Talk:Soviet Union
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Talk:Soviet Union
Former good articleSoviet Union was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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August 2, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
August 13, 2006Good article reassessmentDelisted
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on December 8, 2004, and December 26, 2006.
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Congress of Soviets

Do Congress of Soviets and Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union refer to the same body? If so, shouldn't these articles be merged? Bruce leverett (talk) 11:35, 14 August 2019 (UTC)


User:Age20035, User:Akshay888777: It would be very useful and helpful if you would explain, on this talk page, your reasons for including Malenkov in the list of leaders, or your reasons for not including Malenkov. Also, don't be shy about discussing any other principles or rules you use for deciding what names and dates appear in this list, and in other lists. As you may be aware, this list has been modified several times, just in the last few months. It would be good to bring some order to this chaos. Thank you! Bruce leverett (talk) 02:40, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Hello, the reason I added Gregory Malenkov to the "Leaders" section in the infobox is because, in case you didn't know, he did count as a leader of the nation despite serving a short term. However, I accidentally didn't put: "Gregory Malenkov: (de facto)". Malenkov spent most of his term fighting for power with Nikita Khrushchev. Akshay888777 (talk) 16:58, 25 August 2019 (UTC)Akshay888777


User:Michaelwuzthere: You added, "... and after unsuccessful efforts to form an anti-fascist alliance with Western powers ..." to the leading paragraphs. But this is not supported by the main text, or by a Wikilink, or by a footnote. Could you add the appropriate sourcing? I looked around on the Web but couldn't find it. I dimly recall something like that from Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but I no longer have a copy of that book. Bruce leverett (talk) 01:09, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

it's not controversial--all historians agree that UK & France tried & failed to form an alliance with USSR in 1939. see the Shaw book. I added this text: "In 1939 France and Britain tried to form an anti-Nazi alliance with the USSR, but no agreement was reached. ( Louise Grace Shaw (2003). The British Political Elite and the Soviet Union, 1937-1939. p. 103. Then Hitler proposed a better deal, which would give the USSR control over much of Eastern Europe through the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In September Germany invaded Poland, and later that month Stalin also invaded, and they divided Poland. Britain and France declared war on Germany and World War II began.( D.C. Watt, How War Came: the Immediate Origins of the Second World War 1938-1939 (1989). Rjensen (talk) 03:14, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Whereas I am not sure if references are needed in the lede, I added a couple of them. By the way, according to these articles, the initiative to sign a military anti-German alliance came from the USSR, not Britain or France, so it would be more correct to say "In 1939 the USSR tried to form an anti-Nazi alliance with France and Britain...". I also removed the mention of invasion of Poland. The reason in obvious: to mention invasion of Poland without mentioning of the start of WWII is a pure Polonocentrism. IMO, it would be more correct to explain that that pact is believed to provoke a start of WWII.--Paul Siebert (talk) 19:35, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I Changed it to match it @Paul Siebert:Jack90s15 (talk) 19:51, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Paul Siebert and am not satisfied by the current wording, which omits the German invasion of Poland completely. The consensus of academic RS is, in fact, that the Soviet Union was forced to move west in response to Germany's movement east, and that it made an accommodation with its arch-rival Germany after Britain and France proved to be unreliable partners, having previously facilitated the German takeover of Czechoslovakia through the Munich Agreement. There are many Wikipedians that have distorted what RS say on this matter, falsely characterizing the Soviet Union (but not Britain or France) as Hitler's "wartime ally" or even an "honorary member" of the Axis Powers (an alliance that, as Paul Siebert has pointed out before, originated with the Anti-Comintern Pact), but that agitprop needs to be resisted in favor of the RS. On a related note, I consider the infobox listing the Soviet Union on both sides of the European theatre of World War II to be pretty outrageous, and I doubt that any such nonsense would be tolerated at the main World War II article. Thoughts?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 04:23, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

the Page is focused on the USSR so for Opening it shows the reader The Soviets invaded on September 17th. And also shows there were two separate Invasions so the reader does not think they invaded at the same time.Jack90s15 (talk) 04:37, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  • examples for the wording,_resulting_in_their_joint_invasion_of_Poland._was_not_a_joint_invasion_they_invaded_On_the_17th_of_SeptemberJack90s15 (talk) 04:37, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

