Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic known as the Soviet Ukraine, was one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union from the Union's inception in 1922 to its breakup in 1991. The republic was governed by the Communist Party of Ukraine as a unitary one-party socialist soviet republic; the Ukrainian SSR was a founding member of the United Nations, although it was represented by the All-Union state in its affairs with countries outside of the Soviet Union. Upon the Soviet Union's dissolution and perestroika, the Ukrainian SSR was transformed into the modern nation-state and renamed itself to Ukraine. Throughout its 72-year history, the republic's borders changed many times, with a significant portion of what is now Western Ukraine being annexed by Soviet forces in 1939 from the Republic of Poland, the addition of Zakarpattia in 1946. From the start, the eastern city of Kharkiv served as the republic's capital. However, in 1934, the seat of government was subsequently moved to the city of Kiev, Ukraine's historic capital.
Kiev remained the capital for the rest of the Ukrainian SSR's existence, remained the capital of independent Ukraine after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Geographically, the Ukrainian SSR was situated in Eastern Europe to the north of the Black Sea, bordered by the Soviet republics of Moldavia and the Russian SFSR; the Ukrainian SSR's border with Czechoslovakia formed the Soviet Union's western-most border point. According to the Soviet Census of 1989 the republic had a population of 51,706,746 inhabitants, which fell after the breakup of the Soviet Union. On January 1, 2018, according to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine the population of the country was 42,216,766 permanent residents. For most of its existence, it ranked second only to the Russian SFSR in population and political power; the name "Ukraine" is a subject of debate. It is perceived as being derived from the Slavic word "okraina", meaning "border land", it was first used to define part of the territory of Kievan Rus' in the 12th century, at which point Kiev was the capital of Rus'.
The name has been used in a variety of ways since the twelfth century. For example, Zaporozhian Cossacks called their Hetmanate "Ukraine", which can be translated as "Our country" or "our land". Within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the name carried unofficial status for eastern parts of bigger Kiev Voivodeship and was overshadowed by the more common Little Poland. Since the partition of Poland, the name had disappeared and was replaced with the Russian colonial name of Little Russia; the idea of Ukraine as borderland crept into the English language at some point. Therefore, while Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, Anglophones referred to the Ukrainian SSR as "The Ukraine". However, since the fall of the Soviet Union, the recognized name is "Ukraine"; the definite article may imply that it is a land or general geographic area with unidentified borders. After the abdication of the tsar and the start of the process of destruction of the Russian Empire many people in Ukraine wished to establish a Ukrainian Republic.
During a period of civil war from 1917 to 1923 many factions claiming themselves governments of the newly born republic were formed, each with supporters and opponents. The two most prominent of them were a government in Kharkiv; the Kiev-based UPR was internationally recognized and supported by the Central powers following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, whereas the Kharkiv-based USR was supported by Soviet Russian forces, while neither the UPR nor the USR were supported by the White Russian forces that remained. The conflict between the two competing governments, known as the Ukrainian–Soviet War, was part of the ongoing Russian Civil War, as well as a struggle for national independence, which ended with the pro-independence Ukrainian People's Republic being annexed into a new Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, western Ukraine being absorbed into the Second Polish Republic, the newly stable Ukraine becoming a founding member of the Soviet Union; this government of the Soviet Ukrainian Republic was founded on 24–25 December 1917.
In its publications it names itself either the "Republic of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Peasants' Deputies" or the "Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets". The 1917 republic, was only recognised by another non-recognised country, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, with the signing of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty was defeated by mid-1918 and dissolved; the last session of the government took place in the city of Taganrog. In July 1918, the former members of the government formed the Communist Party of Ukraine, the constituent assembly of which took place in Moscow. With the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, Bolshevik Russia resumed its hostilities towards the Ukrainian People's Republic fighting for Ukrainian independence and organised another Soviet government in Kursk, Russia. On 10 March 1919, according to the 3rd Congress of Soviets in Ukraine the name of the state was changed to the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. After the ratification of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, the names of all Soviet republics were changed, transposing the second and third ("soviet" or "radianska" in
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 1990, when the Congress of People's Deputies modified Article 6 of the most recent 1977 Soviet constitution, which had granted the CPSU a monopoly over the political system; the party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, a majority faction detached from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, who seized power in the October Revolution of 1917. After 74 years, it was dissolved on 29 August 1991 on Soviet territory, soon after a failed coup d'état by hard-line CPSU leaders against Soviet president and party general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and was outlawed three months on 6 November 1991 in Russian territory; the CPSU was a Communist party, organized on the basis of democratic centralism. This principle, conceived by Lenin, entails democratic and open discussion of policy issues within the party followed by the requirement of total unity in upholding the agreed policies.
