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Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union

Samantha Smith with Young Pioneers, 1983.

The Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization (Russian: Всесою́зная пионе́рская организа́ция и́мени В. И. Ле́нина, tr. Vsesoyúznaya pionérskaya organizátsiya ímeni V. I. Lénina, IPA:  (About this sound listen), lit. The All-Union Pioneer Organization named after V. I. Lenin), abbreviated as or the Young Pioneers , was a mass youth organization of the Soviet Union for children of age 9–15 that existed between 1922 and 1991. Similar to the Scouting organisations of the Western world, Pioneers learned skills of social cooperation and attended publicly funded summer camps.

50 years, Stamp, 1972
File:У тёплого моря (1940).ogv
A documentary from 1940 about a Young Pioneer camp Artek.
Pioneers in the Zeravshan Mountains of the Tajik SSR in 1983.

After the October Revolution of 1917, some Scouts took the Bolsheviks' side, which would later lead to the establishment of ideologically altered Scoutlike organizations, such as ЮК (Юные Коммунисты, or young communists; pronounced as yook) and others.

During the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1921, most of the Scoutmasters and many Scouts fought in the ranks of the White Army and interventionists against the Red Army.

Those Scouts who did not wish to accept the new Soviet system either left Russia for good (like Oleg Pantyukhov and others) or went underground.

However, clandestine Scouting did not last long. Komsomol persistently fought with the remnants of the Scout movement. Between 1918 and 1920, the second, third, and fourth All-Russian Congresses of the Russian Union of the Communist Youth (Российский коммунистический союз молодёжи, or Rossiyski kommunisticheskiy soyuz molodyozhi ) decided to eradicate the Scout movement and create an organization of the communist type, that would take Soviet youth under its umbrella. This organization would properly educate children with Communist teachings.[1]

On behalf of the Soviet Government Nadezhda Krupskaya (Vladimir Lenin's wife and the People's Commissar of State for Education) was one of the main contributors to the cause of the Pioneer movement. In 1922, she wrote an essay called "Russian Union of the Communist Youth and boy-Scoutism." However, it was the remaining scoutmasters themselves who supported the Komonsol and the Red Army, like Innokentiy Zhukov and some others around Nikolaj Fatyanov's "Brothers of the fire", who introduced the name "pioneer" to it and convinced the Komsomol to keep the scout motto "Be prepared!" and adapt it to "Always prepared!" as the organizational motto and slogan.[2]

Just some days before the Komsomol conference the Moscow scoutmasters adopted a "Declaration of the scoutmasters of Moscow concerning the question of the formation of a children's movement in the RSFSR"[3] on May 13, 1922. Thereby they suggested to use the scouting system as a foundation of the new communist organization for children, and give the "Young pioneers" name to it.

The main contribution of the scoutmasters was the introduction of the new expression system scouting into the discourse on communist children's and youth organizations. By doing so they avoided the dissolution of the scout organization as it would happen sooner or later to any organization opposed to the Komsomol.

On May 19, 1922 the second All-Russian Komsomol Conference adopted the scoutmasters' suggestions and decided to "work on the question of a children's movement by using the re-organized system of scouting."[4] During the following years many of the remaining former scoutmasters, who later became the first pioneer leaders in their respective areas, founded pioneer groups and educated future pioneer leaders in these.

May 19, 1922 was later on considered the birthday of the All-Union Pioneer Organization (Всесоюзная пионерская организация, or Vsesoyuznaya pionerskaya organizatsiya). By October 1922 pioneer units nationwide were united to form the Spartak Young Pioneers Organization (SYPO) (Russian: Юные пионеры имени Спартака), which was named after V. I. Lenin by a decision of the Central Committee of Komsomol of January 21, 1924, becoming the Vladimir Lenin Spartak Young Pioneers Organization (VLSYPO). Since March 1926 it bore the name Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization (VLAUPO).

By the middle of 1923 it had 75,000 members. Among other activities, Young Pioneer units, helped by the Komsomol members and leadership at all levels, played a great role in the eradication of illiteracy (Likbez policy) since 1923. Membership was at 161,000 in the beginning of 1924, 2 million in 1926, 13.9 million in 1940, and 25 million in 1974. Many Young Pioneer Palaces were built, which served as community centers for the children, with rooms dedicated to various clubs, such as crafts or sports. Thousands of Young Pioneer camps were set up where children went during summer vacation and winter holidays. All of them were free of charge, sponsored by the government and the Trade Unions.

During World War Two the Pioneers worked hard to contribute to the war effort at all costs. Thousands of them died in battles as military personnel and in the resistance against Nazi Germany in its occupied territories as partisans and Pioneers under secrecy in enemy-occupied towns and cities, even in concentration camps. One of them became widely known, for his resistance in Kerch: Volodia Dubinin. Four Pioneers would later receive the coveted Gold Star Medal as Heroes of the Soviet Union, and countless others were awarded various state orders, decorations and medals for acts of bravery and courage in the battlefield, on enemy lines and occupied territories.


After the ban of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1991, the organization had to disband. Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus are the only Republics where the restored Pioneer Organizations are located and active.[5]


Its main grouping of members until 1942 was the "Young Pioneer detachment," which then typically consisted of children belonging to the same secondary school.

From 1942 to October 1990 (when the organization was broken up) the "squad" (отряд) was made up of children belonging to the same class within a school, while a school was referred to as a "Young Pioneer druzhina." Larger squads were split into sub-units called zveno (Звено, literally "chain link").