That is not fully correct. Neither the pact nor its secret protocol stipulated Nazi or Soviet invasion of Poland. According to Roberts, Stalin didn't take any obligation to invade Poland. In reality, the pact just outlined spheres of influence (the line Germany was not supposed to cross during its eastern expansion). It could be quite possible that, had Britain or France provided ma real support to Poland, and had Polish resistance not been broken so quickly, the Soviet Union would abstain from any actions. During then first half of September, Stalin was definitely waiting, and his actions strongly depended on the course of the events. He started preparation for invasion only when it became clear that Poland had been essentially defeated, and Britain and France provide no real support for it; in his telegram on Sept 8, Ribbentrop requested Stalin to invade Poland and threatened that if there would be no actions from the Soviet side, Germany would invade the "Soviet" part of Poland.Jack90s15 (talk) 04:40, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Oh no, the invasion and partition of Poland was decided much earlier, during signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Stalin just waited a couple of weeks to make sure that everything goes according to his plan and that even 80 years later, after his attack on Poland together with Hitler, some people will blame ... Britain and France. My very best wishes (talk) 02:24, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Just to be clear, because (regardless of the intent) Jack90s15's edits are extremely careless and sloppy, it should be noted that everything that he posted above is copied (without full attribution) from Paul Siebert's comment of 2 December 2018; also, the current lede, as edited by Jack90s15, jumps straight from the pact to the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland, thereby omitting crucial context (including the start of World War II!).TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 05:13, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@TheTimesAreAChanging: That is why I put links to them. And for the opening its Focusing on the Soviet Invasion that was on the 17th it all ready is hyper linked to molotov-ribbentrop pact and soviet invasion of Poland both mention the German Invasion which was the start of World War IIJack90s15 (talk) 05:42, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@TheTimesAreAChanging: And I added the German Invasion inJack90s15 (talk) 05:53, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
The present wording looks OK to me, but you have removed a citation that was added by User:Paul Siebert. Was that intentional? Bruce leverett (talk) 11:47, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@Bruce leverett: it was not I put it back the citation Jack90s15 (talk) 16:40, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