The highest body within the CPSU was the Party Congress. When the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body; because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Orgburo. The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, or some of the three offices concurrently—but never all three at the same time; the party leader was the de facto chairman of the CPSU Politburo and chief executive of the Soviet Union. The tension between the party and the state for the shifting focus of power was never formally resolved, but in reality the party dominated and a paramount leader always existed. After the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, Lenin had introduced a mixed economy referred to as the New Economic Policy, which allowed for capitalist practices to resume under the Communist Party dictation in order to develop the necessary conditions for socialism to become a practical pursuit in the economically undeveloped country.
In 1929, as Joseph Stalin became the leader of the party, Marxism–Leninism, a fusion of the original ideas of German philosopher and economic theorist Karl Marx, Lenin, became formalized as the party's guiding ideology and would remain so throughout the rest of its existence. The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized and a planned economy was implemented. After recovering from the Second World War, reforms were implemented which decentralized economic planning and liberalized Soviet society in general under Nikita Khrushchev. By 1980, various factors, including the continuing Cold War, ongoing nuclear arms race with the United States and other Western European powers and unaddressed inefficiencies in the economy, led to stagnant economic growth under Alexei Kosygin, further with Leonid Brezhnev and a growing disillusionment. After a younger vigorous Mikhail Gorbachev, assumed leadership in 1985, rapid steps were taken to transform the tottering Soviet economic system in the direction of a market economy once again.
Gorbachev and his allies envisioned the introduction of an economy similar to Lenin's earlier New Economic Policy through a program of "perestroika", or restructuring, but their reforms along with the institution of free multiparty elections led to a decline in the party's power, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the banning of the party by last RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and subsequent first President of an evolving democratic and free market economy of the successor Russian Federation. A number of causes contributed to CPSU's loss of control and the dissolution of the Soviet Union during the early 1990s; some historians have written that Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost" was the root cause, noting that it weakened the party's control over society. Gorbachev maintained. Others have blamed the economic stagnation and subsequent loss of faith by the general populace in communist ideology. In the final years of the CPSU's existence, the Communist Parties of the federal subjects of Russia were united into the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
After the CPSU's demise, the Communist Parties of the Union Republics became independent and underwent various separate paths of reform. In Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation emerged and has been regarded as the inheritor of the CPSU's old Bolshevik legacy into the present day. 1912–18:Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party 1918–25:Russian Communist Party 1925–52:All-Union Communist Party 1952–91:Communist Party of the Soviet Union The origin of the CPSU was in the Bolshevik majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, left the party in January 1912 to form a new one at the Prague Party Conference, called the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party – or RSDLP. Prior to the February Revolution, the first phase of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, the party worked underground as organized anti-Tsarist groups. By the time of the revolution, many of the party's central leaders, including Lenin, were in exile. With Emperor Nicholas II, deposed in February 1917, a republic was established and administered by a provisional gove
Russification or Russianization is a form of cultural assimilation process during which non-Russian communities, voluntarily or not, give up their culture and language in favor of the Russian one. In a historical sense, the term refers to both official and unofficial policies of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union with respect to their national constituents and to national minorities in Russia, aimed at Russian domination; the major areas of Russification are politics and culture. In politics, an element of Russification is assigning Russian nationals to leading administrative positions in national institutions. In culture, Russification amounts to domination of the Russian language in official business and strong influence of the Russian language on national idioms; the shifts in demographics in favour of the ethnic Russian population are sometimes considered as a form of Russification as well. Analytically, it is helpful to distinguish Russification, as a process of changing one's ethnic self-label or identity from a non-Russian ethnonym to Russian, from Russianization, the spread of the Russian language and people into non-Russian cultures and regions, distinct from Sovietization or the imposition of institutional forms established by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union throughout the territory ruled by that party.
