Difference Between Russia and Soviet Union

Main Difference – Russia vs Soviet Union

It is important to look at the history of Russia, to understand the difference between Russia and the Soviet Union. Russia is a country with a very long history; it was a powerful empire that was toppled down by a revolution. After the revolution, it became a state of the Soviet Union in 1922. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, it began to be known as Russia or Russian Federation. Therefore, the main difference between Russia and the Soviet Union is that Russia is a country whereas the Soviet Union was a political state, in which Russia was one of the states.

What is Russia

Russia, situated in northern Eurasia, is the largest country in the world (17,075,400 square kilometres) and covers more than one-eighth of earth’s inhabited land area. Russia stretches across the whole of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe. Russia shares land borders with North Korea, Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Norway. It shares naval borders with Japan and the U.S state of Alaska.

Russia is a federal semi-presidential republic, and its official name is Russian Federation. According to its constitution, the President is considered the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government.  Russia was largest of the 15 Republic states that made up of the Soviet Union; it annexed some of the states after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Difference Between Russia and Soviet Union

Flag of Russia


What is the Soviet Union

 The Soviet Union was a Marxist–Leninist state that existed on the Eurasian continent between 1922 and 1991. Its official name was Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was a union of multiple subnational Soviet republics, and its economy and government were highly centralized. It was a single-party state, governed by the Communist Party. Moscow was the capital of the Soviet Union.

In 1917, Bolshevik leader Lenin led the October Revolution, which overthrew the provisional government that ruled after the revolution. The Bolsheviks established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, which was later renamed as Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after the civil war between counter-revolution Whites and pro-revolution Reds. The Communists, lead by Lenin were victorious in 1922 and formed the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, Transcaucasian, and Byelorussian republics.

The territory of the Soviet Union augmented during the period of hostility with Nazi Germany during the World War, and it emerged as a major world power from the war under President Stalin. However, political conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union continued for many years; this conflict is termed the Cold War. The Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, after a failed coup attempt by military leaders.

Main Difference - Russia vs Soviet Union

Flag of the Soviet Union

Difference Between Russia and Soviet Union


Russia is the largest country in the world and extends across northern Asia and eastern Europe.

The Soviet Union is a former federation of Communist republics comprised of 15 republics.

Official Name

Russias official name is Russian Federation.

The Soviet Union’s official name is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. 

Political parties

Russia has a multi-party system.

The Soviet Union was a single- party state.


Russia has its own distinct identity, culture and traditions.

Since the Soviet Union was a collection of states, there was a merging of ethnicities, culture and traditions.

Difference Between Russia and Soviet Union- infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Flag of Russia”. (Public Domain) via Wikipedia

“Flag of the Soviet Union” by СССР. (Public Domain) via Commons

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