✍️Learn about the Soviet Union History and Formation | World History Notes

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Soviet Union History

Hey, guys! Mr. Owl 🦉 is here. I see that you want to know about ‘Soviet Union History’. Hootfully, I’ll be of help to you! Since we owls are very wise. If you scroll further down this blog, you’ll see all the information you will need!

Our world order wasn’t always Unipolar, there was time when the USA had a fierce competitor namely ‘USSR’. In this blog article, we’ll gloss over all the important facts and information related to the Soviet Union History & Formation. 

Why is this topic important for competitive exams? 

This is an important topic for UPSC candidates. This topic comes in UPSC Mains GS Paper II and UPSC Optional International Relations. The UPSC Mains GS Paper 2 Syllabus covers a wide range of topics such as international relations, governance, polity, social justice, and so on.

✅Quick Facts

  1. Soviet Union was the world’s largest and first socialite state.
  2. The disintegration of USSR, marked the beginning of a Unipolar World.
  3. The amalgamation of around 15 republics led to formation of the USSR.

Must Read: What is Socialism? Definition, History, and Significance

💁Formation of the Soviet Union

The formation of the Soviet Union is as follows-

  1. The Russian Revolution of 1917 marked a significant moment, leading to the overthrow of the Romanov monarchy and the establishment of a provisional government. 
  2. This transition allowed for the rise of the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin. 
  3. The Bolsheviks, a faction of Russian Marxists, advocated for radical change and seized power in the October Revolution of 1917, which laid the foundation for the Soviet Union.
  4. Vladimir Lenin played a central role in this transformation, serving as the leader of the Bolsheviks. Under his leadership, the Bolsheviks took control of key institutions, effectively ending the authority of the provisional government. 
  5. In 1922, the Soviet Union was officially established, uniting various Soviet republics under Bolshevik control.


Now, Soviet Union’s formation had to tackle some challenges such as-

  1. The Russian Civil War (1917-1923) where various factions, including the White Army, foreign intervention, and anti-Bolshevik forces, contested the Bolshevik regime.
  2. Economic struggles, famine, and political dissent further threatened stability. 

📜Soviet Union History

To understand Soviet History in short we’ll be looking at some important historical events, leaders and impact of Soviet Union-

Events in Soviet Union History:

  1. Russian Revolution (1917): Wherein the monarchy was overthrown contributing to the rise of Bolsheviks.
  2. Russian Civil War (1917-1923): A conflict between Bolsheviks and anti-Bolshevik forces.
  3. Formation of the Soviet Union (1922): Established the union of Soviet republics.
  4. Stalin’s Rise to Power (1924): After Lenin’s death 
  5. Great Purge (1936-1938): Stalin’s campaign of political repression and violence.
  6. World War II (1941-1945): Soviet Union played a crucial role in defeating Nazi Germany.
  7. Cold War (1947-1991): Tensions with the West and the arms race.
  8. Khrushchev’s Thaw (1953-1964): A period of relative political and cultural openness.
  9. Cuban Missile Crisis (1962): Heightened Cold War tensions with the United States.
  10. Dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991): Marked the end of the Soviet state.

Important Leaders:

  1. Vladimir Lenin
  2. Joseph Stalin
  3. Nikita Khrushchev
  4. Leon Trotsky
  5. Mikhail Gorbachev


  1. Industrialization: The Soviet Union transformed from an agrarian society into an industrial superpower.
  2. Global Superpower: Soviet Union emerged as one of the two major superpowers during the Cold War.
  3. Space Race: Achieved significant milestones, including launching the first human into space.
  4. Cultural Influence: Soviet literature, art, and cinema had a global impact.
  5. Arms Race: Competed with the United States in a costly arms race.
  6. Human Rights Abuses: The USSR regime was responsible for significant human rights violations.
  7. Dissolution: The fall of the Soviet Union led to the independence of several former Soviet republics.

🧱🔨Collapse of the Soviet Union

Soviet Union collapsed on 25th December, 1991. Following are the causes of Soviet Union’s collapse-

  1. Soviet government’s corrpution and inability to bring in effective reforms led to economic stagnation.
  2. Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet Union’s leader in 1985 and attempted to liberalise the nation-state by introducing certain reforms. However, his attempts to revive USSR backfired as they loosened the control of the USSR government on its other Soviet republics. 
  3. Rise of Nationalism amongst Soviet republic states.

Events that hit the last nail and lead to the collapse of USSR-

  1. Baltic states declaring independence in 1990.
  2. Attempt of coup d’état against Gorbachev in 1991.
  3. In December 1991, the leaders of the Soviet republics met in Alma-Ata and declared the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The disintegration of USSR had a certain impact on the world and states that were once part of the superpower communist nation-state-

  1. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a period of economic and political instability in the former Soviet republics.
  2. The Cold War ended, and the United States emerged as the sole superpower.
  3. The collapse of the Soviet Union had a major impact on global affairs, including the rise of new powers such as China and India.

“Kiddos, I’ve answered all your queries with the utmost precision that I was capable of. Now, I’ll be taking my leave, but if you think I might have missed something, do check out the FAQ section or drop a comment. I always respond!

Also Read: Understanding Capitalism: Definition, History, and Significance


Who are the countries in the Soviet Union?

15 countries were a part of the Soviet Union. Their names are as follows- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. 

How many countries did USSR split into?

The USSR split into 15 countries in 1991. Their names are as follows- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. 

When was Soviet Union formed?

The Soviet Union was formed in 1922. 15 countries were a part of the Soviet Union. Their names are as follows- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.


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