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In the actual country, the distinction was clearer: the 'premier' was the head of government (called 'prime minister' just like everywhere else, the chair of the cabinet of ministers), while the head of government was chair of the presidium (often called 'president' long before the office was officially called that). Both could be referred to as 'Chairman' since they were, in fact, chairs of their respective bodies (except, of course, in cases where a chairwoman was elected, as happened on the Republican level but not on the Union level).

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In the actual country, the distinction was clearer: the 'premier' 'Premier' was the head Head of government Government (called 'prime minister' 'Prime Minister' just like everywhere else, the chair Chairman of the cabinet Cabinet of ministers), Ministers), while the head Head of government State was chair the Chairman of the presidium Presidium (often called 'president' 'President' long before the office was officially called that). Both could be referred to as 'Chairman' since they were, in fact, chairs of their respective bodies (except, of course, in cases where a chairwoman was elected, as happened on the Republican level but not on the Union level).


While ''Russkie'' certainly ran the show, many of the most famous and infamous Soviets weren't Russian. Yakov Smirnoff (he of "In Soviet Russia"- when he was most famous he just used "Russia" since it was very much around then) is from Ukraine (and he was also Jewish - in Russia, Jews were and are considered a separate ethnicity, separate from ''Russkie'', Ukrainians and others). Khrushchev was not in fact Ukrainian, but having moved there at 14, he was perceived as one. Stalin was ''Georgian'' (although he somewhat renounced that one when ruling the upper echelons of the country, his economic policy still favored Georgia, which led to great popular support in the region - with statues of Stalin being protected even after Destalinization) and so was his chief of the NKVD, Lavrenty Beria. The popular singer-songwriter Bulat Okudzhava was ''also'' Georgian (although he was born in Moscow and some of his most famous songs are about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbat_Street the Arbat]]), politician Anastas Mikoyan and his aircraft designer brother Artem Mikoyan (of the Mikoyan-Gurevitch [=MiG=] design bureau) were Armenian and the novelist Chinghiz Aitmatov was Kyrgyz.

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While ''Russkie'' certainly ran the show, many of the most famous and infamous Soviets weren't Russian. Yakov Smirnoff (he of "In Soviet Russia"- when he was most famous he just used "Russia" since it was very much around then) is from Ukraine (and he was also Jewish - in Russia, Jews were and are considered a separate ethnicity, separate from ''Russkie'', Ukrainians and others). Khrushchev was not in fact Ukrainian, but having moved there at 14, he was perceived as one. Stalin was ''Georgian'' (although he somewhat renounced that one when ruling the upper echelons of the country, his economic policy still favored Georgia, which led to great popular support in the region - with statues of Stalin being protected even after Destalinization) and so was his chief of the NKVD, Lavrenty Beria.Beria, was from a Georgian ethnic minority, Mingrelians. The popular singer-songwriter Bulat Okudzhava was ''also'' Georgian (although he was born in Moscow and some of his most famous songs are about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbat_Street the Arbat]]), politician Anastas Mikoyan and his aircraft designer brother Artem Mikoyan (of the Mikoyan-Gurevitch [=MiG=] design bureau) were Armenian and the novelist Chinghiz Aitmatov was Kyrgyz.


Naturally, part of the issue predates the rise of Communism as a philosophy: the [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia Russian Empire]]'s nationalist policy was highly slanted towards Russians and government recordings rarely ever bothered with taking other ethnicities into account, to the point that the term "Russian" (both ''russkie'' and ''rossiyanin'', which were back then synonyms - check the Russia article for information on the modern use of these terms) meant "any subject of the Russian Empire" most of the time. Furthermore, even when "Russian" was used to describe ethnicity, it referred not only to modern Russians (called ''Great Russians'') but also to other East Slavic peoples closely related to them, such as Ukrainians (''Little Russians'') and Belorussians (''White Russians''). Other ethnicities, particularily those that were not European, were usually lumped under the umbrella term "inorodtsy", and their plight was better in comparison to UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans (notably, most of these peoples ''still exist''). The communist revolutionaries of the subsequent decades became the first political movement to deliberately consider "the national question", along the lines of a distinct cultural, linguistic, and even religious identity--creating a highly charged political issue in both times of peace and war. The basic framework, and the resulting nationalities (as listed below) have survived and are generally recognizable today.

