Soviet Union

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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Flag of Soviet Union
State Emblem (1956–1991) of Soviet Union
State Emblem
Motto: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
The Soviet Union during the Cold War
The Soviet Union during the
Ethnic groups
Secular state (de jure)
State atheism (de facto)
GovernmentSee also: Government of the Soviet Union
• 1922–1924
Vladimir Lenin[c]
• 1924–1953
Joseph Stalin[d]
• 1953[f]
Georgy Malenkov[e]
• 1953–1964
Nikita Khrushchev[g]
• 1964–1982
Leonid Brezhnev[h]
• 1982–1984
Yuri Andropov
• 1984–1985
Konstantin Chernenko
• 1985–1991
Mikhail Gorbachev[i]
Head of state 
• 1922–1946 (first)
Mikhail Kalinin
• 1988–1991 (last)
Mikhail Gorbachev
Head of government 
• 1922–1924 (first)
Vladimir Lenin
• 1991 (last)
Ivan Silayev
Belovezh Accords
8 December 1991[k]
26 December 1991[l]
• Total
22,402,200 km2 (8,649,500 sq mi) (
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian SFSR
Ukrainian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
Transcaucasian SFSR
Provisional Priamurye Government
Bukharan SSR
Khorezm SSR
Poland (portion)
Finland (portion)
Romania (portion)
Germany (portion)
Japan (portion)
Czechoslovakia (portion)

The Soviet Union,[n] officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics[o] (USSR),[p] was a transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, it was nominally a federal union of fifteen national republics;[q] in practice, both its government and its economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with the city of Moscow serving as its capital as well as that of its largest and most populous republic: the Russian SFSR. Other major cities included Leningrad (Russian SFSR), Kiev (Ukrainian SSR), Minsk (Byelorussian SSR), Tashkent (Uzbek SSR), Alma-Ata (Kazakh SSR), and Novosibirsk (Russian SFSR). It was the largest country in the world, covering over 22,402,200 square kilometres (8,649,500 sq mi) and spanning eleven time zones.

The country's roots lay in the

Soviet satellite states

The beginning of the

armed presence and political domination all over its eastern satellite states by 1955, the pact has been long considered "superfluous", and because of the rushed way in which it was conceived, NATO officials labeled it a "cardboard castle". There was no direct military confrontation between the two organizations; instead, the conflict was fought on an ideological basis and through proxy wars. Both NATO and the Warsaw Pact led to the expansion of military forces and their integration into the respective blocs. The Warsaw Pact's largest military engagement was the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, its own member state, in August 1968 (with the participation of all pact nations except Albania and Romania), which, in part, resulted in Albania withdrawing from the pact less than one month later. Following Stalin's death in 1953, a period known as de-Stalinization occurred under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev. The Soviets took an early lead in the Space Race with the first artificial satellite, the first human spaceflight, and the first probe to land on another planet (Venus

In the 1970s, there was a brief détente in the Soviet Union's relationship with the United States, but tensions resumed following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform the country through his policies of glasnost and perestroika. In 1989, during the closing stages of the Cold War, various countries of the Warsaw Pact overthrew their Marxist–Leninist regimes, which was accompanied by the outbreak of strong nationalist and separatist movements across the entire Soviet Union. In 1991, Gorbachev initiated a national referendum—boycotted by the Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova—that resulted in the majority of participating citizens voting in favour of preserving the country as a renewed federation. In August 1991, hardline members of the Communist Party staged a coup d'état against Gorbachev; the attempt failed, with Boris Yeltsin playing a high-profile role in facing down the unrest, and the Communist Party was subsequently banned. The Russian Federation became the Soviet Union's successor state, while all of the other republics emerged from the USSR's collapse as fully independent post-Soviet states.

The Soviet Union produced many significant

social and technological achievements and innovations. It had the world's second-largest economy, and the Soviet Armed Forces comprised the largest standing military in the world. An NPT-designated state, it possessed the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. It was a founding member of the United Nations as well as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council
. Before the dissolution, the country had maintained its status as one of the world's two superpowers through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military and economic strengths and scientific research.


