مصرفی.

تحقق سوسیالیسم در صنعت و کشاورزی[ویرایش]

با توجه به تفاوت ماهیت دو بخش صنعت و کشاورزی، در بخش صنعت سوسیالیسم تقریباً به‌طور کامل اما در کشاورزی به شکل محدود و با سازمان‌هایی متفاوت تحقق یافت.

  1. سوسیالیسم در صنعت: واحدهای تولیدی صنعتی به لحاظ تمرکز مکان، وابستگی به مواد اولیه و خدمات فنی از قابلیت کنترل بیشتری برخوردار بودند، به همین سبب مالکیت و بهره‌برداری خصوصی به سرعت جای خود را به سوسیالیسم دولتی داد و تمام واحدهای صنعتی ملی شدند.
  2. سوسیالیسم در کشاورزی: به صورت محدود و در قالب دو نظام «سوفخوز» و «کلخوز» پیاده شد.

_ سوفخوزها واحدهای تولیدی کاملاً دولتی بودند که توسط یک مدیر و کارگران کشاورزی بهره‌برداری می‌شدند.

_ کلخوزها واحدهای تولیدی نیمه دولتی -نیمه خصوصی بود که با ماهیت تعاونی و بر اساس کوششی به منظور سازش میان سوسیالیسم و مالکیت خصوصی بوجود آمدند؛ که بعدها با برنامه اشتراکی‌سازی اجباری و قهری کشاورزی کاملاً دولتی شدند.[۱]

استقرار نظام اقتصاد سوسیالیستی در کشورهای اروپایی و مراحل تکامل آن[ویرایش]

بعد از جنگ جهانی دوم، اتحاد جماهیر شوروی که دو قدرت بزرگ مخالف خود یعنی ژاپن و آلمان را شکست خورده یافت، به سرعت نیروهای نظامی خود را تا قلب اروپا پیش برد و کشورهای؛ بلغارستان، آلبانی، رومانی، مجارستان، یوگسلاوی، چکسلواکی، لهستان و شرق آلمان را اشغال کردو هم‌زمان با تبلیغات گسترده ایدئولوژیک و تأسیس احزاب کمونیستی نظام اقتصادی سوسیالیستی را در کشورهای نامبرده مستقر ساخت.

در مورد برقراری نظام اقتصاد سوسیالیستی در این کشورها به دو نکته باید توجه کرد:

۱. در هیچ‌یک از این کشورها نظام سوسیالیستی بر اساس رأی و انتخاب مردم ایجاد نشد. همان‌طور که در شوروی این اتفاق نیفتاد و لنین و بلشویک‌ها از راه انقلاب منحرف شدند.[۱]

۲. هیچ‌یک از این کشورها مراحل تکامل نظام اقتصاد سرمایه‌داری را طی نکردند و نظام اقتصاد سوسیالیستی بر مبنای فلسفه مادی تاریخ و تضاد طبقاتی و در نهایت پیروزی طبقه کارگر بر کارفرما برقرار نشد. دلیل این امر را می‌توان عقب ماندگی ناشی از جنگ این کشورها دانست.[۱]

اتحاد شوروی در صحنه بین‌المللی[ویرایش]

جنگ جهانی دوم[ویرایش]

اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی (USSR) تا سال ۱۹۳۹، مخالف جدی آلمان نازی بود، و از جمهوری‌های اسپانیا که علیه نیروهای فاشیست آلمانی و ایتالیایی در جنگ داخلی اسپانیا می‌جنگیدند، حمایت می‌نمود. اما در سال ۱۹۳۸، آلمان و قدرت‌های اصلی اروپایی معاهده مونیخ را امضاء، و طی آن، آلمان و لهستان اراضی چکسلواکی را اشغال کردند و طرح‌های آلمان برای توسعه طلبی بیشتر در شرق و نیز فقدان مخالف نسبت به آن از سوی قدرت‌های غربی بیش از پیش آشکار شد. این توافقنامه موجب ترس بیشتر اتحاد شوروی از حمله قریب‌الوقوع از سوی آلمان شد، و سبب گردید تا اتحاد شوروی با مانورهای دیپلماتیک به آن پاسخ دهد. در سال ۱۹۳۹ اتحاد شوروی معاهده مولوتف-ریبنتروپ را با آلمان نازی امضاء نمود، که مناطق تحت نفوذ را میان خود در اروپای شرقی تقسیم می‌کردند. در۱۷ سپتامبر ۱۹۳۹، ارتش آلمان تا عمق ۱۵۰ کیلومتر در خاک اتحاد شوروی نفوذ نمود و به بخش‌های شرقی لهستان حمله کرد که عمدتاً جمعیت آن نقاط را نژادهای اوکراینی و بلاروسی تشکیل می‌دادند. نیروهای شوروی به نبردی سنگین با فنلاند درطی جنگ زمستان (۴۰–۱۹۳۹) پرداختند. این جنگ با پیروزی اتحاد شوروی خاتمه یافت، و شوروی بخشی از تنگه کارلین را به دست آورد. صلح ناپایدار با آلمان زمانی پایان یافت که نیروهای محور به رهبری آلمان به مرزهای شوروی در ۲۲ ژوئن ۱۹۴۱ سرازیر شدند. تا ماه نوامبر، ارتش آلمان، اوکراین را تسخیر کرد، و به تصرف لنینگراد پرداخت، و تهدید نمود که پایتخت اتحاد شوروی، مسکو، را نیز تصرف خواهد کرد. اما، پیروزی شوروی در نبرد استالینگراد، پایداری آن را به اثبات رساند و مسیر جنگ را به‌طور کامل تغییر داد. پس از شکست آلمان در این نبرد، آن‌ها توان خود را در ادامه عملیات تجاوزکارانه خود از دست دادند و اتحاد شوروی در ادامه جنگ ابتکار عمل را به دست گرفت. تا پایان ۱۹۴۳، شوروی محاصره شهر لنینگراد توسط آلمان را شکسته و بیشتر مناطق اوکراین را بازپس گرفته بود. تا پایان سال ۱۹۴۴، این جبهه از مرزهای اتحاد شوروی در سال ۱۹۳۹ به سوی اروپای شرقی جابجا گشته بود. نیروهای اتحاد شوروی با برتری مسلم خود وارد برلین در آلمان شرقی شدند و در ماه مه ۱۹۴۵ آن را تصرف کردند. جنگ با آلمان در نهایت به پیروزی اتحاد شوروی انجامید.

اگرچه اتحاد شوروی در جنگ جهانی دوم پیروز شد اما اقتصاد آن در اثر این مبارزه ویران شد و به کشته شدن ۲۷ میلیون نفر در این کشور انجامید. حدود هفتاد هزار روستا نیز تخریب شده بودند. ده میلیون شهروند شوروی قربانی سیاست سرکوبگرانه آلمان در محدوده تحت اشغال آن‌ها شدند. جوخه‌های یهودی کشی آلمان در کنار همکاران بالتیکی و اوکراینی آن‌ها به نسل‌کشی یهودیان اتحاد شوروی پرداختند. ارتش رومانی در ناحیه اشغالی اودسا، در این نسل‌کشی یهودیان شرکت کرد. طی اشغال، لنینگراد (هم‌اکنون سن پترزبورگ) حدود یک چهارم از جمعیت خود (حدود ۱ میلیون نفر جمعیت، بیشترین میزان مرگ در طول تاریخ در یک منطقه محصور و بسته) را از دست داده بود. مناطق اشغالی متحمل غارتگری‌های ناشی از اشغال آلمان، تبعید افراد جهت بیگاری و نیز تاکتیک‌های سیاسی خود شوروی مبنی بر زمین سوخته، پس از عقب‌نشینی، شدند.

احتمالاً میلیون‌ها نفر نیز در مناطق اشغالی دراثر قحطی و فقدان کمک‌های اولیه پزشکی جان دادند. شاید حدود ۵/۳ میلیون نفر (یا ۵/۵ میلیون) از اسرای جنگی اتحاد شوروی در اردوگاه‌های آلمان کشته شده باشند.

جنگ سرد[ویرایش]

همکاری بین متّحدین اصلی که در جنگ پیروز شده بودند، صورت گرفت و مبنایی برای بازسازی پس از جنگ و امنیت فرض شد. امّا درگیری بین اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی و ایالات متحده آمریکا در منافع ملّی، که به‌عنوان جنگ سرد محسوب می‌شد، بر صحنهٔ بین‌المللی در دورهٔ پس از جنگ، با فرض نمایی عمومی از برخورد بین ایدئولوژی‌ها، غالب شد.

جنگ سرد به مشاجره بین استالین و هری ترومن، رئیس‌جمهور آمریکا، پیرامون آیندهٔ اروپای شرقی طی کنفرانس پوتسدام در تابستان ۱۹۴۵ تبدیل شد. روسیه متحمّل سه حملهٔ سنگین فاجعه‌بار غربی طی ۱۵۰ سال گذشته شده بود که عبارت بودند از جنگ‌های ناپلئون، جنگ جهانی اوّل و جنگ جهانی دوم، و هدف استالین ایجاد منطقه‌ای بی‌طرف در کشورهای بین آلمان و اتّحاد شوروی بود. ترومن، استالین را به نقض کنفرانس یالتا متهم نمود. با وجود آن‌که اروپای شرقی تحت اشغال ارتش سرخ بود، امّا استالین همچنان انتظار زمانی را می‌کشید تا پروژه بمب اتمی خود را بی‌وقفه و مخفیانه پیش ببرد.

اسپوتنیک-۱ اوّلین ماهوارهٔ ساخت انسان که توسّط شوروی در سال ۱۹۵۷، در مدار زمین قرار گرفت.

در آوریل ۱۹۴۹، ایالات متّحده معاهدهٔ ناتو (NATO) را به عنوان یک پیمان دفاعی دوجانبه منعقد ساخت تا در آن بیشتر کشورهای غربی متعهّد شدند که درصورت حملهٔ نظامی به یکی از اعضاء، آن را در حکم حمله به همهٔ اعضاء تلقّی نمایند. اتّحاد شوروی به‌عنوان اقدامی متقابل در برابر ناتو، در سال ۱۹۵۵ پیمان ورشو را ایجاد کرد. تقسیم اروپا به بلوک‌های غربی و شوروی بعداً بیشتر جلوهٔ جهانی پیدا نمود، به‌خصوص پس از سال ۱۹۴۹ زمانی‌که انحصار هسته‌ای ایالات متّحده با آزمایش یک بمب متعلّق به شوروی و تصاحب قدرت توسّط حزب کمونیست چین در جمهوری خلق چین پایان یافت.

عمده‌ترین اهداف اتّحاد شوروی، حفظ و ارتقاء امنیت ملّی و نیز حفظ استیلای آن کشور بر اروپای شرقی بود. اتحاد شوروی سلطهٔ خود را بر پیمان ورشو از طریق سرکوب انقلاب ۱۹۵۶ مجارستان، قلع‌وقمع نهضت اصلاح‌طلب بهار پراگ در چکسلواکی به سال ۱۹۶۸، و پشتیبانی از سرکوب جنبش انسجام در لهستان در اوایل دههٔ ۱۹۸۰، حفظ نمود. همان‌طور که اتّحاد شوروی به حفظ کنترل شدید خود بر حوزهٔ نفوذش در اروپای شرقی ادامه می‌داد، جنگ سرد راه خود را به‌سوی تشنج‌زدایی متوجّه ساخت، و الگویی پیچیده‌تر از روابط بین‌المللی که در آن، به روشنی دیگر شکاف مشخّصی بین بلوک‌های مقابل در دههٔ ۱۹۷۰ وجود نداشت. کشورهای کم‌تر قدرتمند مجال بیشتری برای اظهار استقلال خود داشتند، و دو ابرقدرت تا حدودی می‌توانستند منافع مشترک خود را با تلاش برای کنترل بیشتر بر گسترش و تکثیر تسلیحات هسته‌ای از طریق معاهداتی همچون سالت ۱، سالت ۲ و پیمان موشکی ضد بالستیک مشخّص نمایند.

مناسبات آمریکا- شوروی در پی حمله شوروی به افغانستان در سال ۱۹۷۹ برهم خورد، و نیز انتخابات ریاست‌جمهوری آمریکا سال ۱۹۸۰ و انتخاب رونالد ریگان، به عنوان یک ضدّکمونیست پروپاقرص بود، امّا زمانی‌که در اواخر دههٔ ۱۹۸۰ روس‌ها شروع به رفع ابهامات موجود نمودند، بهبود یافت. امّا با فروپاشی اتّحاد شوروی در سال ۱۹۹۱، روسیه جایگاه خود را به‌عنوان ابرقدرت که در پی پیروزی در جنگ جهانی دوم به‌دست آورده بود، از کف داد.

تغییرات در جامعهٔ روسیه[ویرایش]

درحالی که اقتصاد روسیه در حال تغییر شکل بود، زندگی اجتماعی مردم نیز به همان اندازه تحت تأثیر تغییرات جدّی قرار می‌گرفت. از همان اوایل انقلاب، دولت درصدد تضعیف غلبهٔ پدرسالارانه در خانواده بود. طلاق دیگر نیاز به طی مراحل دادگاهی (قانونی) نداشت و زن را به‌طور کامل از مسئولیت‌های نگهداری بچّه رها می‌ساخت. سقط جنین از همان اوایل سال ۱۹۲۰ قانونی شد. به‌عنوان یک عامل جانبی، آزاد شدن زنان موجب افزایش حضورشان در بازار کار شد. دختران تشویق می‌شدند که حرفه‌ای آموخته و دورهٔ کاری خود را در یک کارخانه یا اداره دنبال نمایند. مجتمع‌های شیرخوارگاهی برای مراقبت از کودکان احداث شد و تلاش‌هایی صورت گرفت که مرکز زندگی اجتماعی مردم از خانه به گروه‌های آموزشی و حرفه‌ای باشگاه‌های اتحاد شوروی منتقل شود.