to:

Naturally, part of the issue predates the rise of Communism as a philosophy: the [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia Russian Empire]]'s nationalist policy was highly slanted towards Russians and government recordings rarely ever bothered with taking other ethnicities into account, to the point that the term "Russian" (both ''russkie'' and ''rossiyanin'', which were back then synonyms - check the Russia article for information on the modern use of these terms) meant "any subject of the Russian Empire" most of the time. Furthermore, even when "Russian" was used to describe ethnicity, it referred not only to modern Russians (called ''Great Russians'') but also to other East Slavic peoples closely related to them, such as Ukrainians (''Little Russians'') and Belorussians (''White Russians''). Other ethnicities, particularily those that were not European, were usually lumped under the umbrella term "inorodtsy", and their plight was better in comparison to UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans (notably, most of these peoples ''still exist'')."inorodtsy". The communist revolutionaries of the subsequent decades became the first political movement to deliberately consider "the national question", along the lines of a distinct cultural, linguistic, and even religious identity--creating a highly charged political issue in both times of peace and war. The basic framework, and the resulting nationalities (as listed below) have survived and are generally recognizable today.


They were often used as an emergency labour source (to repair damage caused by natural disasters, for example), being able to move in at short notice; they were encouraged to participate in voluntary construction and settling initiatives. It should be noted that membership in the movement was strictly voluntary, and anything but universal: officially it was regarded as a desirable and decent thing to strive for, but anyone not keen on being politically or socially active (e. g. running local initiatives, doing volunteer work, holding Party activities for the youth etc.) simply didn't bother. On the other hand, an active Komsomolets/Komsomolka (M/F Komsomol member) had an administrative career track cut out for him/her if so desired. In fact, during the last phase of USSR history, it was the naturally enterprising and/or greedy young people who rose through the Komsomol ranks that usually became first successful businessmen (when business, in the form of for-profit cooperatives, became officially tolerated).

Younger children could join the Young Pioneer movement, found in other Communist countries as well. Nearly all the children of the Soviet era ended up in this one, being rather akin ([[ScoutOut at least in style]]) to the Scouting Movement, which was banned in the USSR. They could be recognized by their red scarves. Quite a number fought against the Nazis in the Great Patriotic War (the Soviet part of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII).

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They were often used as an emergency labour source (to repair damage caused by natural disasters, for example), being able to move in at short notice; they were encouraged to participate in voluntary construction and settling initiatives. It should be noted that membership in the movement was strictly voluntary, and anything but universal: officially it was regarded as a desirable and decent thing to strive for, but anyone not keen on being politically or socially active (e. g. running local initiatives, doing volunteer work, holding Party activities for the youth etc.) simply didn't bother. On the other hand, an active Komsomolets/Komsomolka (M/F Komsomol member) had an administrative career track cut out for him/her if so desired. In fact, during the last phase of USSR history, it was the naturally enterprising and/or greedy young people who rose through the Komsomol ranks that usually became first successful businessmen (when when business, in the form of for-profit cooperatives, became officially tolerated).

encouraged.

Younger children could join the Young Pioneer movement, found in other Communist countries as well. Nearly all the children of the Soviet era ended up in this one, being rather akin ([[ScoutOut at least in style]]) to the Scouting Movement, which was banned in the USSR. Post-war, the Pioneer activities were seamlessly integrated into high school life, but weren't very demanding; only the rare and persistent juvenile delinquents managed to get kicked out or barred from joining. They could be recognized by their red scarves.scarves, worn at official functions or during holidays. Quite a number fought against the Nazis in the Great Patriotic War (the Soviet part of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII).


They were often used as an emergency labour source (to repair damage caused by natural disasters, for example), being able to move in at short notice.

to:

They were often used as an emergency labour source (to repair damage caused by natural disasters, for example), being able to move in at short notice.
notice; they were encouraged to participate in voluntary construction and settling initiatives. It should be noted that membership in the movement was strictly voluntary, and anything but universal: officially it was regarded as a desirable and decent thing to strive for, but anyone not keen on being politically or socially active (e. g. running local initiatives, doing volunteer work, holding Party activities for the youth etc.) simply didn't bother. On the other hand, an active Komsomolets/Komsomolka (M/F Komsomol member) had an administrative career track cut out for him/her if so desired. In fact, during the last phase of USSR history, it was the naturally enterprising and/or greedy young people who rose through the Komsomol ranks that usually became first successful businessmen (when business, in the form of for-profit cooperatives, became officially tolerated).


[-The red color of the flag symbolizes revolution for industrial workers across the globe, while the hammer and sickle represent the alliance of workers and peasants in the revolution. The star represents the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-]

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[-The -->The red color of the flag symbolizes revolution for industrial workers across the globe, while the hammer and sickle represent the alliance of workers and peasants in the revolution. The star represents the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-]


[[quoteright:350Lhttp://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/udssr_map.png]]]]

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[[quoteright:114:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ussr.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:114:Стой! (Серп и) Молотсоюз!]]

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[[quoteright:114:http://static.%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1503578953031135400
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Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were independent between 1918 and 1940, before being annexed by the USSR. The United States never recognized (and much of the rest of the western world merely ''de facto'' rather than ''de jure'') the annexation of the Baltic states, and considers their current governments to be continuations of the inter-war republics. However, some Russian nationalist historians claim their original secession in 1918 wasn't legitimate to begin with, and neither were their inter-war governments.

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Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were independent between 1918 and 1940, before being annexed by the USSR. The United States never recognized (and much of the rest of the western world merely ''de facto'' rather than ''de jure'') the annexation of the Baltic states, and considers their current governments to be continuations of the inter-war republics. However, some Russian nationalist historians claim their original secession in 1918 wasn't legitimate to begin with, and neither were their inter-war governments.governments.

----
[[AC:The flag of the Soviet Union]]
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hammerandsickle_9.png
[-The red color of the flag symbolizes revolution for industrial workers across the globe, while the hammer and sickle represent the alliance of workers and peasants in the revolution. The star represents the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.-]


Ukraine and Belarus had membership in the United Nations, but this was just a diplomatic concession to ensure "balance" in the General Assembly, as the US had many, many more allies than the USSR in 1945; Ukraine and Belarus both toed the Moscow line perfectly. Stalin had originally wanted to have all sixteen (at the time) Union Republics admitted to the UN, on the grounds that they were sovereign states, until UsefulNotes/HarryTruman pointed out that by that logic, all ''forty eight''[[note]]Alaska and Hawaii were still US territories at the time[[/note]] [[AmericanFederalism United States]] (and, by implication, all six [[UsefulNotes/AustralianPolitics Australian states]], all nine [[UsefulNotes/CanadianPolitics Canadian provinces]][[note]]At the time; in 1945, Newfoundland was still a separate British Dominion[[/note]], all twenty-five Brazilian states, etc., etc., etc....) would have to be members, as well.

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Ukraine and Belarus had membership in the United Nations, but this was just a diplomatic concession to ensure "balance" in the General Assembly, as the US had many, many more allies than the USSR in 1945; Ukraine and Belarus both toed the Moscow line perfectly. Stalin had originally wanted to have all sixteen (at the time) Union Republics admitted to the UN, on the grounds that they were sovereign states, until UsefulNotes/HarryTruman pointed out that by that logic, all ''forty eight''[[note]]Alaska and Hawaii were still US territories at the time[[/note]] [[AmericanFederalism [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFederalism United States]] (and, by implication, all six [[UsefulNotes/AustralianPolitics Australian states]], all nine [[UsefulNotes/CanadianPolitics Canadian provinces]][[note]]At the time; in 1945, Newfoundland was still a separate British Dominion[[/note]], all twenty-five Brazilian states, etc., etc., etc....) would have to be members, as well.


''Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik'' (СССР in Cyrillic)- the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Also known as the Soviet Union, the USSR, or (almost always incorrectly) Soviet Russia. The last designation will be our first subject.

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''Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik'' (СССР in Cyrillic)- Cyrillic) - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Also known as the Soviet Union, the USSR, or (almost always incorrectly) Soviet Russia. The last designation will be our first subject.


Younger children could join the Young Pioneer movement, found in other Communist countries as well. Nearly all the children of the Soviet era ended up in this one, being rather akin ([[ScoutOut at least in style]]) to the Scouting Movement, which was banned in the USSR. They could be recognised by their red scarves. Quite a number fought against the Nazis in the UsefulNotes/GreatPatrioticWar (the Soviet part of World War 2).

to:

Younger children could join the Young Pioneer movement, found in other Communist countries as well. Nearly all the children of the Soviet era ended up in this one, being rather akin ([[ScoutOut at least in style]]) to the Scouting Movement, which was banned in the USSR. They could be recognised recognized by their red scarves. Quite a number fought against the Nazis in the UsefulNotes/GreatPatrioticWar Great Patriotic War (the Soviet part of World War 2).
UsefulNotes/WorldWarII).


Naturally, part of the issue predates the rise of Communism as a philosophy: the [[TsaristRussia Russian Empire]]'s nationalist policy was highly slanted towards Russians and government recordings rarely ever bothered with taking other ethnicities into account, to the point that the term "Russian" (both ''russkie'' and ''rossiyanin'', which were back then synonyms - check the Russia article for information on the modern use of these terms) meant "any subject of the Russian Empire" most of the time. Furthermore, even when "Russian" was used to describe ethnicity, it referred not only to modern Russians (called ''Great Russians'') but also to other East Slavic peoples closely related to them, such as Ukrainians (''Little Russians'') and Belorussians (''White Russians''). Other ethnicities, particularily those that were not European, were usually lumped under the umbrella term "inorodtsy", and their plight was better in comparison to UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans (notably, most of these peoples ''still exist''). The communist revolutionaries of the subsequent decades became the first political movement to deliberately consider "the national question", along the lines of a distinct cultural, linguistic, and even religious identity--creating a highly charged political issue in both times of peace and war. The basic framework, and the resulting nationalities (as listed below) have survived and are generally recognizable today.

to:

Naturally, part of the issue predates the rise of Communism as a philosophy: the [[TsaristRussia [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia Russian Empire]]'s nationalist policy was highly slanted towards Russians and government recordings rarely ever bothered with taking other ethnicities into account, to the point that the term "Russian" (both ''russkie'' and ''rossiyanin'', which were back then synonyms - check the Russia article for information on the modern use of these terms) meant "any subject of the Russian Empire" most of the time. Furthermore, even when "Russian" was used to describe ethnicity, it referred not only to modern Russians (called ''Great Russians'') but also to other East Slavic peoples closely related to them, such as Ukrainians (''Little Russians'') and Belorussians (''White Russians''). Other ethnicities, particularily those that were not European, were usually lumped under the umbrella term "inorodtsy", and their plight was better in comparison to UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans (notably, most of these peoples ''still exist''). The communist revolutionaries of the subsequent decades became the first political movement to deliberately consider "the national question", along the lines of a distinct cultural, linguistic, and even religious identity--creating a highly charged political issue in both times of peace and war. The basic framework, and the resulting nationalities (as listed below) have survived and are generally recognizable today.