There was also an age-scale structure: children of 10–11 years were called Young Pioneers of the first stage; 11–12 years were Young Pioneers of the second stage; 13–15 years were Young Pioneers of the third stage. At age 15, Young Pioneers could join Komsomol, with a recommendation from their Young Pioneer group.

The main governing body was the Central Soviet of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union, which worked under the leadership of the main governing body of Komsomol.

Its official newspaper was Pionerskaya Pravda.

Main goals and requirements of membership

The main goals and duties of Young Pioneers and requirements of membership were specified by the Regulations of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union; by the Solemn Promise (given by each Young Pioneer joining the organization); by the Rules of the Young Pioneers; and by the Young Pioneer Motto, всегда готов! (vsegda gotov!, "Always Ready!"). There were two major revisions of them: in 1967 and 1986.

Although membership was theoretically optional, almost all the children in the Soviet Union belonged to the organization; it was a natural part of growing up. Still, joining was not automatic. In the 3rd grade of school, children were allowed to join the Young Pioneer Organization, which was done in batches, as a solemn ceremony, often in a Pioneers Palace. Only the best students were allowed into the first batch, slightly less advanced and well-behaved were allowed into the second batch, several weeks later. The most ill-behaved or low-performing students were given time to 'catch up' and could be allowed to join only in the 4th grade, a year after the first batch of their classmates. Not being admitted at all was odd, and lack of desire to join was considered suspicious.

In line with the Soviet doctrine of state atheism, the «Young Pioneer Leader's Handbook» stated that "every Pioneer would set up an atheist's corner at home with anti-religious pictures, poems, and sayings", in contrast to the traditional Russian Christian icon corners. The Young Pioneers, "as representatives of atheism and political change, encountered massive resistance in rural areas". In the same vein, some students refused to join the organization because of its promotion of Marxist-Leninist atheism.[6]

Symbols, attributes, rituals and traditions

The main symbols of Young Pioneers were the red banner, flag, Young Pioneer's red neck scarf and the organizational badge. Attributes: the bugle, the drum, the organizational uniform (with badges of rank). Some rituals and traditions of the organization were: the Young Pioneer salute, Young Pioneer parade, color guard duty and flag raising. Most common traditions were the Young Pioneers rally (usually round a bonfire, similar to Scout Jamborees) and festivals.

Dress White Uniform of the Pioneers
Pioneer's necktie (red)

The uniform was one of many things that identified Pioneers with each other and the people. The uniform, part of the school uniform worn at school, included the red neckerchief and the organizational and rank badges on the white shirt with long or short pants for boys and long or short skirts for girls, with optional side caps as headdress. Full dress uniforms, used in occasions, were light blue or white with red side caps, the red neckerchief and the badges, with crimson sashes for color bearers and the color escorts. When on outdoor duties brown polo shirts with pants or skirts depending on gender were used, with an optional side cap. Sea service uniforms used sailor caps and blue and white shirts (with Telnyashkas) and pants or skirts depending on the gender, with a brown belt. Instructors and adult leaders wore the same uniforms and the caps in every occasion and in all meetings. In its early years the Pioneers wore campaign hats in major events.

The Solemn Promise

On the day a child joined the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization, he or she would have to recite the following Solemn Promise in front of a group of other Pioneers (1986 revision is presented below). After reciting, the new member had the Pioneer's scarlet tie tied by an older Pioneer, and thus, becoming a full-fledged member of the organization.

I, (last name, first name), joining the ranks of the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization, in the presence of my comrades solemnly promise: to passionately love and cherish my Motherland, to live as the great Lenin bade us to, as the Communist Party teaches us to, as require the laws of the Pioneers of the Soviet Union.

(Russian: Я, (фамилия, имя), вступая в ряды Всесоюзной пионерской организации имени Владимира Ильича Ленина, перед лицом своих товарищей торжественно обещаю: горячо любить и беречь свою Родину, жить, как завещал великий Ленин, как учит Коммунистическая партия, как требуют Законы пионеров Советского Союза)

The Motto

The motto of the Young Pioneers of the Soviet Union consisted of two parts, the summons and the answer or response (1986 revision is presented below).

  1. Summons - Pioneer, to fight for the cause of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, be prepared! (Russian: Пионер, к борьбе за дело Коммунистической партии Советского Союза будь готов!).
  2. Response - Always prepared! (Russian: Всегда готов!).

This, like other rituals and customs of the organization, reflected its origin in the Scouts movement (their motto is "Be Prepared").

The Rules

The latest revision of official Rules of the Young Pioneers of the Soviet Union was in 1986, it is presented below. The Rules often appeared on many children's items, such as school notebooks.

  • Pioneer is a young builder of communism, labors for the welfare of the Motherland, prepares to become its defender.
  • Pioneer is an active fighter for peace, a friend to Young Pioneers and workers' children of all countries.
  • Pioneer follows the communists' example, prepares to become a Komsomol member, leads the Little Octobrists.
  • Pioneer upholds the organization's honour, strengthens its authority by deeds and actions.
  • Pioneer is a reliable comrade, respects the elders, looks after younger people, always acts according to conscience.
  • Pioneer has a right to elect and be elected to Young Pioneer self-government institutions, to discuss the functioning of the Young Pioneer organization on Young Pioneer gatherings, meetings, gatherings of Soviets of Young Pioneer detachments and Young Pioneer groups, in the press; to criticize shortcomings; to submit a proposal to any Soviet of the Young Pioneer organization, including the Central Soviet of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization; to ask for a recommendation of the Soviet of Young Pioneer group to join the VLKSM when on the right age to join.

