Yearbook 1996

Russian Federation. The war in Chechnya entered its second year in 1996. Chechen rebels continued to attack targets outside their own republic. More than 2,000 people were taken hostage in the town of Kizljar in Dagestan. The rebels were eventually allowed to leave the city with some of the hostages, but were stopped at the village of Pervomajskoye by Russian forces, who stormed the village after violent shootings. At least 150 people were killed. A few days after the hostage crisis, the Russian Federation was elected 39th member state of the Council of Europe; Previously, the war in Chechnya had been regarded as the greatest obstacle to membership. See for Russia tour plan.

The war in Chechnya was one of the major obstacles for Boris Yeltsin to renew his presidency at the June elections. However, the propagandist peace initiatives he took for this reason proved completely ineffective on the battlefield. The Rebels made several successful offensives in the capital Grozny. A severe setback for the Caucasian Mountain Republic was that April rebel President Dzjochar Dudayev was killed in a Russian grenade attack. Dudayev was a symbol of the Chechen independence movement, according to Yeltsin, a person who should be shot as a dog. He was succeeded by author Zelimchan Jandarbyev.

  • ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does RU stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Russia. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.

Opinion polls before the presidential election showed that crucial issues were the declining standard of living and the war in Chechnya. In the first round, Yeltsin and the ideologically coercive communist Gennady Ziuganov won. In third place came the popular general Aleksandr Lebed. In this situation, Lebed was quickly acquired by Yeltsin, and thus in principle the second and decisive election round was decided. Yeltsin won – and disappeared. He was overworked, it was called in the beginning. When the absence became troublesome, the recognition came: Yeltsin is heartbroken and must be operated on. By then, Lebed, who had been appointed security adviser in June, had not only negotiated peace in Chechnya but also began to act increasingly self-reliant. This led Yeltsin to dismiss him without warning,

Yeltsin’s operation, November 5, took seven hours; it was performed by a 12-man team of Russian surgeons, but with American and German specialists as consultants. It attracted tremendous attention within and outside the Russian Federation, even though it was carried out at the same time as the United States elected president. The Russian Orthodox Patriarch had urged believers to pray for the President’s health. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had been given the head of state’s functions, including “the black bag” with the button that approves nuclear weapons attacks.

The economic situation of the Russian Federation has been chaotic during the year: privatization has stalled, the budget deficit has run away, tax collection has slowed down, investment willingness has slowed down and the black economy has flourished; the army is still frustrated, workers and officials are struggling to get their wages. Yeltsin, who returned from convalescence in December, has been actively fighting for reforms in many different areas, fighting corruption and mafia, and stimulating the economy. The Russian Federation will be on the operating table for a long time to come.

And the Soviet man, Homo sovieticus, is not yet dead. In February, the Russian Parliament made a decision that the dissolution of the Soviet Union no longer applies. And hundreds of thousands of people around the Russian Federation took part in various political events on Revolution Day, November 7, in memory of Lenin’s coup d’谷tat 79 years earlier. According to sociological studies, however, half of the Russians believe that the day of revolution should be a normal working day and not a holiday.

1922 USSR is formed

At the end of 1922, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and the Transcaucasian Federation of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia formed the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR). During the civil war, the regime became a government of the Communist Party of Russia (Bolshevik) (CCP (b)). Faced with an immediate collapse in the economy, the RCP (b) in 1921 was forced to end ” war communism ” and instead base its development on the so-called New Economic Policy (NEP). This new one politics was in fact a tactical step back – a return to the unfolding of market forces and the actions of smaller private companies, while the state’s role was to handle infrastructure projects, the development of the heavy industry and the design of centralized planning.

Lenin died in 1924 and despite his warnings, Josef took over Stalinthe post of Secretary-General of the Soviet Union Communist Party (SUKP). The NEP policy initially produced good financial results. Still, the party was marked by considerable debate over what policy should be implemented to ensure the development of the new workers’ state. The pending revolutions in Western Europe had failed or had been shattered in blood, and it became clear that the Soviet Union was on its way to communism as one state. Lev Trotsky was one of the extremes of this debate. He advocated immediate forced collectivization of agricultural production as a means of obtaining sufficient profits for forced industrialization of Soviet society. It was rejected by Stalin, who supported the right wing, who wanted to keep the peasants as close allies of socialist development.

1928 Forced Collectiveization and Moscow Processes

From 1926, however, the NEP ran into ever-greater problems to break down completely in 1928. The farmers simply withdrew their production from the market, because industrial production was too low to meet their needs. Stalin now completely changed course and implemented Trotsky’s policy: undertook a rapid forced collectivization of agriculture and initiated a forced industrialization based on totally unrealistic five-year plans. At the same time, he closed the last democratic cracks in the party. Trotsky was sent into exile in 1929 and was assassinated by one of Stalin’s agents in Mexico in 1940. During the 1930s, Stalin exterminated any real opposition and, for safety’s sake, any imagined opposition or rivals. Thousands were executed in the wake ofThe Mosva Processes (1935-38), without trial or sent to labor camps.