This is from @Paul Siebert: a Experienced user on the subject on may 9th seems relevant to this @My very best wishes: Jack90s15 (talk) 02:36, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
   The only example of Nazi-Soviet cooperation in warfare was in Poland. However, it is hard to say if it was close enough to call them de facto allies. At least, for contemporaries it didn't look close: just read what Churchill wrote about that. Only after the secret protocol was discovered some people started to speak, retrospectively, about an alliance, however, if something didn't look like an alliance in 1939, how can a discovery of some paper make it a de facto alliance? Ok, I could agree that, had some secret document been discovered that was a secret military alliance between Nazi and Soviets, we could speak about a de jure secret allians, however, "de facto allies that didn't look like allies according to the contemporary observers" sounds odd. Moreover, on Sept 9 Ribbentrop sent a telegram to Stalin asking if the USSR was going to invade Poland, and threatening that if it would not invade, Germany would have to occupy Eastern Poland. By no means that can be interpreted as "close cooperation".
   Furthermore, there was no Axis in September 1939, however, if we assume there was some informal Axis by that time (which actually developed from the Anti-Comintern pact, an alliance directed against the USSR (sic!)), we have to keep in mind that there was a de facto state of war between another future Axis member, Japan, and the USSR, which ended with an armistice (not a peace treaty) only on September 15. How could be the USSR a de facto member of some de facto alliance in a situation when it was still having a military conflict with one member of this alliance?
   Next, there is a fraction of historians who believe that all USSR's territorial gains in 1939-40 were the result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. However, this view is shared only by a significant minority of authors, mostly political journalists. Actually, only Eastern Poland was obtained in accordance with the pact, all other territories were not. German and Soviet interpretation of "spheres of interest" were different, and, whereas "mutual assistance treaties the Baltic states were forced to sign with the USSR were in accordance with the pact, a complete occupation and subsequent annexation were considered as a hostile act by Hitler. It was annexation of the Baltic states which triggered a start of preparations for Barbarossa planning. Moreover, Geoffrey Roberts writes (in "Stalin's War") that the decision about annexation was made by Stalin after he saw how easily and quickly was France, the strongest military power in Europe, was defeated by Hitler. Stalin realized that, from that moment on, the USSR is vis-a-vis with the extremely strong and efficient military machine, and he decided to move the border of the USSR westward as far as possible. In other words, occupation of the Baltic states was a part of preparations to the future war with Germany, according to Roberts. And, again, Hitler correctly interpreted that as a hostile step. If these relationships were de facto alliance, then I even don't know what to say.
   Finland. If you remember, the whole Winter war started because Finland refused to cede territories around Leningrad, as well as the Hanko military base. What was the reason for that request? A military threat from which power forced Stalin to do that? Obviously, neither Finland nor any other power except Germany was incapable of posing any serious threat to Leningrad, therefore, the goal was, again, to prepare for was with Germany. And, by the way, Germany unofficially supported Finland in this war, at least, German public opinion was on Finnish side.
   Bessarabia. In contrast to Eastern Poland, Finland, or Baltic states, the USSR had never recognized annexation of Bessarabia by Romania (it occurred according to the scenario that was very close to the recent annexation of Crimea by Russia), moreover, if I remember correct, some other states, including the US, didn't recognize it too. Therefore, this case is a separate story, and, again, annexation of Bessarabia was seen as unfriendly act by Germany, because it threatened to the strategically important Romanian oil fields. With regard to Bukovina, it was a direct violation of the pact.
   To summarize, despite the fact that the USSR made some territorial acquisitions during 1939-40 (I am not aware of any acquisitions in 1941), there is no consensus in scholarly community on whether they were made in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet pact, and whether they can serve as a demonstration of de facto allied relationship. (talk) 02:36, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

  • A noteworthy rebuttal of Suvorov's thesis is contained in Colonel David Glantz's work Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War. Glantz views Suvorov's argument as "incredible" on a variety of fronts: first, Suvorov rejects without examination classified ex-Soviet archival material, and makes highly selective picks from memoirs. Glantz points to this as a serious methodological flaw. Further, Glantz argues, Suvorov's thesis is strongly contradicted both by ex-Soviet and German archival material, and the facts do not support the argument that the Red Army was prepared to invade Germany.[2] On the contrary, the appalling lack of readiness, poor training level, and abysmal state of deployments show that the Red Army was unprepared for static defense, much less large-scale offensive operations. Glantz's conclusion is that "Stalin may well have been an unscrupulous tyrant, but he was not a lunatic."

  • Author(s): David M. Glantz. Reviewed work(s): "Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?" by Viktor Suvorov. The Journal of Military History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Apr., 1991), pp. 263-264 Published by: Society for Military History'_views

@My very best wishes: No one Denies troughs things I don't This was about the Pact that is why I referenced a another Conversation by a Experienced user I don't want to Fight over this I want to learn Jack90s15 (talk) 04:11, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Absolutely no problem. I responded because you pinged me. "I want to learn". Great words! That's why I provided several links on WP pages on the subject (please check them) and suggested you read an excellent book by Suvorov. The book is provocative and probably the most interesting book I have read on the history of WWII. My very best wishes (talk) 17:41, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 October 2019

On the third paragraph, the title "World War II" is misspelled as "Word War II" (second sentence). Crs1000 (talk) 02:06, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

FixedDeacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 03:07, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

1932-33 famine

Drought was negligible to a man-made famine which resulted in up to 7.5 million deaths. The hyperlink to Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union states that "One of the most serious crises before 1900 was the famine of 1891-92, which killed between 375,000 and 500,000 people", i.e. merely around 5-10% of the 1932 famine. Moreover, the page states that drought "was not severe in the affected areas at this time" of 1932. Even scholars who have denied that it was an intentional genocide, such as Mark Tauger (1991), still conclude that it was the direct fault of the regime and not drought! So where is this information coming from?

