MONACO 1950's SCARCE STAMP SERIES. Monaco 1951 - Holy Year - MNH - Imperf Full Set.Condition: Check the Picture, please. All items are absolutely guaranteed to be genuine and as described. 1 BIS MONACO ET DES TERRITORIES FRANCAIS D'OUTRE-MER - 2012 YVER&TELLIER. Since the second half of the 20th century, when Rainier III came to power, philatelists from all over the world have been following every issue of the principality with great interest. There are also copies, the price of which reaches several thousand dollars, mainly these are varieties produced in small numbers or marriages that were immediately withdrawn from use. The issue with portraits of the newlyweds in oval vignettes between which there was a cartouche with the date of the wedding and a monogram of the letters "R" and "C" was dedicated directly to the marriage ceremony. At different times, series were released where Grace appeared as a loving wife, caring mother and ruling aristocrat. The most famous is still the Princess Grace miniature of 1957 with a profile portrait on a black background. After the death of the actress in 1982, the Monegasque postal department continues to honor her memory. And in 2019, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth of the star, a souvenir sheet was released with three of her portraits of different years. The French graphic artist Yves Beaujar worked on the anniversary project.
The most expensive stamps of the Principality The price of printed miniatures depends on the rarity. And it's not just the small print run.Slight differences from the standard - a change in the size of the perforation, the presence or absence of a watermark, a printing defect, an error in the inscription, and the value of the stamp increases several times. 5fr+5fr, Princess Charlotte's wedding This is one of the rarest stamps of the Principality, with a circulation of 1050 copies. It was issued in 1920 for the wedding celebrations of Princess Charlotte Grimaldi and Count Pierre de Polignac. The story of the bride is very unusual. Being the illegitimate daughter of Louis II, she grew up in oblivion until the age of 21, until it turned out that there were no other heirs to the throne of Monaco. And since a German prince was listed among the distant contenders, France threatened the associated principality with occupation in order to prevent a subject of a foreign state from coming to power. In order to avoid conflict, Charlotte was granted the title of Duchess Valentinois, thus making her the main and only contender for the crown and married a representative of a noble French family.
The marriage union was supposed to strengthen political ties between the two neighboring countries. However, Charlotte's marriage turned out to be short-lived and unhappy - her husband had homosexual inclinations, and in 1933 they finally broke up. Two children were born from this union, including the successor of the Grimaldi dynasty, Rainier III. Charles III, 5fr crimson on green The stamp is one of ten portraits of Charles III issued in 1885. For a rare quality miniature with a perfectly centered image, auctioneer Robert A.Princess Grace The famous portrait of the actress, released in 1957, is considered one of the most successful. Grace loved and knew how to wear expensive jewelry, having a reputation as a trendsetter for luxury and high style. In the portrait, she is depicted wearing a diamond diadem and necklace, which she wore only for ceremonial exits.
In everyday life, the princess preferred pearls, especially in headsets from the official supplier of the Monegasque court, the Van Cleef & Arpels brand. 500 years since the birth of Albrecht Dürer The most famous brand of the Principality with a characteristic error. It reproduced the engraving of the great artist of the German Renaissance era "Christ before Pilate". The original printing stamp was signed "Albert Dürer" instead of "Albrecht". The mistake was noticed before the circulation went on sale and it was immediately withdrawn.
Currently, there are very few "wrong" copies of the brand. Unlike the standard 14x13.5 perforation, a rare perf 11 is used here. The mainland great cormorant lives in the subtropical latitudes of the European and Asian continents.Large, with a body length of up to 90 cm, birds settle in large colonies on the shores of fresh or salt water bodies. They are easily distinguished by their massive silhouette and penguin-like gait. Cormorants feed mainly on fish, like other waterfowl. Hunting in large groups, the birds scare away shoals going to spawn from their usual places. By this, cormorants harm the fishery, which is why for a long time their colonies were destroyed by humans, until the population was on the verge of extinction. Monaco is a small (total area is only 2 m2) European principality, which is located next to France. Historically, it was a rock with a monastery, a cathedral and a tiny village. However, now it is one of the most respectable states with an insane price per square meter. Monaco - a city-country on the coast The total population is 32 thousand. But in reality, there are an order of magnitude more people in Monaco.
