The Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state that was created by Vladimir Lenin and spanned Eurasia during its existence from 1922 to 1991. Prior to the collision of the Union, it was the largest country in the world, after 1991, it became 15 different independent states, that we now know as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine & Uzbekistan.
The Soviet Union covered an area of over 22,402,200 square kilometres and was the world’s largest country, a status that is retained by its successor state, Russia. The Soviet Union’s highest mountain was Communism Peak, now Ismoil Somoni Peak, in Tajik SSR, at 7,495 metres. It also included most of the world’s largest lakes; the Caspian Sea, shared with Iran, and Lake Baikal in Russia, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake.
Of the fifteen constituent republics of the USSR, three of these countries declared and were granted independence a few months preceding the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The remaining 12 did not become independent until the USSR fell completely on December 26, 1991.
List of Countries in USSR
The Republic of Armenia is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat, it is a part of the Caucasus region. Armenia was annexed by the Red Army and along with Georgia and Azerbaijan, was incorporated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as part of the Transcaucasian SFSR on 4 March 1922. On 21 September 1991, Armenia officially declared its statehood after the failed August coup in Moscow, RSFSR. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was popularly elected the first President of the newly independent Republic of Armenia on 16 October 1991. Armenia became a member of the United Nations on 2 March 1992 and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other international agreements.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the South Caucasus region. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic in 1918 and became the first secular democratic Muslim-majority state, taking its name from the adjacent region of northwestern Iran for political reasons. In 1922, the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan SSR. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991. According to a modern etymology, the term Azerbaijan derives from that of Atropates, a Persian satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, who was later reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander the Great
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Belarus Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres and with a population of 9.3 million, Belarus is the thirteenth-largest and the twentieth-most populous country in Europe. The name Belarus is closely related to the term Belaya Rus’, i.e., White Rus’. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus’. The country is administratively divided into seven regions. Minsk is the capital and largest city. The parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991/
The Republic of Estonia is a country in northern Europe. Estonia covers a total area of 45,339 km2. The land of what is now modern Estonia has been inhabited by humans since at least 9,000 BC. Ancient Estonians were one of the last “pagan” civilisations in Europe to adopt Christianity following the Papal-sanctioned Livonian Crusade in the 13th century. The name Estonia has been connected to Aesti, first mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus around 98 AD. Estonia’s de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomatic representatives and the government-in-exile. Following the bloodless Estonian “Singing Revolution” of 1988–1990, the nation’s de facto independence was restored on 20 August 1991.
the Republic of Georgia from 1990 to 1995 is a transcontinental country located in the Caucasus, at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Georgia was forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union in 1922, becoming one of its fifteen constituent republics. Georgia’s secession from the Soviet Union in April 1991. The first mention of the name spelt as “Georgia” is in Italian on the Mappa Mundi of Pietro Vesconte dated AD 1320.
The Republic of Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia, and partly in Eastern Europe. Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically and politically, generating 60% of the region’s GDP, primarily through its oil and gas industry. It also has vast mineral resources. The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic groups and empires. In 1936, it was made the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Kyrgyz Republic is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. After independence, Kyrgyzstan was officially a unitary presidential republic, then between 2010 and 2021 was officially a unitary parliamentary republic, although it gradually developed an executive president and was governed as a semi-presidential republic before reverting to a presidential system in 2021. The name “Kazakh” comes from the ancient Turkic word qaz, “to wander”, reflecting the Kazakhs’ nomadic culture. Kyrgyzstan is divided into seven region
The Republic of Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Latvia covers an area of 64,589 km2, with a population of 1.9 million. The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. The peaceful Singing Revolution started in 1987 and ended with the restoration of de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Since then, Latvia has been a democratic unitary parliamentary republic.
The Republic of Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania covers an area of 65,300 km2, with a population of 2.8 million. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania passed the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, becoming the first Soviet republic to proclaim its independence. The first known record of the name of Lithuania is in a 9 March 1009 story of Saint Bruno in the Quedlinburg Chronicle.
The Republic of Moldova (Romanian: Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. In February 1918, the Moldavian Democratic Republic declared independence and then integrated into Romania later that year following a vote of its assembly. The decision was disputed by Soviet Russia, which in 1924 established, within the Ukrainian SSR, a Moldavian autonomous republic on partially Moldovan-inhabited territories to the east of Bessarabia. The constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. The strip of the Moldovan territory on the east bank of the Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990.
The Russian Federation is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17,125,191 square kilometres and encompassing one-eighth of Earth’s inhabitable landmass. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the newly independent Russian SFSR renamed itself the Russian Federation. In the aftermath of the constitutional crisis of 1993, a new constitution was adopted, and Russia has since been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Vladimir Putin and the United Russia party have dominated Russia’s political system since 2000. Since the turn of the century, Russia has experienced democratic backsliding and has shifted into an authoritarian state.
The Republic of Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. On 9 September 1991, Tajikistan became an independent sovereign nation as the Soviet Union disintegrated. A civil war was fought almost immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country’s economy to grow. The country has been led by President Emomali Rahmon since 1994.
Turkmenia is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1925, Turkmenistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic became independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia. The Ukrainian SSR was a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922. The country regained its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Ukraine declared itself a neutral state; it formed a limited military partnership with Russia and other CIS countries while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is a double-landlocked country in Central Asia. All of Central Asia was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, with Tashkent becoming the political centre of Russian Turkestan. In 1924, national delimitation created the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic as an independent republic within the Soviet Union. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991. Uzbekistan is a secular state, with a presidential constitutional government in place.
The Soviet Union was one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries, with more than 100 distinct national ethnicities living within its borders. According to data from the 1989 Soviet census, the population of the Soviet Union was 70% East Slavs, 12% Turkic peoples, and all other ethnic groups below 10%. Alongside the atheist majority of 60%, there were sizable minorities of Russian Orthodox Christians, approx. 20% and Muslims, approx. 15%.
Flag of Soviet Union
flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1922 to 1991. The flag’s design and symbolism are derived from several sources but emerged during the Russian Revolution.
The design is a solid field of red adorned with a unique gold emblem in the upper hoist quarter. The red flag was a traditional revolutionary symbol long before 1917, and its incorporation into the flag paid tribute to the international aspect of workers’ revolution. The iconic hammer and sickle design was a modern industrial touch adopted from the Russian Revolution. The union of the hammer, Represents the workers, and the sickle, Represents peasants, represents the victorious and enduring revolutionary alliance.
The flag of the Soviet Union consisted of a plain red flag with a gold hammer crossed with a gold sickle placed beneath a gold-bordered red star. This symbol is in the upper left canton of the red flag.
The flag’s design was legislated in 1955, which gave a clear way to define and create the flag. This resulted in a change of the hammer’s handle length and the shape of the sickle. The adopted statute stated that:
- The ratio of width to length of the flag is 1:2.
- The hammer and sickle are in a square with sides equal to 1⁄4 of the flag’s height. The sharp tip of the sickle lies in the centre of the upper side of the square, and the handles of the hammer and sickle rest in the bottom corners of the square. The length of the hammer and its handle is 3⁄4 of the square diagonal.
- The five-pointed star is inscribed into a circle with a diameter of 1⁄8 of the flag’s height, the circle being tangent to the upper side of the square.
- The distance of the vertical axis of the star, hammer and sickle from the hoist is 1⁄3 of the flag’s height. The distance from the upper side of the flag to the centre of the star is 1⁄8 of the flag’s height.