A Molotov cocktail known as a petrol bomb, bottle bomb, poor man's grenade, Molotovin koktaili, fire bomb or just Molotov, sometimes shortened as Molly, is a generic name used for a variety of bottle-based improvised incendiary weapons. Due to the relative ease of production, Molotov cocktails have been used by street criminals, rioters, criminal gangs, urban guerrillas, hard-line militants, irregular soldiers, or regular soldiers short on equivalent military-issue weapons, they are intended to ignite rather than obliterate targets. The name "Molotov cocktail" was coined by the Finns during the Winter War, called in Finnish: polttopullo or Molotovin koktaili; the name was an insulting reference to Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, one of the architects of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in late August 1939. The pact with Nazi Germany was mocked by the Finns, as was much of the propaganda Molotov produced to accompany the pact, including his declaration on Soviet state radio that bombing missions over Finland were airborne humanitarian food deliveries for their starving neighbours.
The Finns sarcastically dubbed the Soviet cluster bombs "Molotov bread baskets" in reference to Molotov's propaganda broadcasts. When the hand-held bottle firebomb was developed to attack Soviet tanks, the Finns called it the "Molotov cocktail", as "a drink to go with the food". A Molotov cocktail is a breakable glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as petrol, alcohol or a napalm-like mixture, with some motor oil added, a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle's stopper; the wick is soaked in alcohol or kerosene, rather than petrol. In action, the wick is the bottle hurled at a target such as a vehicle or fortification; when the bottle smashes on impact, the ensuing cloud of fuel droplets and vapour is ignited by the attached wick, causing an immediate fireball followed by spreading flames as the remainder of the fuel is consumed. Other flammable liquids such as diesel fuel, turpentine, jet fuel, isopropyl alcohol have been used in place of, or combined with petrol.
Thickening agents such as solvents, foam polystyrene, baking soda, petroleum jelly, strips of tyre tubing, nitrocellulose, XPS foam, motor oil, rubber cement and dish soap have been added to help the burning liquid adhere to the target and create clouds of thick, choking smoke. In addition, toxic substances are known to be added to the mixture, in order to create a suffocating or poisonous gas on the resulting explosion turning the Molotov cocktail into a makeshift chemical weapon; these include bleach, various strong acids, among others. Improvised incendiary devices of this type were used for the first time in the Spanish Civil War between July 1936 and April 1939, before they became known as "Molotov cocktails." In 1936, General Francisco Franco ordered Spanish Nationalist forces to use the weapon against Soviet T-26 tanks supporting the Spanish Republicans in a failed assault on the Nationalist stronghold of Seseña, near Toledo, 40 km south of Madrid. After that, both sides used petrol-soaked blankets with some success.
Tom Wintringham, a veteran of the International Brigades publicised his recommended method of using them: We made use of "petrol bombs" as follows: take a 2lb glass jam jar. Fill with petrol. Take a heavy curtain, half a blanket, or some other heavy material. Wrap this over the mouth of the jar, tie it round the neck with string, leave the ends of the material hanging free; when you want to use it have somebody standing by with a light. Put a corner of the material down in front of you, turn the bottle over so that petrol soaks out round the mouth of the bottle and drips on to this corner of the material. Turn the bottle right way up again, hold it in your right hand, most of the blanket bunched beneath the bottle, with your left hand take the blanket near the corner, wetted with petrol. Wait for your tank; when near enough, your pal lights the petrol soaked corner of the blanket. Throw the bottle and blanket as soon as this corner is flaring. See that it drops in front of the tank; the blanket should wind itself round an axle.
The bottle will smash, but the petrol should soak the blanket well enough to make a healthy fire which will burn the rubber wheels on which the tank track runs, set fire to the carburetor or frizzle the crew. Do not play with these things, they are dangerous. The Battle of Khalkhin Gol, a border conflict of 1939 ostensibly between Mongolia and Manchukuo, saw heavy fighting between Japanese and Soviet forces. Short of anti-tank equipment, Japanese infantry attacked Soviet tanks with gasoline-filled bottles. Japanese infantrymen claimed that several hundred Soviet tanks had been destroyed this way, though Soviet loss records do not support this assessment. On 30 November 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, starting what came to be known as the Winter War; the Finns perfected the design and tactical use of the petrol bomb. The fuel for the Molotov cocktail was refined to a sticky mixture of gasoline, kerosene and potassium chlorate. Further refinements included the attachment of wind-proof matches or a phial of chemicals that would ignite on breakage, thereby removing the need to pre-ignite the bottle, leaving the bottle about one-third empty was found to make breaking more likely.
