Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
The Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities is an independent public institution, located in Alfons-Goppel-Str. 11, Germany. It appoints scholars whose research has contributed to the increase of knowledge within their subject; the general goal of the academy is the promotion of interdisciplinary encounters and contacts and the cooperation of representatives of different subjects. On 12 October 1758 the lawyer Johann Georg von Lori, Privy Counsellor at the College of Coinage and Mining in Munich, founded the Bayerische Gelehrte Gesellschaft; this led to the foundation by Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria, of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities on 28 March 1769. Count Sigmund von Haimhausen was the first president; the Academy's foundation charter mentions the Parnassus Boicus, an earlier learned society. The Academy consisted of two divisions, the Class for History and the Class for Philosophy. Today, the Academy is still divided into two classes, but the classes are now the Class for Philosophy and History and the Class for Mathematics and the Natural Sciences.
In each class, the number of ordinary members is limited to 45, the number of corresponding members is limited to 80. However, ordinary members at or over the age of 70 are not counted towards this limit. During the course of its history, the academy has had numerous famous members including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Grimm brothers, Theodor Mommsen, Anthimos Gazis and Wilhelm von Humboldt, Kurt Sethe, Max Planck, Otto Hahn, Albert Einstein, Max Weber, Werner Heisenberg and Adolf Butenandt. First president was the chairman of the Mint and Mining Commission, Count of Haimhausen. Further presidents included Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Friedrich Wilhelm von Schelling, Justus von Liebig, Ignaz von Döllinger, Max von Pettenkofer and Walther Meißner. At present, the presidency is held by Prof. Dr Thomas Höllmann. For the pursuit of long-term projects, the Academy forms Commissions. At present, 37 Commissions employ more than 450 persons. Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Technical University of Munich List of universities in Germany Bavaria German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Citations Sources Homepage of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Znanie (publishing company)
Znanie was a publishing company based in St. Petersburg, Russia founded by Konstantin Pyatnitsky and other members of the Committee for Literacy, it operated from 1898 to 1913. Znanie published books for a mass audience on natural science, history and art. Maxim Gorky joined Znanie in 1900 and became its director in late 1902. Through Znanie, Gorky brought together many of the best known realist writers of the time. Znanie published the collected works of Gorky, Alexander Serafimovich, Alexander Kuprin, Vikenty Veresaev, Stepan Skitalets, Nikolai Teleshov and many others. Znanie became known as the most progressive of all Russian publishing houses directed toward broad democratic reader-ships. In 1904 the publishing house began issuing the Znanie Collections, which brought together short stories, novels and essays written by Russian writers, by foreign writers such as Emile Verhaeren, publishing 40 volumes by 1913. Vladimir Lenin wrote that Gorky was aiming through these collections "at a concentration of the best forces of Russian literature."
The circulation of the collections reached 65,000 copies. They included the works of Gorky, Anton Chekhov, Serafimovich, Leonid Andreev, Ivan Bunin, Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak, Sergey Gusev-Orenburgsky, Evgeny Chirikov and Nikolai Garin-Mikhailovsky, among others; the writers featured in the collections from 1905 to 1907 were united in their protest against tsarism, national discord, religious prejudice, bourgeois morality. Gorky and Serafimovich, on one hand, used socialist realism. After the 1905 Russian Revolution this difference became more marked. In 1911 principal editorship of the Znanie collections was transferred to Viktor Mirolyubov. In addition to publishing the collected works of young writers and the Znanie Collections, the Znanie Association issued the so-called Penny Library, in which the short works of Znanie writers were published. Gorky carried out assignments for the Bolsheviks, publishing a series of sociopolitical pamphlets, including the works of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Paul Lafargue and August Bebel.
The Penny Library issued with editions totaling nearly four million copies. During the period of reaction after the 1905 Russian Revolution many participants in Znanie left the publishing house. Gorky, forced to live abroad during this period, severed his ties with the publishing house in 1912. Moscow Literary Sreda
Soviet dissidents were people who disagreed with certain features in the embodiment of Soviet ideology and who were willing to speak out against them. The term dissident was used in the Soviet Union in the period following Joseph Stalin's death until the fall of communism, it was used to refer to small groups of marginalized intellectuals whose modest challenges to the Soviet regime met protection and encouragement from correspondents. Following the etymology of the term, a dissident is considered to "sit apart" from the regime; as dissenters began self-identifying as dissidents, the term came to refer to an individual whose non-conformism was perceived to be for the good of a society. Political opposition in the USSR was visible and, with rare exceptions, of little consequence. Instead, an important element of dissident activity in the Soviet Union was informing society about violation of laws and human rights. Over time, the dissident movement created vivid awareness of Soviet Communist abuses.
