Russia in USSR

Stalin government

After Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin gradually took control of the organs of political leadership and bureaucratized the Party created by Lenin. Although under his leadership the USSR became an industrial power and the standard of living of the population rose, serious mistakes and abuses of power incompatible with revolutionary ethics were committed.

In foreign policy the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: The 23 of August of 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed in Moscow a pact of non – aggression, which also in a secret additional protocol, was divided into Eastern and Central Europe in Soviet and German spheres of influence, also establishing guidelines for the partition of Poland between the two states. Also in that protocol, Stalin was given carte blanche to intervene in Finland and the Baltic countries.

Fidel Castro has said about this: “I think that the imperialist plans to launch Hitler against the USSR would never have justified Hitler’s pact with Stalin, it was very hard. The communist parties, which were characterized by discipline, were all forced to defend the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and bleed out politically. ”

Once the Second World War began, however, and considering Hitler that the fall of England was imminent, he ordered an attack on the Soviet Union, making the pact a dead letter. The 18 of December of 1940, the German command decided that the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) would be held in April 1941, but only could realize the June 22 of that year, when the attack began in Soviet territory more than 3 million German soldiers. The invasion took Stalin by surprise even though he had a sufficient record that it was imminent.

The Red Army was weakened by Stalin’s purges in the late 1930s, so German forces advanced rapidly across the western plains of the USSR.

After the start of WWII

The Red Army stopped the Nazi offensive at the Battle of Stalingrad, from late 1942 to early 1943, being the major turning point, and advanced through Eastern Europe to Berlin before Germany’s surrender in 1945.

In his advance he liberated many European and Asian nations engulfed by the military and racist machine of the Hitlerites. Although ravaged by war, the Soviet Union emerged from the conflict as a recognized superpower. They suffered more than 27 million casualties, between military and civilians, during the entire conflict.

The Soviet Union was the fighting country that withstood almost 80% of the attack by the Germans, so the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad and the subsequent counteroffensive meant the collapse of the German war machine.

After the death of Stalin in 1953, his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, presented to the plenary session of the XX Congress of the Communist Party in 1956, a report with the political errors and crimes committed by Stalin, lamenting the cult of his personality and starting a campaign de-stalinization.

The Soviet Union unleashed enormous scientific and technological potential, launching the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1, the first living being to travel to space is Laika, and later, the first human being to orbit the Earth, Yuri Gagarin.

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly in space aboard Vostok 6 on 16 of June of 1963, and Alexei Leonov became the first person to walk in space on 18 of March of 1965. Khrushchev was retired in 1964. The enormous effort made to achieve nuclear parity with the United States contributed to bleeding the Soviet economy and together with other errors caused industry and agriculture to stagnate.

In sport it became the first world power, the Soviet Union hosted the Olympics in 1980, based in Moscow. There was a boycott of the event by the United States: in the context of the Cold War and in protest at the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, the Americans decided not to attend the Olympics, while trying to persuade their allies to that they did not attend either. In all, 65 countries abstained from participating, mainly due to the US initiative.

Political-administrative organization

The Russian Federation consists of a large number of different political subdivisions, making a total of 83 constituent components (federal subjects).

According to, there are 21 republics within the federation that enjoy a high degree of autonomy over most internal issues and these correspond to some ethnic minorities in Russia (although they are not always the majority in that territory). Each republic has its own constitution.

The remaining territory consists of 9 krais (territories), 46 provinces known as oblasts, 4 autonomous districts, and one autonomous oblast. Apart from these there are two federal cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Recently, seven large federal districts have been added as a new layer between the above subdivisions and the national level.

Russia in USSR