A British War Office report dated June 1940 noted that: The Finns' policy was to allow the Russian tanks to
Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe, completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge; the Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey. Crimea has been at the boundary between the classical world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe, its southern fringe was colonised by the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Crimean Goths, the Genoese and the Ottoman Empire, while at the same time its interior was occupied by a changing cast of invading steppe nomads and empires, such as the Cimmerians, Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, Kipchaks and the Golden Horde.
Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century. In 1783, Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire as the result of the Russo-Turkish War. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became an autonomous republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the USSR. During World War II, Crimea was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast after its entire indigenous population, the Crimean Tatars, were deported to Central Asia, an act recognized as a genocide. In 1954, it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was formed as an independent state in 1991 and most of the peninsula was reorganized as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, while the city of Sevastopol retained its special status within Ukraine; the 1997 Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet partitioned the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet and allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Crimea: both the Ukrainian Naval Forces and Russian's Black Sea Fleet were to be headquartered in Sevastopol.
Ukraine extended Russia's lease of the naval facilities under the 2010 Kharkiv Pact in exchange for further discounted natural gas. In February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces took over the territory. A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, unconstitutional under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, was held on the issue of reunification with Russia which official results indicated was supported by a large majority of Crimeans. Russia formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, incorporating the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia; the classical name Tauris or Taurica is from the Greek Ταυρική, after the peninsula's Scytho-Cimmerian inhabitants, the Tauri. Strabo and Ptolemy refer variously to the Strait of Kerch as the Κιμμερικὸς Βόσπορος, its easternmost part as the Κιμμέριον Ἄκρον (Kimmerion Akron, Roman name: Promontorium Cimmerium, as well as to the city of Cimmerium and whence the name of the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus.
The earliest recorded use of the toponym “Crimea” for the peninsula occurred between 1315-1329 AD by the Arab writer Abū al-Fidā where he recounts a political fight in 1300-1301 AD resulting in a rival's decapitation and having “sent his head to the Crimea”. The Crimean Tatar name of the peninsula is Qırım and so for the city of Krym, now called Stary Krym which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde; some sources hold that the name of the capital was extended to the entire peninsula at some point during Ottoman suzerainty. The origin of the word Qırım is uncertain. Suggestions argued in various sources: a corruption of Cimmerium. A derivation from the Turkic term qirum, from qori-. Other suggestions either unsupported or contradicted by sources based on similarity in sound, include: a derivation from the Greek Cremnoi. However, Herodotus identifies the port not in Crimea, but as being on the west coast of the Sea of Azov. No evidence has been identified that this name was in use for the peninsula.
The Turkic term is related to the Mongolian appellation kerm "wall", but sources indicate that the Mongolian appellation of the Crimean peninsula of Qaram is phonetically incompatible with kerm/kerem and therefore deriving from another original term. The name "Crimea" is the Italian form, i.e. la Crimea, since at least the 17th century and the "Crimean peninsula" becomes current during the 18th century replacing the classical name of Tauric Peninsula in the course of the 19th century. In English usage since the early modern period the Crimean Khanate is referred to as Crim Tartary; the omission of the definite article in English became common during the 20th century. The classical name was used in 1802 in the name of the Russian
Dobrich is the eighth most populated city in Bulgaria, the administrative centre of Dobrich Province and the capital of the region of Southern Dobrudzha. It is located in the northeastern part of the country, 30 km west of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, not far from resorts such as Albena and Golden Sands. In January 2012, Dobrich was inhabited by 90,375 people within the city limits; the city is named after the Bulgarian medieval lord of the surrounding region - Dobrotitsa. Agriculture is the most developed branch of the economy. Dobrich Knoll on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Dobrich. A point of interest is the Dobrich TV Tower; the city is named after the 14th-century Dobrujan ruler Dobrotitsa, from the Slavic root dobr, "good" The first evidence of settlement in what is now Dobrich dates from the 4th or 3rd century BC. Under the Latin name Abrittum, it was a city of the Roman province of Moesia Inferior, important enough to become a suffragan bishopric of the Metropolitan of the capital, but the Catholic diocese faded later.
