Jüterbog is a historic village in north-eastern Germany, in the Teltow-Fläming district of Brandenburg. It is on the Nuthe river at the northern slope of the Fläming hill range, about 65 km southwest of Berlin; the Slavic settlement of Jutriboc in the Saxon Eastern March was first mentioned in 1007 by Thietmar of Merseburg, chronicler of Archbishop Tagino of Magdeburg. It was not incorporated into the Magdeburg diocese until in 1157 Archbishop Wichmann von Seeburg in the train of Albert the Bear established a burgward here. In 1170 Wichmann founded neighbouring Zinna Abbey and granted Jüterbog town privileges in 1174; the area remained a Magdeburg exclave between the Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg and the Margraviate of Brandenburg throughout the Middle Ages. In March 1611 a treaty was signed in Jüterbog between Brandenburg and the Electorate of Saxony in a failed attempt to end the War of the Jülich succession. In November 1644, during the Thirty Years' War, Swedish troops defeated an Imperial army nearby.
While the Magdeburg Archbishopric was promised to Brandenburg-Prussia by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the town of Jüterbog passed to Saxony. The Battle of Dennewitz occurred two miles southwest of Jüterbog on 6 September 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars; the Final Act of the 1815 Congress of Vienna adjudicated the town to the Kingdom of Prussia, it was subsequently administered within the Province of Brandenburg and became a garrison town of the Prussian Army. In 1871 it became part of the German Empire during the unification of Germany. Under Nazi rule, Jüterbog's army base was expanded and three surrounding villages were razed to make space for training areas. During the partition of Germany from 1945 to 1990, Jüterbog was part of East Germany and remained an important garrison town, now of the Red Army. Up to 40,000 Soviet soldiers were garrisoned in imposing Nazi-era barracks and in new buildings in the countryside; the huge garrison, about four times larger than the civilian population disrupted civilian life and the town was shelled as a result of indiscriminate Soviet artillery training.
After the Red Army left reunified Germany in 1990, the 20,000 hectares military area was and remains closed to the public because of security and environmental hazards. The town is surrounded by a medieval wall including barbicans, it encompasses two Protestant churches, of which Gothic St Nicholas' is remarkable for its three fine aisles and features a preserved coffer of Johann Tetzel. There are a Roman Catholic church, the old town-hall with a statue of Saint Maurice from the 16th century and a modern school. Jüterbog carries on weaving and spinning both of flax and wool, trades in the produce of those manufactures and in cattle. Vines are cultivated in the neighborhood. Zinna Abbey, the Cistercian monastery founded in 1170, is about 3 km north of the town. Seats in the municipal assembly as of 2008 elections: Social Democratic Party of Germany: 6 The Left: 6 Christian Democratic Union: 3 Free Democratic Party: 3 Bauernverband: 3 German People's Union: 1 In 1841 Jüterbog station received access to the Berlin-Anhalt Railway line.