حکومت سیاست‌های تبعیض گرایانه تزارها را علیه اقلیتهای ملی به خاطر همکاری بین بیش از دویست گروه اقلیت در زندگی در شوروی کنار گذاشت. ویژگی دیگر این حکومت گسترش خدمات درمانی بود. مبارزاتی علیه بیماری‌های حصبه، وبا و مالاریا انجام گرفت؛ تعداد پزشکان با توجّه به امکانات و آن‌طور که (سیستم) آموزش اجازه می‌داد، به‌سرعت افزایش یافت، و نرخ مرگ و میر کودکان به‌سرعت کاهش یافت در حالی که میزان امید به زندگی به‌سرعت افزایش پیدا کرد. دولت همچنین بی‌اعتقادی به خدا و مادّی گرایی را ترویج نمود که به‌نوعی مبنای نظریهٔ مارکسیسم است. آن رژیم همچنین مخالف با هر گونه مذهب سازمان یافته بود، به خصوص به منظور شکستن قدرت کلیسای ارتدوکس روسی که ستون قبلی حکومت پیشین تزاری و مانعی اساسی بر سر تغییر اجتماعی بود. بسیاری از رهبران مذهبی به اردوگاه‌های تبعید داخلی فرستاده شدند. حضور اعضای حزب در مراسم مذهبی ممنوع شد. نظام آموزشی از کلیسا جدا شد. تعالیم مذهبی به جز در داخل منزل قدغن شد و آموزش بی‌اعتقادی به خدا در مدارس مورد تأکید قرار گرفت.

رهبران[ویرایش]

ولادیمیر لنین[ویرایش]

ولادیمیر ایلیچ لنین (به روسی: Владимир Ильич Ленин) ‏(۱۹۲۴–۱۸۷۰) تئوریسین و انقلابی کمونیست روسی، رهبر انقلاب ۱۹۱۷ روسیه و بنیان‌گذار اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی بود. او را ولودیا خطاب می‌کردند که مخفف ولادیمیر است نام اصلی او ولادیمیر ایلیچ اولیانوف بود ولی در دنیا به اسم لنین مشهور شد. ولودیا سومین فرزند از شش فرزند خانواده اولیانوف بود که در سال ۱۸۷۰ یعنی یک سال قبل از کمون پاریس، در یک خانواده مرفه در سیمبریسک در ساحل رود ولگا که در ان زمان شهرکی بیش نبود ولی بعدها به صورت شهر بزرگی به نام اولیانوفسک درآمد متولد گردید. پدرش یک خرده بورژوای لیبرال و معلم ریاضی و مادرش دختر یک پزشک آلمانی بود و به همین جهت لنین در تمام مدت عمر به آلمانی‌ها و طرز تفکر آلمانی که مارکس زادگاه آن بود آشنایی خاصی داشت. در چهارده سالگی به خواندن آثار ممنوعه نویسندگان روسی پرداخت و در ۱۶ سالگی پدر خود را از دست داد وقتی ۱۷ ساله بود برادر بزرگش ساشا به اتهام شرکت در سوء قصد به تزار بازداشت و به دار آویخته شد[نیازمند منبع]. در همان سال، یعنی ۱۸۸۷، ولودیا دیپلم تحصیلات متوسطه‌اش را با مدال طلا و تقدیر از مدیر دبیرستان دریافت کرد. لنین جوان در دانشکده حقوق کازان نام‌نویسی کرد و شاهد تظاهرات دانشجویان بود و پس از مدتی خود رهبری دانشجویان آشوب طلب را به دست گرفت و به پخش اعلامیه و سخنرانی پرداخت. اما بزودی ""برادر کسی که بدار آویخته شده بود"" از طرف پلیس تزاری بازداشت و مدت کوتاهی تبعید شد ولی بعداً به دانشگاه بازگشت و این بار آثار کارل مارکس را کشف کرد و با شور و علاقهٔ فراوان به خواندن آن‌ها پرداخت. همچنین آثار هگل و کلاوس ویتس را خواند و نسبت به تشکیلات حزب سوسیال دموکرات آلمان احساس تحسین پیدا کرد در واقع او به فرهنگ آلمان و افکار فلاسفه آن کشور دل بسته بود.

ژوزف استالین[ویرایش]

ژوزف استالین رهبر و سیاست‌مدار کمونیست اتحاد شوروی بود که از اواسط دهه ۲۰ تا مرگش در ۱۹۵۳ رهبر عملی حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی و در نتیجه رهبر دو فاکتوی کل این کشور بود.

او در شهر گوری در گرجستان که آن زمان بخشی از امپراتوری روسیه بود به دنیا آمد و در ۱۹۲۲ به مقام دبیرکل حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی رسید. پس از مرگ ولادیمیر لنین، استالین موفق شد در مبارزه قدرت در دهه ۲۰ بر لئون تروتسکی پیروز شود و رهبری حزب را در دست گیرد. در دهه ۱۹۳۰ استالین تصفیه کبیر را آغاز کرد که به کمپینی از سرکوب سیاسی، دستگیری و قتل مخالفان معروف است که در ۱۹۳۷ به اوج رسید.

حکومت استالین آثار ماندگار بسیاری داشت که تا پایان دولت شوروی در آن باقی‌ماندند گرچه مائوئیست‌ها، خوجه‌ایست‌ها، ضد رویزیونیست‌ها و بسیاری دیگر او را آخرین رهبر سوسیالیست واقعی در تاریخ اتحاد شوروی می‌دانند و عروج خروشچف و استالین‌زدایی پس از استالین را «رویزیونیسم» می‌خوانند. استالین مدعی بود که سیاست‌هایش بر مارکسیسم-لنینیسم بنا شده‌اند اما اکنون نظام اقتصادی و سیاسی او را بیشتر استالینیسم می‌خوانند. (گرچه بعضی از طرفداران استالین با این عنوان مخالفند).

استالین در ۱۹۲۸ سیاست نِپ (Новая экономическая политика, НЭП، سیاستِ جدیدِ اقتصادی) که در دهه ۲۰ جریان داشت را با «برنامه‌های پنج‌ساله» و «کشاورزی اشتراکی» تعویض کرد. با این سیاست‌ها و تحت رهبری استالین، اتحاد شوروی تا پایان دهه ۳۰ از کشوری با جمعیت غالب دهقانی به یکی از قدرت‌های صنعتی جهان بدل شد.

نیکیتا خروشچف[ویرایش]

نیکیتا سرگیویچ خروشچف (به روسی: Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв) ‏(۱۷ آوریل، ۱۸۹۴–۱۱ سپتامبر، ۱۹۷۱) رهبر اتحاد شوروی بعد از استالین، و دبیر اول کمیته مرکزی حزب کمونیست در اتحاد جماهیر شوروی از ۱۹۵۳ تا ۱۹۶۴ و در عین حال از ۱۹۵۸ تا ۱۹۶۴ نخست‌وزیر اتحاد جماهیر شوروی بود.

او پس از مرگ استالین در سال ۱۹۵۳ میلادی، رژیم آهین و خفقان استالین را تا حد زیاده ساده‌تر و نرم‌تر کرد و پس از روی کار آمدن، نظام حکومتی استالین را محکوم کرد. از دیگر اقدامات مهم وی می‌توان به آزادی هزاران زندانی بی‌گناه و انجام رفورم‌های اساسی اقتصادی در اتحاد شوروی اشاره نمود. این اقدامات وی با مخالفت شدید محافظه کاران حزب کمونیست رو به رو شد. یک ضرب‌المثل روسی است که می‌گوید: «در جنگ‌های بدون قانون، استفاده از هر ابزاری می‌تواند مفید واقع شود». بدین ترتیب، تلاش‌های تخریب شخصیت خروشف از جناح‌های مختلف آغاز شد. این درگیری‌های سیاستی نه تنها شامل تخریب وجههٔ خود شخص خروشف بود، بلکه فرزند او یعنی «لئونید خروشچف» که در جنگ مفقود الاثر شده بود را نیز دربر گرفت. در این رابطه شایعاتی پخش شد که گویی، لئونید خروشف سوار بر هواپیما به سمت آلمان نازی روی آورد و اکنون به آن‌ها خدمت می‌کند. در زمانی که لئونید مفقودالاثر شد، هنوز استالین رهبر شوروی بود. او دستور داد تا هر چه سریعتر لئونید را از چنگال نازی‌ها بیرون کشیده و در مسکو به رگبار ببندند. در همین رابطه شایعه دیگری نیز به گوش می‌خورد که «نیکیتا خروشچف» به این دلیل در تلاش برای رسیدن به قدرت است تا به نحوی از این دستور استالین انتقام بگیرد. این شایعات کاملاً بی‌اساس بودند ولی دشمنان خروشچف نیازی به مدرک نداشتند. تهمت‌های وارده به خروشچف به قدری در مردم نفوذ کرده بودند که حامیان استالین تا به امروز هم این شایعات را باور دارند.

لئونید برژنف[ویرایش]

لئونید ایلیچ برژنف (به روسی: Леонид Ильич Брежнев) سیاست‌مدار و دبیرکل کمیته مرکزی حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی از سال ۱۹۶۴ تا ۱۹۸۲ بود. وی در تاریخ ۱۹ اکتبر سال ۱۹۰۶ در شهرک کامنکا در استان دنپروپتروفسک در اوکراین امروزی که در آن زمان جزئی از امپراتوری روسیه بود زاده شد و در تاریخ ۱۰ نوامبر سال ۱۹۸۲ در مسکو درگذشت. او در سال ۱۹۶۴ دبیر اول و از سال ۱۹۶۵ به بعد دبیرکل کمیته مرکزی حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی بود. پس از توطئه‌ای هماهنگ با همکاری تنی چند از اعضای حزب کمونیست شوروی از جمله «سوسولوف» نظریه‌پرداز حزب در آن دوره و برژنف به علاوه برخی از سران دستگاه‌های امنیتی خروشچف از دبیر اولی حزب کمونیست شوروی برکنار شد و لئونید برژنف به جای او به دبیر اولی حزب کمونیست برگزیده شد. اما این بار بر خلاف دورهٔ خروشچف که علاوه بر مقام دبیر اولی حزب کمونیست مقام نخست‌وزیری شوروی را هم از سال ۱۹۵۸ را داشت (همانند استالین) این بار اعضای حزب تصمیم گرفتند که نوعی تقسیم قدرت در حزب به وجود بیاید. در نتیجه دبیر اولی حزب به «لئونید برژنف» و نخست‌وزیری شوروی به «آلکسی کاسیگین» رسید. در دورهٔ رهبری برژنف بر شوروی آزادی‌های محدودی که در دورهٔ خروشچف به مردم اتحاد شوروی داده شده بود از میان رفت و پروژهٔ استالین زدایی خروشچف کنار گذاشته شد. البته هیچ‌گاه سطح دیکتاتوری و جنایت به زمان حکومت ژوزف استالین بر اتحاد شوروی نرسید. وی سال ۱۹۶۰ تا سال ۱۹۶۴ و از سال ۱۹۷۷ تا ۱۹۸۲ ریاست شورای عالی اتحاد شوروی را به عهده داشت. سال‌های پایانی رهبری برژنف در رسانه‌های جمعی «رکود» نامیده شد. بحران همگانی در دولت شوروی، گرایش‌های منفی در اقتصاد، توسعه بیش از حد دستگاه دیوانسالاری از ویژگی‌های این دوره‌است.

در دوره زمامداری برژنف بنابر خواست حکومت افغانستان، نیروهای شوروی به این کشور اعزام گردید که پیامدهای دشواری را با خود داشت. برژنف با کشور آمریکا در دوره ریاست جمهوری نیکسون همکاری فضایی برقرار ساخت که نتیجه آن پروژه آزمایشی آپولو-سایوز بود. در سال ۱۹۸۱ لهستان خود را از شوروی جدا کرد ولی همچنان به همکاری نظامی با این کشور ادامه داد. برژنف در سال ۱۹۸۲ پس از چند ماه بیماری سرانجام درگذشت. پس از او یوری آندروپوف به جای او نشست.

یوری آندروپوف[ویرایش]

یوری ولادیمیرویچ آندروپوف (به روسی: Ю́рий Влади́мирович Андро́пов) (زاده ۱۵ ژوئن ۱۹۱۴ - درگذشته ۹ فوریه ۱۹۸۴) سیاست‌مدار اتحاد شوروی و دبیرکل حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی از ۱۲ نوامبر ۱۹۸۲ تا روز مرگش بود. او مجموعاً حدود ۱۶ ماه این سمت را به عهده داشت و در این مدت در واقع رهبر شوروی بود. آندروپف از افرادی بود که بسیار مورد اطمینان برژنف بود، برای همین برژنف اول او را به سمت ریاست کا.گ. ب و سپس معاونت خود در حزب برگزید. آندروپف خواهان اصلاحات اساسی در زمان برژنف بود اما هر بار که طرح مسئله می‌کرد از طرف او[چه کسی؟] مانع می‌شد تا اینکه به رهبری شوروی رسید اما با خیل کثیر رهبران مفسد روبه رو بود که نمی‌شد کاری را انجام داد. او پس از کنستانتین چرنینکو، کوتاهترین مدت رهبری شوروی را به عهده داشت، از ۱۹۸۲ تا ۱۹۸۴.

کنستانتین چرنینکو[ویرایش]

کنستانتین چرنینکو (به روسی: Константин Устинович Черненко) (زاده ۲۴ سپتامبر ۱۹۱۱ - درگذشته ۱۰ مارس ۱۹۸۵) سیاست‌مدار اتحاد اتحاد شوروی و دبیرکل حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی بود که از ۱۳ فوریه ۱۹۸۴ تا روز مرگ و فقط به مدت ۱۳ ماه رهبر اتحاد شوروی بود. او رکورد کوتاهترین مدت رهبری اتحاد اتحاد شوروی را دارد. چرنینکو همچنین از ۱۱ آوریل ۱۹۸۴ تا روز مرگ سمت رئیس هیئت رئیسهٔ شورای عالی را به عهده داشت. پس از او گورباچف به رهبری شوروی رسید.

میخائیل گورباچف[ویرایش]

میخائیل سرگئیویچ گورباچُف (به روسی: Михаил Сергеевич Горбачёв) (زادهٔ ۲ مارس ۱۹۳۱) از سال ۱۹۸۵ تا ۱۹۹۱ آخرین رهبر اتحاد شوروی بود. تلاش‌ها و اصلاحات او باعث پایان جنگ سرد شد اما هم‌زمان یگانگی سیاسی حزب کمونیست اتحاد شوروی را نیز پایان داد و در پایان باعث فروپاشی شوروی شد. گورباچف در سال ۱۹۹۰ جایزهٔ صلح نوبل را دریافت کرد.