Some of them come here every day to work from neighboring France and Italy. In Monaco, not everyone will find a place to live, but the need for specialists has not disappeared from this. This country is eloquently characterized by the following facts: Monaco has the highest population density in the world. There are 16,000 people per square kilometer here. The state is considered one of the most prosperous in the world.
Life expectancy reaches 90 years. And this is the average. Monaco, despite its tiny size, has more than 800 years of history. Then the principality was a colony of Genoa. Monaco is not officially part of the European Union.However, the national currency is the euro. The official language is French.
However, quite a lot of Italian is also spoken here. You can get around Monaco in an hour. In this case, you will have time to visit all the streets. The Principality is a city-state.
This means that all the inhabitants in it live in the same city. 80% of the inhabitants of Monaco are immigrants.
The principality has its own university. The country has such a prosperous crime situation that when an elderly lady was killed here because of her inheritance, it became a national event that was discussed by almost the entire state. About 90% of the country's territory is monitored by video cameras. Monaco is one of the most stable countries on the planet.
They have been ruled by the Grimaldi dynasty for more than 500 years. And it was they who relied on the gambling business and tourism, which enriched the country. Due to the constant influx of wealthy people into the country, the state spends huge sums to expand the available territory. This is done in two ways.
First, the country is growing vertically. More and more modern skyscrapers are being built in Monaco. Secondly, the country spends billions on land reclamation. This is an insanely expensive area expansion process, but there are no other options.France is obliged to defend Monaco in the event of an attack by another country. The Grand Prix in Monaco is the most popular glamorous party. It is also called one of the main events of the country's year. Visits to the casino are also prohibited for them. Monaco has no external public debt.
3% of the population are unemployed. Many call Monaco a paradise for millionaires It is no coincidence that Monaco is called a unique state. For a number of reasons, this is exactly what it is. And to live here is the dream of many wealthy people. Monaco's history began in 1215.It was then that the Republic of Genoa looked after this territory for itself and decided to establish a colony. A fortress was erected here, which later became a full-fledged castle. The civil war in Genoa led to the fact that Francesco Grimaldi, a representative of one of the ruling branches, occupied the colony along with his supporters.
Since then, power here has been transferred along this line. For a long time Monaco was under the vassalage of France. However, since 1612, the prince began to call himself sovereign, and in 1643 the French government even recognized this fact. In the 18th century, the principality was under the protectorate of either France or the Sardinian kingdom. In 1848, the Principality lost two cities: Roquebrune and Menton.
This was due to the rather tough policy pursued by Grimaldi. Further attempts to regain the lost territories did not lead to anything. In 1860, Sardinia withdrew its troops from Monaco.
And a year later, the principality signed an agreement with France. According to him, it abandoned most of the territory, which was reduced to 1/20. France also provided 4 million francs and assumed certain obligations to Monaco.At the same time, the famous casino "Monte Carlo" was opened, which largely shaped the image of the modern principality. Plus, both of these events significantly improved the financial situation of the country. In addition, the conclusion of these agreements and the foundation of the casino became the key to the further prosperity of the state as a whole. The 20th century turned out to be suddenly turbulent for the country. In a small principality, serious passions were burning: in 1910, a real revolution took place here.
As a result, the power of the princes was limited, the first constitution appeared. The Second World War did not pass without a trace for Monaco. The state tried to follow the example of Switzerland and maintain neutrality.
However, he did not succeed: first it was occupied by the Italian authorities, and then by the German ones. Jews living in Monaco were sent to death camps. Not so long ago, Prince Albert II (the current ruler) apologized to them. After the end of World War II, Prince Rainier III came to power.