Young Pioneer songs were usually sung at various Young Pioneer meetings, in Young Pioneer camps, and at schools. One of the earliest and the most popular song was the Young Pioneer March. It was written in 1922 by Aleksandr Zharov (music by Sergei Dyoshkin) and was sometimes called The Anthem of Young Pioneers. There were a great many other songs, here are some very popular ones:

  • Accepting you into Young Pioneers (music by Aleksandra Pakhmutova, lyrics by N.Dobronravov)
  • Song about the first Young Pioneer detachment (A.Dolukhanian, S.Runge)
  • Our land (Dmitry Kabalevsky, A.Prishelets)
  • Gaidar is marching first (Aleksandra Pakhmutova, N.Dobronravov)
  • The eaglet (V.Bely, Ya. Shvedov)
  • Rise up in bonfires, thee blue nights (S. Kaidan-Deshkin, A. Zharov)
  • Whirlwinds of Danger (Whirlwinds of danger are raging around us) - (W. Święcicki, translated by G. Kryzhanovsky)
  • The little joyful drummer (L. Schwarz, Bulat Okudzhava)
  • March of Young Pioneer groups (N.Gubar'kov, G. Khodosov)
  • May there always be sunshine (A.Ostrovsky, L.Oshanin)
  • That's Me and You (Y. Chichkov)

The Young Pioneers who excelled in academic study, work, sports or social activity were elected to the self-governing institutions, were sent as delegates to the Young Pioneers gatherings (including All-Union ones). The most notable were recognized in the organization's Book of Honor. During World War II, many Young Pioneers fought against Nazis in partisan detachments and/or Party underground units, which existed near their homes on territories occupied by Nazi Germany and their allies, while Pioneers in areas away from enemy lines helped in the homefront efforts. Nearly 30,000 of them were awarded various orders and medals; four Young Pioneers became Heroes of the Soviet Union. One of the famous young pioneer All-Union camps was "Artek" located in Crimea, Russia, opened in the 1930s. The camp was located on the top of the mountain "A-yu-dahg" which means "Bear's Mountain". Only the best students were selected to go there based on their grades and leadership. Young communists from other countries were welcome as well.

See also
  1. Lewis Stegelbaum and Andrei Sokolov, Stalinism As A Way Of Life, p374 ISBN 0-300-08480-3
  2. (in German) Sebastian Waack: Lenins Kinder: Zur Genealogie der Pfadfinder und Pioniere in Russland 1908-1924. wvb, Berlin 2008. ISBN 978-3-86573-356-6
  3. (in Russian) RGASPI Moscow, f.M-1, op.23, d.98, l.29
  4. (in Russian) VLKSM v rezolucijakh ego s'ezdov i konferencij, p.98
  6. Spring, Joel (2012). Pedagogies of Globalization: The Rise of the Educational Security State. Routledge. ISBN 1136502556.
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Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization


Samantha Smith with Young Pioneers, 1983. The Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization (Russian: Всесою́зная пионе́рская организа́ция и́мени В. И. Ле́нина, tr. Vsesoyúznaya pionérskaya organizátsiya ímeni V. I. Lénina, IPA:  ( listen), lit. The All-Union Pioneer Organization named after V. I. Lenin), abbreviated as or the Young Pioneers , was a mass youth organization of the Soviet Union for children of age 9–15 that existed between 1922 and 1991. Similar to the Scouting organisations of the Western world, Pioneers learned skills of social cooperation and attended publicly funded summer camps. History 50 years, Stamp, 1972 A documentary from 1940 about a Young Pioneer camp Artek. Pioneers in the Zeravshan Mountains of the Tajik SSR in 1983. After the October Revolution of 1917, some Scouts took the Bolsheviks' side, which would later lead to the establishment of ideologically altered Scoutlike organizations, such as ЮК (Юные Коммунисты, or young communists; pronounced as yook) an ...more...

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The Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation , consisting of the Young Pioneers and the Thälmann Pioneers , was a youth organisation of schoolchildren aged 6 to 14, in East Germany . They were named after Ernst Thälmann , the former leader of the Communist Party of Germany who was executed at the Buchenwald concentration camp . The group was a subdivision of the Freie Deutsche Jugend (FDJ, Free German Youth ), East Germany's youth movement . It was founded on 13 December 1948 and broke apart in 1989 on German reunification . From the 1960s and 1970s, nearly all schoolchildren between ages 6 and 14 were organised into Young Pioneer or Thälmann Pioneer groups. The pioneer group was based on the Scouts, but organised in such a way as to teach schoolchildren aged 6 – 14 socialist ideology and prepare them for the Freie Deutsche Jugend, the FDJ. Its organisation was similar to scouting and other such organisations. Afternoons spent at the pioneer group mainly consisted of a mixture of adventure, myth-like socialist tea ...more...

Education in the Soviet Union


Education in the Soviet Union was organized in a highly centralized government-run system. Its advantages were total access for all citizens and post-education employment. The Soviet Union recognized that the foundation of their system depended upon an educated population and development in the broad fields of engineering, the natural sciences, the life sciences and social sciences, along with basic education. History In Imperial Russia, according to the 1897 Population Census, literate people made up 28.4 percent of the population. Literacy levels of women were a mere 13%. In the first year after the Bolshevik revolution the schools were left very much to their own devices. People's Commissariat for Education directed its attention solely towards introducing political propaganda into the schools and forbidding religious teaching. In the autumn of 1918 the Statutniihge of the Uniform Labour School was issued. From October 1, 1918 all types of schools came under Commissariat for Education and were designa ...more...