Today the station is located at the junction of the railway line from Berlin to Wittenberg and a branch-off to Falkenberg/Elster, all served by Regional-Express trains of the Deutsche Bahn company. A third railway connection to Beelitz and Berlin-Wannsee is provided by the private Veolia Verkehr company. Furthermore, Jüterbog can be reached via Bundesstraße 101 from Berlin and the Berliner Ring motorway as well as via Bundesstraße 102 from the Bundesautobahn 9 at Niemegk junction. Three Airfields are in the vicinity of Jüterbog: the Jüterbog Airfield few km to the west, the Oehna Airfield 10 km to the south, the Reinsdorf Airfield 15 km south-east of Jüterbog. Jacob of Juterbogk, theologian Johann Deutschmann, theologian Johann Friedrich von Brandt, naturalist Hans Peter Hallwachs, actor Friedrich Gottlob Hayne, botanist Carl Friedrich Flemming, psychiatrist Max Kämper, mining engineer Wilhelm Kempff and composer Ulrich Wegener, police officer, first commander of the GSG 9 Jüterbog is twinned with: Aßlar, Hesse Waldbröl, North Rhine-Westphalia This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Jüterbog". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15. Cambridge University Press. P. 608. Media related to Jüterbog at Wikimedia Commons
Bolkhov is a town and the administrative center of Bolkhovsky District in Oryol Oblast, located on the Nugr River, 56 kilometers from Oryol, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 11,421 . Bolkhov was first documented in a chronicle from 1196. After the Mongol invasion of Rus', it became the seat of a local princely dynasty, whose descendants may be traced until the 19th century. In the 16th century, it became one of the fortified posts for defending Moscow from the Tatars on the south, it was there that the army of Vasily IV was defeated by False Dmitry II in 1608. During World War II, Bolkhov was occupied by the German Army from October 9, 1941 to July 28, 1943. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Bolkhov serves as the administrative center of Bolkhovsky District; as an administrative division, it is incorporated within Bolkhovsky District as the town of district significance of Bolkhov. As a municipal division, the town of district significance of Bolkhov is incorporated within Bolkhovsky Municipal District as Bolkhov Urban Settlement.
Bolkhov preserves four churches dating from the turn of the 18th century, including the five-domed Trinity Monastery Cathedral and the Trinity church with an elongated belfry. By far the largest church in the city is the Savior's Transfiguration Cathedral, built in 1841-1851 to a design by one of Konstantin Thon's disciples. Орловский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №522-ОЗ от 6 июля 2005 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Орловской области», в ред. Закона №1187-ОЗ от 1 апреля 2011 г «О внесении изменений в законодательные акты Орловской области». Вступил в силу с момента официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Орловская правда", №116, 13 июля 2005 г.. Орловский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №464-ОЗ от 28 декабря 2004 г. «О статусе, границах и административных центрах муниципальных образований на территории Болховского района Орловской области», в ред. Закона №1109-ОЗ от 3 сентября 2010 г. «О внесении изменений в некоторые законодательные акты Орловской области о статусе, границах и административных центрах муниципальных образований».
Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Орловская правда", №233, 30 декабря 2004 г
Bernau bei Berlin
Bernau bei Berlin is a German town in the Barnim district. The town is located about 10 km northeast of Berlin. Archaeological excavations of Mesolithic prove the fact that this area has been inhabited since about 8800 BC; the city was first mentioned in 1232. The true reasons of its founding are not known. According to a legend Albert I of Brandenburg permitted the founding of the city in 1140 because of the good beer, offered to him, it is true. Therefore, it was forbidden by law to pollute this river with waste and excrement before the days the brewing took place. Bernau had its boom years before the Thirty Years' War. Large parts of the defensive wall with town gate and wet moats are relics of that time; these helped Bernau defend itself against attackers, e.g. the Hussites in 1432. Following the plague and war Bernau was bleak. Frederick I of Prussia settled 25 Huguenotic families in 1699. In 1842 a railway line was opened. One of the first electrical suburban railway lines in the world began operation in 1924.
This line of the Berlin S-Bahn connected Bernau with the Stettiner Bahnhof in Berlin. The ADGB Trade Union School, designed by Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer, opened in 1930, it was inscribed as part of the World Heritage Site the Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Bernau in July 2017. The Waldsiedlung is a district of the city where the political leaders of the GDR lived isolated from the people; the museum of local history has two locations. One is the town gate with the former prison Hungerturm, it is one of three town gates, that were part of the defensive wall. Today armours and instruments of torture of the Middle Ages are shown there. Common furniture of several epochs and utensils of the executioner are exhibited in the Henkerhaus to demonstrate the life in the small town. In 2005 the Wolf Kahlen Museum opened. Media art from 40 years is shown. In 2005 Annelie Grund created the monument for the victims of witch-hunt; the church St. Marien dominates the skyline of the town; the nave was built in the 15th century.