In this sense, although Russification is conflated across Russification and Russian-led Sovietization, each can be considered a distinct process. Russianization and Sovietization, for example, did not automatically lead to Russification – change in language or self-identity of non-Russian peoples to being Russian. Thus, despite long exposure to the Russian language and culture, as well as to Sovietization, at the end of the Soviet era non-Russians were on the verge of becoming a majority of the population in the Soviet Union. An early case of Russification took place in the 16th century in the conquered Khanate of Kazan and other Tatar areas; the main elements of this process were Christianization and implementation of the Russian language as the sole administrative language. After the Russian defeat in the Crimean War in 1856 and the Polish rebellion of 1863, Tsar Alexander II increased Russification to reduce the threat of future rebellions. Russia was populated by many minority groups, forcing them to accept the Russian culture was an attempt to prevent self-determinationist tendencies and separatism.
In the 19th century, Russian settlers on traditional Kirghiz land drove many of the Kirghiz over the border to China. Indigenous to large parts of western and central Russia are the Uralic peoples, such as the Vepsians, Mordvins and Permians; the Russification of Uralic peoples begins with the original eastward expansion of the East Slavs. Written records of the oldest period are scarce, but toponymic evidence indicates that this expansion was accomplished at the expense of various Volga-Finnic peoples, who were assimilated by Russians; the Russification of the Komi began in the 13th to 14th centuries, but did not penetrate into the Komi heartlands until the 18th century. Komi-Russian bilingualism has become the norm over the 19th and has led to increasing Russian influence in the Komi language; the enforced Russification of Russia's remaining indigenous minorities has intensified during the Soviet era and continues unabated in the 21st century in connection to urbanization and the dropping population replacement rates.
As a result, several of Russia's indigenous languages and cultures are considered endangered. E.g. between the 1989 and 2002 censuses, the assimilation numbers of the Mordvins have totalled over 100,000, a major loss for a people totalling less than one million in number. According to Vasily Pekteyev, director of the Mari National Theater in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El, a policy of Russification in the republic that began in 2001 has resulted in the Mari language no longer being taught in schools and villages. By the 2010 Russian census, there were 204,000 native speakers of Mari, a drop from 254,000 in 2002. In 19th century the Russian Empire strove to replace the Ukrainian, Polish and Belarusian languages and dialects by Russian in those areas, which were annexed by the Russian Empire after the Partitions of Poland and the Congress of Vienna. Imperial Russia faced a crucial critical cultural situation by 1815: Large sections of Russian society had come under foreign influence as a result of the Napoleonic wars and appeared open to change.
As a consequence of absorbing so much Polish territory, by 1815 no less than 64 per cent of the nobility of the Romanov realm was of Polish descent, since there more literate Poles than Russians, more people within it could read and write Polish than Russian. The third largest city, was Polish in character and its university was the best in the Empire. Russification in Congress Poland intensified after the November Uprising of 1831, in particular after the January Uprising of 1863. In 1864 the Polish and Belarusian languages were banned in public places. Research and teaching of the Polish language, of Polish history or of Catholicism were forbidden. Illiteracy rose. Students were beaten for resisting Russification. A Polish underground education network formed, including the famous Flying University. According to Russian estimates, by 1901 one-third of the inhabitants in t
Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Politburo was the highest policy-making government authority under the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was founded in October 1917, refounded in March 1919, at the 8th Congress of the Bolshevik Party, it was known as the Presidium from 1952 to 1966. The existence of the Politburo ended in 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union. On August 18, 1917, the top Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, set up a political bureau – known first as Narrow composition and, after October 23, 1917, as Political bureau – to direct the October Revolution, with only seven members, but this precursor did not outlast the event. However, due to practical reasons fewer than half of the members attended the regular Central Committee meetings during this time though they decided all key questions; the 8th Congress of the 8th Party Congress in 1919 formalized this reality and re-established what would on become the true center of political power in the Soviet Union. It ordered the Central Committee to appoint a five-member Politburo to decide on questions too urgent to await full Central Committee deliberation.
