Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
Anti-Sovietism and anti-Soviet refer to persons and activities or aimed against the Soviet Union or government power within the Soviet Union. Three different flavors of the usage of the term may be distinguished. Anti-Sovietism in international politics, such as the Western opposition to the Soviet Union during the Cold War by anti-communism. Anti-Soviet opponents of Bolsheviks shortly after the Russian Revolution and during the Russian Civil War; as applied to Soviet citizens involved in anti-government activities. During the Russian Civil War that followed the October Revolution of 1917, the anti-Soviet side was the White movement. Between the wars, some resistance movement in the 1920s, was cultivated by Polish intelligence in the form of the Promethean project. After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, anti-Soviet forces were created and led by Nazi Germany. In the time of the Russian Civil War, whole categories of people, such as clergy and former Imperial Russian police, were automatically considered anti-Soviet.
More categories are listed in the article "Enemy of the people". For many people, the major evidence of their guilt was their social status rather than actual deeds. Martin Latsis, chief of the Ukrainian Cheka, explained in a newspaper: Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession; these are the questions. In the Soviet Union, being anti-Soviet was a criminal offense; the epithet "antisoviet" was synonymous with "counter-revolutionary". The noun "antisovietism" was used and the noun "antisovietist" was used in a derogatory sense. Anti-Soviet agitation and activities were political crimes handled by the Article 58 and Article 70 of the RSFSR penal code and similar articles in other Soviet republics. In February 1930, there was an anti-Soviet insurgency in the Kazak Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic village of Sozak.
After the end of the Second World War, there were Eastern European anti-Communist insurgencies against the Soviet Union. Anti-communism Anti-Soviet partisans Anti-Stalinist left Criticisms of communist party rule Enemy of the people German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war Red Scare Red Terror Soviet dissidents Soviet Empire Timeline of events in the Cold War Michael Parenti: Anti-Sovietism in the Media
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
Anti-fascism is opposition to fascist ideologies and individuals. The anti-fascist movement began in a few European countries in the 1920s, spread to other countries around the world, it was at its most significant shortly before and during World War II, where the fascist Axis powers were opposed by many countries forming the Allies of World War II and dozens of resistance movements worldwide. Anti-fascism has been an element of movements holding many different political positions, including social democratic, liberal, communist, capitalist, anarchist and centrist viewpoints. With the development and spread of Italian Fascism, i.e. original fascism, the National Fascist Party's ideology was met with militant opposition by Italian communists and socialists. Organizations such as the Arditi del Popolo and the Italian Anarchist Union emerged between 1919–1921, to combat the nationalist and fascist surge of the post-World War I period. In the words of historian Eric Hobsbawm, as fascism developed and spread, a "nationalism of the left" developed in those nations threatened by Italian irredentism.
After the outbreak of World War II, the Albanian and Serbian resistances were instrumental in antifascist action and underground resistance. This combination of irreconcilable nationalisms and leftist partisans constitute the earliest roots of European anti-fascism. Less militant forms of anti-fascism arose later. For instance, during the 1930s in Britain, "Christians – the Church of England – provided both a language of opposition to fascism and inspired anti-fascist action"; the diversity of political entities that share only their anti-fascism has prompted the historian Norman Davies to argue in his book Europe at War 1939–1945: No Simple Victory that anti-fascism does not offer a coherent political ideology, but rather that it is an "empty vessel". Davies further asserts that the concept of anti-fascism is a "mere political dance" created by Josef Stalin and spread by Soviet propaganda organs in an attempt to create the false impression that Western democrats by joining the USSR in the opposition to fascism could in general align themselves politically with communism.
The motive would be to lend legitimacy to the dictatorship of the proletariat and was done at the time the USSR was pursuing a policy of collective security. Davies goes on to point out that with Winston Churchill as a notable exception, the concept of anti-fascism gained widespread support in the West, except that its credibility suffered a serious but temporary blow while the USSR and Nazi Germany coordinated their wars of aggression in Eastern Europe under their Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Anti-fascist movements emerged first in Italy, during the rise of Mussolini, but soon spread to other European countries and globally. In the early period, socialist and Christian workers and intellectuals were involved; until 1928, the period of the United front, there was significant collaboration between the Communists and non-Communist anti-fascists. In 1928, the Comintern instituted its ultra-left "Third Period" policies, ending co-operation with other left groups, denouncing social democrats as "social fascists".