Large parts of the defensive walls and wet moats of the Middle Ages are preserved. The defensive wall is supplemented by the Pulverturm and a town gate; until the 1960s the city centre, enclosed by the defensive wall, consisted of small old buildings with timber framed construction. Most of them were in a bad state because no funds were available in the GDR to renovate these buildings, it was decided to change Bernau into an exemplary city of socialist architecture. Nearly all the old houses were torn down in the 1960s and 1970s and new so-called Plattenbauten were built; the new houses had a maximum of four storeys to fit in with the architecture to the historic structure of the city. The former ADGB school is located in the northeast of the town, it is the largest building in the Bauhaus style besides the Bauhaus itself. Breitscheidstraße The line S2 of the Berlin S-Bahn connects Bernau with Berlin Friedrichstraße's station, in the center of that city Regional rail services connect Bernau with Eberswalde, Stralsund, Frankfurt in northbound direction and with Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Berlin Lichtenberg and Elsterwerda in southbound direction.
Long-distance trains go to Stralsund, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Amsterdam. The Bundesautobahn A11 from Berlin to Prenzlau and Szczecin has the two exits Bernau Nord and Bernau Süd. Bernau bei Berlin is twinned with: Champigny-sur-Marne, France Meckhenheim, Germany Skwierzyna, Poland Konrad Wolf, film director, President of the Academy of Arts, was the first city commander of Bernau after the Second World War at the age of 19, honorary citizen since 1975 Charlotte Mäder, athlete Hans-Jürgen Buchner and composer Jeanette Biedermann, entertainer Marianne Buggenhagen, several times Paralympics winner, lives in Bernau Wolf Kahlen, performance and media artist, opened his museum in Bernau in 2005 Günther Maleuda, President of the GDR in the turn-time of the GDR Hannes Meyer, built the Bundesschule des Allgemeine Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbundes in Bernau from 1928 to 1930 Andreas Müller, youth judge in Bernau Johanna Olbrich, lived out her final years in Bernau Liepnitzsee Media related to Bernau bei Berlin at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Pavel Ivanovich Batov was a senior Red Army general during the Second World War and afterwards, twice Hero of the Soviet Union. Batov fought in World War I. After being wounded in 1917, he joined the Bolsheviks, he fought in the Russian Civil War and became an adviser with the XII International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. During World War II, Batov commanded the 51st Army in the Crimea. In 1942, he became the commander of the 3rd Army and the 4th Tank Army, renamed the 65th Army. Postwar, Batov commanded the Carpathian Military District.. Batov is considered to be one of the most brilliant generals in Soviet army and some of his methods are still learnt today in military academies. Born at Filisovo in 1897, Batov began his military career during World War I. In 1915, he enlisted in a student command and served as a scout in the 3rd Infantry Regiment of the Life Guards. During this service, he displayed considerable bravery and was awarded with two Crosses of St. George and two lesser medals.
After being wounded in action in 1917, he was assigned to an NCO school in Petrograd where political agitator A. Savkov brought him into the Bolshevik movement. Batov served for four years in the Red Army during the civil war as a machine gunner, as assistant military chief of the Rybinsk Military Committee, his first staff work, he was given command of a company in 1926, was chosen to attend the Vystrel Officer's School the same year, where he met many future senior officers of the wartime Red Army. He joined the Communist Party in 1929. In 1927, Batov was promoted to command a battalion of the prestigious 1st Moscow Proletarian Rifle Division, he would serve in this unit for the next nine years. His divisional commander in 1936 wrote: Comrade Batov has commanded a regiment for more than three years. In the course of that time, the regiment has occupied first place in the division in all categories of combat and political training. In tactical training, the regiment stands out as superb. Batov soon received the "Sign of Honour" medal, completed the Frunze Academy by correspondence course.