He dreamed of creating a prosperous country "for all". He hated the idea of?? A resort for the rich, which he planned to make Monaco Onassis. Moreover, on this basis, the prince even quarreled with the Greek rich man.
The irony of fate turned out to be that in the end Monaco became just such a resort. At least in a number of ways. In 1956, Rainier III married the famous Hollywood actress and rare beauty Grace Kelly. It should be noted that he planned this marriage to draw attention to the country.
Even Marilyn Monroe was considered as a likely candidate. That is, it was a marriage of convenience, a business project.
However, in the end, the prince fell in love with Grace Kelly. The story began to resemble a beautiful fairy tale. The wedding of Grace Kelly and the Prince of Monaco The wedding was a huge event. The press wrote about her all over the world.
So Monaco got the publicity. Grace Kelly was not just a beauty and a great wife.She also proved to be a great manager who was able to not only bring Monaco to the attention of the rich and famous, but also keep it. The new princess began to give receptions, continued to communicate with old friends and acquired new ones. In the role of the wife of the ruler of the country, Grace Kelly looked surprisingly organic. Sfor the prince himself, he continues the work on washing up the territory, which was started by his father. Albert also plans to build a new district. Considering how tiny the principality is, this is an incredibly important step. At the moment, Monaco is considered one of the most prosperous countries on the planet.
Taxation here is loyal, the standard of living is incredibly high. The level of well-being of Monaco is the highest among countries in the world Best time to travel to Monaco It is problematic to say unequivocally when exactly is the best time to go to Monaco. Tourists find this country attractive throughout the year. Each season has its advantages in terms of travel: Summer.
From May to autumn in Monaco is the high season. It begins in the spring with the start of the Grand Prix.
In the summer, free hotel rooms and apartments are difficult to find. As for restaurants, tables in some establishments are booked 2 months in advance. And only in Monaco in the summer you can see real traffic jams from the premium car segment on the tracks. As for the weather, a beach holiday in the Principality is considered ideal in June.The air temperature is on average somewhere around +24°C. At the same time, the water temperature is below 4 degrees, no more. That is, there is no strong heat, but it is warm enough.
The velvet season in Monaco is considered quite beautiful. At this time of the year, those who appreciate privacy and a relaxing holiday come here.From September to November you can admire beautiful yachts. Prices begin to decline only in the last month of autumn. However, it is at this time of the year that the weather in Monaco deteriorates, it becomes frankly damp, rainy and dank. This period in Monaco is considered quite calm. The low season continues, so prices will not be high, except during the Christmas and New Year period, for obvious reasons. The cold season for the principality is quite calm. The Alps protect the small country from weather problems, so there are almost no hurricanes and storms here. A great time to get to know the Principality without crowds of tourists. This time of the year is especially good in Monaco.
Until May, prices do not rise, but it is felt that the principality is preparing for the high season. In March, the first yachts for boat trips begin to appear. Also, spring is great for those who like to see the sights and just walk around Monaco. Spring in Monaco is especially good!! The main attractions and activities in Monaco The smallest country in the world itself is a separate attraction.
And in general, in one way or another everything is interesting in it. But if you still select individual objects, then: Casino Monte Carlo.This is one of the oldest casinos on the planet, which, with its respectability, contributed a lot to ensuring that such establishments were not closed in principle. After all, they were often considered hotbeds of vice and were forbidden in every possible way. However, it was the casino that saved the country from ruin last year. And it's just really pretty. Even if you are indifferent to gambling, it is worth stopping by at least for the sake of the Opera House - one of the most famous and impressive halls. The residence of the ruler, of course, is located in the old city. So it won't be too hard to find it. The prince's palace is monumental, solid. It clearly shows the desire to receive protection. Many tourists are surprised at how well it has been preserved, not suspecting that the cathedral building is not so many years old. It was built "only" in 1875. However, the building looks older, as if it has been keeping secrets for many hundreds of years. Be that as it may, but the cathedral really deserves attention, if only for its monumentality. This is one of the most beautiful and flourishing places in Monaco. It is planned according to all the rules of Japanese art of creating such gardens. By the way, many plants feel clearly better in the principality than at home. This is due to a more suitable climate for some crops. As much as 7,000 m2 has been allocated to the Japanese garden.