From 1934 until the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Communists pursued a Popular Front approach, of building broad-based coalitions with liberal and conservative anti-fascists. As fascism consolidated its power, during World War II, anti-fascism took the form of Partisan or Resistance movements. In Italy, Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime used the term "anti-fascist" to describe its opponents. Mussolini's secret police was known as Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo, Italian for "Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism"). In the Kingdom of Italy in the 1920s, anti-fascists—many from the labour movement—fought against the violent Blackshirts and against the rise of fascist leader Benito Mussolini. After the Italian Socialist Party signed a pacification pact with Mussolini and his Fascist Revolutionary Party on 3 August 1921, trade unions adopted a legalist and pacified strategy, members of the workers' movement who disagreed with this strategy formed the Arditi del popolo.
The General Confederation of Labour and the PSI refused to recognize the anti-fascist militia, while the Italian Communist Party ordered its members to quit the organization. The PCI organized some militant groups, but their actions were minor, the party maintained a non-violent, legalist strategy; the Italian anarchist Severino Di Giovanni, who exiled himself to Argentina following the 1922 March on Rome, organized several bombings against the Italian fascist community. Italian liberal anti-fascist Benedetto Croce wrote Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals, published in 1925. Another notable Italian liberal anti-fascist around that time was Piero Gobetti. Between 1920 and 1943, several anti-fascist movements were active among the Slovenes and Croats in the territories annexed to Italy after World War I, known as the Julian March; the most influential was the militant insurgent organization TIGR, which carried out numerous sabotages, as well as attacks on representatives of the Fascist Party and the military.
Most of the underground structure of the organization was discovered and dismantled by the Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism in 1940 and 1941, after June 1941, most of its former activists joined the Slovene Partisans. During World War II, many members of the Italian resistance left their homes and went to live in the mountainside, fighting against Italian fascists and German Nazi soldiers. M
Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya was a Soviet dissident and liberal politician. She was the founder and the chairwoman of the "Democratic Union" party and a member of the editorial board of The New Times. Novodvorskaya was born in 1950 to a Jewish engineer, Ilya Borisovich Burshtyn, a pediatrician, Nina Feodorovna Novodvorskaya, who came from a noble Russian family, her parents divorced in 1967. Novodvorskaya was active in the Soviet dissident movement since her youth, first imprisoned by the Soviet authorities in 1969, when she was 19, for distributing leaflets that criticized the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia; the leaflets included her poetry: "Thank you, the Communist Party for our bitterness and despair, for our shameful silence, thank you the Party!" She was arrested and imprisoned at a Soviet psychiatric hospital and, like many other Soviet dissidents, diagnosed with "sluggish schizophrenia". In the early 1990s, psychiatrists of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia proved that the claim of her mental illness was bogus.
She described her experience in her book Beyond Despair. Novodvorskaya stood as a Democratic Union candidate in the 1993 Russian legislative election in a single-mandate district as part of the Russia's Choice bloc, she contested the 1995 Russian legislative election on the list of the Party of Economic Freedom, she was not elected in either election, never held public office. Novodvorskaya self-identified as a liberal politician and was described by her colleagues as "a critic of Russian realities in the best traditions of Pyotr Chaadayev, Vissarion Belinsky and Alexander Herzen", she was critical of Chechen Wars, Vladimir Putin's domestic policies, the rebirth of Soviet propaganda in Russia. She accused the Russian government of murdering Polish president Lech Kaczyński in a plane crash on 10 April 2010 in Smolensk Oblast. In 2009 Novodvorskaya published an autobiographical book, Farewell of Slavianka: A Thriller, that includes all her articles from Novy Vzglad, the details of her case, fragments of speech her lawyer Henri Reznik gave in 1996 and her last word in court.
The case lasted for two years and was closed. Throughout her life, Novodvorskaya lived in a flat with her mother Nina Fyodorovna, a pediatrician, cat Stasik. In the summers they rented a dacha in Kratovo, she was fond of swimming, science fiction and cats. In 1990 Novodvorskaya was baptized by the noncanonical Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Reunited, she belonged to that church till her death while remaining critical of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to her priest Yakov Krotov, "she was more of a Christian than I was". On 12 July 2014, Novodvorskaya died of toxic shock syndrome, which arose from phlegmon of the left foot. Novodvorskaya received the Starovoytova award "for contribution to the defense of human rights and strengthening democracy in Russia", she said at the ceremony that "we are not in opposition to, but in confrontation with, the present regime". Novodvorskaya published several books that are supplemented with the publications from Novy Vzglyad newspaper: Beyond Despair Карфаген обязан быть разрушен Валерия Новодворская.