Religion in the Soviet Union


The Soviet Union was established by the Bolsheviks in 1922, in place of the Russian Empire . At the time of the 1917 Revolution , the Russian Orthodox Church was deeply integrated into the autocratic state , enjoying official status. This was a significant factor that contributed to the Bolshevik attitude to religion and the steps they took to control it. Thus the USSR became the first state to have as one objective of its official ideology the elimination of existing religion, and the prevention of future implanting of religious belief, with the goal of establishing state atheism (gosateizm). Under the doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union, there was a "government-sponsored program of forced conversion to atheism " conducted by Communists. The communist regime targeted religions based on State interests, and while most organized religions were never outlawed, religious property was confiscated, believers were harassed, and religion was ridiculed while atheism was propagated in schools. In 19 ...more...

Pioneer Organization of the Socialist Youth Union


Emblem of PO SSM Pionýr (literally: Pioneer), officially Pioneer Organization of the Socialist Youth Union (Czech: Pionýrská organizace Socialistického svazu mládeže, PO SSM; Slovak: Pionierska organizácia Socialistického zväzu mládeže, PO SZM), was a youth Marxist-Leninist organization in communist Czechoslovakia. Although the organisation proclaimed to be voluntary, every child was expected to join from the age of six. Etymology The Czech word pionýr is an approximate synonym of the word skaut (scout). Both are loan words from English and both are connected with the Czech idealization of the Wild West. Therefore, the Pionýr's inspiration from the Scout movement is obvious. Activities Pioneer activities were taken from the Scout movement, the Sokol movement, and the Soviet Komsomol. Original pioneer activities included old paper or herb collecting, described as "voluntary help for Czechoslovak industry". Collecting was a nationwide competition, and the winning pioneer team received a prize and med ...more...



USSR post stamp.The pioneers-heroes Lenya Golikov and Valya Kotik Pioneer heroes - Soviet pioneers who made feats in the years of the establishment of Soviet power and the Great Patriotic War . The images of pioneer heroes were actively used in the Soviet Union as examples of high morals. The official list of pioneer heroes was issued in 1954 with the compilation of the Book of Honor of the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization ; The books of honor of local pioneer organizations joined it. Pioneer heroes before the Second World War Memorial to the pioneers heroes of the Great Patriotic War near Tolyatti , the former pioneer camp "Scarlet Sails"(From right to left: Borya Tsarikov, Marat Kazey, Zinaida Portnova, Lyonya Golikov, Valya Kotik and Volodya Dubinin). Memorial to Shura Kober and Vitya Khomenko in Mykolayiv The first mention about pioneers-heroes appears in 1920. The press begins to publish newspaper notes about the exploits of young "fighters against the class enemy", especially about Pavlik ...more...

Forced settlements in the Soviet Union


Forced settlements in the Soviet Union took several forms. Though the most notorious was the Gulag labor camp system of penal labor, resettling of entire categories of population was another method of political repression implemented by the Soviet Union. At the same time, involuntary settlement played a role in the colonization of remote areas of the Soviet Union. This role was specifically mentioned in the first Soviet decrees about involuntary labor camps. Population transfer in the Soviet Union that led to the creation of these settlements was performed in a series of operations organized according to social and national criteria of the deported. Compared to the Gulag camps, the involuntary settlements had the appearance of "normal" settlements: people lived in families, and there was more freedom of movement; however, that was only permitted within a specified area. All settlers were overseen by the NKVD (под надзором НКВД): once a month a person had to visit a local law enforcement office at a selsovi ...more...

Young Pioneers Stadium


The Young Pioneers Stadium ( Russian : Стадион Юных пионеров ) was a sports complex built in the Soviet Union , intended exclusively for children and youth training, the largest in Europe of this kind. It was located in Moscow . First built at the location in 1926 was a football stadium named after M.P. Tomsky used by FC Pishcheviki Moscow that had room for 13,000 spectators. Later Built in 1932 - 1934, the complex consisted of a football stadium surrounded by a 6- lane 400 m athletics track, two volleyball grounds, five tennis courts , a cycling track, an indoor ice skating rink , as well as indoor gyms , choreography halls and chess school apartments. Besides that, an Indoor Athletics Area was built there in 1968. The site was reconstructed in 1980 to comply with Olympic standards and the football stadium (capacity 5,000) was used as a venue of the hockey tournament at the 1980 Summer Olympics , including the final. After that, the complex was again the seat of the Central Children's Training and Competit ...more...



The Russian Children's Center "Orlyonok" ( Russian : Орлёнок , literally " eaglet " in English ) is a federal state all-year camp for kids aged 11–16 (school grades 6 through 10). It is located in the Southern Federal District of Russia , on the eastern shore of the Black Sea , Krasnodarskiy Krai , 45 kilometers north-west from Tuapse . Orlyonok is officially registered as the Federal State Education Organization. Prior to 1991, its full name was USSR Pioneer Camp "Orlyonok" , and it was officially part of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union . Orlyonok received the Order of the Badge of Honour from the Komsomol (abbreviation of Communist Union of Youth) organization, a decoration awarded for outstanding social and civil accomplishments. Orlyonok welcomes children from all regions of Russia and other countries, regardless of their social strata or affiliation. During the combined summer/spring season it accepts up to 3,500 kids, in the fall/winter season – up to 1,200; the total number of childr ...more...

