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The Federal Structure

"Gorbachev Factor"

The federal structure incorporated several different levels of administrative units so as to take into account the size and level of development of the ethnic groups. 

 
 

At the top was the All-Union (federal) government of the USSR. Then followed governments of union republics. These included the major nationalities (called titular nationalities) that gave their republics their title. When the USSR was established in December 1922, it was comprised of four republics: the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic(comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), and the Ukrainian and Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republics. Additional union republics were set up in subsequent years, bringing the total number to fifteen.  

At the next level below the union republics, autonomous soviet socialist republics were set up to take account of ethnic groups located in a given republic and to give them a measure of political recognition and some elements of self-government. An autonomous republic was subordinate to its parent union republic. The overwhelming majority of autonomous republicssixteen out of twentywere located within Russia, two within Georgia, one within Azerbaijan, and one within Uzbekistan. The lower levels of this administrative structure incorporated eight autonomous provinces and ten autonomous districts, giving social identity to smaller ethnic groupings or national minorities within republics, such as Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous province within Azerbaijan.

Union Republics of the USSR, 1990

 
Armenia 
Azerbaijan     
Belorussia      
Estonia         
Georgia        
Kirgiziya        
Kazakhstan   
Latvia
Lithuania
Moldavia
Russia
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
Uzbekistan

Autonomous Republics of the USSR

                                  (Within Russian SFSR)

            Bashkiriya                     
            Buryatiya                      
            Checheno-Ingushetiya       
            Chuvashiya                    
            Dagestan                       
            Kabardino-Balkariya          
            Kalmykiya                       
            Karelia                         
 
 
Komi
Mari
Mordoviya
North Ossetiya
Tatarstan
Tuva
Udmurtiya
Yakutiya
         

                                  (Within Georgian SSR)

            Abkhaziya             
 
 
Adzhariya
         

                                  (Within Azerbaijan SSR)

            Nakhichevan
 
 
 
 

                                  (Within Uzbek SSR)

            Karakalpakiya
 
 
 
         
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Soviet Nationalities

 

Soviet Russia

Understanding the Soviet Period
Russian Political Culture
Soviet Ideology
The Soviet System
Soviet Nationalities
The Economic Structure
The Socialist Experiment
"Great Leap" to Socialism
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