Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic


Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
(RSFSR)
   As part of the reorganization of Soviet Russia following the October Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks created the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, colloquially known abroad as Soviet Russia. With the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922, the RSFSR became the largest and most populous of all the union republics. The RSFSR was the industrial and economic core of the Soviet Union; however, it lacked commensurate political dominance as most powers lay with the party organ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union rather than with RSFSR leadership.
   During the period of national delimitation (1919–1936), large swaths of the RSFSR’s territory were transformed into Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs) or elevated to the status of Soviet Socialist Republics, such as Kazakhstan. During World War II, the RSFSR saw territorial aggrandizement through the annexation of the Tuvan People’s Republic and portions of East Prussia (renamed Kaliningrad Oblast); in 1954, the administration of Crimea was transferred to Ukraine.
   Under the leadership of the ex-Communist Boris Yeltsin, the RSFSR began to acquire greater sovereignty from 1990 to 1991. After the August Coup of 1991, Yeltsin moved rapidly to strip power from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and expand his own powers beyond those set forth in the 1978 Constitution of the RSFSR. Affirming the plan set forth in the Belavezha Accords between the RSFSR, Ukraine, and Belarus, the Congress of Soviets of the RSFSR voted to leave the Soviet Union on 12 December 1991; the RSFSR was renamed the Russian Federation on 25 December 1991. Geographically, the RSFSR was the world’s largest subnational political entity during its existence, being succeeded by its largest province, Sakha, upon independence from the USSR.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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