Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic

Location of Byelorussia (red) within the Soviet Union (red and white) between 1945 and 1991
A 2019 stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the BSSR.
Location of Byelorussia (red) within the Soviet Union (red and white) between 1945 and 1991
The initial and provisional borders of the SSRB (dark green)
The Litbel was a Soviet attempt to justify its irredentist ambition by drawing on a historic parallel.
After their 1918–1919 winter conquest of Byelorussia, Ukraine and Lithuania, Soviet forces faced Poland as a competing power in the region.
After the decisive Polish victory in Warsaw, the Red Army was forced to retreat from Polish territories, but attempts to hold Western Belarus were lost after the Polish victory on the Nieman River.
A Belarusian caricature showing the division of their country by Poles and Bolsheviks.
BSSR between the two World Wars
Minsk Railway Station (1926), with the city's name given in Belarusian, Russian, Polish and Yiddish (or interwar Belarus's 4 official languages)
BSSR from September 1939 to June 1941, with territories added after the invasion of Poland marked in orange.
Members of the Soviet resistance in Belarus hanged by the German army on 26 October 1941
Russia-born Andrei Gromyko (right) served as Soviet foreign minister (1957–1985) and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1985–1988)
The Supreme Soviet of Byelorussia, meets for its legislative sessions in Minsk.
Draniki, the national dish

Republic of the Soviet Union (USSR).

- Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic

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Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

One of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union from 1922 until 1991.

Location of the Ukrainian SSR (red) within the Soviet Union (red and light yellow) between 1954 and 1991
Soviet soldiers preparing rafts to cross the Dnieper during the Battle of the Dnieper (1943). The sign reads: "Let's get Kiev!"
Location of the Ukrainian SSR (red) within the Soviet Union (red and light yellow) between 1954 and 1991
Front page of the Zakarpattia Ukraine newspaper (1944) with the manifest of unification with Soviet Ukraine (not the Ukrainian SSR)
The Curzon Line expanded the territory of the Ukrainian SSR to include western Ukraine, previously controlled by Poland.
Soviet Postal stamp, 1954, titled as the 300th anniversary of "Unification of Ukraine with Russia" (300-летие Воссоединения Украины с Россией)
Three Soviet general secretaries were either born or raised in Ukraine: Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev (depicted here together); and Konstantin Chernenko.
Stamp in honor of the 300th anniversary of Unification of Ukraine with Russia, 1954
The 1991 Ukrainian presidential election. Former dissident Vyacheslav Chornovil gained 23.3 percent of the vote, compared to 61.6 percent for then Acting President Leonid Kravchuk.
The Declaration of Independence, as printed on the ballot for the referendum on 1 December 1991
Central Kharkov in 1981
The 25 oblasts of Ukraine through 1946 to 1954. Crimea would be transferred in 1954 and the Drohobych and Izmail oblasts would be absorbed by, respectively, the Lviv and Odessa oblasts.
Pavilion of Ukraine at the All-Soviet Exhibition Centre in Moscow
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Microdistricts, such as this one in Mykolaiv, became common sights throughout the Ukrainian SSR's cities.
Bolshevik commissars in Ukraine (1919).
Territories claimed by the Ukrainian People's Republic (1917–1920).
Boundaries of the Ukrainian SSR (1922).
Draft constitution of the Soviet Union (1937)

As a Soviet quasi-state, the newly-established Ukrainian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations alongside the Byelorussian SSR, in spite of the fact that they were legally represented by the All-Union in foreign affairs.

Republics of the Soviet Union

The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Union Republics were national-based former countries and ethnically based administrative units of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

Map of the Union Republics from 1956 to 1991, as numbered by the Soviet Constitution
Country emblems of the Union 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.
A hall in Bishkek's Soviet-era Lenin Museum decorated with the flags of Soviet Republics
Poster of the unity of the Soviet republics in the late 1930s. All republics, except Russia, are shown with their respective traditional clothes.
Poster of the unity of the Soviet republics in the late 1940s. Note that the map also points out the Karelo-Finnish SSR capital, Petrozavodsk.

The Soviet Union was created by the treaty between the soviet socialist republics of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and the Transcaucasian Federation, by which they became its constituent republics.


Landlocked country in Eastern Europe.

