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Soviet soldier taking a photograph of another soldier in Red Square, Moscow, 1959

Soviet Union

Documents and other resources related to the history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), a communist state that existed from 1922-1991.

For materials on Russian history after the collapse of the USSR, see Russia.

Soviet soldier taking a photograph of another soldier in Red Square, Moscow, 1959

Popular Documents

February 9, 1946

Speech Delivered by Stalin at a Meeting of Voters of the Stalin Electoral District, Moscow

English translation of Stalin's 1946 "election" speech.

February 25, 1956

Khrushchev's Secret Speech, 'On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,' Delivered at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

In a secret speech before a closed plenum of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s cult of the personality. In addition, he revealed that Stalin had rounded up thousands of people and sent them into a huge system of political work camps (Gulags). This revelation was met with astonishment by many present for the speech, but helped to break the power that Stalin still held over the country.

September 27, 1946

Telegram from Nikolai Novikov, Soviet Ambassador to the US, to the Soviet Leadership

Soviet Ambassador to the US, Nikolai Novikov, describes the advent of a more assertive US foreign policy. Novikov cautions the Soviet leadership that the Truman administration is bent on imposing US political, military and economic domination around the world. This telegram has, since its discovery in the Russian archives, been labelled the Soviet equivalent of US Ambassador to the Soviet Union George Kennan's "Long telegram."

February 22, 1946

George Kennan's 'Long Telegram'

George F. Kennan writes to the Secretary of State with a lengthy analysis of Soviet policy in an attempt to explain their recent uncooperative behavior. This message would later become famous as the "long telegram."

June 27, 1950

Statement by the President, Truman on Korea

Truman's statement on the invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces.