A report on Soviet Union

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

Transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

- Soviet Union

397 related topics with Alpha


1937 portrait of Stalin used in state propaganda

Joseph Stalin

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1937 portrait of Stalin used in state propaganda
In 1894 Stalin began his studies at the Tiflis Spiritual Seminary (pictured here in the 1870s).
Police photograph of Stalin, taken in 1902, when he was 23 years old.
Stalin first met Vladimir Lenin at a 1905 conference in Tampere. Lenin became "Stalin's indispensable mentor".
A mugshot of Stalin made in 1911 by the Tsarist secret police.
The first issue of Pravda, the Bolshevik newspaper of which Stalin was editor
Stalin in 1915
Joseph Stalin in 1917 as a young People's Commissar.
The Moscow Kremlin, which Stalin moved into in 1918
Joseph Stalin in 1920.
Stalin wearing a Order of the Red Banner. According to info published in Pravda (Pravda. 24 December 1939. No: 354 (8039)), this photograph was taken in Ordzhonikidze's house in 1921.
Stalin (right) confers with an ailing Lenin at Gorky in September 1922
(From left to right) Stalin, Alexei Rykov, Lev Kamenev, and Grigori Zinoviev in 1925
Stalin and his close associates Anastas Mikoyan and Sergo Ordzhonikidze in Tbilisi, 1925
Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov with a fellow miner; Stalin's government initiated the Stakhanovite movement to encourage hard work. It was partly responsible for a substantial rise in production during the 1930s.
Photograph taken of the 1931 demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in order to make way for the Palace of the Soviets
Soviet famine of 1932–33. Areas of most disastrous famine marked with black.
Review of Soviet armoured fighting vehicles used to equip the Republican People's Army during the Spanish Civil War
Exhumed mass grave of the Vinnytsia massacre
Victims of Stalin's Great Terror in the Bykivnia mass graves
Stalin greeting the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in the Kremlin, 1939
With all the men at the front, women dig anti-tank trenches around Moscow in 1941
The center of Stalingrad after liberation, 2 February 1943
The Big Three: Stalin, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Tehran Conference, November 1943
Soviet soldiers in Polotsk, 4 July 1944
British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, U.S. President Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, July 1945
Banner of Stalin in Budapest in 1949
Stalin at his 71st birthday celebration with (left to right) Mao Zedong, Nikolai Bulganin, Walter Ulbricht and Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal
The Eastern Bloc until 1989
Stalin's casket on howitzer carriage drawn by horses, caught on camera by US assistant army attaché Major Martin Manhoff from the embassy balcony
A mourning parade in honour of Stalin in Dresden, East Germany
A statue of Stalin in Grūtas Park near Druskininkai, Lithuania; it originally stood in Vilnius, Lithuania
Lavrenti Beria with Stalin's daughter, Svetlana, on his lap and Stalin seated in the background smoking a pipe. Photographed at Stalin's dacha near Sochi in the mid-1930s.
Chinese Marxists celebrate Stalin's seventieth birthday in 1949
Stalin carrying his daughter, Svetlana
A poster of Stalin at the 3rd World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin, East Germany, 1951
Interior of the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia
A contingent from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist) carrying a banner of Stalin at a May Day march through London in 2008
Interior of the Gulag Museum in Moscow
Stalin's tomb in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Marxist–Leninist activists from the opposition Communist Party of the Russian Federation laying wreaths at Stalin's Moscow grave in 2009

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who led the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953.

Allied troops in Vladivostok, August 1918, during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War