Batov was selected to "volunteer" for service in the Spanish Civil War, under the nom de guerre Fritz Pablo. He first served as military adviser to the Hungarian communist Máté Zalka, who commanded the XII International Brigade defending the approaches to Madrid, he fought on the Teruel Front and was wounded twice and won his first Orders of Lenin and of the Red Banner as a result. After recovering, he fought at Jarama, alongside A. I Rodimtsev, on the Aragon front, where he was wounded again. Returning to the Soviet Union in December 1937, Batov successively commanded the 10th Rifle Corps and 3rd Rifle Corps, the latter of which he led in the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in September 1939; the corps transferred to the Finnish front, fought in the second phase of the Russian-Finnish War in the Karelian sector under 13th Army. For his services in Finland, Batov was awarded a second Order of Lenin, promoted to divisional commander and, in June, to lieutenant general, he was appointed deputy commander of the Transcaucasus Military District.
The outbreak of war with Germany would find him deep in the south of the USSR. In June 1941, Batov was in command of the 9th Separate Rifle Corps, which comprised the 106th and 156th Rifle Divisions and the 32nd Cavalry Division, with a total strength of about 35,000 men; this corps was the only major Red Army formation in the Crimea at the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa, Batov had arrived at its headquarters in Simferopol just two days earlier. In 1941, he was made deputy commander of the 51st Army, following the evacuation of that army from the Kerch Peninsula he rose again to full command. Although the Crimea had been lost, Batov was exonerated by Stalin. In January 1942, he joined the Bryansk Front as commander of the 3rd Army, as deputy commander for training of the Front, under Lt. Gen. K. K. Rokossovski. Rokossovski noted that Batov preferred active command to "sit in the headquarters", that his current role was "a burden" to him. Batov and Rokossovski formed a professional and personal bond that would last beyond the latter's death in 1968, Batov would continue to serve under Rokossovski's command until the end of the war.
On October 22, 1942, Batov was moved to command of the 4th Tank Army on the approaches to Stalingrad, replacing Mjr. Gen. V. D. Kryuchenkin; this army, soon renamed the 65th Army, formed part of Rokossovski's Don Front. Batov remained in command of 65th Army for the duration, he helped to plan the Soviet counteroffensive, Operation Uranus, providing key intelligence to Gen. Zhukov regarding the boundaries between German and Romanian forces, his army formed a key strike force in this offensive, the subsequent Operation Ring, which reduced and defeated the encircled Axis forces. Rokossovski wrote: displayed fine initiative with an improvised mobile task force... By striking at the enemy's flank and rear, the task force ensured the swift advance of the other units. Following this victory 65th Army was moved to the northwest, rejoining Rokossovski as part of his new Central Front. Exploiting success, the Front was pushing hard against the weak German Second Army west of Kursk, when it was brought to a halt by the spring rasputitsa and German successes around Kharkov, to the south.
In July 1943, Batov's army formed part of Rokossovski's Front during the giant Battle of Kursk, on a secondary sector, in the exploitation operat
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk in the Soviet Union, during July and August 1943. The battle began with the launch of the German offensive, Operation Citadel, on 5 July, which had the objective of pinching off the Kursk salient with attacks on the base of the salient from north and south simultaneously. After the German offensive stalled on the northern side of the salient, on 12 July the Soviets commenced their Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Kutuzov against the rear of the German forces in the northern side. On the southern side, the Soviets launched powerful counterattacks the same day, one of which led to a large armoured clash, the Battle of Prokhorovka. On 3 August, the Soviets began the second phase of the Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev against the German forces in the southern side of the Kursk salient; the battle was the final strategic offensive that the Germans were able to launch on the Eastern Front.