Soviet dissidents who criticized the state faced possible legal sanctions under the Soviet Criminal Code and faced the choice of exile, the mental hospital, or the labor camp. Anti-Soviet political behavior, in particular, being outspoken in opposition to the authorities, demonstrating for reform, writing books were defined in some persons as being a criminal act, a symptom, a diagnosis. In the 1950s, Soviet dissidents started leaking criticism to the West by sending documents and statements to foreign diplomatic missions in Moscow. In the 1960s, Soviet dissidents declared that the rights the government of the Soviet Union denied them were universal rights, possessed by everyone regardless of race and nationality. In August 1969, for instance, the Initiating Group for Defense of Civil Rights in the USSR appealed to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights to defend the human rights being trampled on by Soviet authorities in a number of trials. Our history shows that most of the people can be fooled for a long time.
But now all this idiocy is coming into clear contradiction with the fact that we have some level of openness. The heyday of the dissenters as a presence in the Western public life was the 1970s; the Helsinki Accords inspired dissidents in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Poland to protest human rights failures by their own governments. The Soviet dissidents demanded that the Soviet authorities implement their own commitments proceeding from the Helsinki Agreement with the same zeal and in the same way as the outspoken legalists expected the Soviet authorities to adhere to the letter of their constitution. Dissident Russian and East European intellectuals who urged compliance with the Helsinki accords have been subjected to official repression. According to Soviet dissident Leonid Plyushch, Moscow has taken advantage of the Helsinki security pact to improve its economy while increasing the suppression of political dissenters. 50 members of Soviet Helsinki Groups were imprisoned. Cases of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union were divulged by Amnesty International in 1975 and by The Committee for the Defense of Soviet Political Prisoners in 1975 and 1976.
US President Jimmy Carter in his inaugural address on 20 January 1977 announced that human rights would be central to foreign policy during his administration. In February, Carter sent Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov a letter expressing his support for the latter's stance on human rights. In the wake of Carter's letter to Sakharov, the USSR cautioned against attempts "to interfere' in its affairs under "a thought-up pretext of'defending human rights.'" Because of Carter's open show of support for Soviet dissidents, the KGB was able to link dissent with American imperialism through suggesting that such protest is a cover for American espionage in the Soviet Union. The KGB head Yuri Andropov determined, "The need has thus emerged to terminate the actions of Orlov, fellow Helsinki monitor Ginzburg and others once and for all, on the basis of existing law." According to Dmitri Volkogonov and Harold Shukman, it was Andropov who approved the numerous trials of human rights activists such as Andrei Amalrik, Vladimir Bukovsky, Vyacheslav Chornovil, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Alexander Ginzburg, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Pyotr Grigorenko, Anatoly Shcharansky, others.
According to Soviet dissident Yuri Glazov, Andropov was a paradigmatic Homo Sovieticus and conducted disinformation campaigns against his main opponents and dissidents Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. If we accept human rights violations as just "their way" of doing things we are all guilty. Voluntary and involuntary emigration allowed the authorities to rid themselves of many political active intellectuals including writers Valentin Turchin, Georgi Vladimov, Vladimir Voinovich, Lev Kopelev, Vladimir Maximov, Naum Korzhavin, Vasily Aksyonov and others. A Chronicle of Current Events covered 424 political trials, in which 753 people were convicted, no one of the accused was acquitted. According to Soviet dissidents and Western critics, the KGB had sent dissenters to psychiatrists for diagnosing to avoid embarrassing publiс trials and to discredit dissidence as the product of ill minds. On the grounds that political dissenters in the Soviet Union were psychotic and deluded, they were locked away in psychiatric hospitals and treated with neuroleptics.
Confinement of political dissenters in psychiatric institutions had become a comm
Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, it is situated on the River Havel 24 kilometres southwest of Berlin's city centre. Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser until 1918, its planning embodied ideas of the Age of Enlightenment: through a careful balance of architecture and landscape, Potsdam was intended as "a picturesque, pastoral dream" which would remind its residents of their relationship with nature and reason. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany; the Potsdam Conference in 1945 was held at the palace Cecilienhof. Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major film production studio before the 1930s and has enjoyed success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Filmstudio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany in the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges, the University of Potsdam, more than 30 research institutes in the city; the area was formed from a series of large moraines left after the last glacial period. Today, the city is three-quarters green space, with just a quarter as urban area. There are about 20 lakes and rivers in and around Potsdam, such as the Havel, the Griebnitzsee, Templiner See, Tiefer See, Teltowkanal, Heiliger See and the Sacrower See; the highest point is the 114-metre high Kleiner Ravensberg. Potsdam is divided into seven historic city Bezirke and nine new Stadtteile, which joined the city in 2003; the appearance of the city quarters is quite different. Those in the north and in the centre consist of historical buildings, the south of the city is dominated by larger areas of newer buildings; the city of Potsdam is divided into 34 Stadtteile, which are divided further into 84 statistical Bezirke.
Today one distinguishes between the older parts of the city - these are the city center, the western and northern suburbs, Bornstedt, Potsdam South, Drewitz and Kirchsteigfeld - and those communities incorporated after 1990 which have since 2003 become Stadtteile - these are Eiche, Golm, Groß Glienicke, Marquardt, Neu Fahrland and Uetz-Paaren. The new Stadtteile are located in the north of the city. For the history of all incorporations, see the relevant section on incorporation and spin-offs. Structure with statistical numbering: Officially the climate is oceanic - more degraded by being far from the coast and to the east, but using the 1961-1990 normal and the 0 °C isotherm the city has a humid continental climate, which shows a slight influence of the continent different from the climates predominantly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Low averages below freezing for all winter causing snows that are frequent and winters are cold, but not as stringent as inland locations or with greater influence from the same.
Summer is relatively warm with temperatures between 23 to 24 ° C, the heat waves being influenced by the UHI of Potsdam. The average winter high temperature is 3.5 °C, with a low of −1.7 °C. Snow is common in the winter. Spring and autumn are short. Summers are mild, with a high of 23.6 °C and a low of 12.7 °C. The name "Potsdam" seems to have been Poztupimi. A common theory is that it derives from an old West Slavonic term meaning "beneath the oaks", i.e. the corrupted pod dubmi/dubimi. However some question this explanation; the area around Potsdam shows signs of occupancy since the Bronze Age and was part of Magna Germania as described by Tacitus. After the great migrations of the Germanic peoples, Slavs moved in and Potsdam was founded after the 7th century as a settlement of the Hevelli tribe centred on a castle, it was first mentioned in a document in 993 as Poztupimi, when Emperor Otto III gifted the territory to the Quedlinburg Abbey led by his aunt Matilda. By 1317, it was mentioned as a small town.
It gained its town charter in 1345. In 1573, it was still a small market town of 2,000 inhabitants. Potsdam lost nearly half of its population due to the Thirty Years' War. A continuous Hohenzollern possession since 1415, Potsdam became prominent, when it was chosen in 1660 as the hunting residence of Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg, the core of the powerful state that became the Kingdom of Prussia, it housed Prussian barracks. After the Edict of Potsdam in 1685, Potsdam became a centre of European immigration, its religious freedom attracted people from France, the Netherlands and Bohemia. The edict accelerated economic recovery; the city became a full residence of the Prussian royal family. The buildings of the royal residences were built during the reign of Frederick the Great. One of these is the Sanssouci Palace, famed for Rococo interiors. Other royal residences include the Orangery. In 1815, at the formation of the Province of Brandenburg, Potsdam became the provincial capital until 1918, except for a period between 1827 and 1843 when Berlin was the provincial capital.