World Federation of Democratic Youth


The World Federation of Democratic Youth ( WFDY ) is an international youth organization, recognized by the United Nations as an international youth non-governmental organization , and has historically characterized itself as anti-imperialist and left-wing . WFDY was founded in London in 1945 as a broad international youth movement, organized in the context of the end of World War II with the aim of uniting youth from the Allied nations behind an anti-fascist platform that was broadly pro-peace, anti-nuclear war, expressing friendship between youth of the capitalist and socialist nations. The WFDY Headquarters are in Budapest , Hungary . The main event of WFDY is the World Festival of Youth and Students . The last festival was held in Sochi , Russia in October 2017. It was one of the first organizations granted general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council . History On 10 November 1945, the World Youth Conference, organized in London, founded the World Federation of Democrati ...more...

Eastern Bloc


Communist countries and Soviet Republics in Europe with their representative flags (1950s) The Eastern Bloc was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact. The terms Communist Bloc and Soviet Bloc were also used to denote groupings of states aligned with the Soviet Union, although these terms might include states outside. Terminology and other countries Use of the term "Eastern Bloc" generally refers to the "communist states of eastern Europe." Sometimes, more generally, they are referred to as "the countries of Eastern Europe under communism". Many sources consider Yugoslavia to be a member of the Eastern Bloc. Others consider Yugoslavia not to be a member after it broke with Soviet policy in the 1948 Tito–Stalin split. The term "Eastern Bloc" was sometimes used interchangeably with the term Second World, being considered one of the two main blocs of the Cold War, opposed by the Western Bloc. The Soviet-aligned membe ...more...

Zarnitsa game


Zarnitsa ( Russian : Всесоюзная пионерская военно-спортивная игра «Зарница» , All-Union Young Pioneer military sports game Zarnitsa) was a massive children's war game organized within the Young Pioneers organization. The game was an imitation of military actions (reconnaissance, battles, etc.) The word zarnitsa literally means " heat lightning ". It was intended for schoolchildren of 4-7 classes (10-13) years. A similar game, Orlyonok ( Орлёнок ), was for older schoolchildren. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zarnitsa game . References "Мысы — родина «Зарницы»? Будущая Всесоюзная военная игра зародилась в школе Краснокамского района, считает учительница Зоя Кротова", Zvezda no. 52 (31920) May 18, 2012 ( archive at webcitation , retrieved December 13, 2014) Zarnitsa ( Russian : Всесоюзная пионерская военно-спортивная игра «Зарница» , All-Union Young Pioneer military sports game Zarnitsa) was a massive children's war game organized within the Young Pioneers organization. The game was an imitation of mili ...more...

Index of Soviet Union-related articles


Articles related to the former nation known as the Soviet Union include: 0–9 1965 Soviet economic reform 1973 Soviet economic reform 1979 Soviet economic reform 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt 1991 Soviet referendum A Agriculture in the Soviet Union Andropov, Yuri – Soviet leader from 1982–1984 B Belavezha Accords Bolsheviks Brezhnev, Leonid – Soviet leader from 1964–1982 C Cement and its applications Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Chernobyl disaster Cheka Chernenko, Konstantin – Soviet leader from 1984–1985 Closed city Cold War Collective farming Collective leadership Collective leadership in the Soviet Union Collectivization in the Soviet Union Commemorative coins of the Soviet Union Communism Communist Party of the Soviet Union Communist Party of Armenia Communist Party of Azerbaijan Communist Party of Byelorussia Communist Party of Estonia Communist Party of Georgia Communist Party of Kazakhstan Communist Party of Kirghizia Communist Party of Latvia Communist Party of Lithuan ...more...

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ( Russian : Генеральный секретарь ЦК КПСС ) was an office of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) that by the late 1920s had evolved into the most powerful of the Central Committee 's various secretaries . With a few exceptions, from 1929 until the union's dissolution the holder of the office was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union , because the post controlled both the CPSU and the Soviet government . Joseph Stalin elevated the office to overall command of the Communist Party and by extension the whole Soviet Union. Nikita Khrushchev renamed the post First Secretary in 1953; the change was reverted in 1966. The office grew out of less powerful secretarial positions within the party: Technical Secretary (1917–1918), Chairman of the Secretariat (1918–1919), Responsible Secretary (1919–1922) (when Lenin was leader of the party of Bolsheviks ). History In its first two incarnations the office performed mostly sec ...more...

Artek (camp)


Artek (Cyrillic: Арте́к) is an international children center (a former Young Pioneer camp) on the Black Sea in the town of Hurzuf located on the Crimean Peninsula, near Ayu-Dag. It was established on 16 June 1925. The camp first hosted only 80 children but then grew rapidly. In 1969 it had an area of 3.2 km². The camp consisted of 150 buildings, including three medical facilities, a school, the film studio Artekfilm, three swimming pools, a stadium with a seating capacity of 7,000 and playgrounds for various other activities. Unlike most of the young pioneer camps, Artek was an all-year camp, due to the warm climate. Artek was considered to be a privilege for Soviet children during its existence, as well as for children from other communist countries. During its heyday, 27,000 children a year vacationed at Artek. Between 1925 and 1969 the camp hosted 300,000 children including more than 13,000 children from 70 foreign countries. After the breaking up of the Young Pioneers in 1991 its prestige declined, ...more...

League of Militant Atheists


The League of Militant Atheists ( Russian : Союз воинствующих безбожников Soyuz voinstvuyushchikh bezbozhnikov, literally League of the Militant Godless - LMG ); Society of the Godless (Общество безбожников Obshchestvo bezbozhnikov); Union of the Godless (Союз безбожников Soyuz bezbozhnikov), was an atheistic and antireligious organization of workers and intelligentsia that developed in Soviet Russia under the influence of the ideological and cultural views and policies of the Soviet Communist Party from 1925 to 1947. It consisted of party members, members of the Komsomol youth movement, those without specific political affiliation, workers and military veterans. The league embraced workers, peasants, students, and intelligentsia. It had its first affiliates at factories, plants, collective farms ( kolkhozy ), and educational institutions. By the beginning of 1941 it had about 3.5 million members from 100 nationalities. It had about 96,000 offices across the country. Guided by Bolshevik principles of anti-re ...more...