انتقادات[ویرایش]

در بررسی سیاسی و اقتصادی شوروی، برخی مارکسیستها از جمله لئون تروتسکی، تونی کلیف، الکس کالینیکوس، ارنست مندل، آنتون پانه کوک و دیگران بر این باورند هر چند انقلاب ۱۹۱۷ روسیه توانست حکومت تزاری را سرنگون کرده و انقلاب سوسیالیستی را به پیروزی برساند، اما این انقلاب نتوانست وظیفه‌های سیاسی و اقتصادی سوسیالیسم را پیاده سازد و به یک کشور سوسیالیستی تبدیل شود. در نظر این متفکرین چپ، شوروی یک مدل اقتصاد سرمایه‌داری دولتی بود.[۱۰][۱۱] در مقابل اما برخی دیگر روش‌هایی شامل تروریسم، دیوان‌سالاری (بوروکراتیسم) و پذیرش اجباری احکام مطلق استالین در جنبش کمونیسم، چه در شوروی و چه در میان حزب‌ها و کشورهای کمونیست در سراسر جهان را روش‌های کاربست مارکسیسم-لنینیسم می‌دانند.[۱۲] [۱] در هر حال، در مناسبات سیاسی جهانی و مخصوصاً در دوره جنگ سرد، شوروی یک کشور سوسیالیستی با حکومتی کمونیستی قلمداد می‌شود.

سازمان‌های جاسوسی[ویرایش]

کاگ‌ب[ویرایش]

کاگ‌ب (فارسی شرقی: کِی‌جی‌بی، روسی: КГБ) مخفف نام اداره اطلاعات و امنیت اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سابق است. نام کامل کاگ‌ب، به زبان روسی Комите́т Госуда́рственной Безопа́сности به معنای کمیته امنیت دولتی است. کاگ‌ب در سال ۱۹۵۳ از ادغام وزارت امنیت دولتی و وزارت امور داخلی پس از مرگ ژوزف استالین رهبر وقت شوروی تشکیل شد. کاگ‌ب یک نام کلی برای فعالیت‌های سرویس اطلاعات شوروی سابق، پلیس مخفی آن کشور و آژانس اطلاعاتی (جاسوسی) شوروی بود که با پیوستن «م ک و د» سازمان اطلاعات داخلی شوروی به «م و د» سازمان اطلاعات وزارت کشور شوروی به سال ۱۹۵۴ تأسیس شد در فاصله سال‌های ۱۹۵۴ تا ۱۹۹۱ (زمان سقوط شوروی) فعالیت داشت. بدنبال فروپاشی اتحاد جماهیر شوروی در سال ۱۹۹۱ کاگ‌ب جای خود را به اف اس بی (سرویس ضد جاسوسی روسیه) داد، منتقدان عقیده دارند که این تغییر تنها در نام این سرویس است و کاگ‌ب همچنان به فعالیت‌های پشت پرده خود ادامه می‌دهد. ولادیمیر پوتین رئیس‌جمهور فعلی روسیه از افسران میان‌رده پیشین کاگ‌ب بوده‌است.

چکا[ویرایش]

چکا (به روسی: чрезвыча́йная коми́ссия) یا کمیسیون بایستار نخستین سازمان امنیتی شوروی بوده‌است که در سال ۱۲۹۶ خورشیدی به دستور لنین رهبر وقت آن کشور، تأسیس شد. این سازمان در جریان پاکسازی بزرگ در دوران زمام‌داری استالین نقش ویژه‌ای ایفا نمود و بسیاری از مخالفان را اعدام یا تبعید نمود. فلیکس ژرژینسکی اولین رئیس چکا بود.

جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

  1. ۱٫۰ ۱٫۱ ۱٫۲ ۱٫۳ ۱٫۴ ۱٫۵ ۱٫۶ ۱٫۷ KENEZ، PETER. A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End. شابک ۹۷۸۰۵۲۱۶۸۲۹۶۱.
  2. ۲٫۰ ۲٫۱ Marx، Karl. The German Ideology. Moscow: Marx-Engels Institute. شابک ۱-۵۷۳۹۲-۲۵۸-۷.
  3. Gvosdev, Nikolas (2008). The Strange Death of Soviet communism: A Postscript. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-4128-0698-4.
  4. وبگاه راه توده-خیانت به سوسیالیسم
  5. Fischer, Stanley; Easterly, William (1994). "The Soviet Economic Decline, Historical and Republican Data" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  6. Philip Whyman, Mark Baimbridge and Andrew Mullen (2012). The Political Economy of the European Social Model (Routledge Studies in the European Economy). Routledge.
  7. Klein, Naomi (2008). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Picador. ISBN 0-312-42799-9 p. 276
  8. "Russia is now a party to any Treaties to which the former Soviet Union was a party, and enjoys the same rights and obligations as the former Soviet Union, except insofar as adjustments are necessarily required, e.g. to take account of the change in territorial extent. [...] The Russian federation continues the legal personality of the former Soviet Union and is thus not a successor State in the sense just mentioned. The other former Soviet Republics are successor States.", United Kingdom Materials on International Law 1993, BYIL 1993, pp. 579 (636).
  9. The consolidation into a single-party regime took place during the first three and a half years after the revolution, which included the period of War Communism and an election in which multiple parties competed. See Leonard Schapiro, The Origin of the Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition in the Soviet State, First Phase 1917–1922. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955, 1966.
  10. منصور حکمت: زمینه‌های انحراف و شکست انقلاب پرولتری در شوروی
  11. محمد قراگوزلو. داری-دولتی؟ / «چرا سرمایه‌داری دولتی؟» مقدار |نشانی= را بررسی کنید (کمک). مجله مهرگان. دریافت‌شده در شماره سیزدهم. تاریخ وارد شده در |تاریخ بازدید= را بررسی کنید (کمک)
  12. دانشنامهٔ سیاسی- داریوش آشوری-نشر مروارید- چاپ شانزدهم ۱۳۸۷- ص ۲۴

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

  • Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик
    Soyúz Sovétskikh Sotsialistícheskikh Respúblik
1922–1991
Anthem: 
The Soviet Union during the Cold War
The Soviet Union during the Cold War
Capital
and largest city
Moscow
55°45′N 37°37′E / 55.750°N 37.617°E / 55.750; 37.617
Official languagesRussian[1][2]
Recognised regional languages
Minority languages
Ethnic groups
(1989)
Religion
Secular state (de jure)[2][3]
State atheism (de facto)
Demonym(s)Soviet
Government
Leader 
• 1922–24
Vladimir Lenin
• 1924–53
Joseph Stalin
• 1953–64
Nikita Khrushchev
• 1964–82
Leonid Brezhnev
• 1982–84
Yuri Andropov
• 1984–85
Konstantin Chernenko
• 1985–91
Mikhail Gorbachev
Premier 
• 1922–24 (first)
Vladimir Lenin
• 1991 (last)
Ivan Silayev
LegislatureCentral Executive Committee
(1922–38)
Supreme Soviet
(1938–91)
Soviet of Nationalities
Soviet of the Union
Historical era20th century
• Treaty of Creation signed
30 December 1922
22 June 1941
9 May 1945
• Admitted
to the UN
24 October 1945
• Last constitution
adopted
9 October 1977
• Warsaw Pact
dissolved
1 July 1991
19–22 August 1991
8 December 1991
26 December 1991
Area
• Total
22,402,200 km2 (8,649,500 sq mi)
Population
• 1991 estimate
293 million (3rd)
• Density
8.4/km2 (21.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)1990 estimate
• Total
$2.7 trillion[9] (2nd)
• Per capita
$9,200
GDP (nominal)1990 estimate
• Total
$2.7 trillion[9] (2nd)
• Per capita
$9,200 (28th)
Gini (1989)0.275
low
CurrencySoviet ruble (руб) (SUR)
Time zone(UTC+2 to +12)
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+7
ISO 3166 codeSU
Internet TLD.su[3]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Bukharan PSR
Byelorussian SSR
Estonia
Finland
Khorezm PSR
Kingdom of Romania
Latvia
Lithuania
Russian SFSR
Second Polish Republic
Transcaucasian SFSR
Tuvan PR
Ukrainian SSR
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Estonia
Georgia
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Lithuania
Moldova
Russia
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Notes
  1. ^ Declaration № 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, formally establishing the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a state and subject of international law. (in Russian)
  2. ^ Original lyrics used from 1944 to 1956. No lyrics from 1956 to 1977. Revised lyrics from 1977 to 1991.
  3. ^ All-union official since 1990, constituent republics had the right to declare their own official languages.
  4. ^ Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.

The Soviet Union,[a] officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics[b] (USSR),[c] was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991.[10] Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics,[d] its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR). Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

The Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced the autocratic regime of Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, after a civil war ending in the Bolsheviks' victory, the USSR was formed by a treaty which united the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin formalized the Communist Party's ideology of Marxism–Leninism and replaced the market economy with a planned economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period, rapid economic development resulted in dramatic improvements in the average standard of living, particularly in urban areas.[11] Despite these improvements, major tragedies also occurred. In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region, agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932-33, causing millions of deaths. Political paranoia fermented, especially after the rise of the Nazis in Germany in 1933, culminating in the Great Purge, during which hundreds of thousands of persons accused of spying or sabotage were arrested and executed without trial.[12]

On August 23 1939, after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers,[13] the Soviets signed the non-aggression agreement with Nazi Germany.[14] After the start of Word War II, the formally neutral USSR invaded and annexed territories of several Eastern European states, including Poland and the Baltic states. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, opening the most extensive and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the war in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over the Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. In most of the territories occupied by the Red Army after its westward advance, local communists assumed power and formed governments allied with the USSR. The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves led to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began a period of liberal reforms known as de-Stalinization. The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, which was among the many factors that led to his removal in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies caused political instability arising from nationalist and separatist movements. In 1989, Soviet-allied states in Eastern Europe were overthrown in a wave of revolutions which ended communist rule.

As part of an attempt to prevent the country's collapse, a referendum was held on March 1991, boycotted by three republics, that resulted in a majority favoring the preservation of the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état by party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned, and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the union. The remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state.[15][16][17]

The Soviet Union produced many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus. The country had the world's second-largest economy and the largest standing military in the world.[18][19][20] The USSR was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[21] It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Warsaw Pact.

Etymology

The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т (sovét) meaning council, assembly, advice, harmony, concord[note 1] and all ultimately deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti ("to inform"), related to Slavic věst ("news"), English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or" (which came to English through French), or the Dutch weten ("to know"; cf. wetenschap meaning "science"). The word sovietnik means "councillor".[22]

Some organizations in Russian history were called "council" (Russian: сове́т). For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905.[22]

During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he initially named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Респу́блик Евро́пы и А́зии, tr. Soyúz Sovétskikh Respúblik Evrópy i Ázii).[23] Stalin initially resisted the proposal but ultimately accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), albeit all the republics began as "Socialist Soviet" and did not change to the other order until 1936. In addition, in the national languages of several republics, the word "Council/Conciliar" in the respective language was only quite late changed to an adaptation of the Russian "Soviet" and never in others, e.g. Ukraine.

The word СССР (in Latin alphabet: SSSR), is the abbreviation of USSR in Russian (Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик). It is written in Cyrillic alphabets, but Latin alphabets users sometimes borrow the word orthographically as "CCCP". In some cases, due to the length of its name, the state was referred to as the Soviet Union or the USSR, primarily when used in the Western media. It was also informally called Russia (and its citizens Russians),[24] though that was technically incorrect since Russia was only one of the republics.[25]

Geography

With an area of 22,402,200 square kilometres (8,649,500 sq mi), the Soviet Union was the world's largest country, a status that is retained by the Russian Federation.[26] Covering a sixth of Earth's land surface, its size was comparable to that of North America.[27] Two other successor states, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, rank among the top 10 countries by land area, and the largest country entirely in Europe, respectively. The European portion accounted for a quarter of the country's area and was the cultural and economic center. The eastern part in Asia extended to the Pacific Ocean to the east and Afghanistan to the south, and, except some areas in Central Asia, was much less populous. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

The USSR had the world's longest border, like Russia, measuring over 60,000 kilometres (37,000 mi), or ​1 12 circumferences of Earth. Two-thirds of it was a coastline. Across the Bering Strait was the United States. The country bordered Afghanistan, China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Mongolia, North Korea, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Turkey from 1945 to 1991.

The country's highest mountain was Communism Peak (now Ismoil Somoni Peak) in Tajikistan, at 7,495 metres (24,590 ft). The USSR also included most of the world's largest lakes; the Caspian Sea (shared with Iran), and Lake Baikal, the world's largest and deepest freshwater lake that is also an internal body of water in Russia.

History

Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution

Revolution and foundation

Modern revolutionary activity in the Russian Empire began with the 1825 Decembrist revolt. Although serfdom was abolished in 1861, it was done on terms unfavorable to the peasants and served to encourage revolutionaries. A parliament—the State Duma—was established in 1906 after the Russian Revolution of 1905, but Tsar Nicholas II resisted attempts to move from absolute to a constitutional monarchy. Social unrest continued and was aggravated during World War I by military defeat and food shortages in major cities.

A spontaneous popular uprising in Petrograd, in response to the wartime decay of Russia's economy and morale, culminated in the February Revolution and the toppling of Nicholas II and the imperial government on March 1917. The tsarist autocracy was replaced by the Russian Provisional Government, which intended to conduct elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly and to continue fighting on the side of the Entente in World War I.

At the same time, workers' councils, known in Russian as "Soviets", sprang up across the country. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, pushed for socialist revolution in the Soviets and on the streets. On 7 November 1917, the Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, ending the rule of the Provisional Government and leaving all political power to the Soviets.[28] This event would later be officially known in Soviet bibliographies as the Great October Socialist Revolution. In December, the Bolsheviks signed an armistice with the Central Powers, though by February 1918, fighting had resumed. In March, the Soviets ended involvement in the war and signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

A long and bloody Civil War ensued between the Reds and the Whites, starting in 1917 and ending in 1923 with the Reds' victory. It included foreign intervention, the execution of the former tsar and his family, and the famine of 1921, which killed about five million people.[29] On March 1921, during a related conflict with Poland, the Peace of Riga was signed, splitting disputed territories in Belarus and Ukraine between the Republic of Poland and Soviet Russia. Soviet Russia had to resolve similar conflicts with the newly established republics of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

On 28 December 1922, a conference of plenipotentiary delegations from the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR approved the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR[30] and the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR, forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.[31] These two documents were confirmed by the first Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by the heads of the delegations,[32] Mikhail Kalinin, Mikhail Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze, Grigory Petrovsky, and Alexander Chervyakov,[33] on 30 December 1922. The formal proclamation was made from the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre.