The original members of the Politburo were Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, Lev Kamenev, Nikolai Krestinsky. The Soviet system was based upon the system conceived by Vladimir Lenin referred to as Leninism. Certain historians and political scientists credit Lenin for the evolution of the Soviet political system after his death. Others, such as Leonard Schapiro, argue that the system itself, from 1921, evolved an inner-party democratic system to a monolithic one in 1921, with the establishment of the Control Commission, the ban on factions and the ability given to the Central Committee to expel members they deemed unqualified; these rules were implemented to strengthen party discipline, the party continued under Lenin and the early post-Lenin years to try to establish democratic procedures within the party. For instance, by 1929, leading party members began criticizing the party apparatus, represented by the Secretariat headed by Stalin, of having too much control over personnel decisions.
Lenin addressed such posing questions in 1923, in his articles "How We Should Reorganize the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate" and "Better Fewer But Better". In these, Lenin wrote of his plan to turn the combined meetings of the Central Committee and the Control Commission into the party's "parliament"; the combined meetings of these two would hold the Politburo responsible, while at the same time guard the Politburo from factionalism. Admitting that organizational barriers may be inadequate to safeguard the party from one-man dictatorship, Lenin recognized the importance of individuals, his testament tried to solve this crisis by reducing Leon Trotsky's powers. While some of his contemporaries accused Lenin of creating a one-man dictatorship within the party, Lenin countered, stating that he, like any other, could only implement policies by persuading the party; this happened on several occasions, such as in 1917 when he threatened to leave the party if the party did not go along with the October Revolution, or persuading the party to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, or the introduction of the New Economic Policy.
Lenin, a noted factionalist before the Bolshevik seizure of power, supported the promotion of people he had clashed with on important issues to the Politburo. From 1917 to the mid-1920s, congresses were held annually, the Central Committee was convened at least once a month and the Politburo met once a week. With Joseph Stalin's consolidation of power, the frequency of formal meetings declined. By the mid-1930s, the Central Committee began meeting only once a month, the Politburo convened at most once every third week; the Politburo was established, worked within the framework of democratic centralism. The nature of democratic centralism had changed by 1929, the freedom of expression, tolerated within the party, was replaced with monolithic unity; the main reason being Stalin's defeat of the opposition. It is believed that under Stalin the Politburo's powers were reduced vis-a-vis Stalin. Stalin defeated the Left Opposition led by Trotsky by allying himself with the rightists within the Politburo.
After defeating the Left Opposition, Stalin began attacking the rightists through his supporters in the Politburo, the Central Committee and the Control Commission. Stalin and his companion supported an undemocratic interpretation of Lenin's What Is to Be Done?. Throughout the late-1920s, Politburo member Lazar Kaganovich and campaigned for a party organisational by-law which reduced inner-party democracy in favour of hierarchy and centralism. With the defeat of the other factions, these interpretations became party law. To strengthen the system of centralised decision-making, Stalin strengthened the Politburo by appointing his allies to high standing offices outside the Politburo.
Order of the Patriotic War
The Order of the Patriotic War is a Soviet military decoration, awarded to all soldiers in the Soviet armed forces, security troops, to partisans for heroic deeds during the German-Soviet War, known by the former-Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War. The Order was established on 20 May 1942 and came in first class and second class depending upon the merit of the deed, it was the first Soviet order established during the war, the first Soviet order divided into classes. Its statute defined, which deeds are awarded with the order, e.g. shooting down three aircraft as a fighter pilot, or destroying two heavy or three medium or four light tanks, or capturing a warship, or repairing an aircraft under fire after landing on a hostile territory, so on, were awarded with the first class. It was given to some allied troops and commanders, including western allies. Altogether, over 324,903 of the 1st class and 951,652 of the 2nd class were issued during the war; until 1985, the total number reached about 1,370,000.