Little Octobrists


Little Octobrist badge (the mid-1980s design) Badge with an older design Little Octobrists ( Russian : Октября́та   listen   ; Latin: Oktiabriata, singular: Октябрёнок ; Latin: Oktyabryonok), is a Soviet term that first appeared in 1923-1924, and at that time referred to children born in 1917, the year of the October revolution . Later, the term was used as the name of a youth organization for children between 7 and 9 years of age. After the age of nine, in the 3rd grade, Little Octobrists would typically join the Young Pioneer organization. Little Octobrists were organized in groups each representing one school grade level. The group was divided into subgroups called little stars ( Russian : звёздочки ), of 5 children each. Each group of Little Octobrists was under the leadership of one Young Pioneer from the Young Pioneer detachment. Every Little Octobrist wore a ruby-coloured five-pointed star badge with the portrait of Vladimir Lenin in his childhood. The symbol of the group was the little red flag. See a ...more...

Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia


Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian: Savez pionira Jugoslavije/Савез пионира Југославије; Slovene: Zveza pionirjev Jugoslavije (ZPJ); Macedonian: Сојуз на пионери на Југославија) was the pioneer movement of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Its members, basically all children of age seven and older, attended an annual ceremony and wore uniforms. The uniforms consisted of red scarves as well as navy blue hats called Titovka. These hats were sometimes white, and bore a red star on the front. A white shirt was often worn with the Pioneer scarf (marama) and the Titovka, although this varied depending on which part of Yugoslavia the particular pioneer was from. Boys often wore navy blue shorts or pants, and girls wore skirts in the same colour, along with white stockings and black shoes. On special occasions, such as a visit from Josip Broz Tito, Pioniri sometimes wore traditional costumes from their native regions of Yugoslavia. Pioneers at the 1961 1st of May parade in Ljubljana T ...more...

Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


The Politburo (Russian: Политбюро, IPA: , full: Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, abbreviated Политбюро ЦК КПСС, Politbyuro TsK KPSS) was the highest policy-making government authority under the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was founded in October 1917, and refounded in March 1919, at the 8th Congress of the Bolshevik Party. It was known as the Presidium from 1952 to 1966. The existence of the Politburo ended in 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union. History Background On August 18, 1917, the top Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, set up a political bureau – known first as Narrow composition and, after October 23, 1917, as Political bureau – specifically to direct the October Revolution, with only seven members (Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin, Sokolnikov, and Bubnov), but this precursor did not outlast the event; the Central Committee continued with the political functions. However, due to practical reasons, usually fewer than ...more...

Institute of Culture


Institute of Culture was an institution of vocational education established in the Soviet Union and still existing in some post-Soviet states , aimed at training of workers in various areas of culture and organization of leisure activities. The Soviet establishment paid considerable attention to planning of the organization of the activities of Soviet people in their spare time, to combat hard drinking, hooliganism and other crime, especially among younger generation. The phrase "cultural leisure" (культурный досуг) was among the Soviet cliches: supposedly the proper organization of the cultural leisure of the Soviet people was the major tool in combatting the "vestiges of capitalism" and the molding of the " New Soviet Man ". Institutes of Culture were the institutions to train the professional "organizers of the cultural leisure", such as heads of hobby groups, of dance schools and collectives, folk dance and music ensembles, managers of various sections of Palaces of Culture , managers of "culture-educatio ...more...

Communist Party of Cuba


The Communist Party of Cuba ( Spanish : Partido Comunista de Cuba , PCC ) is the political party that rules in Republic of Cuba , although others exist without legal recognition or incorporation. It is a communist party of the Marxist-Leninist model. The Cuban constitution ascribes the role of the Party to be the "leading force of society and of the state." Since April 2011, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba has been Raúl Castro , the President of Cuba, younger brother of the previous First Secretary and President of Cuba Fidel Castro , who died on 25 November 2016; and the Second Secretary has been José Ramón Machado Ventura . History A billboard in Havana promoting the ongoing socialist revolution Cuba had a number of communist and anarchist organizations from the early period of the Republic (founded in 1902). The original " internationalised " Communist Party of Cuba formed in the 1920s. In 1944 it renamed itself as the Popular Socialist Party for electoral reasons. In July 1961, two year ...more...

Timurite movement


The Timurite movement or Timur movement (Тимуровское движение) was an altruistic youth volunteering movement in the Soviet Union promoted via mass youth organizations of Little Octobrists and Young Pioneers . The participants of the movement were called Timurites (тимуровцы, timurovtsy ). The idea of the movement was borrowed from the popular novel for youth Timur and His Squad by Arkady Gaidar . The youngster Timur and his squad clandestinely did good deeds: helped the families of the Red Army soldiers and combated the local gang of young hooligans headed by Mishka Kvakin. At first Timur's squad was taken for hooligans as well, but eventually they earned gratitude. It was written in 1940, and quickly gained popularity, as other Gaidar's books. The same year a movie was released based on the novel. When the German invasion of the Soviet Union started in 1941, teams of Timurites all over the country, in addition to helping the families of soldiers, did large amounts of unskilled work: cleaning railways from sn ...more...