Ruins from 2nd to 4th centuries AD and the 7th to 11th centuries have been found, including a Bulgar necropolis featuring pagan graves in the centre of the city. During the 11th century, Pecheneg invasions devastated the interior of Dobruja, leaving many settlements in the region uninhabited at the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire; the settlement was founded for a second time in the 16th century by the Turkish merchant Hacıoğlu Pazarcık, whose name it bore until 1882. According to Ottoman data from 1646–1650, there were over 1,000 houses in the city, about 100 shops, three inns, three Turkish baths, twelve mosques and twelve schools. From the 17th to the 19th century, the city developed as a handicraft and agricultural centre, being famous for its weaving, homespun tailoring, coppersmith's trade, leather-work and agricultural products, such as wheat, linseed and cheese. At the beginning of the 19th century, the city's population reached 12,000, many of whom refugees from eastern Bulgaria after the Russo-Turkish Wars.
The cultural appearance of the city was formed. The first Orthodox church was built in 1843; the city was liberated from the Ottoman Empire on 27 January 1878 and renamed Dobrich on 19 February 1882. After the Treaty of Bucharest of 1913, Dobrich and the whole of Southern Dobruja were incorporated in Romania for a period until 1940. During that time, the city bore the name Bazargic, a transformation of the earlier Turkish name Hacıoğlu Pazarcık, was centre of Caliacra County. On 25 September 1940, the Bulgarian army marched into the city after signing Treaty of Craiova on September 7, 1940. In 1949, during the period of Communist rule, Dobrich was renamed Tolbukhin after Marshal of the Soviet Union Fyodor Tolbukhin. On 19 September 1990, a presidential decree restored the city's old name of Dobrich. Despite the renewing of the name Dobrich architecturally maintains an ex-communist outlook in the 21st century; the vehicle registration plate code for the region has remained unchanged. The diocese was nominally restored as a Latin titular bishopric under the name'Abrytus, changed to Abrittum in 1925.
It has had the following incumbents, all of the lowest rank: Jean de Vienne de Hautefeuille, C. M. Maksimilijan Držecnik Cletus F. O'Donnell Fylymon Kurchaba, C. SS. R. Ján Eugen Kočiš, Auxiliary Exarch emeritus of Ruthenian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Czech Republic In the municipality of Dobrich, the quality of atmospheric air is monitored by the mobile station for emission control of the Regional Inspectorate for the Environment and Water Resources - Varna; the station is equipped with automatic monitoring devices measuring the quantities of carbon oxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfuric dioxide, fine dust particles. The municipality is implementing a program for decreasing the quantities of dust particles, adopted by the municipal council in 2003. Surface water resources are insufficient in the region, with water shortages; the town is supplied with water from drill wells and water catchment areas located near the town. Eight pumping stations provide bacteria-free drinking water; the water sources are in constant operation.
A security area surrounds each source, the water distribution is controlled by computers. The municipality boasts a complete water supply network. In the municipality of Dobrich, there are three sources of noise - the industries, the households, the construction works. Street noise is measured at over 20 sites; the high levels of noise in the industrial areas affect only the people working there. The levels of noise in the residential areas situated away from the town centre are quite acceptable, the lowest levels can be found in the town parks; the municipal Green System Plan examines the status of the existing urban and suburban green areas, as well as the variety of the plant species. The Green System includes the following categories of green areas: public parks and gardens, special parks and gardens, sanitary/protective greening, transportation greening, limited-usage greening; the types of waste in the municipality can be defined as household, construction and hazardous waste. Waste accumulation is around the average for the country.
However, it is twice as much as that in the developed coun
Slatina is the capital city of Olt County, Romania, on the river Olt. It is located in the south of Romania, on the eastern side of the river Olt, in the historical region of Muntenia; the population was 70,293 in 2011. The city administers Cireașov; the town of Slatina was first mentioned on January 20, 1368 in an official document issued by Vladislav I Vlaicu, Prince of Wallachia. The document stated that merchants from the Transylvanian city of Brașov would not pay customs when passing through Slatina; the word Slatina is of Slavic origin, means "marsh, watery plain". Alro Slatina, the largest aluminum producing factories in Southeastern Europe, is located in the city. Other companies based in Slatina include ALPROM, Pirelli Tires Romania, Cord Romania, TMK Artrom and Benteler. One of the oldest private businesses in Romania is the Slatina-based pastry shop Atletul Albanez. There is an association football club in Slatina, ACS Inter Olt Slatina, that plays in Liga III; the city is home to KZN Slatina, a women's team handball club which plays in the second handball league of Romania.
