? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 4 years ago

Can the terms "Russians" and the "Soviets" be used interchangeably?

I'm writing a report on Estonia's 20th century history.

19 Answers

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  • 4 years ago

    The USSR was comprised of 15 constituent republics - Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. While there were Russians living in practically every republic, most Russians lived in Russia with Ukraine having the second highest percentage of ethnic Russians. And while everyone in all 15 republics was "Soviet", onlu Russians called themselves "Russian." The terms "Russian" and "Soviet" because interchangeable in the West because Russia (Moscow) was the center of government and Russian was the official language (although many people didn't speak Russian outside of official circumstances.) Today Russian is still spoken in the former republics, but it's declining rapidly and being overtaken by the local languages.

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  • 4 years ago

    From 1940 until 1991, Estonia was a Soviet Socialist Republic, one of 15 within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The USSR was a sovereign country, one of the most militarily powerful in the world at that time. In 1940, the USSR occupied Estonia militarily and imposed the Soviet system on Estonia.

    The word "Soviet" actually refers to an aspect of the political structure in the USSR.

    The USSR was commonly called the "Soviet Union", and its government was sometimes referred to as "the Soviets" in much the same way as the USA is sometimes called "the States".

    The Russian Federation was the most populous and influential of the 15 Republics in the Soviet Union and therefore people sometimes called the whole country "Russia" in much the same way as some people say "Holland" when they mean "The Netherlands" or "England" when they mean Britain. It was never accurate to call the Soviet Union "Russia" but it was understandable as most of the people who called the shots in the USSR were Russians.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Only when referencing the Soviet era in Russian history. Before the revolution they were the Russian Empire (or Russians) and since the fall of the USSR have been the Russian Federation (or Russians). The word "Soviet" referrers to a specific time and place.

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  • John P
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    No.

    Russians existed long before the Revolution of November 1917 which brought communism to Russia and gave rise to words such as "Soviet".

    Estonia was part of Russia until WW1. After that war it became independent, along with Latvia, and Lithuania, and Poland, and several other parts of eastern Europe, after a few years of uncertainty in which there was much armed fighting for and against the idea of a "Communist Russia" consisting of many soviets. In 1945, Soviet Russia (The USSR) took over Estonia, and Latvia, and Lithuania, etc. They became independent again in the early 1990s.

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  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    No. Russians were just one of the nationalities in the Soviet Union, and Russia was only one of the Republics making up the Soviet Union.

    So it's "Russians" if you're referring specifically to members of the Russian ethnic group (not Estonians, Lithuanians, Ukranians, Kazakhs, etc.), but "Soviets" if you mean the USSR's government and its agents, or the citizenry of the USSR in general (including, but not limited to, Russians).

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    In the West, "Russian" and "Soviet" were often used interchangeably. But while Russians made up the bulk of the Soviet population they were not the only ethnic group in the Soviet Union.

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  • 4 years ago

    Russian is the name of a person who's got the russian nationality.

    Soviet is a political organisation.

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  • Ashley
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    No. The Soviet Union comprised at least 15 modern day countries and only existed from 1924-1991.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    No, although they sometimes are. But if you're writing about Estonia, in particular, it's extremely important to make clear whether you're talking about the Soviet Union, Soviet Russia, Soviet Estonia, Russians as an ethnic group within Estonia, etc., etc., etc.

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  • 4 years ago

    No, Russia is the dominant country in the Soviet Union. Soviets dont exist anymore.

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