Cold War

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Allied troops in Vladivostok, August 1918, during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, 1945
Post-war Allied occupation zones in Germany
Clement Attlee, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, 1945
Post-war territorial changes in Europe and the formation of the Eastern Bloc, the so-called "Iron Curtain"
Remains of the "Iron Curtain" in the Czech Republic
C-47s unloading at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin during the Berlin Blockade
President Truman signs the North Atlantic Treaty with guests in the Oval Office.
Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin in Moscow, December 1949
General Douglas MacArthur, UN Command CiC (seated), observes the naval shelling of Incheon, Korea from USS Mt. McKinley, 15 September 1950
US Marines engaged in street fighting during the liberation of Seoul, September 1950
NATO and Warsaw Pact troop strengths in Europe in 1959
From left to right: Soviet head of state Kliment Voroshilov, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Finnish president Urho Kekkonen at Moscow in 1960.
The maximum territorial extent of Soviet influence, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961
Western colonial empires in Asia and Africa all collapsed in the years after 1945.
1961 Soviet stamp commemorating Patrice Lumumba, assassinated prime minister of the Republic of the Congo
The United States reached the Moon in 1969.
Che Guevara (left) and Fidel Castro (right) in 1961
Soviet and American tanks face each other at Checkpoint Charlie during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
Aerial photograph of a Soviet missile site in Cuba, taken by a US spy aircraft, 1 November 1962
NATO and Warsaw Pact troop strengths in Europe in 1973
US combat operations during the Battle of Ia Drang, South Vietnam, November 1965
A manifestation of the Finlandization period: in April 1970, a Finnish stamp was issued in honor of the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth and the Lenin Symposium held in Tampere. The stamp was the first Finnish stamp issued about a foreign person.
The invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968 was one of the biggest military operations on European soil since World War II.
Suharto of Indonesia attending funeral of five generals slain in 30 September Movement, 2 October 1965
Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat with Henry Kissinger in 1975
Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger in 1976
Cuban tank in the streets of Luanda, Angola, 1976
During the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot, 1.5 to 2 million people died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.
Mao Zedong and US President Richard Nixon, during his visit in China
Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II treaty, 18 June 1979, in Vienna
Iranian people protesting against the Pahlavi dynasty, during the Iranian Revolution
Protest in Amsterdam against the deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe, 1981
The Soviet invasion during Operation Storm-333 on 26 December 1979
President Reagan publicizes his support by meeting with Afghan mujahideen leaders in the White House, 1983.
President Reagan with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a working luncheon at Camp David, December 1984
The world map of military alliances in 1980
US and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945–2006
Delta 183 launch vehicle lifts off, carrying the Strategic Defense Initiative sensor experiment "Delta Star".
After ten-year-old American Samantha Smith wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov expressing her fear of nuclear war, Andropov invited Smith to the Soviet Union.
Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sign the INF Treaty at the White House, 1987.
The beginning of the 1990s brought a thaw in relations between the superpowers.
"Tear down this wall!" speech: Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate, 12 June 1987
Otto von Habsburg, who played a leading role in opening the Iron Curtain.
Erich Honecker lost control in August 1989.
August Coup in Moscow, 1991
The human chain in Lithuania during the Baltic Way, 23 August 1989
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Since the end of the Cold War, the EU has expanded eastwards into the former Warsaw Pact and parts of the former Soviet Union.
A map showing the relations of Marxist–Leninist states after the Sino-Soviet split as of 1980:
The USSR and pro-Soviet socialist states
China and pro-Chinese socialist states
Neutral Socialist nations (North Korea and Yugoslavia)
Non-socialist states