Petre S. Aurelian - politician Aurelia Brădeanu - handball player Ionel Dănciulescu - football player Felicia Filip - operatic soprano Iulian Filipescu - football player Mădălina Diana Ghenea - actress and model Eugène Ionesco - playwright Claudiu Niculescu - football player Monica Niculescu - tennis player Livecam Slatina, Olt --- Strada Crișan
Alexandru Averescu was a Romanian marshal and populist politician. A Romanian Armed Forces Commander during World War I, he served as Prime Minister of three separate cabinets, he first rose to prominence during the peasants' revolt of 1907, which he helped repress in violence. Credited with engineering the defense of Moldavia in the 1916–1917 Campaign, he built on his popularity to found and lead the successful People's Party, which he brought to power in 1920–1921, with backing from King Ferdinand I and the National Liberal Party, with the notable participation of Constantin Argetoianu and Take Ionescu, his controversial first mandate, marked by a political crisis and oscillating support from the PNL's leader Ion I. C. Brătianu, played a part in legislating land reform and repressed communist activities, before being brought down by the rally of opposition forces, his second term of 1926–1927 brought a much-debated treaty with Fascist Italy, fell after Averescu gave clandestine backing to the ousted Prince Carol.
Faced with the People Party's decline, Averescu closed deals with various right-wing forces and was instrumental in bringing Carol back to the throne in 1930. Relations between the two soured over the following years, Averescu clashed with his fellow party member Octavian Goga over the king's attitudes. Shortly before his death, he and Carol reconciled, Averescu joined the Crown Council. Averescu, who authored over 12 works on various military topics, was an honorary member of the Romanian Academy and an Order of Michael the Brave recipient, he became a Marshal of Romania in 1930. Averescu was born in Ozerne, a village northwest of Izmail, now part of Ukraine; the son of Constantin Averescu, who held the rank of sluger, he studied at the Romanian Orthodox seminary in Izmail at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bucharest. In 1876, he decided to join the Gendarmes in Izmail. Seeing action as a cavalry sergeant with the Romanian troops engaged in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, he was decorated on several occasions, but was moved to reserve.
He was, reinstated in 1878, subsequently received a military education in Romania, at the military school of Târgoviște, in Italy, at the Military Academy of Turin. Averescu married an Italian opera singer, Clotilda Caligaris, the prima donna of La Scala, his future collaborator and rival Constantin Argetoianu stated that Averescu "chose Mrs. Clotilda at random". Upon his return, Averescu climbed through the ranks, he was head of the Bucharest Military Academy, and, in 1895-1898, Romania's military attaché in the German Empire. Before the World War, he led the troops in crushing the 1907 peasants' revolt — where he engaged in using harsh means of repression when dealing with soldiers who refused to fight against the rebels — and was subsequently Minister of War in Dimitrie Sturdza's National Liberal Party cabinet. According to the recollections of Eliza Brătianu, a split occurred between him and the PNL after Averescu attempted to advance various political goals — the conflict erupted when he sought support with King Carol I and as the National Liberals resented Romania's alliance with the Central Powers, he approached the Germans for backing.
Subsequently, he was commander of the First Infantry Division and of the Second Army Corps in Craiova. In 1912, he became a Major General, and, in 1911-1913, he was Chief of the General Staff. In the latter capacity, Averescu organized the actions of Romanian troops operating south of the Danube in the Second Balkan War. During the World War, Marshal Alexandru Averescu led the Second Romanian Army in the defense of the Southern Carpathians, was moved to the head of the Third Army, he commanded Army Group South in the Flămânda operation against the Third Bulgarian Army and other forces of the Central Powers stopped by the German offensive. Averescu again led the Second Army to victory in the Battle of Mărăști. However, several military historians rate Averescu and his fellow Romanian generals poorly, arguing that, their direction of the war "could not have been worse". Despite controlling an army of 500,000 plus 100,000 Russian reinforcements, they were defeated by a German-Austrian-Bulgarian army of 910,000 in less than four months of combat.