The word soviet is derived from the Russian word sovet (Russian: совет), meaning 'council', 'assembly', 'advice',[s] ultimately deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of *vět-iti ('to inform'), related to Slavic věst ('news'), English wise, the root in ad-vis-or (which came to English through French), or the Dutch weten ('to know'; compare wetenschap meaning 'science'). The word sovietnik means 'councillor'.[9] Some organizations in Russian history were called council (Russian: совет). In the Russian Empire, the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers.[9]

The Soviets as

Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic (RSFSR).[15]

During the

1936. In addition, in the regional languages of several republics, the word council or conciliar in the respective language was only quite late changed to an adaptation of the Russian soviet and never in others, e.g. Ukrainian SSR

СССР (in the Latin alphabet: SSSR) is the abbreviation of the Russian language cognate of USSR, as written in

Great Patriotic War at the latest, abbreviating the Russian name of the Soviet Union as СС (in the same way as, for example, United States is abbreviated into US) has been a complete taboo, the reason being that СС as a Russian Cyrillic abbreviation is instead associated with the infamous Schutzstaffel of Nazi Germany, just as SS is in English. One apparent exception was the Russian abbreviation the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

In English language media, the state was referred to as the Soviet Union or the USSR. In other European languages, the locally translated short forms and abbreviations are usually used such as Union soviétique and URSS in French, or Sowjetunion and UdSSR in German. The Russian SFSR dominated the Soviet Union to such an extent that for most of the Soviet Union's existence, it was commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as Russia. Technically, Russia itself was only one republic within the larger union – albeit by far the largest, most powerful and most highly developed of the 15 republics. Nevertheless, according to historian Matthew White, it was an open secret that the country's federal structure was "window dressing" for Russian dominance. For that reason, the people of the USSR were almost always called "Russians", not "Soviets", since "everyone knew who really ran the show".[17]


The Soviet Union covered an area of over 22,402,200 square kilometres (8,649,500 sq mi), and was the world's largest country,[18] a status that is retained by its successor state, Russia.[19] It covered a sixth of Earth's land surface, and its size was comparable to the continent of North America.[20] Its western part in Europe accounted for a quarter of the country's area and was the cultural and economic center. The eastern part in Asia extended to the Pacific Ocean to the east and Afghanistan to the south, and, except some areas in Central Asia, was much less populous. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across eleven time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

The Soviet Union, similarly to modern Russia, had the world's longest border, measuring over 60,000 kilometres (37,000 mi), or 1+12 circumferences of Earth. Two-thirds of it was a coastline. The country bordered (from 1945 to 1991): Norway, Finland, the Baltic Sea, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Black Sea, Turkey, Iran, the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. The Bering Strait separated the country from the United States, while the La Pérouse Strait separated it from Japan.

The Soviet Union's highest mountain was Communism Peak (now Ismoil Somoni Peak) in Tajik SSR, at 7,495 metres (24,590 ft). It also included most of the world's largest lakes; the Caspian Sea (shared with Iran), and Lake Baikal in Russia, the world's largest and deepest freshwater lake.


One of the many impacts of the approach to the environment in the USSR and post-Soviet states is the Aral Sea
. (See status in 1989 and 2014.)

The Soviet Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was the first major accident at a civilian nuclear power plant. Unparalleled in the world, it resulted in a large number of radioactive isotopes being released into the atmosphere. Radioactive doses have scattered relatively far. 4,000 new cases of thyroid cancer were reported after the incident, but this led to a relatively low number of deaths (WHO data, 2005).[21] However, the long-term effects of the accident are unknown. Another major accident is the Kyshtym disaster.[22]

After the

K-141 Kursk submarine in 2000 in the west further raised concerns.[23] In the past, there were accidents involving submarines K-19, K-8, a K-129, K-27, K-219 and K-278 Komsomolets


Revolution and foundation (1917–1927)

Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution

Modern revolutionary activity in the

Russian Revolution of 1905, but Emperor Nicholas II resisted attempts to move from absolute to a constitutional monarchy. Social unrest continued and was aggravated during World War I
by military defeat and food shortages in major cities.

A spontaneous popular demonstration in Petrograd on

Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, shared power with the Provisional Government.[11][12]

The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, pushed for communist revolution in the Soviets and on the streets, adopting the slogan of "All Power to the Soviets" and urging the overthrow of the Provisional Government.[25][26] On 7 November 1917, Bolshevik Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, arresting the Provisional Government leaders and Lenin declared that all power was now transferred to the Soviets.[14][12] This event would later be officially known in Soviet bibliographies as the "Great October Socialist Revolution". The bloody Red Terror was initiated to shut down all opposition, both perceived and real.[27] In December, the Bolsheviks signed an armistice with the Central Powers, though by February 1918, fighting had resumed. In March, the Soviets ended involvement in the war and signed the separate peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

