On This Day

Soviet Union Founded

Signature page of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR
Signature page of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR

Historical Context

In October 1918 the Bolsheviks in Russia overthrew the provisional government that had been established through a revolution in February that year. Almost immediately, an extremely devastating and deadly civil war erupted throughout the country.

By 1922 the Bolsheviks had destroyed their counter-revolutionary enemies, various independence movements and non-Bolshevik socialist foes. This had allowed them to create and sign the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, which formed a union of the various Soviet republics - Russia, Ukraine, Transcaucasia and Byelorussia - into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the Soviet Union.

This communist union would endure for almost seventy years and would greatly expand beyond its original four republics into fifteen. By the late 1980s however, economic and political pressure for an end to the dictatorship led to the gradual disintegration of the Soviet Union.

The leaders of three of the founding republics met on December 9, 1991, in Belarus, and agreed to dissolve the Union on December 26 by denouncing the Treaty and declaring it void. Thus the communist flag was lowered over the Kremlin for the last time that night and the various republics became independent states.

Document Info

Author(s): Russian State Archives
Location signed: Moscow, Russia

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related Events

  • 1922-12-30 Creation of the USSR formally proclaimed in Moscow from the Bolshoi Theatre, Soviet Union organized as a federation of RSFSR, Ukrainian SSR, Belorussian SSR and Transcaucasian SSR

Historical Documents