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From its initial creation in 1922, the Soviet Union was perhaps the most ambitious political experiment in human history. But how did this superpower come about? And in its first decades, how did its founding principles of equality transform to fit a nation that became synonymous with tragedy, poverty, suppression and terror?
This is the first in a special 2-part Short History of the Soviet Union.
Written by Dan Smith. With thanks to historian and author Professor Sheila Fitzgerald of the Australian Catholic University and the University of Sydney.