Because the Allied invasion of Sicily had begun, Adolf Hitler was forced to have troops training in France diverted to meet the Allied threat in the Mediterranean, rather than use them as a strategic reserve for the Eastern Front. Hitler canceled the offensive at Kursk in part to divert forces to Italy. Germany's extensive losses of men and tanks ensured that the victorious Soviet Red Army enjoyed the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war; the Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off the forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. The Kursk salient or bulge was 250 kilometres long from north to south and 160 kilometres from east to west; the plan envisioned an envelopment by a pair of pincers breaking through the northern and southern flanks of the salient. Hitler believed that a victory here would reassert German strength and improve his prestige with his allies, who were considering withdrawing from the war, it was hoped that large numbers of Soviet prisoners would be captured to be used as slave labour in the German armaments industry.
The Soviet government had foreknowledge of the German intentions, provided in part by the British intelligence service and Tunny intercepts. Aware months in advance that the attack would fall on the neck of the Kursk salient, the Soviets built a defence in depth designed to wear down the German armoured spearhead; the Germans delayed the offensive while they tried to build up their forces and waited for new weapons the new Panther tank but larger numbers of the Tiger heavy tank. This gave the Red Army time to construct a series of deep defensive belts; the defensive preparations included minefields, artillery fire zones and anti-tank strong points, which extended 300 km in depth. Soviet mobile formations were moved out of the salient and a large reserve force was formed for strategic counter-offensives; the Battle of Kursk was the first time in the Second World War that a German strategic offensive was halted before it could break through enemy defences and penetrate to its strategic depths.
The maximum depth of the German advance was 8–12 kilometres in the north and 35 kilometres in the south. Though the Red Army had succeeded in winter offensives their counter-offensives following the German attack at Kursk were their first successful strategic summer offensives of the war; as the Battle of Stalingrad ground to its conclusion, the Red Army moved to a general offensive in the south, in Operation Little Saturn. By January 1943, a 160 to 300 km wide gap had opened between Army Group B and Army Group Don, the advancing Soviet armies threatened to cut off all German forces south of the Don River, including Army Group A operating in the Caucasus. Army Group Center came under significant pressure as well. Kursk fell to the Soviets on 8 February 1943, Rostov fell on 14 February; the Soviet Bryansk and newly created Central Fronts prepared for an offensive which envisioned the encirclement of Army Group Center between Bryansk and Smolensk. By February 1943 the southern sector of the German front was in strategic crisis.
Since December 1942 Field Marshal Erich von Manstein had been requesting "unrestricted operational freedom" to allow him to use his forces in a fluid manner. On 6 February 1943, Manstein met with Hitler at the headquarters in Rastenburg to discuss the proposals he had sent, he received an approval from Hitler for a counteroffensive against the Soviet forces advancing in the Donbass region. On 12 February 1943, the remaining German forces were reorganised. To the south, Army Group Don was placed under Manstein's command. Directly to the north, Army Group B was dissolved, with its forces and areas of responsibility divided between Army Group South and Army Group Center. Manstein inherited responsibility for the massive breach in the German lines. On 18 February, Hitler arrived at Army Group South headquarters at Zaporizhia just hours before the Soviets liberated Kharkov, had to be hastily evacuated on the 19th. Once given freedom of action, Manstein intended to utilise his forces to make a series of counterstrokes into the flanks of the Soviet armoured formations, with the goal of destroying them while retaking Kharkov and Kursk.
The II SS Panzer Corps had arrived from France in January 1943, refitted and up to near full strength. Armoured units from the 1st Panzer Army of Army Group A had pulled out of the Caucasus and further strengthen
Kolomna is an ancient city of Moscow Oblast, situated at the confluence of the Moskva and Oka Rivers, 114 kilometers southeast of Moscow. Population: 144,589 . Mentioned for the first time in 1177, Kolomna was founded in 1140–1160 according to the latest archaeological surveys. Kolomna's name may originate from the Old Russian term for "on the bend" as the old city is located on a sharp bend in the Moscow River. In 1301, Kolomna was incorporated into the Moscow Principality. Like some other ancient Russian cities, it has a kremlin, a citadel similar to the more famous one in Moscow and built of red brick; the stone Kolomna Kremlin was built from 1525–1531 under the Russian Tsar Vasily III. The Kolomna citadel was a part of the Great Abatis Border and, although much of the surrounding wall was removed in the eighteenth century and materials used to construct other public buildings, the remaining stretch of wall, several towers, some interior buildings have been preserved and held in a good shape.
