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Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Flag of Russia.svg
19171991 Flag of Russia 1991-1993.svg
Flag of Russian SFSR.svg COA Russian SFSR.svg
Flag Coat of arms
Russian SFSR map.svg
Capital Petrograd (1917—1918)
Moscow (since March 1918)[1]
Official language Russian
In the Soviet Union:
 - Since
 - Until
November 7, 1917

December 30, 1922
December 12, 1991
 - Total
 - Water (%)
Ranked 1st in the USSR
17,075,200 km²
 - Total 
 - Density
Ranked 1st in the USSR
Time zone UTC + 2 to + 11 (modern Russia is + 3 to + 12)
Anthem Internationale (1922–1943)
National Anthem of the Soviet Union (1944–1990)
Patriotic Song (1990–1993)[2]
Medals Leninorder.jpg Order of Lenin
Hero of the USSR.png Seven Hero cities
In January 18-19, 1918, there was a briefly existence of the Russian Democratic Federal Republic, but actual sovereingty was still in hands of the Soviets even after the Russian Constituent Assembly opens it's first and last session.[3]

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian: Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика (РСФСР), transliterated as Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika [RSFSR]), also called the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, the Russian SFSR, and the RSFSR for short, was the largest and most populous of the fifteen Soviet republics of the Soviet Union. It was by far the largest sub-national entity in the world by area and second in population after the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The capital was Moscow, which also served as the capital of the Soviet Union.

Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, the RSFSR became the Russian Federation. However, the new government continued to use the old name in a de jure capacity until late 1992.




Early years

The Soviet regime was established on November 7, 1917, following the October Revolution. In Russian official documents of the time it was referred to as Russian Republic (Российская республика)[4] Soviet Republic (Советская Республика), or Russian Soviet Republic, among others.[citation needed]

On July 10, 1918, the 1918 Constitution was adopted, with the official name of Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic; the most recent variant of the name (with "Socialist" and "Soviet" swapped), was adopted in the 1937 Constitution.

In English, the terms Bolshevist Russia or Soviet Russia were commonly used for the period 1917–1922.[citation needed] Opponents of Bolsheviks also used the derogatory term Sovdepia or Sovdepiya (Совдепия)[5], i.e., "the land of sovdeps". "Sovdep" is a contraction of the Russian term, "Sovet Deputatov" (Совет Депутатов, совдеп), "Council of Deputies", which were the governmental authorities at local levels.

The RSFSR as an independent state was recognized internationally by only a few states: the Irish Republic (which was not a sovereign state since it had no international recognition), Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania. The four latter countries recognized the RSFSR in the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.

In the Soviet Union

Russian SFSR in the 1920s

On December 30, 1922, the First Congress of the Soviets of the USSR approved the Treaty of Creation of the USSR, by which Russia was united with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic into a single federal state, the Soviet Union. Later treaty was included in the 1924 Soviet Constitution, adopted on January 31, 1924 and the Second Congress of the Soviets of the USSR.

Third article of the 1925 Constitution of the RSFSR states the following:[6]:

According to a quotation will of the peoples of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, have decided to Tenth All-Russian Congress of Soviets on the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the transmit powers of the Union, classified in accordance with Article 1 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the purview of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Russian SFSR in the 1930s

As a result of Soviet famine of 1932–1933, many regions were affected in Russia (Volga, Central Black Soil Region, North Caucasus, the Urals, the Crimea, part of Western Siberia, and the Kazakh ASSR (see Hunger in Kazakhstan in 1932-1933).

With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on December 5, 1936, the size of the RSFSR was significantly reduced. The Kazakh ASSR and Kirghiz ASSR were transformed into the Kazakh SSR and Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic. The Karakalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was transferred to the Uzbek SSR.

The Russian Constitution of 1937 changed the order of words in the official name of the RSFSR to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Russian SFSR in the 1940s

On April 17, 1946 Kaliningrad Oblast—the north of the former German province of East Prussia—was annexed by the Soviet Union and made part of the Russian SFSR.