The province comprised two governorates named after their capitals Potsdam and Frankfurt (O
Partisan Review was a small circulation quarterly "little magazine" dealing with literature and cultural commentary published in New York City. The magazine was launched in 1934 by the Communist Party, USA-affiliated John Reed Club of New York and was part of the Communist political orbit. Growing disaffection on the part of PR's primary editors began to make itself felt and the magazine abruptly suspended publication in the fall of 1936; when the magazine reemerged late in 1937, it came with additional editors and new writers who advanced a political line critical of Stalin's USSR. By the 1950s the magazine had evolved towards a moderate social democratic and staunchly anti-Communist perspective and was supportive of American foreign policy. Partisan Review received covert funding from the Central Intelligence Agency during the 1950s and 1960s as part of the agency's efforts to shape intellectual opinion during the Cold War; the journal moved its offices to the campus of Rutgers University in 1963 to the campus of Boston University in 1978 losing its cultural relevance.
The final issue of the publication appeared in April 2003. The literary journal Partisan Review was launched in New York City in 1934 by the John Reed Club of New York — a mass organization of the Communist Party, USA; the publication was published and edited by two members of the New York club, Philip Rahv and William Phillips. The launch of the magazine was assisted by the editors of New Masses, the Communist Party's national artistic and literary magazine, including Joseph Freeman. Early issues of the magazine included a mixture of ostensibly proletarian literature and essays of cultural commentary — the latter of which became a hallmark of PR for the whole of its nearly seven decades of existence. Rahv and Phillips were committed to the idea that radical new artistic forms and radical politics could be combined and were critical of much of the form and hackneyed content of much of what passed as "proletarian literature." This critical perspective brought the pair into conflict with party stalwarts at the New Masses such as Mike Gold and Granville Hicks but was not sufficient to break Partisan Review from the CPUSA orbit.
In 1936 as part of its Popular Front strategy of uniting Communist and non-Communist intellectuals against fascism, the CPUSA launched a new mass organization called the League of American Writers, abandoning the John Reed Clubs as part of the change. PR editors Phillips and Rahv were disaffected by the change, seeing the new organization as a watering down and mainstreaming of the party's commitment to a new, proletarian literature. Intellectual interest turned to events abroad and interest in PR faltered to the point that effective with its October 1936 issue, publication of the magazine was suspended. While Partisan Review was relaunched by Rahv and Phillips in December 1937, it was changed at a fundamental level. News of the Great Purge in the Soviet Union and of Soviet duplicity in the Spanish Civil War pushed the pair of editors to a new outspokenly critical perspective. A new cast of editors were brought on board, including Dwight Macdonald and literary critic F. W. Dupee, a sympathy for Trotskyism began to make itself felt in the magazine's editorial political line.
The CPUSA press was hostile. A new group of left wing writers critical of the Soviet Union began to write for the publication, including James Burnham and Sidney Hook; the new period of independence had begun. Effective with the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, the magazine began to divorce itself from the Communist movement altogether, including its dissident Trotskyist wing. Rahv and Phillips gave qualified support to the campaign for American rearmament and the country's preparation for war, opposed by Macdonald and another editor at the time, Clement Greenberg. A tentative truce between the editors averted a split, with Macdonald departing in 1943 to form the pacifist magazine politics. Anti-Communism began to loom in the raison d'être of Partisan Review in the post-war years and bolstered by the contributions of such writers as Hook, James Farrell, George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, the political trajectory of PR moved rightwards. Conservative and nationalist, by the early 1950s the magazine had become devoutly supportive of American virtues and values, although critical of the country's biases and excesses.
Although vehemently denied by founding editor William Phillips, in the years after the fall of the Soviet Union it was revealed that Partisan Review was the recipient of money from the Central Intelligence Agency as part of its effort to shape intellectual opinion in the so-called "cultural cold war." In 1953 the magazine found itself in financial difficulties, when one of its primary backstage financial backers, Allan D. Dowling, became embroiled in a costly divorce proceeding; the financial shortfall was made up by a $2,500 grant from the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, a CIA front organization on the executive board of which editor Phillips sat throughout the decade of the 1950s. Additional CIA money came in the 1950s; when the ACCF terminated its operations, half of the money remaining in the organization's coffers was transferred to Partisan Review. Additional funds came to the magazine to alleviate its financial problems in the 1950s in the form of a $10,000 donation from Time magazine publisher Henry Luce.
Luce seems to have been instrumental in expediting contacts between PR publisher Phillips and Director of Central Intelligence Walter Bedell Smith. A successor organization established by the CIA to funnel money to sympathetic groups and individuals, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, stepped up to assist the magaz
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
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