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930

World War II

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Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930
Adolf Hitler at a German Nazi political rally in Nuremberg, August 1933
Benito Mussolini inspecting troops during the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935
The bombing of Guernica in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, sparked fears abroad in Europe that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties.
Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Red Army artillery unit during the Battle of Lake Khasan, 1938
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured just before signing the Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938
German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, after signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 23 August 1939
Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht tearing down the border crossing into Poland, 1 September 1939
Soldiers of the Polish Army during the defence of Poland, September 1939
Finnish machine gun nest aimed at Soviet Red Army positions during the Winter War, February 1940
German advance into Belgium and Northern France, 10 May-4 June 1940, swept past the Maginot Line (shown in dark red)
London seen from St. Paul's Cathedral after the German Blitz, 29 December 1940
Soldiers of the British Commonwealth forces from the Australian Army's 9th Division during the Siege of Tobruk; North African Campaign, September 1941
German Panzer III of the Afrika Korps advancing across the North African desert, April-May 1941
European theatre of World War II animation map, 1939–1945 – Red: Western Allies and the Soviet Union after 1941; Green: Soviet Union before 1941; Blue: Axis powers
German soldiers during the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis powers, 1941
Soviet civilians leaving destroyed houses after a German bombardment during the Battle of Leningrad, 10 December 1942
Japanese soldiers entering Hong Kong, 8 December 1941
The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a total loss in the Japanese surprise air attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7 December 1941.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill seated at the Casablanca Conference, January 1943
Map of Japanese military advances through mid-1942
US Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in the Pacific theatre, 1942
Red Army soldiers on the counterattack during the Battle of Stalingrad, February 1943
American 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombing raid on the Focke-Wulf factory in Germany, 9 October 1943
U.S. Navy SBD-5 scout plane flying patrol over USS Washington (BB-56) and USS Lexington (CV-16) during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, 1943
Red Army troops in a counter-offensive on German positions at the Battle of Kursk, July 1943
Ruins of the Benedictine monastery, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italian Campaign, May 1944
American troops approaching Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944
German SS soldiers from the Dirlewanger Brigade, tasked with suppressing the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation, August 1944
General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte, 20 October 1944
Yalta Conference held in February 1945, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin
Ruins of the Reichstag in Berlin, 3 June 1945.
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.
Ruins of Warsaw in 1945, after the deliberate destruction of the city by the occupying German forces
Defendants at the Nuremberg trials, where the Allied forces prosecuted prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany for crimes against humanity
Post-war border changes in Central Europe and creation of the Communist Eastern Bloc
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the Independence Hall, 14 May 1948
World War II deaths
Bodies of Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre in December 1937
Schutzstaffel (SS) female camp guards removing prisoners' bodies from lorries and carrying them to a mass grave, inside the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945
Prisoner identity photograph taken by the German SS of a Polish Catholic girl who died in Auschwitz. Approximately 230,000 children were held prisoner and used in forced labour and Nazi medical experiments.
Polish civilians wearing blindfolds photographed just before their execution by German soldiers in Palmiry forest, 1940
Soviet partisans hanged by the German army. The Russian Academy of Sciences reported in 1995 civilian victims in the Soviet Union at German hands totalled 13.7 million dead, twenty percent of the 68 million persons in the occupied Soviet Union.
B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers on the Boeing assembly line in Wichita, Kansas, 1944
A V-2 rocket launched from a fixed site in Peenemünde, 21 June 1943
Nuclear Gadget being raised to the top of the detonation "shot tower", at Alamogordo Bombing Range; Trinity nuclear test, New Mexico, July 1945

Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union had partitioned Poland and marked out their "spheres of influence" across Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

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Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987
The first exhibition on the crimes of Stalinism, called "Week of Conscience", was held in Moscow on November 19, 1988
Environmental concerns over the Metsamor nuclear power plant drove initial demonstrations in Yerevan.
Figure of Liberty on the Freedom Monument in Riga, focus of the 1986 Latvian demonstrations
Anti-Soviet rally in Vingis Park of about 250,000 people. Sąjūdis was a movement which led to the restoration of an Independent State of Lithuania.
Andrei Sakharov, formerly exiled to Gorky, was elected to the Congress of People's Deputies in March 1989.
The Eastern Bloc
Baltic Way 1989 demonstration in Šiauliai, Lithuania showing coffins decorated with national flags of the three Baltic republics placed symbolically beneath Soviet and Nazi flags
Photos of victims (mostly young women) of an April 1989 massacre in Tbilisi, Georgia
Meeting in Kurapaty, Belarus, 1989
Nursultan Nazarbayev became leader of the Kazakh SSR in 1989 and later led Kazakhstan to independence.
Lithuania's Vytautas Landsbergis
Estonia's Edgar Savisaar
Latvia's Ivars Godmanis
Azerbaijani stamp with photos of Black January
Viacheslav Chornovil, a prominent Ukrainian dissident and a lead figure of Rukh
Leonid Kravchuk became Ukraine's leader in 1990.
Saparmurat Niyazov, last head of the Turkmen SSR and first president of Turkmenistan
Following Georgia's declaration of independence in 1991, South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared their desire to leave Georgia and remain part of the Soviet Union/Russia.
Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically elected president
Barricade erected in Riga to prevent the Soviet Army from reaching the Latvian Parliament, July 1991
Tanks in Red Square during the 1991 August coup attempt
Signing of the agreement to establish the Commonwealth of Independent States, 8 December
The state emblem of the Soviet Union and the СССР letters (top) in the façade of the Grand Kremlin Palace were replaced by five double-headed Russian eagles (bottom) after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the eagles having been removed by the Bolsheviks after the revolution.
The upper chamber of the Supreme Soviet in its ultimate session, voting the USSR out of existence, December 26
Russian GDP since the end of the Soviet Union (from 2014 are forecasts)
Russian male life expectancy, 1980–2007
Animated map showing independent states and territorial changes to the Soviet Union in chronological order
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, May 9, 2018
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War

