Difference Between Soviet Union and Russia

The Soviet Union and Russia are two terms that get often confused and mixed up but are different in many ways. The Soviet Union is a union, while Russia is a county.

Soviet was made up of 15 republics during the 1900s. While Russia, on the other hand, is a country in Asia.

The Soviet Union officially is named as “Union of Soviet Socialist Republic”. This was a single-party state and was also the first state to declare itself as socialist.

This was the first union of states which began walking towards a communist society. It was the era of post-revolution.

Russia, on the other hand, is a state which is also known as the Russian federation. It is the largest country in the world with around 17,125,191 square kilometres taking around one eight parts of habitation in the world.

It was also the main part of the Soviet Union, but it was not itself called the Soviet Union.

Soviet Union vs Russia

The main difference between the Soviet Union and Russia is that one is a union with many other countries while Russia is a country. The Soviet Union can be taken as a whole community of which Russia was also a part along with other 14 countries. After the fall of the Soviet Union only, the formation of the Russian Federation took place.

Soviet Union vs Russia

The Soviet Union was a union formed in 1922 and later was destroyed in 1991. In these 69 years, it was one of the two powerful unions in the world, along with the united states of America.

Many national republics together formed this federal union of a multinational republic. It was highly centralized in its economy and government. 

Russia, on the other hand, is a country that was also a part of the Soviet Union. It was the main centre of this union. After the revolution in Russia, it became part of this Soviet Union.

The main difference is that Russia is a county while the soviet union is a political union of states.

Comparison Table Between Soviet Union and Russia

Parameters of Comparison Soviet UnionRussia
Birth The formation of the soviet union was in 1922 after the revolution The formation of Russia was in 1991
Dissolution The fall of the Soviet Union took place in 1991 after which Russia became an independent country After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation started which is still one of the largest countries in the world
Boundary There are fifteen states with around 20,000 km of the border or more 20,241 km of boundary is the countdown of Russia which is the second-largest in the world after China
Political Party the Soviet Union was a one-party state Russia is a multi-party country
Identity Soviet union have different kinds of culture as it is a collective union of different states Russia have an identity and culture of its own with different traditions

What is Soviet Union?

The Soviet Union was a one-party state with Moscow as its capital. It was formed in 1922 after the revolution and was destroyed in 1991. There were 15 countries in the Soviet Union which were one of the two powerful unions.

Russia was a part of this state which became independent after 1991.

Other countries along with Russia in the Soviet Union were Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc.

This all 15 states all together formed the Soviet Union, in which Russia was the most powerful, and on 25th December 1991, it became independent.

After the October revolution of 1917, the Soviet Union started to spread and ultimately got settled in 1922. The first constitutionally guaranteed socialist state was established as the power shifted to the Bolsheviks.

This also leads to the unification of Russia and other states. 

On December 28, 1922, the declaration of the formation of this union of the state was declared after a large conference of plenipotentiary delegations.

From 1991 the fall of this union started, and along with this, countries started becoming independent republics.

What is Russia?

Russia is the largest country in the world which extends almost up to the whole of northern Asia and the third part of eastern Europe.

Russia has around 11 time zones in it which describes how big it is by size. It is a country with different kinds of landform from deep forests to deserts.

Russia denotes the territory of the country. Unlike the Soviet Union, it is not a community of republic countries. It is made up of 85 federal subjects, among which 22 are republics.

It touches both Asia as well as Europe making it part of both continents. It is not a political system rather a semi-presidential republic.

It is a multi-party state which considers the president as the head of state while the prime minister as head of the government. In the Soviet Union, Russia was the largest republic state out of 15 states.

It doesn’t have any union or group of republic states. Rather it was a part of that group in the past during the time of the Soviet Union.

The culture of Russia is different from that of things that happened in the Soviet Union as it is a different state, and it consists of only one type of tradition in itself.

Unlike the Soviet Union, it doesn’t have mixed culture and traditions. Rather it has a particularly different culture and traditions.

Main Differences Between Soviet Union and Russia

  1. The Soviet Union is a former federation of communist republics made up of 15 republics, while Russia is the largest country in the world from north Asia to eastern Europe
  2. The Soviet Union is a political system made up of 15 republic states, while Russia is a country.
  3. Soviet was a larger organization with 15 countries, while Russia was a part of that system.
  4. The Soviet Union was not particularly distinct in the case of culture, tradition or identity, while Russia is a country that has its own identity, culture and traditions.
  5. The Soviet Union is a single-party state, while Russia is a country with a multi-party system.
  6. The official name of the Soviet Union is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, while Russia’s official name is Russian Federation.
Difference Between Soviet Union and Russia


In conclusion, we can understand the difference between these two words. One is a former group of republics, while the other is the former part of that group.

One thing which can be common is that both are very powerful. The former Soviet Union was a very powerful federation, while Russia is also a very big and powerful country in this world.

The terms should be used differently without getting confused as it means different not just in history but also is related to the present. The Soviet Union was in the past, but after its fall in 1991, Russia became independent.


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/09555340810858298/full/html
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/107049659500400105
  3. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1259019/
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