Stamp with the Cross of St. Euphrosyne by Lazar Bohsha from 1992
Rus' principalities before the Mongol and Lithuanian invasions
A map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 15th century prior to its union with the Kingdom of Poland. Belarus was fully within its borders.
Napoleon's Grande Armée retreating after his invasion of Russia and crossing the Berezina river (near Barysaw, Belarus)
The first government of the People's Republic,
Sitting left to right:
Aliaksandar Burbis, Jan Sierada, Jazep Varonka, Vasil Zacharka
Standing, left to right:
Arkadz Smolich, Pyotra Krecheuski, Kastus Jezavitau, Anton Ausianik, Liavon Zayats
Meeting in the Kurapaty woods, 1989, where between 1937 and 1941 from 30,000 to 250,000 people, including Belarusian intelligentsia members, were murdered by the NKVD during the Great Purge.
German soldiers in Minsk, August 1941
Khatyn Memorial; during World War II the Germans murdered civilians in 5,295 different localities in occupied Soviet Belarus.
Leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords, dissolving the Soviet Union, 8 December 1991
Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994.
Strusta Lake in the Vitebsk Region
Government House, Minsk
Victory Square in Minsk
The former flag of Belarus, used in 1918, then in 1943–44 and then between 1991 and 1995, is widely used as a symbol of opposition to the government of Alexander Lukashenko.
Protests at October Square in Minsk in 2006 after the 2006 Belarusian presidential election.
President Alexander Lukashenko, shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2015
Leaders of Belarus, Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine at the summit in Minsk, 11–12 February 2015
Soldiers patrol in the Białowieża Forest on the Belarusian border with Poland.
Graffiti in Gdańsk depicting Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski.
Administrative divisions of Belarus
Change in per capita GDP of Belarus, 1973–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.
A graphical depiction of Belarus's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories
Belarusian annual GDP and CPI rates 2001–2013
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk is one of the oldest churches in Belarus. Its current style is an ideal example of baroque architecture in the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Opera and Ballet Theater in Minsk
Poet and librettist Vintsent Dunin-Martsinkyevich
Draniki, the national dish
Victoria Azarenka, professional tennis player and a former world No. 1 in singles

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in 1917, different states arose competing for legitimacy amidst the Civil War, ultimately ending in the rise of the Byelorussian SSR, which became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922.

Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic

Republic of the Soviet Union that existed from 1922 to 1936.

Location of the Transcaucasian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union
Map of the Transcaucasian region during the Soviet era
Location of the Transcaucasian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union
A 1923 stamp overprinted on the stamp of the Russian Empire
A 1923 stamp overprinted on the stamp of the Democratic Republic of Armenia
1923 40,000-ruble stamp
1923 two-kopeck stamp
A 1923 stamp overprinted on the stamp of the Russian Empire
A 1923 stamp overprinted on the stamp of the Democratic Republic of Armenia
1923 40,000-ruble stamp

The republic became a founding member of the Soviet Union on 30 December along with the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Belorussian SSR.

Belarusian Democratic Republic

State proclaimed by the Council of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in its Second Constituent Charter on 9 March 1918 during World War I.

Area claimed by the BNR
Land claimed by the BNR at the time
Area claimed by the BNR
President and General Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz
Military and Diplomatic Mission of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Riga
Belarusian People's Republic postcard with coats of arms of voivodeships
10-hrašoŭ postage stamp
25-hrašoŭ postage stamp
A postal stamp of the Belarusian Democratic Republic

Being surrounded by more powerful neighbours and having no allies, the BNR quickly lost its war with the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic and did not become a real state with a constitution or defined territory.

Brest, Belarus

City (population 350,616 in 2019) in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet, making it a border town.

In 1019, Brest was first mentioned in chronicles as "Berestye"
Siege of Brest by E. Dahlbergh, 1657
Brest railway station during World War I, c. 1915
German–Soviet military parade in Brest-Litovsk at the conclusion of the Invasion of Poland. In the centre are Major General Heinz Guderian from the Wehrmacht and Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein from the Red Army.
A monument in memory of the Jews of Brest who were murdered in the Holocaust. In Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv
Rowing course in Brest
A southern stretch of the ring barracks of the Citadel with a projecting semi-tower on the left
Regional Sport Complex Brestsky, Brest's largest stadium
Menachem Begin

The city was in the Belarusian SSR until the breakup of the USSR in 1991.

Communist Party of Byelorussia

The Communist Party of Byelorussia (CPB; Коммунистическая партия Белоруссии; Камуністычная партыя Беларусі) was the ruling communist party of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, a constituent republic of the Soviet Union from 1922, that existed from 1917 to 1993.

