Soviet Union

Soviet Union
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (abbreviated СССР, SSSR), was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991. An informal name used among its residents was the Union (Soyuz). The Soviet Union had a single-party political system dominated by the Communist Party until 1990. Although the USSR was nominally a union of Soviet republics (15 in all after 1956) with the capital in Moscow, it was actually a highly centralized state with a planned economy. The Russian Revolution of 1917 brought about the downfall of the Russian Empire. Its successor, the Russian Provisional Government, was short-lived. After the Bolsheviks won the ensuing Russian Civil War, the Soviet Union was founded in December 1922 with the merger of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the death of the first Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin, in 1924, Joseph Stalin eventually won a power struggle and led the country through a large-scale industrialization with a command economy and political repression. In World War II, in June 1941, Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union, a country with which it had signed a non-aggression pact. After four years of brutal warfare, the Soviet Union emerged victorious as one of the world's two superpowers, the other being the United States. The Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellite states engaged in the Cold War, a prolonged global ideological and political struggle against the United States and its Western Bloc allies, which it ultimately lost in the face of economic troubles and both domestic and foreign political unrest. In the late 1980s, the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tried to reform the state with his policies of perestroika and glasnost, but the Soviet Union collapsed and was formally dissolved in December 1991 after the abortive August coup attempt. The Russian Federation assumed its rights and obligations.


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