The Soviet Union, also called Soviet Russia or the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), was a socialist country between 1922 to 1991. It is one of the two most potent leaders globally, the other being the United States. Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, and Mikhail Gorbachev are some of the most influential leaders who ruled the Soviet Union those days. In 1991 the Soviet Union broke down in different states as the Communist party faced opposition and was banned. Russia and Ukraine, led by The Republics, declared independence.
Like many other countries, the Soviet Union also went through a roller-coaster ride and, in the process, built some great leaders whom people still remember. Being a leader of a country and ruling it is challenging, especially if the country is the strongest in the world. It needs guts to rule such a country where each small decision can cost the country’s reputation and hold over other parts of the world.
Interesting Facts about the Soviet Union (USSR)
Fake passports: – During the ‘Cold war,’ the USSR could locate fake passports because the staples in real passports used to get rusted due to the poor quality of the material.
Diverting the focus: – It was so common in the USSR to divert the focus from any disaster in the country to some disaster outside the country that the citizens used to ask foreign friends whether there was any issue happening in the USSR.
The Grapes of Wrath: – The USSR allowed the play The Grapes of Wrath as it had the subject of depicting the plight of the poor under capitalism, but on realizing people are impressed with poor Americans could afford a war, it was banned after that.
Protest of scientists: – Considering what they eat is the country’s future, 9 Soviet scientists died of starvation while protecting the world’s largest seed bank during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II.
Cruelty at its peak: – A Soviet hostage was dead during the hostage incident. To retaliate, KGB agents castrated the nephew of the hostage maker and sent the severed organs along with the list of other family members of the hostage maker. The remaining hostages were immediately released.
Concentration camps: – It is reported that the USSR liberated more concentration camps than the rest of the allies combined during World War II.
Space Travel: – The USSR and the US were supposed to go into space together, but as President Kennedy was assassinated, the plan was withdrawn from the USSR as they did not trust Vice President Johnson.
Royalty issues: – Creator of TETRIS, the popular video game title, Alexey Pajitnov, was denied the rights of the royalties until 1996 because his employer, the Soviet government, owned the rights.
Battle of Stalingrad: – Yakov Pavlov, with his only 25 soldiers, defended a building that never fell. Later the Germans were mocked that they lost more men trying to take ‘Pavlov’s house’ than when they overpowered Paris.
Chernobyl disaster: – The explosion of the reactor at Chernobyl was hidden for three days by the Soviets until the radiation from the disaster set alarms at a nuclear plant 1000 km away in Sweden.
Drilled for curiosity: – Can any country drill the bore just for interest? The Soviets drilled a superdeep bore between 1979 and 1992, reaching 12262 m (40230 ft). Kola Superdeep bore was drilled to know how deep they could bore.
Night Witches: – The woman-only Soviet bomber regiment in World War II named ‘Night Witches’ by Germans, used to cut the engines of noisy and archaic aircraft and gliding in they used to release bombs even before the enemy knew their existence there.
Respect for Leaders: – The prisoners used to get the tattoos of Lenin and Stalin to avoid the shooting because the correctional officers or anyone was not allowed to shoot at images of the national leaders.
Killer passion: – A Soviet NKVD executioner killed 7000 Polish officers over 28 days. By calculating his 10 hours of night duty, it rounds up to an average of one killing per 3 minutes. He alone is a contributor to one-third of the Katyn Massacre.
The ultimate spy: – George Koval was discovered to be a spy only in 2002, but before that, he played a significant role in infiltrating the Manhattan project. Single-handedly he stole almost all of the USA’s nuclear secrets and provided the key technology for Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
World War III?: – During the Cuban missile crisis, a Soviet submarine experienced depth charges, and the captain assumed the start of World War 3, so he started preparing for a nuclear launch. Fortunately, he was stopped by his executive officer.
Executed for Truth: – A German soldier was executed for giving information about the Nazi invasion the next day, which happened. But he was executed by Stalin for spreading misinformation.
Animal sent into space: – The first animal was sent to orbit, Laika. It was found as a stray on the streets of Moscow. He was sent to space because the scientists assumed that such animals had learned to withstand extreme cold and hunger conditions.
Dumped to die: – Soviet Russia left 6200 people on an island in Siberia with only flour for food, few tools, and no shelter. After about a month, 4000 of them were dead.
Lesson for Germans: – During the invasion of the Soviets, around 95 percent of all German Army casualties took place between the periods of 1941 to 1944. It was a massive setback for Germany as they could not overcome the opposition.
Successful space travel: – The prosperous land on another planet and getting the data from there was first achieved by Soviet Venera 7 in 1970. After landing on Venus, the craft sent weak data only for 23 minutes as it landed sideways.
Constitutional crisis: – The original document of the Belovezhskaya Agreement is missing, as reported on February 7, 2013. This document is a copy of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This came to notice after the leaders constantly refused to amend the records.
Love for Coca-Cola: – A Soviet Union Marshal introduced colorless Coca-Cola that looked like Vodka. This was because he liked the taste of Coca-Cola but felt embarrassed to drink it in public.
Almost a generation died: – It is reported in a statistical study that around 80 percent of the males born in 1923 in Soviets were killed in World War II, such was the destructive impact of it.
Entire World Map: – The Soviet Union mapped the world as a whole. These maps are so accurate that the US still uses them. They had exact details such as the width of the road, types of factories, bridge load capacities, etc. the maps would be handy if some invasion is planned.
Domain name: – The Soviet Union had a domain name. When it collapsed in 1991 officially, it had .su as a domain for 15 months, but the cybercriminals extended it for all sorts of cybercrimes.
The Soviet Union had a gripping hold over the world economy, and they were associated with many countries for the trades, including India. India was considered the best collaborator with the Soviet Union in the old days. The Soviet Union had control over most countries of Eastern Europe, making them into satellite states.
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