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The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ( , transliterated as Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika [RSFSR]), also called the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, the Russian SFSR and the RSFSR for short, was the largest and most populous of the fifteen Soviet republics of the Soviet Unionmarker. It became the Russian Federationmarker on the collapse of the Soviet Unionmarker. It was by far the largest sub-national entity in the world by area and 2nd in population after the Indianmarker state of Uttar Pradeshmarker. The capital was Moscowmarker, which also served as the capital of the Soviet Union.


Early years

The Soviet regime was established on November 7, 1917, following the October Revolution. In Russian official documents of the time it was referred to as Russian Republic, Soviet Republic ( ), or Russian Soviet Republic, among others. On July 10 1918 the 1918 Constitution was adopted, with the official name of Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic; the most recent variant of the name (with "Socialist" and "Soviet" swapped), was adopted in the 1937 Constitution.

In English, the terms Bolshevist Russia or Soviet Russia were commonly used for the period 1917–1922.

Opponents of Bolsheviks also used the derogatory term Sovdepia or Sovdepiya ( ) , i.e., "the land of sovdeps". "Sovdep" is a contraction of the Russian term, "Sovet Deputatov" (Совет Депутатов, совдеп), "Council of Deputies", which were the governmental authorities at local levels.

RSFSR as an independent state was recognized internationally by only a few states: the Irish Republic (which wasn't a sovereign state since it had no international recognition), Estoniamarker, Finlandmarker, Latviamarker and Lithuaniamarker. The four latter countries recognized RSFSR in the Treaty of Tartu, 1920.

In the Soviet Union

The RSFSR in the 1920s

On 30 December 1922, the First Congress of the Soviets of the USSR approved the Treaty of Creation of the USSR, by which Russia was united with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, BSSR and Transcaucasian Federation in a single state, the Soviet Unionmarker. Later the contract was included in the 1924 Soviet Constitution, adopted on 31 January 1924 and II-nd Congress of the Soviets of the USSR.

In the article the third Constitution of the RSFSR in 1925 indicated :
According to a quotation will of the peoples of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, have decided to X All-Russian Congress of Soviets on the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the transmit powers of the Union, classified in accordance with Article 1 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the purview of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The RSFSR in the 1930s

As a result of Soviet famine of 1932–1933, many regions were affected in Russia (Volga, Central Black Soil Region, North Caucasus, the Urals, the Crimea, part of Western Siberia, and Kazakh ASSR (see Hunger in Kazakhstan in 1932-1933).

With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on December 5 1936, the size of the RSFSR was significantly reduced. The Kazakh ASSR and Kyrgyz ASSR were transformed into the Kazakh SSR and Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republicmarker. The Karakalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was transferred to Uzbek SSR.

The Russian constitution of 1937 changed the order of words in the official name of the RSFSR to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

The RSFSR in the 1940s

On April 17, 1946 the Kaliningrad Oblastmarker — the north of the former Germanmarker province of East Prussia — was annexed by the USSR and made part of the Russian SFSR.

RSFSR in 1950s

Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimeamarker from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

Karelo-Finnish SSR transferred back to RSFSR as Karelian ASSR in 1956.

The RSFSR in the early 1990s

Flag adopted by the RSFSR national government in 1991.

On 29 May 1990 and on the third attempt, Boris Yeltsin was elected chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR.

On 12 June 1990, Congress of People's Deputies of the Republic adopted Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian SFSR, which was the beginning of «War of Laws» (Russian and Union law conflict).

17 March 1991 - all-Russian referendum, on the basis of which was introduced post of President of the RSFSR.

12 June 1991 - Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the RSFSR by popular vote.

19 - 21 August 1991 - coup attempt in Moscowmarker, the capital of the Soviet Union and Russia. President of Russia Yeltsin serves to protect the President of the USSR Gorbachev.

On 23 August, after the failure of GKChP, in the presence of Gorbachev, Yeltsin signs a decree to suspend the CP RSFSR in the territory of Russia.

On 28 October 1991, Ruslan Khasbulatov elected as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.

On 6 November 1991, by decree of the President of Russia Boris Yeltsin, CPSU and CP RSFSR have been banned in the territory of the RSFSR.

8 December 1991 - at Viskulimarker near Brest , President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the heads of Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR signed the «Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States» (known in media as Belavezha Accordsmarker). The document, consisting of a preamble and 14 articles, stated that the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a subject of international law and geopolitical realities. However, based on the historical community of peoples, relations between them, given the bilateral treaties, the desire for a democratic rule of law, the intention to develop their relations based on mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty, the parties agreed on the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States

On 12 December 1991, that agreement was ratified by Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR (the Russian parliament ratified the document by an overwhelming majority: «for» - 188 votes, «against» - 6 votes, «abstain» - 7)

On the same day the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and withdrew and Russian deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The legality of this act is the subject of formal discussions, as well as by the Constitution (Basic Law) of Russia 1978, RSFSR had no right to do so.

On 24 December 1991 President of the Russian Federation informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the Russian Federation continues the membership of the Soviet Union in all organs UN (including membership in the UN Security Council). Thus, Russia is considered to be the original member of the UN (since 24 October 1945) along with Ukrainemarker (Ukrainian SSR) and Belarusmarker (Byelorussian SSR).

25 December 1991 by special law RSFSR was renamed to Russian Federation marker. The Act came into force on the date of adoption, but was originally published on January 6 1992 (Rossiyskaya Gazeta). According to law, during the 1992 it was allowed to use the old name of the RSFSR in the official business (forms, seals and stamps).

The name "Russian Federation" as a reduction of the phrase "Russian Soviet Federative Republic" was used in Soviet times as well.

Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs) within the Russian SFSR

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