A long and bloody

famine of 1921–1922, which killed about five million people.[28] In March 1921, during a related war against Poland, the Peace of Riga was signed, splitting disputed territories in Belarus and Ukraine between the Republic of Poland and Soviet Russia. Soviet Russia sought to re-conquer all newly independent nations of the former Empire, although their success was limited. Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania all repelled Soviet invasions, while Ukraine, Belarus (as a result of the Polish–Soviet War), Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were occupied by the Red Army.[29][30] Additionally, forced requisition of food by the Soviet government led to substantial resistance, of which the most notable was the Tambov Rebellion, ultimately put down by the Red Army.[31]

The Civil War had a devastating impact on the economy. A

barter increasingly replacing money as a medium of exchange[32] and, by 1921, heavy industry output had fallen to 20% of 1913 levels. 90% of wages were paid with goods rather than money.[33] 70% of locomotives were in need of repair[citation needed], and food requisitioning, combined with the effects of seven years of war and a severe drought, contributed to a famine that caused between 3 and 10 million deaths.[34] Coal production decreased from 27.5 million tons (1913) to 7 million tons (1920), while overall factory production also declined from 10,000 million roubles to 1,000 million roubles. According to the noted historian David Christian, the grain harvest was also slashed from 80.1 million tons (1913) to 46.5 million tons (1920).[35]

Treaty on the Creation of the USSR

On 28 December 1922, a conference of plenipotentiary delegations from the

Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by the heads of the delegations,[38] Mikhail Kalinin, Mikhail Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze, Grigory Petrovsky and Alexander Chervyakov,[39] on 30 December 1922. The formal proclamation was made from the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre
in Moscow.

An intensive restructuring of the economy, industry and politics of the country began in the early days of Soviet power in 1917. A large part of this was done according to the

Five-Year Plans and was fulfilled by 1931.[41] After the economic policy of 'War communism' during the Russian Civil War, as a prelude to fully developing socialism in the country, the Soviet government permitted some private enterprise to coexist alongside nationalized industry
in the 1920s, and total food requisition in the countryside was replaced by a food tax.

Russian famine of 1921–22 killed an estimated 5 million people.

From its creation, the government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks).[t] The stated purpose was to prevent the return of capitalist exploitation, and that the principles of democratic centralism would be the most effective in representing the people's will in a practical manner. The debate over the future of the economy provided the background for a power struggle in the years after Lenin's death in 1924. Initially, Lenin was to be replaced by a 'troika' consisting of Grigory Zinoviev of the Ukrainian SSR, Lev Kamenev of the Russian SFSR, and Joseph Stalin of the Transcaucasian SFSR.

On 1 February 1924, the USSR was recognized by the United Kingdom.[

Soviet Constitution
was approved, legitimizing the December 1922 union.

According to Archie Brown the constitution was never an accurate guide to political reality in the USSR. For example the fact that the Party played the leading role in making and enforcing policy was not mentioned in it until 1977.[44] The USSR was a federative entity of many constituent republics, each with its own political and administrative entities. However, the term 'Soviet Russia' – formally applicable only to the Russian Federative Socialist Republic – was often applied to the entire country by non-Soviet writers due to its domination by the Russian SFSR.

Stalin era (1927–1953)

On 3 April 1922, Stalin was named the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lenin had appointed Stalin the head of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate, which gave Stalin considerable power.[45] By gradually consolidating his influence and isolating and outmaneuvering his rivals within the party, Stalin became the undisputed leader of the country and, by the end of the 1920s, established a totalitarian rule. In October 1927, Zinoviev and Leon Trotsky were expelled from the Central Committee and forced into exile.

In 1928, Stalin introduced the

Socialism in One Country. In industry, the state assumed control over all existing enterprises and undertook an intensive program of industrialization. In agriculture, rather than adhering to the 'lead by example' policy advocated by Lenin,[46] forced collectivization of farms
was implemented all over the country.

Famines ensued as a result, causing deaths estimated at three to seven million; surviving kulaks (wealthy or middle-class peasants) were persecuted, and many were sent to Gulags to do forced labor.[47][48] Social upheaval continued in the mid-1930s. Despite the turmoil of the mid-to-late 1930s, the country developed a robust industrial economy in the years preceding World War II.