The forced collectivization (1928-32) immediately triggered a widespread famine. The farmers simply stopped producing. Millions lost their lives, but terror against the peasant population was pushed back into production, and when it first started, Trotsky had to get right in its claim that collectivization would generate the necessary economic profits. Industrial production rose rapidly during the 1930s, creating in reality the material basis that allowed the Soviet to defeat Germany during World War II.


In his eagerness to crush any possible internal threat, Stalin had executed almost all of the military’s superior officers throughout the 1930s. This must be seen as the main reason why the Soviet Union signed a non-attack agreement in 1939 – the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – with Germany. The Soviet Union needed at least a few years before it could cope with a German attack. As a side effect of the agreement, the two major powers divided Poland.

In June 1941, Germany then attacked the Soviet Union. The Great Patriotic War ended May 9, 1945. Never had the military power and international prestige of the Soviet Union in the world been greater. At the same time, the USSR had never been so torn and financially exhausted as when the victory was celebrated with giant military parades in Moscow on June 24.

The losses of human life were enormous – 25-30 million Russians. Belarus, Ukraine and the most productive parts of European Russia lay in ruins. The metallurgical industry produced half as much as in 1940. Over 50% of all railway lines were destroyed and 25 mill. people were homeless.

At the Yalta Conference in 1945, the victors of the war – the Soviet, the United States and Britain – agreed on how Europe should look after the end of the war. The USSR would gain control of the areas now occupied by the Red Army: Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland and East Germany. In the following years, the Communists took power in these countries, declared them the People’s Republics and later Socialist countries after Soviet model.

During the reconstruction of the Soviet Union, the same policy was followed as during the industrialization in the 1930s. The vast majority of investments went to the heavy industry. As a result, living standards hardly increased during the first few years after the war. In 1947, a worker’s real wages were only half the real wages in 1940. In addition, a catastrophic economic crisis occurred in 1946. Productivity was radically declining in industry. At the same time, the country was hit by the worst drought since 1891. In much of the country there was famine.

Only in the late 1940s did living standards begin to rise again, and in 1950 a worker’s real wages were claimed to be 62% higher than in 1940. Both agricultural and industrial production exceeded 1940 levels in 1950.

Party propaganda and isolationism

During the war, party propaganda had largely been set in favor of patriotic and nationalist propaganda. Especially the major Russian nationalism was highlighted. They did not fight for socialism or the world revolution, they fought for holy and eternal Russia. The farmers in many cases were in the process of dissolving the collective farms without any response from the state. The people underwent indescribable suffering and loss with the hope and belief that after the war everything would improve and that the terror of the 30s was a thing of the past (see the Moscow processes).

But towards the end of the war, when the victory was within reach, it was increasingly emphasized that it was the party’s efforts that had turned the defeat into victory. The main task of the party leadership after the war was to restore its position as the only political center in the country. This was not least important in the areas annexed just before the war and in the areas occupied by the Germans.

To ensure full control of the country, the party leadership had to again shield the country from any external influence. This also applied to the outside influence brought in by the millions of Soviet citizens who had stayed outside the USSR during the war and experienced a reality that did not exist in party propaganda. About 1 million Soviet prisoners of war were sent home from German prison camps, and almost all of them were sent to new camps in the USSR.

The slightest cooperation with the Germans was severely punished, and it applied not only to individuals but also to entire nationalities. By 1941, the Volgatians had been deported to Siberia and Central Asia. In 1943-44 four small nationalities in the Caucasus, the Crimean Tatars and the Kalmyks were also deported.

In the latter half of 1946, an ideological campaign was launched in all areas of social life. This campaign, led by Andrei Shdanov, began the Late Stalinist period. A period which undoubtedly became the most bleak and barren in the history of the USSR (see Stalinism). The ideological campaign was first aimed at fiction, which had enjoyed some flourishing during the war. Later it was expanded to include all areas of cultural life. Leading personalities in philosophy, music, biology, etc. were severely attacked and subjected to administrative persecution – albeit not physically obliterated as in the 1930s.

Extreme nationalism and xenophobia were expressed through the slogan of the fight against “the slave spirit against everything foreign”. After the war, Stalin had highlighted the Russians as the most outstanding of all the peoples of the USSR. These people were the leaders of the union. There was not much left of the idea of ​​the USSR as a federation of free and equal people.

Some of the most bleak manifestations of great Russian nationalism and xenophobia were the rising discrimination against the Jews. During 1949, all publications in Yiddish were discontinued and the Jewish theater closed. The leaders of Jewish culture were executed. Immediately before Stalin’s death, it was planned to deport all Jews to the Jewish autonomous area of ​​Birobidjan at Amur in eastern Siberia.

Population 1996

According to, the population of Russia in 1996 was 148,227,355, ranking number 6 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.090% yearly, and the population density was 9.0510 people per km2.

Russia Population Distribution by Age