The dissolution of the Soviet Union (1988–1991) was the process of internal disintegration within the Soviet Union (USSR) which resulted in the end of the country's and its federal government's existence as a sovereign state, thereby resulting in its constituent republics gaining full sovereignty.

Communist states in Europe before the Tito–Stalin split of 1948

Eastern Bloc

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Communist states in Europe before the Tito–Stalin split of 1948
Soviet Union stamp of 1950, depicting the flags and peoples of the Eastern Bloc.
The Big Three (British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Premier of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin) at the Yalta Conference, February 1945
World War II Polish Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk fled Poland in 1947 after facing arrest and persecution
Political situation in Europe during the Cold War
Germans watching Western supply planes at Berlin Tempelhof Airport during the Berlin Airlift
Countries which once had overtly Marxist–Leninist governments in bright red and countries the USSR considered at one point to be "moving toward socialism" in dark red
Communist countries and Soviet republics in Europe with their representative flags (1950s)
Trybuna Ludu 14 December 1981 reports martial law in Poland
Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, once the most dominant landmark in Baku, was demolished in the 1930s under Stalin
Berlin Wall in 1975
Prominent examples of urban design included Marszałkowska Housing Estate (MDM) in Warsaw
During World War II, 85% of buildings in Warsaw were destroyed by German troops
A line for the distribution of cooking oil in Bucharest, Romania in May 1986
Reconstruction of a typical working class flat interior of the khrushchyovka
Propaganda poster showing increased agricultural production from 1981 to 1983 and 1986 in East Germany
A Robotron KC 87 home computer made in East Germany between 1987 and 1989
Per capita GDP in the Eastern Bloc from 1950 to 2003 (1990 base Geary-Khamis dollars) according to Angus Maddison
GDP per capita of the Eastern Bloc in relations with GDPpc of United States during 1900–2010
East German Plattenbau apartment blocks
Czechoslovaks carry their national flag past a burning Soviet tank in Prague
The Cold War in 1980 before the Iran–Iraq War
Otto von Habsburg, who played a leading role in opening the Iron Curtain
Erich Honecker
Changes in national boundaries after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc
European countries by total wealth (billions USD), Credit Suisse, 2018
A map of communist states (1993–present)
The "three worlds" of the Cold War era between April–August 1975:
1st World: Western Bloc led by the United States and its allies
2nd World: Eastern Bloc led by the Soviet Union, China and their allies
3rd World: Non-Aligned and neutral countries

The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America under the influence of the Soviet Union that existed during the Cold War (1945–1991).


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Transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

Transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

The Kurgan hypothesis places the Volga-Dnieper region of southern Russia and Ukraine as the urheimat of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
Kievan Rus' in the 11th century
Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitry Donskoy in Trinity Sergius Lavra, before the Battle of Kulikovo, depicted in a painting by Ernst Lissner
Tsar Ivan the Terrible, in an evocation by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897.
Russian expansion and territorial evolution between the 14th and 20th centuries.
Napoleon's retreat from Moscow by Albrecht Adam (1851).
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and the Romanovs were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky during a 1920 speech in Moscow
Location of the Russian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union in 1936
The Battle of Stalingrad, the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare, ended in 1943 with a decisive Soviet victory against the German Army.
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin.
Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with Ronald Reagan in the Reykjavík Summit, 1986.
Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office as president on his first inauguration, with Boris Yeltsin looking over, 2000.
Vladimir Putin (third, left), Sergey Aksyonov (first, left), Vladimir Konstantinov (second, left) and Aleksei Chalyi (right) sign the Treaty on Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia in 2014
Topographic map of Russia
Köppen climate classification of Russia.
Yugyd Va National Park in the Komi Republic is the largest national park in Europe.
Chart for the political system of Russia
Putin with G20 counterparts in Osaka, 2019.
Sukhoi Su-57, a fifth-generation fighter of the Russian Air Force.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, anti-war protests broke out across Russia. The protests have been met with widespread repression, leading to roughly 15,000 being arrested.
The Moscow International Business Center in Moscow. The city has one of the world's largest urban economies.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world, connecting Moscow to Vladivostok.
Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–1765), polymath scientist, inventor, poet and artist
Mir, Soviet and Russian space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001.
Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow is the most iconic religious architecture of Russia.
Moscow State University, the most prestigious educational institution in Russia.
Metallurg, a Soviet-era sanatorium in Sochi.
The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, at night.
The Scarlet Sails being celebrated along the Neva in Saint Petersburg
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893), in a 1893 painting by Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov
Kvass is an ancient and traditional Russian beverage.
Ostankino Tower in Moscow, the tallest freestanding structure in Europe.
Maria Sharapova, former world No. 1 tennis player, was the world's highest-paid female athlete for 11 consecutive years.
Wheat in Tomsk Oblast, Siberia

Following a civil war, the Russian SFSR established the Soviet Union with three other republics, as its largest and the principal constituent.

Gorbachev at the White House Library in Washington, D.C., 1987

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Russian and former Soviet politician.

Russian and former Soviet politician.

Gorbachev at the White House Library in Washington, D.C., 1987
Gorbachev and his Ukrainian maternal grandparents, late 1930s
Gorbachev studied at Moscow State University from 1950 to 1955
Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader whose anti-Stalinist reforms were supported by Gorbachev
Gorbachev on a visit to East Germany in 1966
Part of the Great Stavropol Canal established under Gorbachev's regional leadership
Gorbachev was skeptical of the deployment of Soviet troops in Afghanistan (pictured here in 1986)
In April 1983, Gorbachev gave a speech marking the birthday of Lenin (pictured), founder of the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev in 1985 at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland
Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate in April 1986 during a visit to East Germany
Gorbachev's visit to Lithuania in 1990 in an attempt to stop Lithuania's declaration of independence which passed two months later
U.S. President Reagan and Gorbachev meeting in Iceland in 1986
Gorbachev with Erich Honecker of East Germany. Privately, Gorbachev told Chernyaev that Honecker was a "scumbag".
Gorbachev speaking in 1987
Gorbachev and his wife Raisa on a trip to Poland in 1988
Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with Reagan at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland, 19 November 1985
Reagan and Gorbachev with wives (Nancy and Raisa, respectively) attending a dinner at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, 9 December 1987
Gorbachev meeting the Romanian Marxist–Leninist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1985. According to Taubman, Ceaușescu was Gorbachev's "favorite punching bag".
Berlin Wall, "Thank you, Gorbi!", October 1990
Gorbachev addressing the United Nations General Assembly in December 1988. During the speech he dramatically announced deep unilateral cuts in Soviet military forces in Eastern Europe.
In September 1990, Gorbachev met repeatedly with U.S. President George Bush at the Helsinki Summit
Tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters surrounding the White House
Leaders of the Soviet Republics sign the Belovezha Accords which eliminated the USSR and established the Commonwealth of Independent States, 1991
Gorbachev visiting Reagan, both in western wear, at Rancho del Cielo in 1992
Gorbachev, daughter Irina and his wife's sister Lyudmila at the funeral of Raisa, 1999
Gorbachev attended the Inauguration of Vladimir Putin in May 2000
Gorbachev (right) being introduced to U.S. President Barack Obama by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, March 2009
Gorbachev in 1987
The official Soviet portrait of Gorbachev. Many official photographs and visual depictions of Gorbachev removed the port-wine birthmark from his head.
Gorbachev at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, 16 June 1992
Former US president Ronald Reagan awards the first Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to Gorbachev at the Reagan Library, 4 May 1992

The eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991.