An intensive restructuring of the economy, industry and politics of the country began in the early days of Soviet power in 1917. A large part of this was done according to the Bolshevik Initial Decrees, government documents signed by Vladimir Lenin. One of the most prominent breakthroughs was the GOELRO plan, which envisioned a major restructuring of the Soviet economy based on total electrification of the country.[34] The plan became the prototype for subsequent Five-Year Plans and was fulfilled by 1931.[35] After the economic policy of "War communism" during the Russian Civil War, as a prelude to fully developing socialism in the country, the Soviet government permitted some private enterprise to coexist alongside nationalized industry in the 1920s, and total food requisition in the countryside was replaced by a food tax.

From its creation, the government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks).[36] The stated purpose was to prevent the return of capitalist exploitation, and that the principles of democratic centralism would be the most effective in representing the people's will in a practical manner. The debate over the future of the economy provided the background for a power struggle in the years after Lenin's death in 1924. Initially, Lenin was to be replaced by a "troika" consisting of Grigory Zinoviev of the Ukrainian SSR, Lev Kamenev of the Russian SFSR, and Joseph Stalin of the Transcaucasian SFSR.

On 1 February 1924, the USSR was recognized by the United Kingdom. The same year, a Soviet Constitution was approved, legitimizing the December 1922 union. Despite the foundation of the Soviet state as a federative entity of many constituent republics, each with its own political and administrative entities, the term "Soviet Russia" – strictly applicable only to the Russian Federative Socialist Republic – was often applied to the entire country by non-Soviet writers and politicians.

Stalin era

On 3 April 1922, Stalin was named the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lenin had appointed Stalin the head of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate, which gave Stalin considerable power. By gradually consolidating his influence and isolating and outmanoeuvring his rivals within the party, Stalin became the undisputed leader of the country and, by the end of the 1920s, established a totalitarian rule. On October 1927, Zinoviev and Leon Trotsky were expelled from the Central Committee and forced into exile.

In 1928, Stalin introduced the first five-year plan for building a socialist economy. In place of the internationalism expressed by Lenin throughout the Revolution, it aimed to build Socialism in One Country. In industry, the state assumed control over all existing enterprises and undertook an intensive program of industrialization. In agriculture, rather than adhering to the "lead by example" policy advocated by Lenin,[37] forced collectivization of farms was implemented all over the country.

Famines ensued as a result, causing deaths estimated at three to seven million; surviving kulaks were persecuted, and many were sent to Gulags to do forced labor.[38][39] Social upheaval continued in the mid-1930s. Despite the turmoil of the mid-to-late 1930s, the country developed a robust industrial economy in the years preceding World War II.

Closer cooperation between the USSR and the West developed in the early 1930s. From 1932 to 1934, the country participated in the World Disarmament Conference. In 1933, diplomatic relations between the United States and the USSR were established when in November, the newly elected President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, chose to recognize Stalin's Communist government formally and negotiated a new trade agreement between the two countries.[40] On September 1934, the country joined the League of Nations. After the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, the USSR actively supported the Republican forces against the Nationalists, who were supported by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.[41]

On December 1936, Stalin unveiled a new constitution that was praised by supporters around the world as the most democratic constitution imaginable, though there were some skepticism.[e]

Stalin's Great Purge resulted in the detainment or execution of many "Old Bolsheviks" who had participated in the October Revolution with Lenin. According to declassified Soviet archives, the NKVD arrested more than one and a half million people in 1937 and 1938, of whom 681,692 were shot.[12] Over those two years, there were an average of over one thousand executions a day.[43][f]

In 1939, the Soviet Union made a dramatic shift toward Nazi Germany. Almost a year after Britain and France had concluded the Munich Agreement with Germany, the Soviet Union made agreements with Germany as well, both militarily and economically during extensive talks. The two countries concluded the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the German–Soviet Commercial Agreement in August 1939. The former made possible the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and eastern Poland. In late November, unable to coerce the Republic of Finland by diplomatic means into moving its border 25 kilometres (16 mi) back from Leningrad, Stalin ordered the invasion of Finland. In the east, the Soviet military won several decisive victories during border clashes with the Empire of Japan in 1938 and 1939. However, on April 1941, the USSR signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact with Japan, recognizing the territorial integrity of Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state.

World War II

The Battle of Stalingrad is considered by many historians as a decisive turning point of World War II.

Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, starting what was known in the USSR as the "Great Patriotic War". The Red Army stopped the seemingly invincible German Army at the Battle of Moscow, aided by an unusually harsh winter. The Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from late 1942 to early 1943, dealt a severe blow to Germany from which they never fully recovered and became a turning point in the war. After Stalingrad, Soviet forces drove through Eastern Europe to Berlin before Germany surrendered in 1945. The German Army suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.[47] Harry Hopkins, a close foreign policy advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt, spoke on 10 August 1943 of the USSR's decisive role in the war.[g]

In the same year, the USSR, in fulfilment of its agreement with the Allies at the Yalta Conference, denounced the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1945[49] and invaded Manchukuo and other Japan-controlled territories on 9 August 1945.[50] This conflict ended with a decisive Soviet victory, contributing to the unconditional surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.

Left to right: Soviet General Secretary Stalin, US President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill confer in Tehran in 1943.

The USSR suffered greatly in the war, losing around 27 million people.[51] Approximately 2.8 million Soviet POWs died of starvation, mistreatment, or executions in just eight months of 1941–42.[52][53] During the war, the country together with the United States, the United Kingdom and China were considered the Big Four Allied powers,[54] and later became the Four Policemen that formed the basis of the United Nations Security Council.[55] It emerged as a superpower in the post-war period. Once denied diplomatic recognition by the Western world, the USSR had official relations with practically every country by the late 1940s. A member of the United Nations at its foundation in 1945, the country became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which gave it the right to veto any of its resolutions.

Cold War

Map showing greatest territorial extent of the Soviet Union and the states that it dominated politically, economically and militarily in 1960, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 but before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961

During the immediate post-war period, the Soviet Union rebuilt and expanded its economy, while maintaining its strictly centralized control. It took effective control over most of the countries of Eastern Europe (except Yugoslavia and later Albania), turning them into satellite states. The USSR bound its satellite states in a military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955, and an economic organization, The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance or Comecon, a counterpart to the European Economic Community (EEC), from 1949 to 1991.[56] The USSR concentrated on its own recovery, seizing and transferring most of Germany's industrial plants, and it exacted war reparations from East Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria using Soviet-dominated joint enterprises. It also instituted trading arrangements deliberately designed to favor the country. Moscow controlled the Communist parties that ruled the satellite states, and they followed orders from the Kremlin.[h] Later, the Comecon supplied aid to the eventually victorious Communist Party of China, and its influence grew elsewhere in the world. Fearing its ambitions, the Soviet Union's wartime allies, the United Kingdom and the United States, became its enemies. In the ensuing Cold War, the two sides clashed indirectly in proxy wars.

Khrushchev era

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, 3 June 1961

Stalin died on 5 March 1953. Without a mutually agreeable successor, the highest Communist Party officials initially opted to rule the Soviet Union jointly through a troika headed by Georgy Malenkov. This did not last, however, and Nikita Khrushchev eventually won the ensuing power struggle by the mid-1950s. In 1956, he denounced Stalin's use of repression and proceeded to ease controls over the party and society. This was known as de-Stalinization.

Moscow considered Eastern Europe to be a critically vital buffer zone for the forward defence of its western borders, in case of another major invasion such as the German invasion of 1941. For this reason, the USSR sought to cement its control of the region by transforming the Eastern European countries into satellite states, dependent upon and subservient to its leadership. Soviet military force was used to suppress anti-Stalinist uprisings in Hungary and Poland in 1956.

In the late 1950s, a confrontation with China regarding the Soviet rapprochement with the West, and what Mao Zedong perceived as Khrushchev's revisionism, led to the Sino–Soviet split. This resulted in a break throughout the global Marxist–Leninist movement, with the governments in Albania, Cambodia and Somalia choosing to ally with China.

During this period of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the USSR continued to realize scientific and technological exploits in the Space Race, rivaling the United States: launching the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 in 1957; a living dog named Laika in 1957; the first human being, Yuri Gagarin in 1961; the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963; Alexei Leonov, the first person to walk in space in 1965; the first soft landing on the Moon by spacecraft Luna 9 in 1966; and the first Moon rovers, Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhod 2.[58]

Khrushchev initiated "The Thaw", a complex shift in political, cultural and economic life in the country. This included some openness and contact with other nations and new social and economic policies with more emphasis on commodity goods, allowing a dramatic rise in living standards while maintaining high levels of economic growth. Censorship was relaxed as well. Khrushchev's reforms in agriculture and administration, however, were generally unproductive. In 1962, he precipitated a crisis with the United States over the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. An agreement was made with the United States to remove nuclear missiles from both Cuba and Turkey, concluding the crisis. This event caused Khrushchev much embarrassment and loss of prestige, resulting in his removal from power in 1964.

Brezhnev era

Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and US President Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II arms limitation treaty in Vienna on 18 June 1979

Following the ousting of Khrushchev, another period of collective leadership ensued, consisting of Leonid Brezhnev as General Secretary, Alexei Kosygin as Premier and Nikolai Podgorny as Chairman of the Presidium, lasting until Brezhnev established himself in the early 1970s as the preeminent Soviet leader.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact allies invaded Czechoslovakia to halt the Prague Spring reforms. In the aftermath, Brezhnev justified the invasion along with the earlier invasions of Eastern European states by introducing the Brezhnev Doctrine, which claimed the right of the Soviet Union to violate the sovereignty of any country that attempted to replace Marxism–Leninism with capitalism.

Brezhnev presided throughout détente with the West that resulted in treaties on armament control (SALT I, SALT II, Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty) while at the same time building up Soviet military might.

On October 1977, the third Soviet Constitution was unanimously adopted. The prevailing mood of the Soviet leadership at the time of Brezhnev's death in 1982 was one of aversion to change. The long period of Brezhnev's rule had come to be dubbed one of "standstill", with an ageing and ossified top political leadership. This period is also known as the Era of Stagnation, a period of adverse economic, political, and social effects in the country, which began during the rule of Brezhnev and continued under his successors Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko.

In late 1979, the Soviet Union's military intervened in the ongoing civil war in neighboring Afghanistan, effectively ending a détente with the West.

Gorbachev era

Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with US President Ronald Reagan

Two developments dominated the decade that followed: the increasingly apparent crumbling of the Soviet Union's economic and political structures, and the patchwork attempts at reforms to reverse that process. Kenneth S. Deffeyes argued in Beyond Oil that the Reagan administration encouraged Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil to the point where the Soviets could not make a profit selling their oil, and resulted in the depletion of the country's hard currency reserves.[59]

Brezhnev's next two successors, transitional figures with deep roots in his tradition, did not last long. Yuri Andropov was 68 years old and Konstantin Chernenko 72 when they assumed power; both died in less than two years. In an attempt to avoid a third short-lived leader, in 1985, the Soviets turned to the next generation and selected Mikhail Gorbachev. He made significant changes in the economy and party leadership, called perestroika. His policy of glasnost freed public access to information after decades of heavy government censorship. Gorbachev also moved to end the Cold War. In 1988, the USSR abandoned its war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces. In the following year, Gorbachev refused to interfere in the internal affairs of the Soviet satellite states, which paved the way for the Revolutions of 1989. With the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and with East and West Germany pursuing unification, the Iron Curtain between the West and Soviet-controlled regions came down.

At the same time, the Soviet republics started legal moves towards potentially declaring sovereignty over their territories, citing the freedom to secede in Article 72 of the USSR constitution.[60] On 7 April 1990, a law was passed allowing a republic to secede if more than two-thirds of its residents voted for it in a referendum.[61] Many held their first free elections in the Soviet era for their own national legislatures in 1990. Many of these legislatures proceeded to produce legislation contradicting the Union laws in what was known as the "War of Laws". In 1989, the Russian SFSR convened a newly elected Congress of People's Deputies. Boris Yeltsin was elected its chairman. On 12 June 1990, the Congress declared Russia's sovereignty over its territory and proceeded to pass laws that attempted to supersede some of the Soviet laws. After a landslide victory of Sąjūdis in Lithuania, that country declared its independence restored on 11 March 1990.

A referendum for the preservation of the USSR was held on 17 March 1991 in nine republics (the remainder having boycotted the vote), with the majority of the population in those republics voting for preservation of the Union. The referendum gave Gorbachev a minor boost. In the summer of 1991, the New Union Treaty, which would have turned the country into a much looser Union, was agreed upon by eight republics. The signing of the treaty, however, was interrupted by the August Coup—an attempted coup d'état by hardline members of the government and the KGB who sought to reverse Gorbachev's reforms and reassert the central government's control over the republics. After the coup collapsed, Yeltsin was seen as a hero for his decisive actions, while Gorbachev's power was effectively ended. The balance of power tipped significantly towards the republics. In August 1991, Latvia and Estonia immediately declared the restoration of their full independence (following Lithuania's 1990 example). Gorbachev resigned as general secretary in late August, and soon afterwards, the party's activities were indefinitely suspended—effectively ending its rule. By the fall, Gorbachev could no longer influence events outside Moscow, and he was being challenged even there by Yeltsin, who had been elected President of Russia on July 1991.

Dissolution

The remaining 12 republics continued discussing new, increasingly looser, models of the Union. However, by December all except Russia and Kazakhstan had formally declared independence. During this time, Yeltsin took over what remained of the Soviet government, including the Moscow Kremlin. The final blow was struck on 1 December when Ukraine, the second-most powerful republic, voted overwhelmingly for independence. Ukraine's secession ended any realistic chance of the country staying together even on a limited scale.

Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War

On 8 December 1991, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (formerly Byelorussia), signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. While doubts remained over the authority of the accords to do this, on 21 December 1991, the representatives of all Soviet republics except Georgia signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the accords. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned as the President of the USSR, declaring the office extinct. He turned the powers that had been vested in the presidency over to Yeltsin. That night, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time, and the Russian tricolor was raised in its place.

The following day, the Supreme Soviet, the highest governmental body, voted both itself and the country out of existence. This is generally recognized as marking the official, final dissolution of the Soviet Union as a functioning state, and the end of the Cold War.[62] The Soviet Army initially remained under overall CIS command but was soon absorbed into the different military forces of the newly independent states. The few remaining Soviet institutions that had not been taken over by Russia ceased to function by the end of 1991.

Following the dissolution, Russia was internationally recognized[63] as its legal successor on the international stage. To that end, Russia voluntarily accepted all Soviet foreign debt and claimed Soviet overseas properties as its own. Under the 1992 Lisbon Protocol, Russia also agreed to receive all nuclear weapons remaining in the territory of other former Soviet republics. Since then, the Russian Federation has assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations. Ukraine has refused to recognize exclusive Russian claims to succession of the USSR and claimed such status for Ukraine as well, which was codified in Articles 7 and 8 of its 1991 law On Legal Succession of Ukraine. Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has continued to pursue claims against Russia in foreign courts, seeking to recover its share of the foreign property that was owned by the USSR.

Internally displaced Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, 1993
Country emblems of the Soviet Republics before and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (note that the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (fifth in the second row) no longer exists as a political entity of any kind and the emblem is unofficial).

The dissolution was followed by a severe drop in economic and social conditions in post-Soviet states,[64][65] including a rapid increase in poverty,[66][67][68][69] crime,[70][71] corruption,[72][73] unemployment,[74] homelessness,[75][76] rates of disease,[77][78][79] demographic losses,[80] income inequality and the rise of an oligarchical class,[81][66] along with decreases in calorie intake, life expectancy, adult literacy, and income.[82] Between 1988/1989 and 1993/1995, the Gini ratio increased by an average of 9 points for all former socialist countries.[66] The economic shocks that accompanied wholesale privatization were associated with sharp increases in mortality. Data shows Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia saw a tripling of unemployment and a 42% increase in male death rates between 1991 and 1994.[83][84] In the following decades, only five or six of the post-communist states are on a path to joining the wealthy capitalist West while most are falling behind, some to such an extent that it will take over fifty years to catch up to where they were before the fall of the Soviet Bloc.[85][86]

In summing up the international ramifications of these events, Vladislav Zubok stated: "The collapse of the Soviet empire was an event of epochal geopolitical, military, ideological, and economic significance."[87] Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers for four decades after World War II through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to developing countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry.[88]

Post-Soviet states

The analysis of the succession of states for the 15 post-Soviet states is complex. The Russian Federation is seen as the legal continuator state and is for most purposes the heir to the Soviet Union. It retained ownership of all former Soviet embassy properties, as well as the old Soviet UN membership and permanent membership on the Security Council.

There are additionally four states that claim independence from the other internationally recognized post-Soviet states but possess limited international recognition: Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. The Chechen separatist movement of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria lacks any international recognition.

Foreign relations

1960s Cuba-Soviet friendship poster with Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev
Gerald Ford, Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger speaking informally at the Vladivostok Summit in 1974
Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signing bilateral documents during Gorbachev's official visit to the United States in 1990

During his rule, Stalin always made the final policy decisions. Otherwise, Soviet foreign policy was set by the Commission on the Foreign Policy of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, or by the party's highest body the Politburo. Operations were handled by the separate Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was known as the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs (or Narkomindel), until 1946. The most influential spokesmen were Georgy Chicherin (1872–1936), Maxim Litvinov (1876–1951), Vyacheslav Molotov (1890–1986), Andrey Vyshinsky (1883–1954) and Andrei Gromyko (1909–1989). Intellectuals were based in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.[89]

  • Comintern (1919–1943), or Communist International, was an international communist organization based in the Kremlin that advocated world communism. The Comintern intended to "struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state".[90] It was abolished as a conciliatory measure toward Britain and the United States.[91]
  • Comecon, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Russian: Совет Экономической Взаимопомощи, Sovet Ekonomicheskoy Vzaimopomoshchi, СЭВ, SEV) was an economic organization from 1949 to 1991 under Soviet control that comprised the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with several communist states elsewhere in the world. Moscow was concerned about the Marshall Plan, and Comecon was meant to prevent countries in the Soviets' sphere of influence from moving towards that of the Americans and Southeast Asia. Comecon was the Eastern Bloc's reply to the formation in Western Europe of the Organization for European Economic Co-Operation (OEEC),[92][93]
  • The Warsaw Pact was a collective defence alliance formed in 1955 among the USSR and its satellite states in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Comecon, the regional economic organization for the socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was created in reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO.[94]
  • The Cominform (1947–1956), informally the Communist Information Bureau and officially the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties, was the first official agency of the international communist movement since the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943. Its role was to coordinate actions between communist parties under Soviet direction. Stalin used it to order Western European communist parties to abandon their exclusively parliamentarian line and instead concentrate on politically impeding the operations of the Marshall Plan.[95] It also coordinated international aid to communist insurgents during the Greek Civil War in 1947–1949.[96] It expelled Yugoslavia in 1948 after Josip Broz Tito insisted on an independent program. Its newspaper, For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy!, promoted Stalin's positions. The Cominform's concentration on Europe meant a deemphasis on world revolution in Soviet foreign policy. By enunciating a uniform ideology, it allowed the constituent parties to focus on personalities rather than issues.[97]

Early policies (1919–1939)

1987 Soviet stamp

The Communist leadership of the Soviet Union intensely debated foreign policy issues and change directions several times. Even after Stalin assumed dictatorial control in the late 1920s, there were debates, and he frequently changed positions.[98]

During the country's early period, it was assumed that Communist revolutions would break out soon in every major industrial country, and it was the Soviet responsibility to assist them. The Comintern was the weapon of choice. A few revolutions did break out, but they were quickly suppressed (the longest lasting one was in Hungary)—the Hungarian Soviet Republic—lasted only from 21 March 1919 to 1 August 1919. The Russian Bolsheviks were in no position to give any help.

By 1921, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin realized that capitalism had stabilized itself in Europe and there would not be any widespread revolutions anytime soon. It became the duty of the Russian Bolsheviks to protect what they had in Russia, and avoid military confrontations that might destroy their bridgehead. Russia was now a pariah state, along with Germany. The two came to terms in 1922 with the Treaty of Rapallo that settled long-standing grievances. At the same time, the two countries secretly set up training programs for the illegal German army and air force operations at hidden camps in the USSR.[99]

Moscow eventually stopped threatening other states, and instead worked to open peaceful relationships in terms of trade, and diplomatic recognition. The United Kingdom dismissed the warnings of Winston Churchill and a few others about a continuing communist threat, and opened trade relations and de facto diplomatic recognition in 1922. There was hope for a settlement of the pre-war tsarist debts, but it was repeatedly postponed. Formal recognition came when the new Labor Party came to power in 1924.[100] All the other countries followed suit in opening trade relations. Henry Ford opened large-scale business relations with the Soviets in the late 1920s, hoping that it would lead to long-term peace. Finally, in 1933, the United States officially recognized the USSR, a decision backed by the public opinion and especially by US business interests that expected an opening of a new profitable market.[101]

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Stalin ordered Communist parties across the world to strongly oppose non-communist political parties, labor unions or other organizations on the left. Stalin reversed himself in 1934 with the Popular Front program that called on all Communist parties to join together with all anti-Fascist political, labor, and organizational forces that were opposed to fascism, especially of the Nazi variety.[102][103]

In 1939, the USSR attempted to form an anti-Nazi alliance with France and Britain.[104] Adolf Hitler proposed a better deal, which would give the USSR control over much of Eastern Europe through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In September, Germany invaded Poland, and the USSR also invaded later that month, resulting in the partition of Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany, marking the beginning of World War II.[105]

World War II (1939–1945)

Cold War (1945–1991)

Politics

There were three power hierarchies in the Soviet Union: the legislature represented by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the government represented by the Council of Ministers, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), the only legal party and the final policymaker in the country.[106]

Communist Party

At the top of the Communist Party was the Central Committee, elected at Party Congresses and Conferences. In turn, the Central Committee voted for a Politburo (called the Presidium between 1952–1966), Secretariat and the General Secretary (First Secretary from 1953 to 1966), the de facto highest office in the Soviet Union.[107] Depending on the degree of power consolidation, it was either the Politburo as a collective body or the General Secretary, who always was one of the Politburo members, that effectively led the party and the country[108] (except for the period of the highly personalized authority of Stalin, exercised directly through his position in the Council of Ministers rather than the Politburo after 1941).[109] They were not controlled by the general party membership, as the key principle of the party organization was democratic centralism, demanding strict subordination to higher bodies, and elections went uncontested, endorsing the candidates proposed from above.[110]

The Communist Party maintained its dominance over the state mainly through its control over the system of appointments. All senior government officials and most deputies of the Supreme Soviet were members of the CPSU. Of the party heads themselves, Stalin (1941–1953) and Khrushchev (1958–1964) were Premiers. Upon the forced retirement of Khrushchev, the party leader was prohibited from this kind of double membership,[111] but the later General Secretaries for at least some part of their tenure occupied the mostly ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the nominal head of state. The institutions at lower levels were overseen and at times supplanted by primary party organizations.[112]

However, in practice, the degree of control the party was able to exercise over the state bureaucracy, particularly after the death of Stalin, was far from total, with the bureaucracy pursuing different interests that were at times in conflict with the party.[113] Nor was the party itself monolithic from top to bottom, although factions were officially banned.[114]

Government

The Supreme Soviet (successor of the Congress of Soviets and Central Executive Committee) was nominally the highest state body for most of the Soviet history,[115] at first acting as a rubber stamp institution, approving and implementing all decisions made by the party. However, its powers and functions were extended in the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, including the creation of new state commissions and committees. It gained additional powers relating to the approval of the Five-Year Plans and the government budget.[116] The Supreme Soviet elected a Presidium to wield its power between plenary sessions,[117] ordinarily held twice a year, and appointed the Supreme Court,[118] the Procurator General[119] and the Council of Ministers (known before 1946 as the Council of People's Commissars), headed by the Chairman (Premier) and managing an enormous bureaucracy responsible for the administration of the economy and society.[117] State and party structures of the constituent republics largely emulated the structure of the central institutions, although the Russian SFSR, unlike the other constituent republics, for most of its history had no republican branch of the CPSU, being ruled directly by the union-wide party until 1990. Local authorities were organized likewise into party committees, local Soviets and executive committees. While the state system was nominally federal, the party was unitary.[120]

The state security police (the KGB and its predecessor agencies) played an important role in Soviet politics. It was instrumental in the Great Purge,[121] but was brought under strict party control after Stalin's death. Under Yuri Andropov, the KGB engaged in the suppression of political dissent and maintained an extensive network of informers, reasserting itself as a political actor to some extent independent of the party-state structure,[122] culminating in the anti-corruption campaign targeting high-ranking party officials in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[123]

Separation of power and reform

Nationalist anti-government riots in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1990

The constitution, which was promulgated in 1918, 1924, 1936 and 1977,[124] did not limit state power. No formal separation of powers existed between the Party, Supreme Soviet and Council of Ministers[125] that represented executive and legislative branches of the government. The system was governed less by statute than by informal conventions, and no settled mechanism of leadership succession existed. Bitter and at times deadly power struggles took place in the Politburo after the deaths of Lenin[126] and Stalin,[127] as well as after Khrushchev's dismissal,[128] itself due to a decision by both the Politburo and the Central Committee.[129] All leaders of the Communist Party before Gorbachev died in office, except Georgy Malenkov[130] and Khrushchev, both dismissed from the party leadership amid internal struggle within the party.[129]

Between 1988 and 1990, facing considerable opposition, Mikhail Gorbachev enacted reforms shifting power away from the highest bodies of the party and making the Supreme Soviet less dependent on them. The Congress of People's Deputies was established, the majority of whose members were directly elected in competitive elections held on March 1989. The Congress now elected the Supreme Soviet, which became a full-time parliament, and much stronger than before. For the first time since the 1920s, it refused to rubber stamp proposals from the party and Council of Ministers.[131] In 1990, Gorbachev introduced and assumed the position of the President of the Soviet Union, concentrated power in his executive office, independent of the party, and subordinated the government,[132] now renamed the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR, to himself.[133]

Tensions grew between the Union-wide authorities under Gorbachev, reformists led in Russia by Boris Yeltsin and controlling the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR, and communist hardliners. On 19–21 August 1991, a group of hardliners staged a coup attempt. The coup failed, and the State Council of the Soviet Union became the highest organ of state power "in the period of transition".[134] Gorbachev resigned as General Secretary, only remaining President for the final months of the existence of the USSR.[135]

Judicial system

The judiciary was not independent of the other branches of government. The Supreme Court supervised the lower courts (People's Court) and applied the law as established by the constitution or as interpreted by the Supreme Soviet. The Constitutional Oversight Committee reviewed the constitutionality of laws and acts. The Soviet Union used the inquisitorial system of Roman law, where the judge, procurator, and defence attorney collaborate to establish the truth.[136]

Administrative divisions

Constitutionally, the USSR was a federation of constituent Union Republics, which were either unitary states, such as Ukraine or Byelorussia (SSRs), or federations, such as Russia or Transcaucasia (SFSRs),[106] all four being the founding republics who signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR in December 1922. In 1924, during the national delimitation in Central Asia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were formed from parts of Russia's Turkestan ASSR and two Soviet dependencies, the Khorezm and Bukharan SSRs. In 1929, Tajikistan was split off from the Uzbekistan SSR. With the constitution of 1936, the Transcaucasian SFSR was dissolved, resulting in its constituent republics of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan being elevated to Union Republics, while Kazakhstan and Kirghizia were split off from Russian SFSR, resulting in the same status.[137] On August 1940, Moldavia was formed from parts of the Ukraine and Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (SSRs) were also admitted into the union which was not recognized by most of the international community and was considered an illegal occupation. Karelia was split off from Russia as a Union Republic on March 1940 and was reabsorbed in 1956. Between July 1956 and September 1991, there were 15 union republics (see map below).[138]