Russian SFSR in the 1950s

Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

Karelo-Finnish SSR transferred back to the RSFSR as Karelian ASSR in 1956.

Russian SFSR in the early 1990s

Flag adopted by the RSFSR national government in 1991

On May 29, 1990 and on the third attempt, elected the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR.

On June 12, 1990, Congress of People's Deputies of the Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian SFSR, which was the beginning of the "War of Laws" (Russian and Union law conflict).

March 17, 1991 – all-Russian referendum, on the basis of which was introduced post of President of the RSFSR.

June 12, 1991 – Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the RSFSR by popular vote.

August 19–21, 1991 – coup attempt in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union and Russia. President of Russia (Yeltsin) serves to protect the President of the USSR (Gorbachev).

On August 23, after the failure of GKChP, in the presence of Gorbachev, Yeltsin signs a decree to suspend activity of the Communist Party of the Russian SFSR in the territory of Russia.[7]

On October 28, 1991, Ruslan Khasbulatov is elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.

On November 6, 1991, by the decree of the Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Communist Parties of the USSR and the RSFSR are banned on the territory of the RSFSR.[8]

December 8, 1991 – at Viskuli near Brest (Belarus), President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the heads of Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR signed the "Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States" (known in media as Belavezha Accords). The document, consisting of a preamble and fourteen articles, stated that the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a subject of international law and geopolitical realities. However, based on the historical community of peoples, relations between them, given the bilateral treaties, the desire for a democratic rule of law, the intention to develop their relations based on mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty, the parties agreed on the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States

On December 12, 1991, that agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR (the Russian parliament ratified the document by an overwhelming majority: "for" – 188 votes, "against" – 6 votes, "abstain" – 7).

On the same day, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and recall all Russian deputies from the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The legality of this act is the subject of formal discussions, because by the 1978 Constitution (Basic Law) of the Russian SFSR, Russian SFSR had no right to do so.

On December 24, 1991, President of the Russian Federation informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the Russian Federation continues the membership of the Soviet Union in all organs UN (including membership in the UN Security Council). Thus, Russia is considered to be the original member of the UN (since October 24, 1945) along with Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR) and Belarus (Byelorussian SSR).

On December 25, 1991, Russian SFSR was renamed Russian Federation by a special law.[2]. The Act came into force on the date of adoption, but was originally published on January 6, 1992 (Rossiyskaya Gazeta). According to law, during 1992 it was allowed to use the old name of the RSFSR in the official business (forms, seals and stamps).

The name "Russian Federation" as a reduction of the phrase "Russian Soviet Federative Republic" was used in Soviet times as well.[9]

Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs) within the Russian SFSR

External links


  1. ^ LENINE’S MIGRATION A QUEER SCENE, The New York Times, March 16, 1918
  2. ^ a b Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR approved the Law of the RSFSR #2094-I of December 25, 1991 "Name Change for the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic" // News of the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian SFSR and Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR. – 1992. – № 2. – Art. 62
  3. ^ Riasanovsky, Nicholas (2000). A History of Russia (sixth edition). Oxford University Press. pp. 458. ISBN 0-19-512179-1. 
  4. ^ See e.g. the "Decree regarding the introduction of the Western European calendar in the Russian Republic" (Декрет о введении в Российской республике западноевропейского календаря), published in Pravda on January 25, 1918 (Russian)
  5. ^ Mawdsley, Evan (2007). The Russian Civil War. Pegasus Books. pp. 178–193. ISBN 9781933648156. 
  6. ^ Constitution (Basic Law) of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (approved by Twelfth All-Russian Congress of Soviets from May 11, 1925).
  7. ^ Presidential RSFSR of 23.08.1991 N 79
  8. ^ Presidential Decree of the RSFSR 06.11. 1991 N 169 "About the CPSU AND CP RSFSR Activity"
  9. ^ See for example, the log of the meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 19, 1954 (in Russian)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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  1. (historical) The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1917–1991), largest republic of the USSR.



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