Given how Monaco appreciates the area, this is a lot. The original Jardin Exotic Park is another place worth visiting. It is interesting at least because here you can admire 7 thousand! And yes, this place is quite beautiful. Fontvieille is a separate district built on territory that was reclaimed from the sea.Although some call it a small city (second) of Monaco. If you like beautiful views, you can look into the landscape park. And fans of wildlife obviously will not leave indifferent the zoo. The Museum of Old Monaco is a must-visit place for anyone who would like to touch the history of this country, understand its past (and feel even deeper about the present).
The Rosary is the real pride of the country. It was created as a kind of recognition from the local population of the merits of Princess Grace Kelly for all that she has done for the principality. The ruler's wife adored roses. Therefore, this amazing place was created in honor of her.It is shaped like a huge rose. And, as you might guess, there are an incredible number of varieties of these plants here - about 150 rare varieties. And in total there are about 14 thousand different cultures.
Casino Square is a special place that often gets on postcards. Firstly, there is a French park here, which smoothly turns into the mountains. Secondly, on the square itself you can see beautiful statues, elegant lanterns and...
A sign that warns of a certain dress code. Yes, it won't be that easy to appear here.You can't, for example, be in jeans and sneakers. But everything on the square is exquisite. It is especially beautiful here at night when the lanterns are lit.
For Monaco, this is a very monumental building. And since there are no embassies or consulates of Monaco on the territory of our countries, the corresponding functions are carried out by the French embassy. This is where you need to submit your documents. If you have already changed your passports, then the old ones must also be submitted without fail; questionnaire in English or French. It must be filled in capital letters in printed form; certificate from the place of work.It should include the job title and salary. You also need to provide a document that will record the duration of the work; written confirmation that the person went on vacation, for example, and not fired; photographs 3.5 by 4.5 cm. At the same time, you need. But choose a European insurer. This requires that the person entering the country has the appropriate contact in Monaco. Please note: if children are traveling with their parents, then minors must be entered in the parents' passports. They also need to provide a birth certificate. If only one parent visits Monaco with the child, then the second will need a written consent, notarized and translated into French. As for children, from the age of 14 they must have their own passport. And indeed: here is a very profitable and fairly simple system.
Otherwise, it is 33.33%. It is the same as in France - 20%. However, Monaco is also actively applying lower rates, for example, 10% for certain groups of goods. However, pensions and social security also exist here. For them, 12% is deducted from the gross salary annually.It's especially beautiful here at night. If the property was inherited in a straight line, for example, from parents or from grandparents, then taxation will take place at a zero rate. The inheritance passed from a brother or sister - 8%. Are we talking about nephews or aunts?
Sometimes an inheritance comes from a person who was not a relative, for example, by will. However, do not forget that the heir always has the opportunity to refuse the inheritance if he considers its acceptance for himself financially unprofitable. However, no state in the world can exist completely without payments. Nevertheless, Monaco compares favorably with most countries with a noticeably smaller number of deductions in favor of the treasury. And deductions from salaries for the formation of pensions are a contribution to the future.Monaco in this regard is an order of magnitude more reliable than the FIU. Where to stay in Monaco? Monaco - a rich choice of places to live, despite its tiny size Despite the tiny size of Monaco, this country still formed several districts (some call them cities). They smoothly flow into one another, so on the ground you may not even notice that you left one and went to another. Nevertheless, there is still a certain difference between them: Monaco-Ville. This is the official capital of the principality, in fact - the old part of the city. Sometimes the whole city as a whole is called that.