While nominally a union of equals, in practice the Soviet Union was dominated by Russians. The domination was so absolute that for most of its existence, the country was commonly (but incorrectly) referred to as "Russia". While the RSFSR was technically only one republic within the larger union, it was by far the largest (both in terms of population and geography), most powerful, most developed, and the industrial center of the Soviet Union. Historian Matthew White wrote that it was an open secret that the country's federal structure was "window dressing" for Russian dominance. For that reason, the people of the USSR were usually called "Russians", not "Soviets", since "everyone knew who really ran the show".[139]

Republic Map of the Union Republics between 1956–1991
1  Russian SFSR Republics of the USSR.svg
2  Ukrainian SSR
3  Byelorussian SSR
4  Uzbek SSR
5  Kazakh SSR
6  Georgian SSR
7  Azerbaijan SSR
8  Lithuanian SSR
9  Moldavian SSR
10  Latvian SSR
11  Kirghiz SSR
12  Tajik SSR
13  Armenian SSR
14  Turkmen SSR
15  Estonian SSR

Economy

The Soviet Union in comparison to other countries by GDP (nominal) per capita in 1965 based on a West-German school book (1971)
  > 5,000 DM
  2,500 – 5,000 DM
  1,000 – 2,500 DM
  500 – 1,000 DM
  250 – 500 DM
  < 250 DM

The Soviet Union became the first country to adopt a command economy, whereby production and distribution of goods were centralized and directed by the government. The first Bolshevik experience with a command economy was the policy of War communism, which involved the nationalization of industry, centralized distribution of output, coercive requisition of agricultural production, and attempts to eliminate money circulation, private enterprises and free trade. After the severe economic collapse, Lenin replaced war communism by the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921, legalizing free trade and private ownership of small businesses. The economy quickly recovered as a result.[140]

After a long debate among the members of Politburo about the course of economic development, by 1928–1929, upon gaining control of the country, Stalin abandoned the NEP and pushed for full central planning, starting forced collectivization of agriculture and enacting draconian labor legislation. Resources were mobilized for rapid industrialization, which significantly expanded Soviet capacity in heavy industry and capital goods during the 1930s.[140] The primary motivation for industrialization was preparation for war, mostly due to distrust of the outside capitalist world.[141] As a result, the USSR was transformed from a largely agrarian economy into a great industrial power, leading the way for its emergence as a superpower after World War II.[142] The war caused extensive devastation of the Soviet economy and infrastructure, which required massive reconstruction.[143]

The DneproGES, one of many hydroelectric power stations in the Soviet Union

By the early 1940s, the Soviet economy had become relatively self-sufficient; for most of the period until the creation of Comecon, only a tiny share of domestic products was traded internationally.[144] After the creation of the Eastern Bloc, external trade rose rapidly. However, the influence of the world economy on the USSR was limited by fixed domestic prices and a state monopoly on foreign trade.[145] Grain and sophisticated consumer manufactures became major import articles from around the 1960s.[144] During the arms race of the Cold War, the Soviet economy was burdened by military expenditures, heavily lobbied for by a powerful bureaucracy dependent on the arms industry. At the same time, the USSR became the largest arms exporter to the Third World. Significant amounts of Soviet resources during the Cold War were allocated in aid to the other socialist states.[144]

Picking cotton in Armenia in the 1930s

From the 1930s until its dissolution in late 1991, the way the Soviet economy operated remained essentially unchanged. The economy was formally directed by central planning, carried out by Gosplan and organized in five-year plans. However, in practice, the plans were highly aggregated and provisional, subject to ad hoc intervention by superiors. All critical economic decisions were taken by the political leadership. Allocated resources and plan targets were usually denominated in rubles rather than in physical goods. Credit was discouraged, but widespread. The final allocation of output was achieved through relatively decentralized, unplanned contracting. Although in theory prices were legally set from above, in practice they were often negotiated, and informal horizontal links (e.g. between producer factories) were widespread.[140]

A number of basic services were state-funded, such as education and health care. In the manufacturing sector, heavy industry and defence were prioritized over consumer goods.[146] Consumer goods, particularly outside large cities, were often scarce, of poor quality and limited variety. Under the command economy, consumers had almost no influence on production, and the changing demands of a population with growing incomes could not be satisfied by supplies at rigidly fixed prices.[147] A massive unplanned second economy grew up at low levels alongside the planned one, providing some of the goods and services that the planners could not. The legalization of some elements of the decentralized economy was attempted with the reform of 1965.[140]

Workers of the Salihorsk potash plant, Belarus, 1968

Although statistics of the Soviet economy are notoriously unreliable and its economic growth difficult to estimate precisely,[148][149] by most accounts, the economy continued to expand until the mid-1980s. During the 1950s and 1960s, it had comparatively high growth and was catching up to the West.[150] However, after 1970, the growth, while still positive, steadily declined much more quickly and consistently than in other countries, despite a rapid increase in the capital stock (the rate of capital increase was only surpassed by Japan).[140]

Overall, between 1960 and 1989, the growth rate of per capita income in the Soviet Union was slightly above the world average (based on 102 countries).[citation needed] According to Stanley Fischer and William Easterly, growth could have been faster. By their calculation, per capita income in 1989 should have been twice higher than it was, considering the amount of investment, education and population. The authors attribute this poor performance to the low productivity of capital.[151] Steven Rosenfielde states that the standard of living declined due to Stalin's despotism, and while there was a brief improvement after his death, it lapsed into stagnation.[152]

In 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to reform and revitalize the economy with his program of perestroika. His policies relaxed state control over enterprises but did not replace it by market incentives, resulting in a sharp decline in output. The economy, already suffering from reduced petroleum export revenues, started to collapse. Prices were still fixed, and the property was still largely state-owned until after the country's dissolution.[140][147] For most of the period after World War II until its collapse, Soviet GDP (PPP) was the second-largest in the world, and third during the second half of the 1980s,[153] although on a per-capita basis, it was behind that of First World countries.[154] Compared to countries with similar per-capita GDP in 1928, the Soviet Union experienced significant growth.[155]

In 1990, the country had a Human Development Index of 0.920, placing it in the "high" category of human development. It was the third-highest in the Eastern Bloc, behind Czechoslovakia and East Germany, and the 25th in the world of 130 countries.[156]

Energy

Soviet stamp depicting the 30th anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency, published in 1987, a year following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

The need for fuel declined in the Soviet Union from the 1970s to the 1980s,[157] both per ruble of gross social product and per ruble of industrial product. At the start, this decline grew very rapidly but gradually slowed down between 1970 and 1975. From 1975 and 1980, it grew even slower,[clarification needed] only 2.6%.[158] David Wilson, a historian, believed that the gas industry would account for 40% of Soviet fuel production by the end of the century. His theory did not come to fruition because of the USSR's collapse.[159] The USSR, in theory, would have continued to have an economic growth rate of 2–2.5% during the 1990s because of Soviet energy fields.[clarification needed][160] However, the energy sector faced many difficulties, among them the country's high military expenditure and hostile relations with the First World.[161]

In 1991, the Soviet Union had a pipeline network of 82,000 kilometres (51,000 mi) for crude oil and another 206,500 kilometres (128,300 mi) for natural gas.[162] Petroleum and petroleum-based products, natural gas, metals, wood, agricultural products, and a variety of manufactured goods, primarily machinery, arms and military equipment, were exported.[163] In the 1970s and 1980s, the USSR heavily relied on fossil fuel exports to earn hard currency.[144] At its peak in 1988, it was the largest producer and second-largest exporter of crude oil, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia.[164]

Science and technology

Soviet stamp showing the orbit of Sputnik 1

The Soviet Union placed great emphasis on science and technology within its economy,[165] however, the most remarkable Soviet successes in technology, such as producing the world's first space satellite, typically were the responsibility of the military.[146] Lenin believed that the USSR would never overtake the developed world if it remained as technologically backward as it was upon its founding. Soviet authorities proved their commitment to Lenin's belief by developing massive networks, research and development organizations. In the early 1960s, the Soviets awarded 40% of chemistry PhDs to women, compared to only 5% in the United States.[166] By 1989, Soviet scientists were among the world's best-trained specialists in several areas, such as energy physics, selected areas of medicine, mathematics, welding and military technologies. Due to rigid state planning and bureaucracy, the Soviets remained far behind technologically in chemistry, biology, and computers when compared to the First World.

Under the Reagan administration, Project Socrates determined that the Soviet Union addressed the acquisition of science and technology in a manner that was radically different from what the US was using. In the case of the US, economic prioritization was being used for indigenous research and development as the means to acquire science and technology in both the private and public sectors. In contrast, the USSR was offensively and defensively maneuvering in the acquisition and utilization of the worldwide technology, to increase the competitive advantage that they acquired from the technology while preventing the US from acquiring a competitive advantage. However, technology-based planning was executed in a centralized, government-centric manner that greatly hindered its flexibility. This was exploited by the US to undermine the strength of the Soviet Union and thus foster its reform.[167][168][169]

Transport

Aeroflot's flag during the Soviet era

Transport was a vital component of the country's economy. The economic centralization of the late 1920s and 1930s led to the development of infrastructure on a massive scale, most notably the establishment of Aeroflot, an aviation enterprise.[170] The country had a wide variety of modes of transport by land, water and air.[162] However, due to inadequate maintenance, much of the road, water and Soviet civil aviation transport were outdated and technologically backward compared to the First World.[171]

Soviet rail transport was the largest and most intensively used in the world;[171] it was also better developed than most of its Western counterparts.[172] By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Soviet economists were calling for the construction of more roads to alleviate some of the burdens from the railways and to improve the Soviet government budget.[173] The street network and automotive industry[174] remained underdeveloped,[175] and dirt roads were common outside major cities.[176] Soviet maintenance projects proved unable to take care of even the few roads the country had. By the early-to-mid-1980s, the Soviet authorities tried to solve the road problem by ordering the construction of new ones.[176] Meanwhile, the automobile industry was growing at a faster rate than road construction.[177] The underdeveloped road network led to a growing demand for public transport.[178]

Despite improvements, several aspects of the transport sector were still[when?] riddled with problems due to outdated infrastructure, lack of investment, corruption and bad decision-making. Soviet authorities were unable to meet the growing demand for transport infrastructure and services.

The Soviet merchant navy was one of the largest in the world.[162]

Demographics

Population of the Soviet Union (red) and the post-Soviet states (blue) from 1961 to 2009 as well as projection (dotted blue) from 2010 to 2100

Excess deaths throughout World War I and the Russian Civil War (including the postwar famine) amounted to a combined total of 18 million,[179] some 10 million in the 1930s,[44] and more than 26 million in 1941–5. The postwar Soviet population was 45 to 50 million smaller than it would have been if pre-war demographic growth had continued.[51] According to Catherine Merridale, "... reasonable estimate would place the total number of excess deaths for the whole period somewhere around 60 million."[180]

The birth rate of the USSR decreased from 44.0 per thousand in 1926 to 18.0 in 1974, mainly due to increasing urbanization and the rising average age of marriages. The mortality rate demonstrated a gradual decrease as well – from 23.7 per thousand in 1926 to 8.7 in 1974. In general, the birth rates of the southern republics in Transcaucasia and Central Asia were considerably higher than those in the northern parts of the Soviet Union, and in some cases even increased in the post–World War II period, a phenomenon partly attributed to slower rates of urbanistion and traditionally earlier marriages in the southern republics.[181] Soviet Europe moved towards sub-replacement fertility, while Soviet Central Asia continued to exhibit population growth well above replacement-level fertility.[182]

The late 1960s and the 1970s witnessed a reversal of the declining trajectory of the rate of mortality in the USSR, and was especially notable among men of working age, but was also prevalent in Russia and other predominantly Slavic areas of the country.[183] An analysis of the official data from the late 1980s showed that after worsening in the late-1970s and the early 1980s, adult mortality began to improve again.[184] The infant mortality rate increased from 24.7 in 1970 to 27.9 in 1974. Some researchers regarded the rise as mostly real, a consequence of worsening health conditions and services.[185] The rises in both adult and infant mortality were not explained or defended by Soviet officials, and the Soviet government stopped publishing all mortality statistics for ten years. Soviet demographers and health specialists remained silent about the mortality increases until the late-1980s, when the publication of mortality data resumed, and researchers could delve into the real causes.[186]

Women and fertility

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, visiting the Lviv confectionery, Ukrainian SSR, 1967

Under Lenin, the state made explicit commitments to promote the equality of men and women. Many early Russian feminists and ordinary Russian working women actively participated in the Revolution, and many more were affected by the events of that period and the new policies. Beginning in October 1918, the Lenin's government liberalized divorce and abortion laws, decriminalized homosexuality (re-criminalized in the 1930s), permitted cohabitation, and ushered in a host of reforms.[187] However, without birth control, the new system produced many broken marriages, as well as countless out-of-wedlock children.[188] The epidemic of divorces and extramarital affairs created social hardships when Soviet leaders wanted people to concentrate their efforts on growing the economy. Giving women control over their fertility also led to a precipitous decline in the birth rate, perceived as a threat to their country's military power. By 1936, Stalin reversed most of the liberal laws, ushering in a pronatalist era that lasted for decades.[189]

By 1917, Russia became the first great power to grant women the right to vote.[190] After heavy casualties in World War I and II, women outnumbered men in Russia by a 4:3 ratio.[191] This contributed to the larger role women played in Russian society compared to other great powers at the time.

Education

Young Pioneers at a Young Pioneer camp in Kazakh SSR

Anatoly Lunacharsky became the first People's Commissar for Education of Soviet Russia. In the beginning, the Soviet authorities placed great emphasis on the elimination of illiteracy. All left-handed kids were forced to write with their right hand in the Soviet school system.[192][193][194][195] Literate people were automatically hired as teachers.[citation needed] For a short period, quality was sacrificed for quantity. By 1940, Stalin could announce that illiteracy had been eliminated. Throughout the 1930s, social mobility rose sharply, which has been attributed to reforms in education.[196] In the aftermath of World War II, the country's educational system expanded dramatically, which had a tremendous effect. In the 1960s, nearly all children had access to education, the only exception being those living in remote areas. Nikita Khrushchev tried to make education more accessible, making it clear to children that education was closely linked to the needs of society. Education also became important in giving rise to the New Man.[197] Citizens directly entering the workforce had the constitutional right to a job and to free vocational training.