Jakutsk) by the prisoners of Dalstroy

Closer cooperation between the USSR and the West developed in the early 1930s. From 1932 to 1934, the country participated in the

World Disarmament Conference. In 1933, diplomatic relations between the United States and the USSR were established when in November, the newly elected President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, chose to recognize Stalin's Communist government formally and negotiated a new trade agreement between the two countries.[49] In September 1934, the country joined the League of Nations. After the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, the USSR actively supported the Republican forces against the Nationalists, who were supported by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.[50]

In December 1936, Stalin unveiled a new

constitution that was praised by supporters around the world as the most democratic constitution imaginable, though there was some skepticism. American historian J. Arch Getty concludes: "Many who lauded Stalin's Soviet Union as the most democratic country on earth lived to regret their words. After all, the Soviet Constitution of 1936 was adopted on the eve of the Great Terror of the late 1930s; the "thoroughly democratic" elections to the first Supreme Soviet permitted only uncontested candidates and took place at the height of the savage violence in 1937. The civil rights, personal freedoms, and democratic forms promised in the Stalin constitution were trampled almost immediately and remained dead letters until long after Stalin's death."[51]

Five Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. Only two of them – Budyonny and Voroshilov – survived Great Purge. Blyukher, Yegorov and Tukhachevsky
were executed.

Stalin's Great Purge resulted in the detainment or execution of many 'Old Bolsheviks' who had participated in the October Revolution. According to declassified Soviet archives, the NKVD arrested more than one and a half million people in 1937 and 1938, of whom 681,692 were shot.[52] Over those two years, there were an average of over one thousand executions a day.[53][u]

In 1939, after attempts to form a military alliance with Britain and France against Germany failed, the Soviet Union made a dramatic shift towards Nazi Germany.

Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and eastern Poland

Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria with Stalin's daughter, Svetlana, on his lap. As head of the NKVD, Beria was responsible for many political repressions in the Soviet Union

On 1 September, Germany invaded Poland and on the 17th the Soviet Union invaded Poland as well. On 6 October, Poland fell and part of the Soviet occupation zone was then handed over to Germany.

On 10 October, the Soviet Union and Lithuania signed an agreement whereby the Soviet Union transferred Polish sovereignty over the Vilna region to Lithuania, and on 28 October the boundary between the Soviet occupation zone and the new territory of Lithuania was officially demarcated.

On 1 November, the Soviet Union annexed Western Ukraine, followed by Western Belarus on the 2nd.

In late November, unable to coerce the Republic of Finland by diplomatic means into moving its border 25 kilometres (16 mi) back from Leningrad, Stalin ordered the invasion of Finland. On 14 December 1939, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.[59] In the east, the Soviet military won several decisive victories during border clashes with the Empire of Japan in 1938 and 1939. However, in April 1941, the USSR signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact with Japan, which the Soviets would unilaterally break in 1945, recognizing the territorial integrity of Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state. The pact ensured Japan would not enter the war against the USSR on the side of Germany later.

World War II

Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 starting what is known in Russia and some other post-Soviet states as the Great Patriotic War. The Red Army stopped the seemingly invincible German Army at the Battle of Moscow. The Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from late 1942 to early 1943, dealt a severe blow to Germany from which they never fully recovered and became a turning point in the war. After Stalingrad, Soviet forces drove through Eastern Europe to Berlin before Germany surrendered in 1945. The German Army suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.[60] Harry Hopkins, a close foreign policy advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt, spoke on 10 August 1943 of the USSR's decisive role in the war, saying that "While in Sicily the forces of Great Britain and the United States are being opposed by 2 German divisions, the Russian front is receiving attention of approximately 200 German divisions."[v] Up to 34 million soldiers served in the Red Army during World War II, 8 million of which were non-Slavic minorities.[62]

Residents of Leningrad leave their homes destroyed by German bombing. About 1 million civilians died during the 871-day Siege of Leningrad
, mostly from starvation.
From left to right, the Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer
in Tehran, 1943

The USSR suffered greatly in the war,

Big Four Allied powers,[68] and later became the Four Policemen that formed the basis of the United Nations Security Council.[69] It emerged as a superpower in the post-war period. Once denied diplomatic recognition by the Western world, the USSR had official relations with practically every country by the late 1940s. A member of the United Nations at its foundation in 1945, the country became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council
, which gave it the right to veto any of its resolutions.

The USSR, in fulfillment of its agreement with the Allies at the Yalta Conference, broke the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1945 which Japan had been honoring despite their alliance with Germany,[70] and invaded Manchukuo and other Japan-controlled territories on 9 August 1945.[71] This conflict ended with a decisive Soviet victory, contributing to the unconditional surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.