However, most often, "Monaco-Ville" still means the historical center. Here is the cathedral, not very far from which you can find the residence of the prince. There are few hotels here, and the price per room per night can cost a fortune. The most famous and wealthy area of??Millionaires, located next to the famous casino. Nevertheless, the area is very beautiful, and it would not hurt to look here; Condamine is a port area. In general, this part of Monaco is largely devoted to business activity; Le Revoir is the most affordable and smallest area of??
It is the most remote from the sea, located on a certain elevation. But it offers stunning views of the surroundings; Fontvieille is a new area of?? The city, which is completely built on bulk land. It is connected to the rest of Monaco by a tunnel that runs right through the rock; Saint-Michel is a residential area of?? The principality, where you can also look after real estate.
There are no attractions, so you will have the opportunity to take a break from the ubiquitous tourists. Prices per square meter are average for the country. Monte Carlo is located next to the Saint-Michel district; Saint Roman is another residential area of?? It is not very far from the beach. The proximity of the sea coast affects prices per square meter; La Colle is an area that is located almost on the border with France.
It is located far from the sea (relatively), a quarter of its territory is given to the cemetery. However, the situation did not become more gloomy from this.The buildings here seem to compete with each other in height and number of floors. But real estate is traded quite actively; Moneghetti is another area located far from the sea.
Here is the elite real estate of the beginning of the last century. Musée des timbres et des monnaies de Monaco is a philatelic and numismatic museum located on the territory of the Principality of Monaco.Story At the end of the 19th century, the English pastor, Rev. After the death of the pastor, Prince Albert I of Monaco acquired this collection, and the next Prince Louis II significantly supplemented it. Prince Rainier III in 1950 decided to put the collection on public display. In 1987, an advisory commission was established, responsible for the classification and replenishment of the philatelic collection. Exposition The museum is divided into two rooms.
The Grand Exhibition Hall houses two permanent exhibitions of the museum: an exhibition of coins from the Principality of Monaco from 1641 and an exhibition of philatelic products from this country from 1885 to the present day. The Hall of Rare Stamps exhibits priceless and rare items.For example, an envelope from Menton dated April 12, 1851 with a copy of a stamp from the first series of stamps of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the first color stamps of Monaco, 5-franc coins with the image of Prince Charles III. In addition, visitors can see: a rotary printing press, which has served the printing house of Monaco for more than 50 years; various punches for stamps and coins; a manual typographical machine, on which museum employees demonstrate the process of making stamps during various events. MonacoPhil Since 1997, the Monaco Museum of Stamps and Coins, under the patronage of the Prince of Monaco, has been hosting the international philatelic exhibition MonacoPhil (MonacoPhil). The exhibition, which takes place every two years, exhibits 100 of the world's rarest postal items. World philatelic rarities are provided by members of the Monte Carlo Elite Philately Club. Members of this club are both private collectors and the world's leading postal museums. MonacoPhil exhibitions are not competitive, therefore there is no jury at these exhibitions and no awards are awarded.
Each exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalog, which depicts all the exhibited items with descriptions in French and English. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire,  beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium.  Rus' ultimately disintegrated into a number of smaller states; most of the Rus' lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic Golden Horde in the 13th century.  The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities, achieved independence from the Golden Horde, and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'.
 Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state.  The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II,  and emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.  Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality and sole successor state of the Soviet Union. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. The Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015.  Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world,  making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally.  The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
 Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, as well as a member of the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), along with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. 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A Giresun Hopa Istanbul Kerch Mangalia Navodari Novorossiysk Odessa Ordu Poti Rize Samsun Sevastopol Sochi Sukhumi1 Trabzon Varna Yalta Zonguldak 1 Disputed statehood - partial international recognition, but considered by most countries to be Georgian territory. [hide] International organizations [hide] v t e Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Nations Australia Brunei Canada Chile China Hong Kong¹ Indonesia Japan South Korea Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Papua New Guinea Peru Philippines Russia Singapore Chinese Taipei² Thailand United States Vietnam Summits 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Other APEC Business Travel Card APEC blue APEC Climate Center APEC Youth Science Festival 1. A special administrative region of China, participates as "Hong Kong, China"; 2. Blue: Later (current) full members.
Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa Saudi Arabia Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Solomon Islands South Africa Sri Lanka Suriname Swaziland Switzerland Tajikistan Taiwan2 Tanzania Thailand Togo Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United States Uruguay Venezuela Vietnam Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe European Union Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, participates as "Hong Kong, China" and "Macao China". Jus (About this sound listen), officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Russian:??? Soyúz Sovétskikh Sotsialistícheskikh Respúblik, IPA: s? K (About this sound listen), abbreviated as the USSR Russian:????
SSSR, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, [a] its government and economy were highly centralized.
The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent and Novosibirsk. The Soviet Union was one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.  It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Warsaw Pact.
The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, after a civil war, the Soviet Union was formed with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics.Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Under Stalin's leadership, the Soviet Union transitioned from a market economy into a centrally planned economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. As industrial production skyrocketed, the Soviet Union achieved full employment, implemented a universal healthcare system, sharply reduced illiteracy, and provided guarantees of paid vacations, rest homes, and recreational clubs. This period of industrialization was a time of enormous improvements in the standard of living for millions of people in the country, starkly contrasting with the situations of other countries during the Great Depression, but was also a time characterized by major institutional shortcomings and failures. In the 1930s, with the rise of fascism in Europe, the Communist Party pursued aggressive campaigns to suppress potential counter-revolution, fermenting political paranoia which culminated in the Great Purge in which extrajudicial arrests and executions of suspected counter-revolutionaries led to an estimated 600,000 deaths.
As a result of these mass arrests, penal labor through the Gulag system was used to construct infrastructure projects, though this consistently proved to be an inefficient system throughout its existence.  Increased demand for agricultural products to pay for industrialization combined with a relatively low harvest yield led to the famine of 1932-33 in which an estimated 2.4 to 4 million people died in the country's agricultural centers of Ukraine, southern Russia, and Kazakhstan.  After the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Stalin tried repeatedly to form an anti-fascist alliance with other European countries. However, finding no support, shortly before World War II, the Soviet Union became the last major country to sign a treaty with Germany with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, after which the two countries invaded Poland in September 1939. In June 1941, the pact collapsed as Germany invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history.Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. The territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union; the postwar division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the West, led by the United States. The Cold War emerged by 1947, as the Eastern Bloc, united under the Warsaw Pact in 1955, confronted the Western Bloc, united under NATO in 1949. On 5 March 1953, Stalin died and was quickly succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the De-Stalinization of Soviet society through the Khrushchev Thaw.
The Soviet Union took an early lead in the Space Race, with the first artificial satellite and the first human spaceflight. Khrushchev was removed from power by his colleagues in 1964 and was succeeded as head of state by Leonid Brezhnev. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost (government transparency) and perestroika (openness, restructuring). Under Gorbachev, the role of the Communist Party in governing the state was removed from the constitution, causing a surge of severe political instability to set in.
The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments. With the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the union republics, Gorbachev tried to avert a dissolution of the Soviet Union in the post-Cold War era.
A March 1991 referendum, boycotted by some republics, resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin played a high-profile role in facing down an abortive August 1991 coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation-formerly the Russian SFSR-assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as the successor state of the Soviet Union. In summing up the international ramifications of these events, Vladislav Zubok stated: The collapse of the Soviet empire was an event of epochal geopolitical, military, ideological and economic significance. Soviet Union topics History Index of Soviet Union-related articles Russian Revolution February October Russian Civil War Russian SFSR USSR creation treaty New Economic Policy Stalinism Great Purge Great Patriotic War (World War II) Cold War Khrushchev Thaw 1965 reform Stagnation Perestroika Glasnost Revolutions of 1989 Dissolution Nostalgia Post-Soviet states State Emblem of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union officially recognized their independence on September 6, 1991, prior to its final dissolution three months later. [hide] v t e Flag of the Soviet Union.
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