A museum is located inside. In front of the façade stands a statue of Dmitry Donskoy, celebrating the gathering of his troops in Kolomna prior to the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380; the civic arms of Kolomna were granted by Empress Catherine II, influenced by the similar-sounding name of the famous Colonna family of Rome. Hence, the similar appearance of the arms, despite there being no connection between the Roman family and the city of Kolomna. Due to sensitive military production of missile components, Kolomna was a closed city until 1994, it is still not listed as a city of the Golden Ring, despite its kremlin and the large number of well-preserved churches and monasteries. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Kolomna serves as the administrative center of Kolomensky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Kolomna City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Kolomna City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Kolomna Urban Okrug.
Kolomna is located on the Ryazan line of 116 kilometers from Moscow. In Kolomna, there are one terminal. Two bus terminals are located in the city. Public transport in the city is represented by city bus lines. Kolomna is situated on three rivers, has passenger and transport berths. Most known one is the Bochmanovo berth; the Kolomna Speed Skating Center is an indoor ice speed skating oval used for Russian and international championships. It hosted the 2008 European Speed Skating Championships and the 2016 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships; the Kolomna Speed Skating Center is considered as one of the most modern ice speed skating ovals in the world. Filaret, Metropolitan of Moscow Dmitry Dorofeyev, speed skater Nikolay Epshtein, Soviet ice hockey coach Sergey Gorshkov, Soviet admiral Mikhail Katukov, commander of armored troops in the Red Army Yekaterina Lobysheva, speed skater Eduard Malofeyev, football player and manager Mikhail Tyurin, cosmonaut Edward Frenkel, mathematician Olga Graf, speed skater Sergey Malitsky, fantasy fiction writer Vitalik Buterin, programmer and inventor of Ethereum Kolomna Kremlin Bobrenev cloister Staro-Golutvin cloister Novo-Golutvin cloister Posad, with several churches Church of John the Baptist, one of only three 14th-century buildings preserved in Moscow Oblast.
Museum of pastila, a locally produced fruit candy Kolomna Speed Skating Center Museum of Organic Culture Kolomna is twinned with: Maladzyechna, Belarus Bauska, Latvia Moscow, Russia Московская областная Дума. Закон №11/2013-ОЗ от 31 января 2013 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Московской области», в ред. Закона №72/2015-ОЗ от 5 мая 2015 г. «Об отнесении города Озёры Озёрского района Московской области к категории города областного подчинения Московской области, упразднении Озёрского района Московской области и внесении изменений в Закон Московской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Московской области"». Вступил в силу на следующий день после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ежедневные Новости. Подмосковье", №24, 12 февраля 2013 г.. Московская областная Дума. Закон №153/2004-ОЗ от 25 ноября 2004 г. «О статусе и границе городского округа Коломна», в ред. Закона №52/2010-ОЗ от 6 мая 2010 г «О внесении изменений в Закон Московской области "О статусе и границе городского округа Коломна" и Закон Московской области "О статусе и границах Коломенского муниципального района и вновь образованных в его составе муниципальных образований"».
Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ежедневные Новости. Подмосковье", №231, 4 декабря 2004 г. (Moscow Oblast Duma. Law #153/2004-OZ of November 25, 2004 On the Status and the Border of Kolomna Urban Okrug, as amended by the Law #52/2010-OZ of May 6, 2010 On Amending the Law of Moscow Oblast "On the Status and the Border of Kolomna Urban Okrug" and the Law of Moscow Oblast "On the Status and Borders of Kolomensky Municip
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta