Question by 2sxy4mashrt: Question about Russia’s name…?
Hey there people, I’m a little confused. What’s the difference between Russia, Soviet Union, USSR, and all the other names russia has?
Answers and Views:
Answer by Vsevolod
Before 1917 there was the Russian Empire.
The Soviet Union and the USSR were the same thing. (USSR stands for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
The Soviet Union started in 1917, covering the same territory of the Russian Empire, after the Tsar had fallen. The borders changed over the next few years as various communist and independence movements on the areas bordering Russia reacted to the collapse of Tsarism. Eventually the Soviet Union more or less covered the same territory as the old empire.
Now, as a Union of Republics, the former Russian Empire was divided into different territories, with Russia (or the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic as it was called) by far the largest territory. Other republics included other parts of the Russian empire – Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia etc. as well as the “stans” of central Asia. Then, during the second world war, the Soviets invaded the three Baltic Republics (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), and never left. Overall there were 15 republics.
While Russia naturally dominated the Soviet Union, and Russian was the lingua franca, it was perfectly possible for people from other ethnic groups to rise to the top – with the possible exception of Jews. From the 1950s onwards there was a great deal of sponsorship of local languages.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, all of the republics claimed independence from Soviet power – including Russia. Countries that had never been independent entities, such as those in central Asia, became independent.
In addition, countries like Georgia, which had not really known independence for hundreds of years became independent, and areas like Ukraine, which was divided culturally and historically between East (Russian) and West (Ukrainian/Polish), became one country. Belarus, which was always considered part of “The Russias”, became independent. Indeed, imperial Russia referred to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as “Great, Little and White” Russia respectively.
So “Russia” now is a smaller territory than Russia before the revolution. It’s still pretty big, though.
Part of the confusion is caused by a misperception that there is a pure Russia; it’s always been a multi-ethnic state with changing boundaries.
Answer by Alexei
USSR is abreviation for Soviet Union, or United Soviet Socialist Republics. Russia is the country and the USSR is the giant nation formed up of multiple countries.
Answer by Masha
Before the USSR, there was the Russian Emprie. Then, it became the United Soviet Socialist Republics(USSR). Soviet Union is just short for that, like United States is short for United States of America. Now it’s the Russian Federation or Russia.
Answer by Michael
After the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917 the territories of the Russian Empire that were under Soviet control were lumped together and officially called the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. The name of the country did not officially become the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics until 1923. After 1923 the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic referred only to the Russian republic of the Soviet Union.
Answer by Aleksei S
Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (Soviet Union) included:
Totally in Soviet Union lived 290 million people — 148 million in Russia, 52 — in Ukraine, 21 — in Uzbekistan, 16 – in Kazakhstan, 10 – in Belarus etc.
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