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

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The Russian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union (red and light yellow) between 1956 and 1991
The Russian SFSR in 1922
The Russian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union (red and light yellow) between 1956 and 1991
The Russian SFSR in 1924
The Russian SFSR in 1929
The Russian SFSR in 1936
The Russian SFSR in 1940
Flag adopted by the Russian SFSR national parliament in 1991
Matryoshka doll taken apart

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russian SFSR or RSFSR, previously known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic as well as being unofficially known as Soviet Russia, the Russian Federation or simply Russia, was an independent federal socialist state from 1917 to 1922, and afterwards the largest and most populous of the Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1922 to 1991, until becoming a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, the last two years of the existence of the USSR.

Lenin in 1920

Vladimir Lenin

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Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist.

Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist.

Lenin in 1920
Lenin's childhood home in Simbirsk
An image of Lenin (left) at the age of three
Lenin was influenced by the works of Karl Marx.
Lenin (seated centre) with other members of the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1897
Lenin in 1916, while in Switzerland
Lenin undertook research at the British Museum in London.
Lenin's travel route from Zurich to St. Petersburg, named Petrograd at the time, in April 1917, including the ride in a sealed train on German territory
The engine that pulled the train on which Lenin arrived at Petrograd's Finland Station in April 1917 was not preserved. So Engine #293, by which Lenin escaped to Finland and then returned to Russia later in the year, serves as the permanent exhibit, installed at a platform on the station.
Painting of Lenin in front of the Smolny Institute by Isaak Brodsky
The Moscow Kremlin, which Lenin moved into in 1918
Bolshevik political cartoon poster from 1920, showing Lenin sweeping away monarchs, clergy, and capitalists; the caption reads, "Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth"
Signing of the armistice between Russia and Germany on 15 December 1917
Lenin with his wife and sister in a car after watching a Red Army parade at Khodynka Field in Moscow, May Day 1918
A White Russian anti-Bolshevik propaganda poster, in which Lenin is depicted in a red robe, aiding other Bolsheviks in sacrificing Russia to a statue of Marx (c. undefined 1918–1919)
Photograph of Lenin on 1 May 1919, taken by Grigori Petrovich Goldstein
Victims of the famine in Buzuluk, Volga region, next to Saratov
Lenin in 1923, in a wheelchair
Lenin spent his final years largely at the Gorki mansion.
Lenin's funeral, painted by Isaac Brodsky, 1925
Lenin speaking in 1919
The 1985 post stamp for 115th birth anniversary of Lenin. Portrait of Lenin (based on a 1900 photography of Y. Mebius in Moscow) with the Tampere Lenin Museum.
Statue of Lenin erected by the East German Marxist–Leninist government at Leninplatz in East Berlin, East Germany (removed in 1992)
Lenin's Mausoleum in front of the Kremlin, 2007
Commemorative one rouble coin minted in 1970 in honour of Lenin's centenary
Detail of Man, Controller of the Universe, fresco at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City showing Vladimir Lenin

He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.

Communist Party of the Soviet Union

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A neighborhood in the Kozhukhovsky Bay of the Moskva River with a large sign promoting the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Moscow, 1975
Joseph Stalin, leader of the party from 1924 to his death in 1953
The Brezhnev era is commonly referred to by historians as the Era of Stagnation, a term coined by CPSU General Secretary Gorbachev.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the CPSU and the Soviet Union, as seen in 1986
A Politburo resolution to execute 346 "enemies of the CPSU and Soviet Power" who led "counter-revolutionary, right-trotskyite, plotting and spying activities" (signed by Stalin)
CPSU membership card (1989)
Stalinism, while not an ideology per se, refers to the thoughts and policies of Stalin.

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), also known by various other names during its history, was the founding and ruling party of the Soviet Union.