21 Facts About Soviet Union

1. Soviet Union produced many significant social and technological achievements and innovations.

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2. Soviet Union covered an area of over 22,402,200 square kilometres, and was the world's largest country, a status that is retained by its successor state, Russia.

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3. From its creation, the government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communist Party.

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4. Almost a year after Britain and France had concluded the Munich Agreement with Germany, the Soviet Union made agreements with Germany as well, both militarily and economically during extensive talks.

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5. On 14 December 1939 the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.

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6. The USSR concentrated on its own recovery, seizing and transferring most of Germany's industrial plants, and it exacted war reparations from East Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria using Soviet Union-dominated joint enterprises.

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7. Soviet Union made significant changes in the economy and party leadership, called perestroika.

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8. On 8 December 1991, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place.

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9. All senior government officials and most deputies of the Supreme Soviet Union were members of the CPSU.

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10. Supreme Soviet Union was nominally the highest state body for most of the Soviet Union history, at first acting as a rubber stamp institution, approving and implementing all decisions made by the party.

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11. The Supreme Soviet Union elected a Presidium to wield its power between plenary sessions, ordinarily held twice a year, and appointed the Supreme Court, the Procurator General and the Council of Ministers (known before 1946 as the Council of People's Commissars), headed by the Chairman (Premier) and managing an enormous bureaucracy responsible for the administration of the economy and society.

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12. The coup failed, and the State Council of the Soviet Union became the highest organ of state power "in the period of transition".

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13. The Soviet Union used the inquisitorial system of Roman law, where the judge, procurator, and defence attorney collaborate to establish the truth.

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14. The Soviet Union participated in the war in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989.

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15. Soviet Union adopted a command economy, whereby production and distribution of goods were centralized and directed by the government.

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16. Under the Reagan administration, Project Socrates determined that the Soviet Union addressed the acquisition of science and technology in a manner that was radically different from what the US was using.

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17. Soviet Union was an ethnically diverse country, with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups.

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18. Soviet Union was officially a secular state, but a "government-sponsored program of forced conversion to atheism" was conducted under the doctrine of state atheism.

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19. Culture of the Soviet Union passed through several stages during the USSR's existence.

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20. The Soviet Union was the biggest rival to the United States at the Summer Olympics, winning six of its nine appearances at the games and topping the medal tally at the Winter Olympics six times.

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21. The Soviet Union entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession – in reality, the state paid many of these competitors to train on a full-time basis.

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