History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


The history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is generally conceived as also covering that of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from which it evolved. The date 1912 is often identified as the time of the formation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a distinct party, and its history since then can roughly be divided into the following periods: the early years of the Bolshevik Party in secrecy and exile the period of the October Revolution of 1917 consolidation of the party as the governing force of the Soviet Union the Great Purge of the 1930s the Khrushchev and Brezhnev periods (1953–1982) the Gorbachev era of reform (1985–1991), which eventually led to the break-up of the party in 1991. The history of the regional and republican branches of the party does however differ from the all-Russian and all-Union party on several points. Nomenclature With its lineal predecessors and soi-disant heirs, the party used various names in succession: 1898–1917: Russian S ...more...

Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


The Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ( Russian : съезд КПСС ) was the gathering of the delegates of the Communist Party and its predecessors. According to the party statute, it was the supreme ruling body of the entire Communist Party. Between the congresses the party was ruled by the Central Committee . Over the course of the party's history, the name was changed in accordance with the current name of the party at the time. The frequency of party congresses varied with the meetings being annual events in the 1920s while no congress was held at all between 1939 and 1952. After the death of Joseph Stalin , the congresses were held every five years. Keys Abbreviations CC Central Committee CAC Central Auditing Commission FM Full member (a member with voting rights). CM Candidate member (a member without voting rights). VD Voting delegate (a delegate who can vote). CD Alternate delegate (a delegate without voting rights). Report CC Report and CAC Report, a document which briefs delegates about ...more...

James P. Cannon


James Patrick "Jim" Cannon (February 11, 1890 – August 21, 1974) was an American Trotskyist and a leader of the Socialist Workers Party . Born on February 11, 1890 in Rosedale, Kansas , he joined the Socialist Party of America (SPA) in 1908 and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1911. He was personally trained by "Big Bill" Haywood , a top IWW leader, and was an IWW organizer throughout the Midwest from 1912 through 1914. Following his expulsion from the Communist Party USA in 1928, of which he had been a founding member and the National Chairman of its legal entity, the Workers Party of America, Cannon was national secretary of the Communist League of America , Workers Party of the United States and Socialist Workers Party until his retirement and move to California in 1953. He was national chairman emeritus of the SWP when he died in Los Angeles on August 21, 1974. Biography Cannon in the early Communist movement Cannon opposed World War I from an internationalist position and rallied to the Rus ...more...

Zveno (disambiguation)


Zveno may refer to: Zveno , a Bulgarian military and political organization Zveno (Soviet collective farming) , a Soviet agricultural working unit Zveno (art) , a Russian group of artists Zveno project , a Soviet parasite fighter Zveno may refer to: Zveno , a Bulgarian military and political organization Zveno (Soviet collective farming) , a Soviet agricultural working unit Zveno (art) , a Russian group of artists Zveno project , a Soviet parasite fighter ...more...

National Youth Organisation (Greece)


The National Youth Organisation ( Greek : Εθνική Οργάνωσις Νεολαίας , Ethnikí Orgánosis Neoléas, EON ) was a youth organization in Greece during the years of the Metaxas Regime (1936–1941), established by the regime with the stated goals of helping the youth in the productive spending of their free time and cultivating their national values and cooperative spirit. Membership was not mandatory, and—unlike most contemporary political youth organizations in Europe—EON was not affiliated with a political party, but there was widespread successful campaigning by the regime to include the largest part of the youth to EON, and later took over the scouts and other such organizations, although typically membership still remained strictly voluntary. However, only Christians could enroll and Muslims and Jews could not become EON members. There were some exceptions on Jews though. Some of the activities that EON members were involved in included athletics events, parades and marches, military training, reforestations, r ...more...

The Young Guard (novel)


The Young Guard ( Russian : Молодая гвардия ) is a 1946 Russian-language young adult historical novel (rewritten in 1951) by Soviet writer Alexander Fadeyev . The novel describes the operations of the Young Guard , an anti-German resistance organization operating in 1942–1943 in and around the city of Krasnodon in the eastern Ukraine . Many of the Young Guard were executed by the Germans. Most of the main characters of the novel – Oleg Koshevoy , Juliana Gromova , Lyubov Shevtsova , Ivan Zemnukhov, Sergei Tyulenin, etc. - were actually existing people, although aspects of their characters, actions, and dialogues were invented or creatively embellished by the novelist, and there are also fictional characters in the novel. The Young Guard was the second most popular work of children's literature in the Soviet Union for the period 1918-1986, with total sales over 276 editions of 26,143,000 copies. Historical background Krasnodon was liberated from German occupation on 14 February 1943 (it had been occupied for ...more...

Young Army Cadets National Movement


Established in October 2015, the All-Russia "Young Army" National Military Patriotic Social Movement Association (Всероссийское военно-патриотическое общественное движение «Юнармия») is a youth organization supported and funded by the Government of Russia through the Ministry of Defence of Russia with a mission to train future personnel for the uniformed services and to instill the values of patriotism, national service, national and military history, remembrance of past military operations and campaigns and of the fallen of its armed forces, and to help build a growing Russia in the 21st Century and beyond. Russian bobsledder Dmitry Trunenkov serves as the Chairman of the Governing Committee, which supervises its 117,000 members, mostly from youth groups and Cadet Corps nationwide. While being a successor to the military courses in both the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization and the Komsomol during Soviet times, and keeping the traditions of the Great Patriotic War services of these organizations, ...more...

