Communist Party of the Soviet Union

political party founded in 1912

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) was the ruling political party in the Soviet Union, and the only legal one.

Before the creation of the Russian Communist Party in 1918, its members were part of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. They made up a group within that party, which was called the Bolsheviks. The first leader of the CPSU was Vladimir Lenin. The first General Secretary of the party was Stalin from 1922–52. The party led the 1917 October Revolution that overthrew the Russian Provisional Government during World War I. From 1918–25, the name of the party was Russian Communist Party. From 1925–52, the name was All-Union Communist Party. The Party took the name Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1952.

The Communist Party controlled all the government in the Soviet Union. The party supported communist movements in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. In 1990, during a big reform called "perestroika", or "restructuring", the party lost its position as the only party allowed. The CPSU was dissolved in 1991, and continued as the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The new CPRF has sometimes been the largest in the Russian parliament, the State Duma.

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