Над пропастью во лжи Валерия Новодворская. Прощание славянки Валерия Новодворская. Поэты и цари Valeriya Novodvorskaya on Facebook Opinions on grani.ru Natella Boltyanskaya. "Шестнадцатая серия. Валерия Новодворская". Voice of America. Parallels, People
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in an intense rivalry. Anti-communism has been an element of movements holding many different political positions, including nationalist, social democratic, libertarian, fascist, capitalist and socialist viewpoints; the first organization dedicated to opposing communism was the Russian White movement, which fought in the Russian Civil War starting in 1918 against the established Communist government. The White movement was supported militarily by several allied foreign governments, which represented the first instance of anti-communism as a government policy; the Communist Red Army defeated the White movement and the Soviet Union was created in 1922. During the existence of the Soviet Union, anti-communism became an important feature of many different political movements and governments across the world.
In the United States, anti-communism came to prominence with the First Red Scare of 1919–1920. During the 1920s and 1930s, opposition to communism in Europe was promoted by conservatives, social democrats and fascists. Fascist governments rose to prominence as major opponents of communism in the 1930s and they founded the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936 as an anti-communist alliance. In Asia, the Empire of Japan and the Kuomintang were the leading anti-communist forces in this period. After World War II, fascism ceased to be a major political movement due to the defeat of the Axis powers; the victorious Allies were an international coalition led by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, but after the war this alliance broke down into two opposing camps: a Communist one led by the Soviet Union and a capitalist one led by the United States. The rivalry between the two sides came to be known as the Cold War and during this period the United States government played a leading role in supporting global anti-communism as part of its containment policy.
There were numerous military conflicts between Communists and anti-Communists in various parts of the world, including the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Soviet–Afghan War. NATO was founded as an anti-communist military alliance in 1949 and continued throughout the Cold War. With the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, most of the world's Communist governments were overthrown and the Cold War ended. Anti-communism remains an important intellectual element of many contemporary political movements and organized anti-communism is a factor in the domestic opposition found to varying degrees within the People's Republic of China and other countries governed by Communist parties. Since the split of the Communist parties from the socialist Second International to form the Communist Third International, social democrats have been critical of Communism for its anti-democratic nature. Examples of left-wing critics of Communist states and parties are such as Friedrich Ebert, Boris Souveraine, Bayard Rustin, Irving Howe and Max Shachtman.
The American Federation of Labor has always been anti-communist. The more leftist Congress of Industrial Organizations purged its Communists in 1947 and has been staunchly anti-communist since. In Britain, the Labour Party strenuously resisted Communist efforts to infiltrate its ranks and take control of locals in the 1930s; the Labour Party became anti-communist and Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee was a staunch supporter of NATO. Although most anarchists describe themselves as communists, most anarchists criticize authoritarian Communist parties and states. Many argue that Marxist concepts such as dictatorship of the proletariat and state ownership of the means of production are anathema to anarchism; some anarchists criticize communism from an individualist point of view. Anarchists participated in and rejoiced over the 1917 February Revolution as an example of workers taking power for themselves. However, after the October Revolution it became evident that the Bolsheviks and the anarchists had different ideas.
Anarchist Emma Goldman, deported from the United States to Russia in 1919, was enthusiastic about the revolution, but was left sorely disappointed and began to write her book My Disillusionment in Russia. Anarchist Peter Kropotkin proffered trenchant criticism of the emergent Bolshevik bureaucracy in letters to Vladimir Lenin, noting in 1920 that " is positively harmful for the building of a new socialist system. What is needed is local construction by local forces. Russia has become a Soviet Republic only in name". Many anarchists fought against Russian and Greek Communists—many were killed by them, such as Lev Chernyi, Camillo Berneri and Konstantinos Speras. In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels outline some provisional short-term measures that could be steps towards communism, they note: "These measures will, of course, be different in different countries. In most advanced countries, will be pretty applicable". Ludwig von Mises described this as a "10-point plan" for the redistribution of land and production and argues that the initial and ongoing forms of redistribution constitute direct coercion.
Neither Marx's 10-point plan nor the rest of the manifesto say anything about who has the right to carry out the plan. Milton Friedman argued that the absence of voluntary economic activity makes it too easy for repressive political leaders to grant themselves coercive powers. Friedman's view was shared by Friedrich
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly