During World War I, many demoralized Russian soldiers deserted. People were dissatisfied with Tsar
Nicholas II and Russian nobility. Communist/socialist radicals
received money and encouragement from western bankers, particularly via Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations, to
stage a Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 AD. The
United States government's Reese Committee of 1953 AD
documented such collaboration. Vladimir Lenin safely traveled across
warring Germany in a sealed train with 5-6 million dollars in
gold that he obtained from international banker, Max Warburg. The
German government favored the revolution, which they expected would take Russian troops out of the war.
Prince Georgy Lvov became head of the Russian Provisional Government
upon the Tsar's abdication. Lvov intended to pattern a constitution based upon that of the United States. However,
Alexander Kerensky replaced Lvov and served until Bolsheviks
overthrew the government in October 1917 AD. They formed the Cheka (later called
GPU, OGPU, MVD, NKVD and KGB) state security service. Bolsheviks clashed with
White Russian forces, led by general
Alexander Kolchak, in a civil war until his capture and execution.
United States president Woodrow Wilson ordered the withdrawal
of an American expeditionary force that had aided White Russians in Siberia. He also unconstitutionally ceded an
American island, Wrangel, to the Soviets.
FORMATION OF THE SOVIET UNION:
On 29 December 1922, delegates from various regions signed documents that formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The government seized land, agricultural products, money and anything deemed of benefit to the state. Food shortages were
widespread and people died combating draconian actions that Lenin dictated. On 3 April 1922 AD,
Joseph Stalin became General Secretary of the Communist Party. He started
various "Five-Year Plans" designed to rebuild the economy. His forced collectivization of all farms caused more
widespread starvation and millions of kulaks died or were sent to
gulags. The state also murdered a minimum of 10-11 million people.
WORLD WAR II:
Stalin and Adolf Hitler signed a nonaggression pact wherein they
secretly agreed to partition Poland and allowed the Soviets to seize
the Baltic states. Stalin later ordered forces to attack
Finland. Despite the pact, Nazi
intentions focused against the Soviet Union.
On 22 June 1941 AD, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa,
a full-scale invasion of the Soviet Union. Initially, German troops occupied Baltic states and the regions of modern
Belarus and Ukraine.
The advance stalled at Moscow and Leningrad,
which Hitler ordered destroyed and all people massacred. Soviet troops suffered huge losses, in part due to Stalin's purge of experienced
officers. German forces finally withdrew after suffering defeats at Kursk and
Stalingrad. Massive infusion of American material and weaponry aided
the Soviet defense and counter-offense. The Soviet Union lost approximately 27 million people during the war.
COLD WAR: Nikita Khrushchev succeeded to Stalin after a power struggle for control
of the Soviet Union and denounced previous repressive actions. However, he ordered Soviet troops to crush uprisings in
Hungary and Poland in 1956 AD. Due to a perceived
rapprochement with the west, Mao Zedong distanced
China from the Soviet Union. Other Communist regimes such as
Albania and Cambodia
In 1962 AD, Fidel Castro allowed the Soviets to install nuclear
missiles on Cuba. American president,
John Kennedy, ordered an
embargo and threatened to
have troops interdict any such weapons. A nuclear crisis between the two superpowers ended after
Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles.
Khrushchev encouraged a space program that shocked the world with the first orbiting satellite,
Sputnik 1 in 1957 AD. Soviet scientists later sent the first person in a
manned spacecraft, Yuri Gagarin, and the first to walk in space,
Alexey Leonov. However, the United States succeeded in making the
first Moon Landing on 20 July 1969 AD.
GORBACHEV ERA AND COLLAPSE:
During the Reagan administration, Saudi Arabia
lowered oil prices, which caused a shortage of hard currency and hampered Soviet trade. Soviets selected
Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 AD to head the Soviet Union. He
withdrew troops from Afghanistan,
removed the Berlin Wall, and allowed numerous Soviet states to declare sovereignty. Soviet-controlled
East Germany also reunited with
Germany. Gorbachev's successor,
Boris Yeltsin, presided over dissolution of the Soviet Union
on 25 December 1991 AD.