Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Flag of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Coat of arms of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Coat of arms
Location of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
and largest city
GovernmentFederal Marxist–Leninist socialist state
• Notable leaderships
Vladimir Lenin (1922–1924)
Joseph Stalin (1924–1953)
• October Revolution
1917 November 7th
1922 December 30th
• World War II victory
1945 May 9th
• Dissolution
1991 December 26th
• 1989 estimate
• Labour force
152.3 million[2]
• Occupation
80% industry and other nonagricultural fields
20% agriculture[2]
• Unemployment rate
GDP (nominal)1989 estimate
• Total
$2.66 trillion[2] (2nd)
• Per capita
Exports1988 estimate
• Value
$110.7 billion[2]
• Commodities
Petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood, agricultural products, and a wide variety of manufactured goods (primarily capital goods and arms)[2]
• Partners
Eastern Europe (49%),
Western Europe (14%), Cuba (5%), United States[2]
Imports1988 estimate
• Value
$107.3 billion[2]
• Commodities
Grain and other agricultural products, machinery and equipment, steel products (including large-diameter pipe), consumer manufactures[2]
• Partners
Eastern Europe (43%),
Western Europe (18%),
Cuba, China, United States[2]
CurrencySoviet ruble (РУБ)

The Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) [Russian: Союз Советских Социалистических Республик (СССР)], was a Marxist-Leninist federal socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

The USSR was established in 1922 as a union of four Soviet socialist republics formed after the October Revolution of 1917, the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR. From 1956 to 1991, the union had 15 member nations in total.

The Soviet Union developed under conditions of extreme pressure provoked by capitalist powers, from the Russian Civil War the Nazi invasion, and espionage from the West. Besides the difficulties that it faced, the USSR managed to provide a positive political role for the working people, especially in a time when workers in the capitalist world were still struggling for basic union rights. The USSR also played an essential military role in the defeat of fascism in World War II.

The Soviet Union was the subject of some of the most impressive economical achievements in modern history. The socialist system transformed a nation of illiterate and starving peasants into an industrial superpower, with one of the fastest growing economies on Earth, one of the world's best-educated and healthiest populations, and some of the most impressive industrial and technological achievements to date. It provided a very influential model for other socialist nations of the world, such as China, Cuba and Vietnam.

From 1988, many Soviet Socialist Republics seceded from the USSR before its dissolution in 1991. Its past territory is now occupied by the states of Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Transnistria, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.



World war I

See main article: World War I

October Revolution

See main article: October Revolution

Treaty on formation of the USSR

See main article: Declaration and Treaty on the Formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

World War II

See main article: World War II

Cold War

See main article: Cold War


See main article: Dissolution of the USSR




Housing and construction

Industry and manufacturing






Science and technology


Living standards







  1. Демоскоп Weekly. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР [The 1989 All-Union Population Census. National composition of the population by republics of the USSR].
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 CIA World Factbook (1990). Soviet Union – World Factbook (Wikisource)
  3. CIA World Factbook (1991). Soviet Union Economy
  4. CIA World Factbook (1990). GDP per Capita 1990