* Georgian SSR- UsefulNotes/{{Georgia}}

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* Georgian SSR- UsefulNotes/{{Georgia}}UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope


Naturally, part of the issue predates the rise of Communism as a philosophy: the [[TsaristRussia Russian Empire]]'s nationalist policy was highly slanted towards Russians and government recordings rarely ever bothered with taking other ethnicities into account, to the point that the term "Russian" (both ''russkie'' and ''rossiyanin'', which were back then synonyms - check the Russia article for information on the modern use of these terms) meant "any subject of the Russian Empire" most of the time. Furthermore, even when "Russian" was used to describe ethnicity, it referred not only to modern Russians (called ''Great Russians'') but also to other East Slavic peoples closely related to them, such as Ukrainians (''Little Russians'') and Belorussians (''White Russians''). Other ethnicities, particularily those that were not European, were usually lumped under the umbrella term "inorodtsy", and though their plight was arguably better in comparison to UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans (notably, most of these peoples ''still exist''), the conditions they lived in were quite cruel nonetheless. The communist revolutionaries of the subsequent decades became the first political movement to deliberately consider "the national question", along the lines of a distinct cultural, linguistic, and even religious identity--creating a highly charged political issue in both times of peace and war. The basic framework, and the resulting nationalities (as listed below) have survived and are generally recognizable today.

to:

Naturally, part of the issue predates the rise of Communism as a philosophy: the [[TsaristRussia Russian Empire]]'s nationalist policy was highly slanted towards Russians and government recordings rarely ever bothered with taking other ethnicities into account, to the point that the term "Russian" (both ''russkie'' and ''rossiyanin'', which were back then synonyms - check the Russia article for information on the modern use of these terms) meant "any subject of the Russian Empire" most of the time. Furthermore, even when "Russian" was used to describe ethnicity, it referred not only to modern Russians (called ''Great Russians'') but also to other East Slavic peoples closely related to them, such as Ukrainians (''Little Russians'') and Belorussians (''White Russians''). Other ethnicities, particularily those that were not European, were usually lumped under the umbrella term "inorodtsy", and though their plight was arguably better in comparison to UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans (notably, most of these peoples ''still exist''), the conditions they lived in were quite cruel nonetheless.exist''). The communist revolutionaries of the subsequent decades became the first political movement to deliberately consider "the national question", along the lines of a distinct cultural, linguistic, and even religious identity--creating a highly charged political issue in both times of peace and war. The basic framework, and the resulting nationalities (as listed below) have survived and are generally recognizable today.


The Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and the Transcaucasian Federation were the first four republics when the USSR was proclaimed in 1922. All the others were either carved out of them or established on annexed territories. Constitutionally every SSR had the right to secede, but in practice secession was not a real option before the Perestroika. At first the creation of new republics followed three rules: the republic had to have an international border or a seashore (hence [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatarstan Tatarstan]] did not qualify, even though the USSR had more Tatars than Armenians), a population of at least one million with a clear indigenous ethnic majority (hence [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakha_Republic Yakutia]] did not qualify, despite being one of the largest subnational entities in the world) and a strong enough economy to survive as an independent nation. However, the creation of the Karelo-Finnish SSR broke rules two and three, the possible reason being that Stalin may have been planning to annex Finland after [[FinnsWithFearsomeForests the Winter War]]. Also, Kazakhstan did not lose its SSR status after Kazakhs became a minority in their own republic, the most likely reason being its huge territorial size, and that StatusQuoIsGod.

to:

The Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and the Transcaucasian Federation were the first four republics when the USSR was proclaimed in 1922. All the others were either carved out of them or established on annexed territories. Constitutionally every SSR had the right to secede, but in practice secession was not a real option before the Perestroika. At first the creation of new republics followed three rules: the republic had to have an international border or a seashore (hence [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatarstan Tatarstan]] did not qualify, even though the USSR had more Tatars than Armenians), a population of at least one million with a clear indigenous ethnic majority (hence [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakha_Republic Yakutia]] did not qualify, despite being one of the largest subnational entities in the world) and a strong enough economy to survive as an independent nation. However, the creation of the Karelo-Finnish SSR broke rules two and three, the possible reason being that Stalin may have been planning to annex Finland after [[FinnsWithFearsomeForests [[UsefulNotes/FinnsWithFearsomeForests the Winter War]]. Also, Kazakhstan did not lose its SSR status after Kazakhs became a minority in their own republic, the most likely reason being its huge territorial size, and that StatusQuoIsGod.

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