Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика
Flag Coat of arms
Worker's Marseillaise (1917–1918)
The Internationale (1918–1943)
The Russian SFSR as a part of the USSR after 1936 Russian territorial changes
Capital Petrograd (1917–1918)
Moscow (March 1918–1943)
Languages Russian
Government Federal Soviet republic
Head of state
 •  1917 (first) Lev Kamenev
 •  1938-1943 (last) Alexey Badayev
Head of government
 •  1917-1924 (first) Vladimir Lenin
 •  1938-1943 (last) Ivan Khokhlov
Legislature VTsIK / All-Russian Congress (1917–38)
Supreme Soviet (RSFSR) (1938–43)
 •  October Revolution 7 November 1917
 •  Established 9 November 1918
 •  Surrender of the Soviet Union 2 February 1943
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian Republic
Russian Federative Republic
Today part of Flag of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg Belarus
Flag of Finland.svg Finland
Flag of Russia.svg Russia
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian: Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, translit: Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika) commonly referred to as Soviet Russia or simply Russia, was a sovereign state in 1917–22, the largest, most populous, and most economically developed republic of the Soviet Union in 1922-43. The Republic comprised sixteen autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais, and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group.

The RSFSR was established on 7 November 1917 (October Revolution) as a sovereign state. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In 1922 Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR. The economy of Russia became heavily industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in the USSR.

History[edit | edit source]

Early years (1917–20)[edit | edit source]

The Soviet regime first came to power on 7 November 1917, immediately after the Russian Provisional Government, which governed the Russian Republic, was overthrown in the October Revolution. The state it governed, which did not have an official name, would be unrecognized by neighboring countries for another five months.

On 25 January 1918, at the third meeting of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the unrecognized state was renamed the Soviet Russian Republic. On 3 March 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, giving away much of the land of the former Russian Empire to Germany, in exchange for peace in World War I. On 10 July 1918, the Russian Constitution of 1918 renamed the country the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. By 1918, during the Russian Civil War, several states within the former Russian Empire had seceded, reducing the size of the country even more.

The RSFSR was recognized as an independent state internationally by only Belarus, Finland, Livonia, and Lithuania, in the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.

1920s[edit | edit source]

On 30 December 1922, the First Congress of the Soviets of the USSR approved the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, by which Russia was united with the Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic into a single federal state, the Soviet Union. Later treaty was included in the 1924 Soviet Constitution, adopted on 31 January 1924 by the Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR.

Paragraph 3 of Chapter 1 of the 1925 Constitution of the RSFSR states the following:

By the will of the peoples of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, who decided on the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Tenth All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, being a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, devolves to the Union the powers which according to Article 1 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are included within the scope of responsibilities of the government bodies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

1930s[edit | edit source]

Many regions in Russia were affected by the Soviet famine of 1932–1933: Volga; Central Black Soil Region; North Caucasus; the Urals; the Crimea; part of Western Siberia; and the Kazak ASSR. With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on 5 December 1936, the size of the RSFSR was significantly reduced. The Kazakh ASSR and Kirghiz ASSR were transformed into the Kazakh and Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republics. The Karakalpak Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic was transferred to the Uzbek SSR.

The final name for the republic during the Soviet era was adopted by the Russian Constitution of 1937, which renamed it the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Government[edit | edit source]

The Government was known officially as the Council of People's Commissars. The first government was headed by Vladimir Lenin as "Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR". The Russian SFSR was controlled by the All-Union Communist Party.

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