In 1985, during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, it was decided that all surviving veterans of the war would be awarded either 2nd or 1st class of the Order, about 2,054,000 first class and 5,408,000 second class were issued then. As of January 1992, the total number of all awarded Orders was 2,487,098 first class and 6,688,497 second class variants, it featured a red enamel five-pointed star, made of silver, with straight rays in the background, crossed sabre and a Mosin rifle. The rays in the background were golden for 1st silver for 2nd Class; the central disc had a golden hammer and sickle on a red enamel background, surrounded by a white enamel ring with the words ОТЕЧЕСТВЕННАЯ ВОЙНА. The Order was attached to a plain red ribbon much like the Gold Star award, but from June 1943 the Order was to be worn on the right chest without ribbon. Anniversary orders of 1985 were made cheaper, as a single silver piece, gold-plated in the 1st class. Description of the order
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine
The following list is composed of the First Secretarites of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, a branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The office' name alternated throughout its history between First Secretary and the General Secretary. While the CPU leader was not the leader of Ukraine, he was so de facto; the longest serving secretary was Vladimir Shcherbitsky with some 17 years. Mykola Oleksiiovych Skrypnyk Secretariat of Central Committee of the CPU
Hero of Socialist Labour
Hero of Socialist Labour was an honourary title of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries. It was the highest degree of distinction for exceptional achievements in national economy and culture, it provided a similar status to the title Hero of the Soviet Union, awarded for heroic deeds, but unlike the latter, was not awarded to foreign citizens. The Honorary Title "Hero of Socialist Labour" was introduced by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on December 27, 1938. Heroes of Socialist Labour were awarded the highest decoration of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and a certificate from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. In order to distinguish the Heroes of Socialist Labour from other Order of Lenin recipients, the "Hammer and Sickle" gold medal was introduced by decree of the Presidium on 22 May 1940, to accompany the Order of Lenin and the certificate; the first recipient of the award was Joseph Stalin, awarded by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in December 20, 1939.
The second recipient of the award was the designer of machine guns Vasily Degtyaryov. The third time the award was issued to nine weapons designers, including Fedor Tokarev, Boris Shpitalny, Nikolai Polikarpov, Alexander Yakovlev and Vladimir Klimov. Post 1945 recipients include Mikhail Kalashnikov, Nikolay Afanasyev, Emilian Bukov, Alexander Tselikov, Dmitri Shostakovich, German Korobov, Peter Andreevich Tkachev, Andrei Tupolev. By September 1, 1971, 16,245 people had been awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labour. One hundred and five people have been awarded more "Hammer and Sickle" medals. By 1991, at the dissolution of the Soviet Union, over 20,000 people had been awarded the title. In the history of the USSR, 16 people became Heroes of Socialist Labor three times: Anatoly Alexandrov Boris Vannikov Nikolay Dukhov Yakov Zel'dovich Sergey Ilyushin Mstislav Keldysh Dinmukhamed Kunayev Igor Kurchatov Andrei Sakharov Jefim Sławski Andrei Tupolev Hamroqul Tursunqulov Yulii Khariton Nikita Khrushchev Konstantin Chernenko Kirill ShchelkinIn March 2013, Vladimir Putin issued a decree establishing a title considered to be its successor, "Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation".
The Honorary title "Hero of Socialist Labour" was awarded by the Presidium to citizens who made significant contributions to the advancement of Soviet industry, transportation, trade and technology, or otherwise served as exemplary models of the Soviet worker. Heroes of Socialist Labour who attained further exceptional achievements were awarded a second "Hammer and Sickle" medal and bronze busts of the Heroes were to be constructed in their hometowns to mark the occasion. Thrice Heroes of Socialist Labour were to have their busts placed near the planned Palace of Soviets, but this was never implemented as the Palace of Soviets was never built. Only the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union could deprive a person of this title; the insignia "Hero of Socialist Labour", like the "Hero of the Soviet Union" Gold Star Medal, is always worn in full on the left side of the chest and in the presence of other orders and medals, placed above them. If worn with honorary titles of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence.
The Honorary title "Hero of Socialist Labour" was designed by the artist A. Pomansky; the gold star medal of the Honorary Title "Hero of Socialist Labour" was a five-pointed star with smooth dihedral rays on the obverse, the diameter of the circumscribed star was 33.5 mm. In the center of the obverse, a relief hammer and sickle of 14 and 13 mm, it weighed 15.25 grams. The reverse was plain and was surrounded by a raised rim. In the center, the relief inscription "Hero of Socialist Labor" in 2mm high letters, the award serial number was inscribed just above in 1mm high numbers; the insignia was secured to a standard 25 X 15mm Soviet square mount by a ring through the suspension loop. The mount was covered by a red silk moiré ribbon. On the reverse of the mount was a threaded nut to secure the award to clothing. List of people awarded the Hero of Socialist Labour Oruzhie Magazine, Page 9, Issue 5 1998 & Issue 6 1998. "Солдат удачи" номер 9 2000 Д.Ширяев "Кто изобрел автомат Калашникова" History of the award Legal Library of the USSR