The education system was highly centralized and universally accessible to all citizens, with affirmative action for applicants from nations associated with cultural backwardness. However, as part of the general antisemitic policy, an unofficial Jewish quota was applied[when?] in the leading institutions of higher education by subjecting Jewish applicants to harsher entrance examinations.[198][199][200][201] The Brezhnev era also introduced a rule that required all university applicants to present a reference from the local Komsomol party secretary.[202] According to statistics from 1986, the number of higher education students per the population of 10,000 was 181 for the USSR, compared to 517 for the US.[203]

Nationalities and ethnic groups

People in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR, 1981
Svaneti man in Mestia, Georgian SSR, 1929

The Soviet Union was an ethnically diverse country, with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups. The total population was estimated at 293 million in 1991. According to a 1990 estimate, the majority were Russians (50.78%), followed by Ukrainians (15.45%) and Uzbeks (5.84%).[204]

All citizens of the USSR had their own ethnic affiliation. The ethnicity of a person was chosen at the age of sixteen[205] by the child's parents. If the parents did not agree, the child was automatically assigned the ethnicity of the father. Partly due to Soviet policies, some of the smaller minority ethnic groups were considered part of larger ones, such as the Mingrelians of Georgia, who were classified with the linguistically related Georgians.[206] Some ethnic groups voluntarily assimilated, while others were brought in by force. Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians shared close cultural ties, while other groups did not. With multiple nationalities living in the same territory, ethnic antagonisms developed over the years.[207][neutrality is disputed]

Members of various ethnicities participated in legislative bodies. Organs of power like the Politburo, the Secretariat of the Central Committee etc., were formally ethnically neutral, but in reality, ethnic Russians were overrepresented, although there were also non-Russian leaders in the Soviet leadership, such as Joseph Stalin, Grigory Zinoviev, Nikolai Podgorny or Andrei Gromyko. During the Soviet era, a significant number of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians migrated to other Soviet republics, and many of them settled there. According to the last census in 1989, the Russian "diaspora" in the Soviet republics had reached 25 million.[208]

Health

An early Soviet-era poster discouraging unsafe abortion practices

In 1917, before the revolution, health conditions were significantly behind those of developed countries. As Lenin later noted, "Either the lice will defeat socialism, or socialism will defeat the lice".[209] The Soviet principle of health care was conceived by the People's Commissariat for Health in 1918. Health care was to be controlled by the state and would be provided to its citizens free of charge, a revolutionary concept at the time. Article 42 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution gave all citizens the right to health protection and free access to any health institutions in the USSR. Before Leonid Brezhnev became General Secretary, the Soviet healthcare system was held in high esteem by many foreign specialists. This changed, however, from Brezhnev's accession and Mikhail Gorbachev's tenure as leader, during which the health care system was heavily criticized for many basic faults, such as the quality of service and the unevenness in its provision.[210] Minister of Health Yevgeniy Chazov, during the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, while highlighting such successes as having the most doctors and hospitals in the world, recognized the system's areas for improvement and felt that billions of Soviet rubles were squandered.[211]

After the revolution, life expectancy for all age groups went up. This statistic in itself was seen by some that the socialist system was superior to the capitalist system. These improvements continued into the 1960s when statistics indicated that the life expectancy briefly surpassed that of the United States. Life expectancy started to decline in the 1970s, possibly because of alcohol abuse. At the same time, infant mortality began to rise. After 1974, the government stopped publishing statistics on the matter. This trend can be partly explained by the number of pregnancies rising drastically in the Asian part of the country where infant mortality was the highest while declining markedly in the more developed European part of the Soviet Union.[212]

Language

Under Lenin, the government gave small language groups their own writing systems.[213] The development of these writing systems was highly successful, even though some flaws were detected. During the later days of the USSR, countries with the same multilingual situation implemented similar policies. A serious problem when creating these writing systems was that the languages differed dialectally greatly from each other.[214] When a language had been given a writing system and appeared in a notable publication, it would attain "official language" status. There were many minority languages which never received their own writing system; therefore, their speakers were forced to have a second language.[215] There are examples where the government retreated from this policy, most notably under Stalin where education was discontinued in languages that were not widespread. These languages were then assimilated into another language, mostly Russian.[216] During World War II, some minority languages were banned, and their speakers accused of collaborating with the enemy.[217]

As the most widely spoken of the Soviet Union's many languages, Russian de facto functioned as an official language, as the "language of interethnic communication" (Russian: язык межнационального общения), but only assumed the de jure status as the official national language in 1990.[218]

Religion

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow during its demolition in 1931
A hijab burning ceremony in the Uzbek SSR as part of Soviet Hujum policies.

Christianity and Islam had the highest number of adherents among the religious citizens.[219] Eastern Christianity predominated among Christians, with Russia's traditional Russian Orthodox Church being the largest Christian denomination. About 90% of the Soviet Union's Muslims were Sunnis, with Shias being concentrated in the Azerbaijan SSR.[219] Smaller groups included Roman Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, and a variety of Protestant denominations (especially Baptists and Lutherans).[219]

Religious influence had been strong in the Russian Empire. The Russian Orthodox Church enjoyed a privileged status as the church of the monarchy and took part in carrying out official state functions.[220] The immediate period following the establishment of the Soviet state included a struggle against the Orthodox Church, which the revolutionaries considered an ally of the former ruling classes.[221]

In Soviet law, the "freedom to hold religious services" was constitutionally guaranteed, although the ruling Communist Party regarded religion as incompatible with the Marxist spirit of scientific materialism.[221] In practice, the Soviet system subscribed to a narrow interpretation of this right, and in fact utilized a range of official measures to discourage religion and curb the activities of religious groups.[221]

The 1918 Council of People's Commissars decree establishing the Russian SFSR as a secular state also decreed that "the teaching of religion in all [places] where subjects of general instruction are taught, is forbidden. Citizens may teach and may be taught religion privately."[222] Among further restrictions, those adopted in 1929 included express prohibitions on a range of church activities, including meetings for organized Bible study.[221] Both Christian and non-Christian establishments were shut down by the thousands in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1940, as many as 90% of the churches, synagogues, and mosques that had been operating in 1917 were closed.[223]

Soviet stamp showing Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kiev and statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, 1989

Under the doctrine of state atheism, there was a "government-sponsored program of forced conversion to atheism" conducted by the Communists.[224][225][226] The regime targeted religions based on state interests, and while most organized religions were never outlawed, religious property was confiscated, believers were harassed, and religion was ridiculed while atheism was propagated in schools.[227] In 1925, the government founded the League of Militant Atheists to intensify the propaganda campaign.[228] Accordingly, although personal expressions of religious faith were not explicitly banned, a strong sense of social stigma was imposed on them by the formal structures and mass media, and it was generally considered unacceptable for members of certain professions (teachers, state bureaucrats, soldiers) to be openly religious. As for the Russian Orthodox Church, Soviet authorities sought to control it and, in times of national crisis, to exploit it for the regime's own purposes; but their ultimate goal was to eliminate it. During the first five years of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks executed 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and over 1,200 Russian Orthodox priests. Many others were imprisoned or exiled. Believers were harassed and persecuted. Most seminaries were closed, and the publication of most religious material was prohibited. By 1941, only 500 churches remained open out of about 54,000 in existence before World War I.

Convinced that religious anti-Sovietism had become a thing of the past with most Soviet Christians, and with the looming threat of war, the Stalin regime began shifting to a more moderate religion policy in the late 1930s.[229] Soviet religious establishments overwhelmingly rallied to support the war effort during World War II. Amid other accommodations to religious faith after the German invasion, churches were reopened. Radio Moscow began broadcasting a religious hour, and a historic meeting between Stalin and Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Sergius of Moscow was held in 1943. Stalin had the support of the majority of the religious people in the USSR even through the late 1980s.[229] The general tendency of this period was an increase in religious activity among believers of all faiths.[230]

Under Nikita Khrushchev, the state leadership clashed with the churches in 1958–1964, a period when atheism was emphasized in the educational curriculum, and numerous state publications promoted atheistic views.[229] During this period, the number of churches fell from 20,000 to 10,000 from 1959 to 1965, and the number of synagogues dropped from 500 to 97.[231] The number of working mosques also declined, falling from 1,500 to 500 within a decade.[231]

Religious institutions remained monitored by the Soviet government, but churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques were all given more leeway in the Brezhnev era.[232] Official relations between the Orthodox Church and the government again warmed to the point that the Brezhnev government twice honored Orthodox Patriarch Alexy I with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.[233] A poll conducted by Soviet authorities in 1982 recorded 20% of the Soviet population as "active religious believers."[234]

Military

Legacy

Culture

The "Enthusiast's March", a 1930s song famous in the Soviet Union
Soviet singer-songwriter, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky in 1979

The culture of the Soviet Union passed through several stages during the USSR's existence. During the first decade following the revolution, there was relative freedom and artists experimented with several different styles to find a distinctive Soviet style of art. Lenin wanted art to be accessible to the Russian people. On the other hand, hundreds of intellectuals, writers, and artists were exiled or executed, and their work banned, such as Nikolay Gumilyov who was shot for alleged conspiring against the Bolshevik regime, and Yevgeny Zamyatin.[235]

The government encouraged a variety of trends. In art and literature, numerous schools, some traditional and others radically experimental, proliferated. Communist writers Maxim Gorky and Vladimir Mayakovsky were active during this time. As a means of influencing a largely illiterate society, films received encouragement from the state, and much of director Sergei Eisenstein's best work dates from this period.

During Stalin's rule, the Soviet culture was characterized by the rise and domination of the government-imposed style of socialist realism, with all other trends being severely repressed, with rare exceptions, such as Mikhail Bulgakov's works. Many writers were imprisoned and killed.[236]

Following the Khrushchev Thaw, censorship was diminished. During this time, a distinctive period of Soviet culture developed, characterized by conformist public life and an intense focus on personal life. Greater experimentation in art forms was again permissible, resulting in the production of more sophisticated and subtly critical work. The regime loosened its emphasis on socialist realism; thus, for instance, many protagonists of the novels of author Yury Trifonov concerned themselves with problems of daily life rather than with building socialism. Underground dissident literature, known as samizdat, developed during this late period. In architecture, the Khrushchev era mostly focused on functional design as opposed to the highly decorated style of Stalin's epoch.

In the second half of the 1980s, Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost significantly expanded freedom of expression throughout the country in the media and the press.[237]

Sport

Valeri Kharlamov represented the Soviet Union at 11 Ice Hockey World Championships, winning eight gold medals, two silvers and one bronze.

Founded on 20 July 1924 in Moscow, Sovetsky Sport was the first sports newspaper of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Olympic Committee formed on 21 April 1951, and the IOC recognized the new body in its 45th session. In the same year, when the Soviet representative Konstantin Andrianov became an IOC member, the USSR officially joined the Olympic Movement. The 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki thus became first Olympic Games for Soviet athletes.

The Soviet Union national ice hockey team won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament between 1954 and 1991 and never failed to medal in any International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) tournament in which they competed.

The advent[when?] of the state-sponsored "full-time amateur athlete" of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage. The Soviet Union entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession – in reality, the state paid many of these competitors to train on a full-time basis.[238] Nevertheless, the IOC held to the traditional rules regarding amateurism.[239]

A 1989 report by a committee of the Australian Senate claimed that "there is hardly a medal winner at the Moscow Games, certainly not a gold medal winner...who is not on one sort of drug or another: usually several kinds. The Moscow Games might well have been called the Chemists' Games".[240]

A member of the IOC Medical Commission, Manfred Donike, privately ran additional tests with a new technique for identifying abnormal levels of testosterone by measuring its ratio to epitestosterone in urine. Twenty percent of the specimens he tested, including those from sixteen gold medalists, would have resulted in disciplinary proceedings had the tests been official. The results of Donike's unofficial tests later convinced the IOC to add his new technique to their testing protocols.[241] The first documented case of "blood doping" occurred at the 1980 Summer Olympics when a runner[who?] was transfused with two pints of blood before winning medals in the 5000 m and 10,000 m.[242]

Documentation obtained in 2016 revealed the Soviet Union's plans for a statewide doping system in track and field in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Dated before the decision to boycott the 1984 Games, the document detailed the existing steroids operations of the program, along with suggestions for further enhancements. Dr. Sergei Portugalov of the Institute for Physical Culture prepared the communication, directed to the Soviet Union's head of track and field. Portugalov later became one of the leading figures involved in the implementation of Russian doping before the 2016 Summer Olympics.[243]

See also

Conflicts

Nationalities

Notes

  1. ^ Russian: Сове́тский Сою́з, tr. Sovétsky Soyúz, IPA: [sɐˈvʲɛt͡skʲɪj sɐˈjus] (About this soundlisten)
  2. ^ Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyúz Sovétskikh Sotsialistícheskikh Respúblik, IPA: [sɐˈjus sɐˈvʲɛtskʲɪx sətsɨəlʲɪsˈtʲitɕɪskʲɪx rʲɪˈspublʲɪk] (About this soundlisten)
  3. ^ Russian: СССР, tr. Es-Es-Es-Er
  4. ^ Part III of the 1977 Soviet Constitution "THE NATIONAL-STATE STRUCTURE OF THE USSR"
  5. ^ US historian J. Arch Getty concludes: Many who lauded Stalin's Soviet Union as the most democratic country on earth lived to regret their words. After all, the Soviet Constitution of 1936 was adopted on the eve of the Great Terror of the late 1930s; the "thoroughly democratic" elections to the first Supreme Soviet permitted only uncontested candidates and took place at the height of the savage violence in 1937. The civil rights, personal freedoms, and democratic forms promised in the Stalin constitution were trampled almost immediately and remained dead letters until long after Stalin's death.[42]
  6. ^ According to British historian Geoffrey Hosking, "...excess deaths during the 1930s as a whole were in the range of 10–11 million."[44] US historian Timothy D. Snyder claims that archival evidence suggests maximum excess mortality of nine million during the entire Stalin era.[45] Australian historian and archival researcher Stephen G. Wheatcroft asserts that around a million "purposive killings" can be attributed to Stalinist regime, along with the premature deaths of roughly two million more amongst the repressed populations (i.e., in camps, prisons, exile, etc.) through criminal negligence.[46]
  7. ^ In War II Russia occupies a dominant position and is the decisive factor looking toward the defeat of the Axis in Europe. While in Sicily the forces of Great Britain and the United States are being opposed by 2 German divisions, the Russian front is receiving attention of approximately 200 German divisions. Whenever the Allies open a second front on the Continent, it will be decidedly a secondary front to that of Russia; theirs will continue to be the main effort. Without Russia in the war, the Axis cannot be defeated in Europe, and the position of the United Nations becomes precarious. Similarly, Russia’s post-war position in Europe will be a dominant one. With Germany crushed, there is no power in Europe to oppose her tremendous military forces.[48]
  8. ^ Historian Mark Kramer concludes: The net outflow of resources from eastern Europe to the Soviet Union was approximately $15 billion to $20 billion in the first decade after World War II, an amount roughly equal to the total aid provided by the United States to western Europe under the Marshall Plan.[57]
  1. ^ Ukrainian: рада (rada); Polish: rada; Belarusian: савет; Uzbek: совет; Kazakh: совет/кеңес; Georgian: საბჭოთა; Azerbaijani: совет; Lithuanian: taryba; Moldovan: совиет; Latvian: padome; Kyrgyz: совет; Tajik: шӯравӣ/совет; Armenian: խորհուրդ / սովետ; Turkmen: совет; Estonian: nõukogu