Further, "There is still debate over whether or not Holodomor was a massive failure of policy or a deliberate act of genocide" i.e. drought is NOT considered a primary factor; rather, those who disagree it was genocide, instead claim it was due to Stalin's prioritisation of the regime rather than saving lives.CMFante (talk) 07:41, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

Labtopbox Your comment that "It said agricultural collectivization contributed to a major famine in 1932-33, causing millions of deaths so it was not downplaying it at all" is clearly wrong. It is downplaying Stalin's role to start the sentence in such a biased way: "In addition to drought, which was a primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region". No, the drought was in addition to the primary factor of the forced collectivisation, not the other way around. There is not a single scholar who puts drought first! This is an obvious attempt to put the focus on the drought and directly contradicts all the other Wiki pages on the famine, which show that the majority of scholars place the majority of the blame on the Soviet leadership for their crime against humanity or genocide, however you want to define it. Anne Applebaum (the Pulitzer Prize winner for Gulag: A History) concludes accordingly:

There is absolutely no justification for having the emphasis on the drought - this is pure bias. As we have each reverted 3 times in a 24 hour period, I will not revert again. Most likely we will have to resolve via a third opinion.CMFante (talk) 11:02, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

I agree with your change in the emphasis, but I suggest that the sentence "Ukraine officially condemns this famine as an act of genocide, and attempts to diminish the scale (or even existence) of the famine is known as Holodomor denial" is out of place in the lead paragraph of this article. Bruce leverett (talk) 11:43, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
That's true Bruce leverett, I agree. Perhaps a good compromise is to reverse the sentence so the drought is "in addition to" the collectivization, as well as the deletion (or adjustment) of its being a "primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines in the region" which is misleading and gives the impression that this famine was merely a regular incidence, one of many other similar famines and an expected event in a long and inevitable chain of natural famines, rather than a deliberate, very irregular and unprecedented crime against humanity with a 20x higher death toll as a means to political and cultural domination of Ukraine. The difference is stark next to prior famines but the lead paragraph makes it seem otherwise with that line.CMFante (talk) 12:50, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

I reverted the recent change on neutrality grounds and the inclusion of wikilinks that appeared to be inappropriate (i.e, Holodomor denial). Regardless, I think Tauger's position is being mischaracterized here. This from his review of Applebaum's book Red Famine:

--C.J. Griffin (talk) 14:56, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

