Republics of the Soviet Union (TheodoresTomfooleries)

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Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Subdivisions of the Soviet Union (TT).png
Map of the various subdivisions of the Soviet Union, the Union Republics are outlined by the bold borders.
LocationFlag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (2022).png Soviet Union
Created byTreaty on the Creation of the USSR
CreatedDecember 30, 1922; 100 years ago (1922-12-30)
Number15 (as of 2022)
PopulationsSmallest: 1,914,0641,565,662 (Estonian SSR)
Largest: 182,133,772 (Russian SFSR)
AreasSmallest: 29,800 km2 (11,500 sq mi) (Armenian SSR)
Largest: 17,075,400 km2 (6,592,800 sq mi) (Russian SFSR)
GovernmentOne-party socialist republics
SubdivisionsAutonomous SSRs, oblasts, Autonomous oblasts

The Republics of the Soviet Union- also officially the Union Republics for short, are the first-level administrative divisions of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They are constitutionally co-equal socialist republics based on national and ethnic boundaries. The system was created when the Treaty of Creation became effective on 30 December, 1922; the first Union Republics were Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, and the Transcaucasian SFSR. Currently, there are 15 Soviet Republics, a number which has remained consistent since the establishment of the Baltic republics as soviet republics and the "promotion" of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to a full union republic. From 1940 to 1956, as a result of the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland, the Karelo-Finnish SSR was also a full Union Republic: it was unilaterally downgraded back to an ASSR in 1956. To this day, it is the only time that a Soviet republic has been downgraded back to a lower level administrative division.

The Union Republics hold the constitutional right to secede from the Union; a pleasure not shared by the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics. While the Union Republics represent the major ethnic groups of the Soviet Union, the Autonomous Republics are intended to represent ethnic minorities. Most of the Autonomous Republics are located within the Russian SFSR- the only republic with a federal based government.