From 1922 to 1991, the Soviet Union was a federal socialist state comprised of 15 communist republics. The Bolsheviks, extreme leftist revolutionaries, ousted Czar Nicholas II and the centuries-old Romanov monarchy in 1917, sparking a civil war that led to the creation of the Soviet Union.
An agreement signed in 1922 between the Soviet Union and Transcaucasia (today’s Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) created the Soviet Union, officially known as the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). There were 15 member nations of the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991:
A brief history of Soviet times
Vladimir Lenin was the first head of the newly formed Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin took control after Lenin’s death in 1924 and reigned until he died in 1953.
Stalin elevated the Soviet Union to the status of an economic and military powerhouse throughout his reign. Stalin’s regime of terror resulted in the deaths of millions of Soviet civilians.
Failure to build an alliance with Western nations forced the Soviet Union to negotiate an agreement with Nazi Germany in 1939. Although the Soviets made a concerted effort to remain neutral during World War II, they were compelled by Germany to attack and absorb numerous Eastern European countries.
Among them were Poland and the Baltics. Germany’s Adolf Hitler, on the other hand, quickly went back on his word and launched an assault on Russia, which prompted the Soviet Union to join the Allies in their fight.
Soviet-held territory in Eastern Europe was turned into satellite nations after World War II ended with the Allies’ victory in 1945.
East Asia and Southeast Asia were part of the Soviet Union’s “Communist bloc,” which included countries in Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. From 1947 to 1991, the Eastern Bloc existed in contrast to the Western Bloc’s capitalist, US-led Western Bloc.
Post-WWII Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Relations between the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom started deteriorating after World War II. Western nations were worried about the rise of communism after the USSR had installed communist regimes in many Eastern European countries.
NATO was established in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and European allies as a counterweight to the Soviet Union.
In response, the Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955, which united the nations of the Eastern Bloc. As a result, the Eastern and Western blocs engaged in a decades-long exchange of political, economic, and media warfare.
Because of their competition, the United States and the Soviet Union came dangerously close to waging nuclear war. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War was over.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet elites rapidly gained wealth and power while millions of citizens faced starvation and poverty. Long “breadlines” of individuals needing government help were prevalent since the citizens lacked essentials such as clothes, shoes, and food.
Outraged young Soviet people reacted angrily to these unequal circumstances. Other countries, such as the United States, also took exception to the USSR’s policies.
Because President Reagan isolated the Soviet economy and the subsequent drop in oil prices, the Union’s income was drastically reduced.
The Soviet Union’s disintegration.
In 1989, Poland became the starting point for political upheavals throughout the Eastern Bloc.
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West Germany prompted a series of revolutionary revolutions throughout Eastern Europe, including the reunification of East and West Germany (official reunification was made on October 3, 1990).
Nationalist movements in the Soviet Union sparked arguments over the role of the central authority in the country.
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In November 1988, Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, and in May 1990, it legally broke away from the Soviet Union. On December 31, 1991, the USSR formally disintegrated into more than a dozen independent countries.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union, several former Soviet nations had considerable difficulties.
In addition to achieving political stability, reconstructing industries, reversing population decrease, and creating or reestablishing official languages and faiths, most former communist countries struggled to transition to a market economy.