The Full Wiki

More info on Republics of the Soviet Union

Republics of the Soviet Union: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Republics of the Soviet Union, 1989

The Republics of the Soviet Union or the Union Republics ( , soyuznye respubliki) of the Soviet Union were ethnically based administrative units that were subordinated directly to the Government of the Soviet Union. Historically a highly centralized state, the decentralization and democratization reforms during the era of Perestroika and Glasnost conducted by Mikhail Gorbachev led to the Dissolution of the USSR.

According to the Article 76 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, the sovereign Soviet socialist states united to become the Union of Soviet Socialist Republicsmarker. Article 81 of the Constitution stated that "the sovereign rights of Union Republics shall be safeguarded by the USSR".

In the final decades of its existence, the Soviet Unionmarker officially consisted of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR). All of them were considered to be socialist republics, and all of them, with the exception of the Russian SFSR, had their own Communist parties, part of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

However, the Baltic countries, Lithuaniamarker, Latviamarker, and Estoniamarker, do not consider themselves to have ever been part of the USSR. They assert that their incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940 (as the Lithuanian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Estonian SSRmarker) under the provisions of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was illegal, and that they therefore remained independent countries under Soviet occupation. Their position is supported by the European Court of Human Rightsmarker, the United Nations Human Rights Council , the United Statesmarker, and the European Union,. In contrast, the Russian government and state officials maintain that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states was legitimate.

All of the former Republics are now independent countries, with twelve of them (all except the Baltic states) being very loosely organized under the heading of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Constitutionally, the Soviet Union was a federation. In accordance with provisions present in the Constitution (versions adopted in 1924, 1936 and 1977), each republic retained the right to secede from the USSR. Throughout the Cold War, this right was widely considered to be meaningless; however, the corresponding Article 72 of the 1977 Constitution was used in December 1991 to effectively dissolve the Soviet Union, when Russiamarker, Ukrainemarker, and Belarusmarker seceded from the Union.

In practice, the USSR was a highly centralised entity from its creation in 1922 until the mid-1980s when political forces unleashed by reforms undertaken by Mikhail Gorbachev resulted in the loosening of central control and its ultimate collapse. Under the constitution adopted in 1936 and modified along the way until October 1977, the political foundation of the Soviet Unionmarker was formed by the Soviets (Councils) of People's Deputies. These existed at all levels of the administrative hierarchy, with the Soviet Union as a whole under the nominal control of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, located in Moscowmarker within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Along with the state administrative hierarchy, there existed a parallel structure of party organizations, which allowed the Politburo to exercise large amounts of control over the republics. State administrative organs took direction from the parallel party organs, and appointments of all party and state officials required approval of the central organs of the party. General practice in the republics outside of Russia was that the head of state in a republic was a local official while the party general secretary was from outside the republic.

Each republic had its own unique set of state symbols: a flag, a coat of arms, and, with the exception of the Russian SFSR, an anthem. Every republic of the Soviet Union also was awarded with the Order of Lenin. Two (Ukraine and Belarus) were members of the United Nations General Assembly.

The republics and the collapse of the Soviet Union

The republics played an important role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Under Mikhail Gorbachev, glasnost and perestroika were intended to revive the Soviet Union. However, they had a number of effects which caused the power of the republics to increase. First, political liberalization allowed the governments within the republics to gain legitimacy by invoking democracy, nationalism or a combination of both. In addition, liberalization led to fractures within the party hierarchy which reduced Soviet control over the republics. Finally, perestroika allowed the governments of the republics to control economic assets in their republics and withhold funds from the central government.

Throughout the late 1980s, the Soviet government attempted to find a new structure which would reflect the increasing power of the republics. These efforts proved unsuccessful, and in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed as the republic governments seceded. The republics then all became independent states, with the post-Soviet governments in most cases consisting largely of the government personnel of the former Soviet republics.

Soviet Union in its final state

Republics of the Soviet Union

Independent nations

Other Soviet republics


Soviet Republic Capital
(as of 1989)
Region Population % Latest (2007 Jul) Chg % Density Area (km²) % Constitutional Order Independent state
(current flags)
Moscowmarker Russia 147,386,000 51.40% 141,377,752 -4% 8.6 17,075,200 76.62% 1
Kievmarker West 51,706,746 18.03% 46,299,862 -10.5% 85.6 603,700 2.71% 2
Tashkentmarker Central Asia 19,906,000 6.94% 27,780,059 +39.6% 44.5 447,400 2.01% 4
Alma-Atamarker Central Asia 16,711,900 5.83% 15,284,929 -8.5% 6.1 2,727,300 12.24% 5
Minskmarker West 10,151,806 3.54% 9,724,723 -4.2% 48.9 207,600 0.93% 3
Bakumarker Caucasus 7,037,900 2.45% 8,120,247 +15.4% 81.3 86,600 0.39% 7
Tbilisimarker Caucasus 5,400,841 1.88% 4,646,003 -14.0% 77.5 69,700 0.31% 6
Dushanbemarker Central Asia 5,112,000 1.78% 7,076,598 +38.4% 35.7 143,100 0.64% 12
Chişinăumarker West 4,337,600 1.51% 4,320,490 -0.4% 128.2 33,843 0.15% 9
Frunze Central Asia 4,257,800 1.48% 5,284,149 +24.1% 21.4 198,500 0.89% 11
Vilniusmarker Baltic 3,689,779 1.29% 3,575,439 -3.1% 56.6 65,200 0.29% 8
Ashgabatmarker Central Asia 3,522,700 1.23% 5,097,028 +44.7% 7.2 488,100 2.19% 14
Yerevanmarker Caucasus 3,287,700 1.15% 2,971,650 -9.6% 110.3 29,800 0.13% 13
Rigamarker Baltic 2,666,567 0.93% 2,259,810 -15.3% 41.3 64,589 0.29% 10
Tallinnmarker Baltic 1,565,662 0.55% 1,346,127 -14.1% 34.6 45,226 0.20% 15


Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address