Soviet Union

Country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

The Soviet Union after World War II
Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution
The Soviet Union after World War II
The Russian famine of 1921–22 killed an estimated 5 million people.
Construction of the bridge through the Kolyma (part of the Road of Bones from Magadan to Jakutsk) by the workers of Dalstroy.
Five Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. Only two of them – Budyonny and Voroshilov – survived Great Purge. Blyukher, Yegorov and Tukhachevsky were executed.
The Battle of Stalingrad, considered by many historians as a decisive turning point of World War II.
From left to right, the Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer in Tehran, 1943.
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 (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, 3 June 1961.
Nikolai Podgorny visiting Tampere, Finland on 16 October 1969
Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev and US President Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II arms limitation treaty in Vienna on 18 June 1979
Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with US President Ronald Reagan
The Pan-European Picnic took place in August 1989 on the Hungarian-Austrian border.
T-80 tank on Red Square during the August Coup
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
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)
Sukarno and Voroshilov in a state meeting on 1958.
1960s Cuba-Soviet friendship poster with Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet stamp 1974 for friendship between USSR and India as both nations shared strong ties, although India was a prominent member of Non-Aligned Movement
Gerald Ford, Andrei Gromyko, 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
1987 Soviet stamp
Military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, 7 November 1964
The Grand Kremlin Palace, the seat of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, 1982
Nationalist anti-government riots in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1990
A medium-range SS-20 non-ICBM ballistic missile, the deployment of which in the late 1970s launched a new arms race in Europe in which NATO deployed Pershing II missiles in West Germany, among other things
From left to right: Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovich, Valentina Tereshkova and Nikita Khrushchev at the Lenin's Mausoleum in 1963
Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
The DneproGES, one of many hydroelectric power stations in the Soviet Union
Picking cotton in Armenia in the 1930s
Workers of the Salihorsk potash plant, Belarus, 1968
Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod (VAZ) in 1969
Soviet stamp depicting the 30th anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency, published in 1987, a year following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Soviet stamp showing the orbit of Sputnik 1
Aeroflot's flag during the Soviet era
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
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, visiting the Lviv confectionery, Ukrainian SSR, 1967
Young Pioneers at a Young Pioneer camp in Kazakh SSR
People in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR, 1981
Svaneti man in Mestia, Georgian SSR, 1929
An early Soviet-era poster discouraging unsafe abortion practices
Cover of Bezbozhnik in 1929, magazine of the Society of the Godless. The first five-year plan of the Soviet Union is shown crushing the gods of the Abrahamic religions.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow during its demolition in 1931
A paranja burning ceremony in the Uzbek SSR as part of Soviet Hujum policies
World War II military deaths in Europe by theater and by year. Nazi Germany suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.
2001 stamp of Moldova shows Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space
People in Donetsk celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, 9 May 2018
Soviet singer-songwriter, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky in 1979
Valeri Kharlamov represented the Soviet Union at 11 Ice Hockey World Championships, winning eight gold medals, two silvers and one bronze
One of the many impacts of the approach to the environment in the USSR is the Aral Sea (see status in 1989 and 2014)
Landscape near Karabash, Chelyabinsk Oblast, an area that was previously covered with forests until acid rainfall from a nearby copper smelter killed all vegetation
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1941
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1970

Other major cities included Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR), and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR).


City in the Brest Region of western Belarus, with a population (as of 2019) of 179,000.

The central railway station in the late 19th century
Bank of Poland in Baranowicze in the 1930s
Pre-war monument of Artur Buol
Former Baranavichy Law Institute is now a constituent part of Baranavichy State University
Baranavichy. Fountain at Central Square
Ballistic missile on display in Baranavichy
Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Former Bank of Poland building
Polish Radio Baranowicze station
Pre-war fire station
Church of the Protection of the Holy Virgin
One of preserved old townhouses

After the invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union took the city on 17 September 1939, and annexed it to the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.


City in western Belarus.

A 16th-century view of Grodno
The New Castle in Grodno used to be a summer residence of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth monarchs
Ambulance carriage on narrow gauge railway, 1916
View of Grodno in 1935
The Old Grodno Castle
New (2018) manhole cover with the name of the city of Grodno in Chinese, 格羅德諾, City Center, Saviecka Street
Lenin Square
Fountain in Central Park
Kalozha, an Orthodox church of Sts. Boris and Gleb, 12th century
A trolleybus on route 1 in 2016
Neman Stadium
Grodno Regional Drama Theatre

In accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, the city was occupied by the Soviet Union and annexed into the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.