Averescu was seen as the person behind a successful resistance to further offensives on Moldavia, he was considered by many of his contemporaries to have stood in contrast to what was seen as endemic corruption and incompetence. The state of affairs, together with the October Revolution in Russia, was to be blamed for the eventual Romanian
The Romanian Revolution was a period of violent civil unrest in the Socialist Republic of Romania in December 1989 and part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several countries. The Romanian Revolution started in the city of Timișoara and soon spread throughout the country culminating in the show trial and execution of longtime Communist Party General Secretary Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena, the end of 42 years of Communist rule in Romania, it was the last removal of a Marxist-Leninist government in a Warsaw Pact country during the events of 1989, the only one that violently overthrew a country's government and executed its leader. Early protests occurred in the city of Timișoara in mid-December on the part of the Hungarian minority in response to an attempt by the government to evict Hungarian Reformed church pastor László Tőkés. In response, Romanians sought revolution and a change in government in light of similar recent events in neighbouring nations; the country's ubiquitous secret police force, the Securitate, both one of the largest in the Eastern Bloc and for decades had been the main suppressor of popular dissension and violently quashing political disagreement proved powerless in stopping the looming, highly fatal and successful revolt.
Social and economic malaise had been present in socialist Romania for quite some time during the austerity years of the 1980s. The austerity measures were designed in part by Ceaușescu to repay foreign debts. Shortly after a botched public speech by Ceaușescu in Bucharest, broadcast to millions of Romanians on state television, rank-and-file members of the military switched unanimously, from supporting the dictator to backing the protesting population. Riots, street violence and murder in several Romanian cities over the course of a week led the Romanian strongman to flee the capital city on 22 December with his wife, Deputy Prime Minister Elena Ceaușescu. Evading capture by hastily departing via helicopter portrayed the couple as both fugitives and acutely guilty of accused crimes. Captured in Târgoviște, they were tried by a drumhead military tribunal on charges of genocide, damage to the national economy and abuse of power to execute military actions against the Romanian people, they were convicted on all charges, sentenced to death, executed on Christmas Day 1989, to this day, are the last people to be condemned to death and executed in Romania.
Present-day Romania has unfolded in the shadow of the Ceaușescus along with its communist past, the tumultuous departure from it. The National Salvation Front took power after Ceaușescu was toppled, promising free and fair elections within five months. Elected in a landslide the following May, the National Salvation Front, reconstituted as a political party, installed a series of economic and democratic reforms, with further social policy changes being implemented by governments. Since that point Romania has become far more integrated with the West than its former, albeit tepid, relations with Moscow. Romania became the European Union in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Democratic reforms have proven to be moderately successful. Economic reforms continue, with Romania still possessing, for example, one of the highest child poverty rates in the developed world. In 1981 Ceaușescu began an austerity programme designed to enable Romania to liquidate its entire national debt. To achieve this, many basic goods—including gas and food—were rationed, which drastically reduced the standard of living and increased malnutrition.
The infant mortality rate grew to be the highest in Europe. The secret police, had become so omnipresent that it made Romania a police state. Free speech was limited and opinions that did not favour the Communist Party were forbidden; the large numbers of Securitate informers made organised dissent nearly impossible. The regime deliberately played on this sense that everyone was being watched to make it easier to bend the people to the Party's will. By Soviet-bloc standards, the Securitate was exceptionally brutal. Ceaușescu created a cult of personality, with weekly shows in stadiums or on streets in different cities dedicated to him, his wife and the Communist Party. There were several megalomaniac projects, such as the construction of the grandiose House of the Republic —the biggest palace in the world—the adjacent Centrul Civic and a never-completed museum dedicated to communism and Ceaușescu, today the Casa Radio; these and similar projects drained the country's finances and aggravated the dire economic situation.
Thousands of Bucharest residents were evicted from their homes, which were subsequently demolished to make room for the huge structures. Unlike the other Warsaw Pact leaders, Ceaușescu had not been slavishly pro-Soviet but rather had pursued an "independent" foreign policy. Conversely, while Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev spoke of reform, Ceaușescu maintained a hard political line and cult of personality; the austerity programme started in 1981 and the widespread poverty it introduced made the Communist regime unpopular. The austerity programmes were met with little resistance among Romanians and there were only a few strikes and
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