Oleg Koshevoy


Oleg Vasilyevich Koshevoy ( Ukrainian : Олег Васильoвич Кошoвий , translit. Oleh Vasyl'ovych Koshovyi; Russian : Олег Васильевич Кошевой ) (June 8, 1926 – February 9, 1943) was a Soviet partisan and one of the founders of the clandestine organization Young Guard , which fought the Nazi forces in Krasnodon during World War II between 1941 and 1945. Born in Pryluky , a city in the Chernihiv Oblast ( province ) of present-day north-central Ukraine (at the time a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic ), Oleg Koshevoy's family moved south to Rzhyshchiv and Poltava before settling in Krasnodon (at the eastern border of Ukraine) in 1940, where he attended secondary school . In July 1942, Krasnodon was occupied by the German Army . Under the leadership of the party underground, Koshevoy organized an anti-nazi Komsomol (Communist Youth) organization called the Young Guard ( Russian : Молодая гвардия , translit. Molodaya gvardiya), becoming its commissar . In January 1943, the Germans exposed the organization ...more...

Socialist realism


Socialist realism is a style of realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in that country as well as in other socialist countries. Socialist realism is characterized by the glorified depiction of communist values, such as the emancipation of the proletariat, by means of realistic imagery. Although related, it should not be confused with social realism, a type of art that realistically depicts subjects of social concern. Socialist realism was the predominant form of approved art in the Soviet Union from its development in the early 1920s to its eventual fall from popularity in the late 1960s. While other countries have employed a prescribed canon of art, socialist realism in Soviet Union persisted longer and was more restricted than elsewhere in Europe. Development Detail, "Der Weg der Roten Fahne", Kulturpalast Dresden, Germany Socialist realism was developed by many thousands of artists, across a diverse society, over several decades. Early examples of rea ...more...

List of non-aligned Scouting organizations


Non-aligned Scouting and Scout-like organisations have been created over the years, separate and often distinct from the mainstream Scout Movement served by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). International Scouting organizations (excluding WAGGGS and WOSM) Confédération Européenne de Scoutisme International Scout and Guide Fellowship Order of World Scouts Skolta Esperanto Ligo Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe World Federation of Independent Scouts World Organization of Independent Scouts Scouting organizations Afghanistan Scout Association American Heritage Girls Associação dos Escuteiros de São Tomé e Príncipe Association des Scouts de Djibouti Association des Scouts et Guides de Riaumont Baden-Powell Scouts' Association Belarusian Scout Association Conférence Française de Scoutisme Corpo Nacional de Escutas da Guiné-Bissau Eclaireurs Neutres de France Fédération du scoutisme centrafri ...more...

Scouting in Russia


Scouting in Russia comprises several dozen Scout associations, based on religion, politics and geography. The traditional Russian membership badge, still used by several organizations, features Saint George slaying a dragon History early postcard of Scouting in Russia Russian Boy Scouts Signaling. Postcard, 1915 Russian Boy Scouts Postcard, 1914-1917 Russian Boy Scout camp. Before 1917 1908 to 1922 In 1908, Baden-Powell 's book Scouting for Boys came out in Russia by the order of Tsar Nicholas II . It was called Young Scout ( Юный Разведчик , Yuny Razvedchik). On April 30 [ O.S. April 17] 1909, a young officer, Colonel Oleg Pantyukhov , organized the first Russian Scout troop Beaver ( Бобр , Bobr) in Pavlovsk , a town near Tsarskoye Selo , St. Petersburg region. In 1910, Baden-Powell visited Nicholas II in Tsarskoye Selo and they had a very pleasant conversation, as the Tsar remembered it. In 1914, Pantyukhov established a society called Russian Scout ( Русский Скаут , Russkiy Skaut). The first Russian Scout ...more...

Communist Party USA


Charter for a local unit of the Communist Party of America dated October 24, 1919 The Communist Party USA ( CPUSA ) is a communist political party in the United States . Established in 1919 after a split in the Socialist Party of America , it has a long, complex history that is closely tied with the U.S. labor movement and the histories of communist parties worldwide. History For the first half of the 20th century, the Communist Party was a highly influential force in various struggles for democratic rights. It played a prominent role in the U.S. labor movement from the 1920s through the 1940s, having a major hand in founding most of the country's first industrial unions (which would later use the McCarran Internal Security Act to expel their Communist members) while also becoming known for opposing racism and fighting for integration in workplaces and communities during the height of the Jim Crow period of U.S. racial segregation . Historian Ellen Schrecker concludes that decades of recent scholarship offer ...more...

Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ( Russian : Центра́льный комите́т Коммунисти́ческой па́ртии Сове́тского Сою́за – ЦК КПСС , Tsentralniy Komitet Kommunistitcheskoi Partii Sovetskogo Soyuza – TsK KPSS), abbreviated in Russian as ЦК , "Tse-ka", was de jure the highest body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) between Party Congresses . According to Party rules, the Central Committee directed all Party and government activities between each Party Congress. Members of the committee were elected at the Party Congresses. During Vladimir Lenin 's leadership of the Communist Party, the Central Committee functioned as the highest party authority between congresses. However at the 8th Party Congress held in 1919, the Political Bureau (Politburo) was established to respond to questions needing immediate responses. Some delegates objected to the establishment of the Politburo, and in response, the Politburo became responsible to the Central Committee, and Central Committee memb ...more...

Joseph Stalin


Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Soviet revolutionary and politician of Georgian ethnicity. Governing the Soviet Union as its dictator from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, he served as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952 and as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1953. Ideologically a Marxist and a Leninist, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism while his own policies became known as Stalinism. Raised into a poor family in Gori, Russian Empire, as a youth Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He edited the party newspaper Pravda and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings, and protection rackets. Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks gained power in the October Revolution of 1917 and established the Russian Soviet Republic, Stalin sat on the governing Politburo dur ...more...

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