The Soviet Union: Rise and Fall

Formation of the USSR
Formation of the USSR
The Soviet Union was established in December 1922, unifying Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Transcaucasian Republic under a single federal government following the Russian Revolution and the fall of the Russian Empire.
Stalin's Transformative Rule
Stalin's Transformative Rule
Stalin's rule (1924-1953) marked significant industrialization and terror. The Great Purge of the late 1930s eliminated political opposition, while the GULAG system incarcerated millions. Despite this, WWII victory and space achievements occurred under his leadership.
Khrushchev's Thaw
Khrushchev's Thaw
Nikita Khrushchev's era (1953-1964) introduced 'De-Stalinization' and relative liberalization. The 1956 'Secret Speech' denounced Stalin's cult of personality. This period also saw the tense Cuban Missile Crisis and the launch of Sputnik.
Era of Stagnation
Era of Stagnation
Under Brezhnev (1964-1982), the USSR saw political stability but economic stagnation. The era was marked by a rigid command economy, declining growth, and the suppression of political dissent, exemplified by the treatment of dissidents like Solzhenitsyn.
Gorbachev's Reform Attempts
Gorbachev's Reform Attempts
Mikhail Gorbachev initiated Perestroika (restructuring) and Glasnost (openness) in the mid-1980s. Intended to revitalize the Soviet economy and society, these reforms inadvertently accelerated the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Soviet Union Dissolution
Soviet Union Dissolution
The Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991 amid economic troubles, nationalist movements, and a failed coup. 15 independent republics emerged, drastically altering the world's political landscape. The Russian Federation, under Boris Yeltsin, claimed its legal continuation.
Post-Soviet Geopolitical Shift
Post-Soviet Geopolitical Shift
The fall of the USSR ended the Cold War, shifting global power balances. Russia faced political and economic turmoil, while the West, especially the US, emerged as the sole superpower. The post-Soviet space still navigates the USSR's legacy.
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When was the Soviet Union established?
After 1917 Russian Revolution
December 1922, post Russian Empire
During WWII Victory