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Bibliography

Further reading

Surveys

  • A Country Study: Soviet Union (Former). Library of Congress Country Studies, 1991.
  • Brown, Archie, et al., eds.: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union (Cambridge University Press, 1982).
  • Fitzpatrick, Sheila (2007). "Revisionism in Soviet History". History and Theory. 46 (4): 77–91. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2303.2007.00429.x. JSTOR 4502285. historiographical essay that covers the scholarship of the three major schools, totalitarianism, revisionism, and post-revisionism.
  • Gilbert, Martin. Routledge Atlas of Russian History (4th ed. 2007) excerpt and text search
  • Gorodetsky, Gabriel, ed. Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1991: A Retrospective (2014)
  • Grant, Ted. Russia, from Revolution to Counter-Revolution, London, Well Red Publications, 1997
  • Hosking, Geoffrey. The First Socialist Society: A History of the Soviet Union from Within (2nd ed. Harvard UP 1992) 570pp
  • Howe, G. Melvyn: The Soviet Union: A Geographical Survey 2nd. edn. (Estover, UK: MacDonald and Evans, 1983).
  • Kort, Michael. The Soviet Colossus: History and Aftermath (7th ed. 2010) 502pp
  • McCauley, Martin. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union (2007), 522 pages.
  • Moss, Walter G. A History of Russia. Vol. 2: Since 1855. 2d ed. Anthem Press, 2005.
  • Nove, Alec. An Economic History of the USSR, 1917–1991. (3rd ed. 1993) online free to borrow
  • Pipes, Richard. Communism: A History (2003)
  • Service, Robert. A History of Twentieth-Century Russia. (2nd ed. 1999)

Lenin and Leninism

  • Clark, Ronald W. Lenin (1988). 570 pp.
  • Debo, Richard K. Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918–1921 (1992).
  • Marples, David R. Lenin's Revolution: Russia, 1917–1921 (2000) 156pp. short survey
  • Pipes, Richard. A Concise History of the Russian Revolution (1996) excerpt and text search, by a leading conservative
  • Pipes, Richard. Russia under the Bolshevik Regime. (1994). 608 pp.
  • Service, Robert. Lenin: A Biography (2002), 561pp; standard scholarly biography; a short version of his 3 vol detailed biography
  • Volkogonov, Dmitri. Lenin: Life and Legacy (1994). 600 pp.

Stalin and Stalinism

  • Daniels, R. V., ed. The Stalin Revolution (1965)
  • Davies, Sarah, and James Harris, eds. Stalin: A New History, (2006), 310pp, 14 specialized essays by scholars excerpt and text search
  • De Jonge, Alex. Stalin and the Shaping of the Soviet Union (1986)
  • Fitzpatrick, Sheila, ed. Stalinism: New Directions, (1999), 396pp excerpts from many scholars on the impact of Stalinism on the people (little on Stalin himself) online edition
  • Fitzpatrick, Sheila. "Impact of the Opening of Soviet Archives on Western Scholarship on Soviet Social History." Russian Review 74#3 (2015): 377–400; historiography
  • Hoffmann, David L. ed. Stalinism: The Essential Readings, (2002) essays by 12 scholars
  • Laqueur, Walter. Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations (1990)
  • Kershaw, Ian, and Moshe Lewin. Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Kotkin, Stephen (2014). Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9944-0. 976pp
  • Lee, Stephen J. Stalin and the Soviet Union (1999) online edition
  • Lewis, Jonathan. Stalin: A Time for Judgement (1990)
  • McNeal, Robert H. Stalin: Man and Ruler (1988)
  • Martens, Ludo. Another view of Stalin (1994), a highly favorable view from a Maoist historian
  • Service, Robert. Stalin: A Biography (2004), along with Tucker the standard biography
  • Trotsky, Leon. Stalin: An Appraisal of the Man and His Influence, (1967), an interpretation by Stalin's worst enemy
  • Tucker, Robert C. Stalin as Revolutionary, 1879–1929 (1973); Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above, 1929–1941. (1990) online edition with Service, a standard biography; at ACLS e-books

World War II

  • Barber, John, and Mark Harrison. The Soviet Home Front: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II, Longman, 1991.
  • Bellamy, Chris. Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War (2008), 880pp excerpt and text search
  • Berkhoff, Karel C. Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule. Harvard U. Press, 2004. 448 pp.
  • Berkhoff, Karel C. Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II (2012) excerpt and text search covers both propaganda and reality of homefront conditions
  • Braithwaite, Rodric. Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War (2006)
  • Broekmeyer, Marius. Stalin, the Russians, and Their War, 1941–1945. 2004. 315 pp.
  • Dallin, Alexander. Odessa, 1941–1944: A Case Study of Soviet Territory under Foreign Rule. Portland: Int. Specialized Book Service, 1998. 296 pp.
  • Kucherenko, Olga. Little Soldiers: How Soviet Children Went to War, 1941–1945 (2011) excerpt and text search
  • Overy, Richard. The road to war (4th ed. 1999), covers 1930s; pp 245–300.
  • Overy, Richard. Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941–1945 (1998) excerpt and text search
  • Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953 (2006).
  • Schofield, Carey, ed. Russian at War, 1941–1945. (Vendome Press, 1987). 256 pp., a photo-history, with connecting texts. ISBN 978-0-86565-077-0
  • Seaton, Albert. Stalin as Military Commander, (1998) online edition
  • Thurston, Robert W., and Bernd Bonwetsch, eds. The People's War: Responses to World War II in the Soviet Union (2000)
  • Uldricks, Teddy J. "War, Politics and Memory: Russian Historians Reevaluate the Origins of World War II," History and Memory 21#2 (2009), pp. 60–82 online, historiography
  • Vallin, Jacques; Meslé, France; Adamets, Serguei; Pyrozhkov, Serhii (2002). "A New Estimate of Ukrainian Population Losses during the Crises of the 1930s and 1940s". Population Studies. 56 (3): 249–264. doi:10.1080/00324720215934. JSTOR 3092980. PMID 12553326. Reports life expectancy at birth fell to a level as low as ten years for females and seven for males in 1933 and plateaued around 25 for females and 15 for males in the period 1941–44.

Cold War

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century (1989)
  • Edmonds, Robin. Soviet Foreign Policy: The Brezhnev Years (1983)
  • Goncharov, Sergei, John Lewis and Litai Xue, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao and the Korean War (1993) excerpt and text search
  • Gorlizki, Yoram, and Oleg Khlevniuk. Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945–1953 (2004) online edition
  • Holloway, David. Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939–1956 (1996) excerpt and text search
  • Mastny, Vojtech. Russia's Road to the Cold War: Diplomacy, Warfare, and the Politics of Communism, 1941–1945 (1979)
  • Mastny, Vojtech. The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years (1998) excerpt and text search; online complete edition
  • Matlock, Jack. Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended (2005)
  • Nation, R. Craig. Black Earth, Red Star: A History of Soviet Security Policy, 1917–1991 (1992)
  • Sivachev, Nikolai and Nikolai Yakolev, Russia and the United States (1979), by Soviet historians
  • Taubman, William. Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2004), Pulitzer Prize; excerpt and text search
  • Taubman, William. Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Detente to Cold War (1983).
  • Taubman, William. Gorbachev: His Life and Times (2017).
  • Tint, Herbert. French Foreign Policy since the Second World War (1972) online free to borrow 1945–1971
  • Ulam, Adam B. Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1973, 2nd ed. (1974).
  • Wilson, James Graham. The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War (2014).
  • Zubok, Vladislav M. Inside the Kremlin's Cold War (1996) 20% excerpt and online search
  • Zubok, Vladislav M. A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2007)

Collapse

  • Beschloss, Michael, and Strobe Talbott. At the Highest Levels:The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (1993)
  • Bialer, Seweryn and Michael Mandelbaum, eds. Gorbachev's Russia and American Foreign Policy (1988).
  • Carrère d'Encausse, Hélène. Decline of an Empire: the Soviet Socialist Republics in Revolt. First English language ed. New York: Newsweek Books (1979). 304 p. N.B.: Trans. of the author's L'Empire éclaté. ISBN 0-88225-280-1
  • Garthoff, Raymond. The Great Transition: American–Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (1994), detailed narrative
  • Grachev, A.S. Gorbachev's Gamble: Soviet Foreign Policy and the End of the Cold War (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Hogan, Michael ed. The End of the Cold War. Its Meaning and Implications (1992) articles from Diplomatic History
  • Roger Keeran and Thomas Keeny. Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union, International Publishers Co Inc., US 2004
  • Kotkin, Stephen. Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970–2000 (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Matlock, Jack. Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador's Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1995)
  • Ostrovsky Alexander. Кто поставил Горбачёва? (2010). («Who brought Gorbachev to power?») — М.: „Алгоритм-Эксмо“. ISBN 978-5-699-40627-2 («Проект «Распад СССР: Тайные пружины власти» — М. «Алгоритм», 2016. Переиздание книги «Кто поставил Горбачёва?») ("Project" Collapse of the USSR: Secret Springs of Power ". Reissue of the book «Who brought Gorbachev to power?» — М.: «Алгоритм», 2016.)
  • Ostrovsky Alexander. Глупость или измена? Расследование гибели СССР. (2011). («Foolishness or treason? Investigation into the death of the USSR») М.: „Крымский мост“. ISBN 978-5-89747-068-6
  • Pons, S., Romero, F., Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War: Issues, Interpretations, Periodizations, (2005) ISBN 0-7146-5695-X
  • Remnick, David. Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, (1994), ISBN 0-679-75125-4
  • Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. Rebuilding Russia: Reflections and Tentative Proposals, trans. and annotated by Alexis Klimoff. First ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991. N.B.: Also discusses the other national constituents of the USSR. ISBN 0-374-17342-7

Social and economic history

  • Bailes, Kendall E. Technology and society under Lenin and Stalin: origins of the Soviet technical intelligentsia, 1917-1941 (1978).
  • Bailes, Kendall E. "The American Connection: Ideology and the Transfer of American Technology to the Soviet Union, 1917–1941." Comparative Studies in Society and History 23.3 (1981): 421-448.
  • Brooks, Jeffrey. "Public and private values in the Soviet press, 1921-1928." Slavic Review 48.1 (1989): 16-35.
  • Caroli, Dorena. "‘And all our classes turned into a flower garden again’–science education in Soviet schools in the 1920s and 1930s: the case of biology from Darwinism to Lysenkoism." History of Education 48.1 (2019): 77-98.
  • Dobson, Miriam. "The Social History of Post-War Soviet Life" Historical Journal 55.2 (2012): 563-569. Online
  • Dowlah, Alex F., et al. The life and times of soviet socialism (Greenwood, 1997), Emphasis on economic policies. Online
  • Engel, Barbara, et al. A Revolution of Their Own: Voices of Women in Soviet History (1998), Primary sources; Online
  • Fitzpatrick, Sheila. Everyday Stalinism: ordinary life in extraordinary times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford UP, 2000). Online
  • Graham, Loren R. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A short history (Cambridge UP, 1993).
  • Hanson, Philip. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy: An Economic History of the USSR 1945-1991 (2014).
  • Heinzen, James W. Inventing a Soviet Countryside: State Power and the Transformation of Rural Russia, 1917-1929 (2004).
  • Lapidus, Gail Warshofsky. Women, Work, and Family in the Soviet Union (1982) Online
  • Lutz, Wolfgang et al. Demographic Trends and Patterns in the Soviet Union before 1991 (1994) online
  • Mironov, Boris N. “The Development of Literacy in Russia and the USSR from the Tenth to the Twentieth Centuries.” History of Education Quarterly 31#2 (1991), pp. 229–252. [www.jstor.org/stable/368437 Online]
  • Nove, Alec. Soviet economic system (1986).
  • Weiner, Douglas R. "Struggle over the Soviet future: Science education versus vocationalism during the 1920s." Russian Review 65.1 (2006): 72-97.

Nationalities

  • Nahaylo, Bohdan and Victor Swoboda. Soviet Disunion: A History of the nationalities Nationalities problem in the USSR (1990) excerpt
  • Rashid, Ahmed. The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism? (2017)
  • Smith, Graham, ed. The Nationalities Question in the Soviet Union (2nd ed. 1995)

Specialty studies

  • Armstrong, John A. The Politics of Totalitarianism: The Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1934 to the Present. New York: Random House, 1961.
  • Katz, Zev, ed.: Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities (New York: Free Press, 1975).
  • Moore, Jr., Barrington. Soviet politics: the dilemma of power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1950.
  • Rizzi, Bruno: The Bureaucratization of the World: The First English edition of the Underground Marxist Classic That Analyzed Class Exploitation in the USSR, New York, NY: Free Press, 1985.
  • Schapiro, Leonard B. The Origin of the Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition in the Soviet State, First Phase 1917–1922. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955, 1966.

External links