Soviet soldiers committed mass rapes in occupied territories, especially in Germany.[72] The wartime rapes were followed by decades of silence.[73][74][75] According to historian Antony Beevor, whose books were banned in 2015 from some Russian schools and colleges, NKVD (Soviet secret police) files have revealed that the leadership knew what was happening, but did little to stop it.[76] It was often rear echelon units who committed the rapes. According to professor Oleg Rzheshevsky, "4,148 Red Army officers and many privates were punished for committing atrocities".[18] The exact number of German women and girls raped by Soviet troops during the war and occupation is uncertain, but historians estimate their numbers are likely in the hundreds of thousands, and possibly as many as two million.[77]

Lend Lease shipments to the USSR. During the war the USSR provided an unknown number of shipments of rare minerals to the US Treasury as a form of cashless repayment of Lend-Lease

The Soviet Union was greatly assisted in its wartime effort by the United States via

armored vehicles (including 7,000 tanks, about 1,386[78] of which were M3 Lees and 4,102 M4 Shermans);[79] 11,400 aircraft (of which 4,719 were Bell P-39 Airacobras, 3,414 were Douglas A-20 Havocs and 2,397 were Bell P-63 Kingcobras)[80] and 1.75 million tons of food.[81] As Soviet soldiers were bearing the brunt of the war, Roosevelt's advisor Harry Hopkins felt that American aid to the Soviets would hasten the war's conclusion.[82]

Roughly 17.5 million tons of military equipment, vehicles, industrial supplies, and food were shipped from the Western Hemisphere to the USSR, 94% coming from the US. For comparison, a total of 22 million tons landed in Europe to supply American forces from January 1942 to May 1945. It has been estimated that American deliveries to the USSR through the Persian Corridor alone were sufficient, by US Army standards, to maintain sixty combat divisions in the line.[83][84]

Cold War

Map showing greatest territorial extent of the Soviet Union and the states that it dominated politically, economically and militarily in 1960, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 but before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961 (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)[w]

During the immediate post-war period, the Soviet Union rebuilt and expanded its economy, while maintaining its

Romania, and Bulgaria using Soviet-dominated joint enterprises. It also instituted trading arrangements deliberately designed to favour the country. Moscow controlled the Communist parties that ruled the satellite states, and they followed orders from the Kremlin. Historian Mark Kramer concludes: "The net outflow of resources from eastern Europe to the Soviet Union was approximately $15 billion to $20 billion in the first decade after World War II, an amount roughly equal to the total aid provided by the United States to western Europe under the Marshall Plan."[87] Later, the Comecon supplied aid to the eventually victorious Chinese Communist Party, and its influence grew elsewhere in the world. Fearing its ambitions, the Soviet Union's wartime allies, the United Kingdom and the United States, became its enemies. In the ensuing Cold War, the two sides clashed indirectly in proxy wars

De-Stalinization and Khrushchev Thaw (1953–1964)

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy
in Vienna, 3 June 1961

Stalin died on 5 March 1953. Without a mutually agreeable successor, the highest Communist Party officials initially opted to rule the Soviet Union jointly through a troika headed by Georgy Malenkov. This did not last, however, and Nikita Khrushchev eventually won the ensuing power struggle by the mid-1950s. In 1956, he denounced Joseph Stalin and proceeded to ease controls over the party and society. This was known as de-Stalinization.

Moscow considered Eastern Europe to be a critically vital buffer zone for the forward defence of its western borders, in case of another major invasion such as the German invasion of 1941. For this reason, the USSR sought to cement its control of the region by transforming the Eastern European countries into satellite states, dependent upon and subservient to its leadership. As a result, Soviet military forces were used to suppress an anti-communist uprising in Hungary in 1956.

In the late 1950s, a confrontation with China regarding the Soviet rapprochement with the West, and what

Sino–Soviet split. This resulted in a break throughout the global Marxist–Leninist movement, with the governments in Albania, Cambodia and Somalia
choosing to ally with China.

During this period of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the USSR continued to realize scientific and technological exploits in the Space Race, rivaling the United States: launching the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 in 1957; a living dog named Laika in 1957; the first human being, Yuri Gagarin in 1961; the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963; Alexei Leonov, the first person to walk in space in 1965; the first soft landing on the Moon by spacecraft Luna 9 in 1966; and the first Moon rovers, Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhod 2.[88]

Khrushchev initiated 'The Thaw', a complex shift in political, cultural and economic life in the country. This included some openness and contact with other nations and new social and economic policies with more emphasis on commodity goods, allowing a dramatic rise in living standards while maintaining high levels of economic growth. Censorship was relaxed as well. Khrushchev's reforms in agriculture and administration, however, were generally unproductive. In 1962, he precipitated a crisis with the United States over the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. An agreement was made with the United States to remove nuclear missiles from both Cuba and Turkey, concluding the crisis. This event caused Khrushchev much embarrassment and loss of prestige, resulting in his removal from power in 1964.

Era of Stagnation (1964–1985)

SALT II arms limitation treaty
in Vienna on 18 June 1979.