Special Sub-Topic: Social History of the Soviet Union
|Who ruled the Soviet Union from the late 1920s until his death in 1953?|
Stalin. After Lenin's death in 1924 there was a power struggle in the leadership of the Soviet Union. Stalin became the dictator of the USSR by 1928 at the latest. Brezhnev and Krushchev were not on the political scene at that point. Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1927 by Stalin. By 1928 Stalin was firmly in control and at the very beginning of 1929 he ordered that the five-year plan was to be completed one year early.
|Following Stalin, who was the next premier of the U.S.S.R.?|
Malenkov. Stalin died in 1953, leaving a sort of power vacuum. The group close to the center of power began by having Lavrenti Beria, the much feared head of the secret police since 1939 and would-be successor, shot. Georgi M. Malenkov became the leader for a period, while Krushchev was the leader of the Communist Party. Krushchev actually became premier following Bulganin. So the proper order is Stalin, Malenkov, Bulganin, then Krushchev in 1958.
|According to many Soviet scholars, during the late 1970s and the 1980s, what was a major social problem in the Soviet Union which in turn affected many other issues, including work discipline?|
Alcoholism & alcohol & drink & vodka & drunkenness. Alcoholism is cited by many historians as being the main factor behind the high rate of absenteeism, abuse and truancy in the U.S.S.R. Its effect on work discipline was devastating. Alcholism was so rampant that in late 1980s, Gorbachev went so far as to try to limit consumption to two bottles of vodka per week per family.
|In 1987, 40% of Leningrad citizens lived in communal apartments.|
t. Even until the late 1980s and early 1990s, communal housing (families having some private rooms but shared livings spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms) was a major problem in most of Soviet cities. (Source: "The Supreme Soviet Session--IV; Discussion of Plan and Budget Reports; in the Council of the Union." Izvestia, October 22, 1987. The Current Digest of the Soviet Press, December 9, 1987.)
|Personal ownership of any sort of item was expressely forbidden.|
f. The state did not of course allow personal ownership of investment property, such as shops or factories, but allowed for personal property. The general principle was that people were allowed to own things that they *used*, so individuals were able to buy cars and even to own country homes.
|How would Soviet film directors achieve their artistic dreams within the confines of the strict Communist state?|
Submit a working script different than the final version. Film directors were known to submit an idea that they knew would be approved and then change the script subtely, or maybe not so subtely, as they went through the filming process. As a result, Soviet films in the late 1970s and 1980s were quite bold in their statements.
|What year did the Soviet Union collapse?|
1991. On February 7, 1990 the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agreed to give up its monopoly of power. Throughout the rest of 1990 satellite states pulled out of the Union (Estonia and Lithuania). On August 20, 1991, the republics of the Soviet Union were to sign a new union treaty, making them independent republics in a federation with a common president, foreign policy and military. In November of 1991, Yeltsin banned the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. On December 9, 1991, the leaders of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian republics declared that the Soviet Union was dissolved and replaced by the "Commonwealth of Independent States".
|Who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990?|
Gorbachev & Mikhail Gorbachev. Due to his efforts to recreate the USSR, Gorbachev was recognized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize. For more information, please visit the Norwegian Nobel Committee's website: http://www.nobel.no/index.html .
|On the whole, Soviet-produced products performed much better than foreign products.|
f. If it was at all possible, Soviet citizens would buy foreign-made products and merchandise.
|Who became president of Russia in 2000?|
Putin & Vladimir Putin. In Soviet times, Putin had been a member of the KGB, and his election was seen by some as a retrograde step.
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