I disagree that it is neutral now. Your reply does not address the main issues - a) No-one, including Tauger, is able to show how a drought can suddenly go from causing a peak of 500k deaths (in the first major famine) to 7.5 million deaths in 1932-33. What accounts for the difference? Clearly the ruthless economic policies by the leadership. and b) that no justification has been given for the drought being emphasised at the beginning of the sentence in the Wiki article, which is also purposely misleading ("primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines"), with the collectivization relegated to an "addition" of the drought. This is clearly backwards according to the majority of current scholarship, not to mention the linked article on Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union directly contradicts the drought emphasis - it's not even mentioned in the 1932-33 section as a factor, let alone a primary one!
Tauger himself does not say that the drought was a primary factor, and whenever he summarises the causes he always vaguely adds "failed economic policies" or "leaders' incompetence", as in that review you quoted. But that is begging the question; the central debate is about whether Stalin is morally responsible and the nature of his intentions. If a leader's economic policies cause starvation or if he fails to act when he knows millions are presently starving to death and refuses aid due to "paranoia regarding foreign threats" then clearly this is a crime against humanity when he is the leader making decisions that simultaneously exacerbate said deaths with forced collectivisation, raids of grains, trade bans, deportations, executions, etc. as a means of treating humans as raw materials for his Utopian end at any cost to lives. Hence why David Marples replies: "Dr. Tauger and other scholars fail to distinguish between shortages, droughts and outright famine. There is no such thing as a 'natural' famine, no matter the size of the harvest. A famine requires some form of state or human input." Appealing to leaders' "incompetence" and "failures" does not answer the question, it merely asks it.
But we don't need to debate whether it was genocide or not. You need to provide justification for why droughts are being emphasised in that sentence. It is heavily biased towards natural causes rather than the regime. If neutrality and objectivity are the aim, then why would Mark Tauger be the benchmark? The vast majority of scholars are critical of him - as can clearly be seen in the Holodomor genocide question article, and thus scholarly consensus should be adhered to.
The sentence needs to be reversed, at the very least. CMFante (talk) 17:10, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
Firstly, the primary reason I even referenced Tauger was I wanted to demonstrate that the OP misrepresented his views with this statement: "Even scholars who have denied that it was an intentional genocide, such as Mark Tauger (1991), still conclude that it was the direct fault of the regime and not drought! So where is this information coming from?" Other historians besides Tauger also partly attribute the famine to drought and poor weather, although to varying degrees. For example, the groundbreaking work by Stephen Wheatcroft and R.W. Davies on the famine, The Years of Hunger, utilizes archival data and other direct evidence and concludes that poor weather and drought were a factor in the famine, although to a lesser extent than asserted by Tauger. Nevertheless, both dispute that the famine was intentional murder or genocide (interestingly enough, Michael Ellman in a 2002 paper was also reluctant to classify famine victims as murder/repression victims, stating: "While there is plenty of evidence to justify a charge of manslaughter or criminal negligence, there seems to the present author to be little evidence for murder.") This is why I believe the version as it exists is indeed neutral. It only partly attributes the famine to drought, while emphasizing the role of collectivization in the catastrophe. The version I reverted which contained the biased language "Ukraine officially condemns this famine as an act of genocide, and attempts to diminish the scale (or even existence) of the famine is known as Holodomor denial." is unacceptable, IMO. The current text also distinguishes between the 1932-33 famine and previous famines, in which drought was a more significant factor. Let me quote the text in question for reference:

--C.J. Griffin (talk) 20:24, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

I think we might be talking past each other. As I said, let's leave aside intention - the leaders' responsibility, whether they intended to cause genocide or not, is the central question, so I agree with your removal of my hyperlink. I'm asking why the sentence should begin with drought, to which collectivisation is merely an "addition", and which misleadingly emphasises drought as a "primary factor in a long history of regularly occurring famines", thus obscuring the fact that these prior famines had a death toll of 5-10% of the 1932 famine. I'm particularly confused how you describe the sentence as "emphasizing the role of collectivization in the catastrophe." The emphasis is quite clearly on the drought - there is an absurdly long hyperlink to the history of the famines with the words of the hyperlink describing drought as a primary factor! The meaning of that sentence is obviously biased and reads as if the 1932 famine was merely yet one more famine like the rest in history. Your references show that the scholarship does not agree with this emphasis. Stephen Wheatcroft and R.W. Davies list 'poor weather' only as point (4), and their study's emphasis is on the direct fault of the leadership, either by their incompetent actions or their inaction in not focusing on saving the starving millions. They conclude:
The weather is just in addition to this. So they are arguing it wasn't intentional genocide (because they are using a one-dimensional and unphilosophic analysis of "intention", but this is irrelevant) -- but they are not arguing that it wasn't primarily the leaders' fault, nor that drought is the emphasis, as this Wiki article does.CMFante (talk) 08:11, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
The hyperlinked page to Wheatcroft/Davies clearly states that weather was a major factor in the bad harvests of these years:
The text as it exists now emphasizes the role of collectivization by distinguishing this famine from the previous famines in which weather was clearly the dominant factor; in the 1932-33 famine collectivization was a major contributor in addition to the weather. That's how I read it anyway. In any case, I am fine with a rewrite but would oppose removing weather/drought as a factor in the famine, which appears to be what some here want, and it indeed was purged in the version I reverted. At least we both agree that intentionality should not be included, as there is no consensus in scholarship on that issue, and since the opening of the archives appears to be going in the opposite direction of the narrative Conquest popularized during the tail end off the Cold War in Harvest of Sorrow, although governments are still pushing it.--C.J. Griffin (talk) 13:29, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
  1. ^ Applebaum, Anne (2017). Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine. Penguin. ISBN 9780141978284.

  2.   This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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