The Soviet Union celebrates its 50th anniversary on Saturday (Dec. 30). Leaders of the world's?
GV INT USSR Supreme Soviet meets beneath Lenin status
SV Lenin addresses meeting (2 shots)
SCU Lenin and Stalin (STILL)
CU Lenin addresses troops (2 shots)
SV & CU Lenin on deathbed
GV Mourning procession
GV & CU Lenin lying in state (3 shots)
GV & CU Lenin status
GV TILT DOWN Bombed building
SV Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt
GV New building going up
GV Stalin's mausoleum
SV Stalin lying in state
CU & GV Khruschev thumping table at United Nations (3 shots)
GV & CU Stalin museum closed (3 shots)
GV Sign being changed on Hotel Stalingrad
CU Stalin head on building
CU Wall after head removed
MV Khruschev with Mao
SCU Khruschev with Castro
CU PULL OUT TO GV Kosygin with President Johnson
GV PAN Supreme Soviet session
CU & GV Various national delegations (7 shots)
Initials BB/1910 RW/AH/BB/2000
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Background: The Soviet Union celebrates its 50th anniversary on Saturday (Dec. 30). Leaders of the world's Communist states have been attending an anniversary summit conference in Moscow. Only China and Albania were absent.
It has been a time for celebration, and remembering most of the personalities involved in the development of the Union. Two exceptions -- and architect of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -- Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, and Leon Trotsky.
Lenin was still leader when the first four socialist states signed their Treaty of Union on December 30, 1922. But he was a dying man, and the Union project had been masterminded by Stalin -- then editor of Pravda. Soon Stalin was secretary-general of the Communist Party and one of the most powerful men in the world, though few outside Soviet political circles had even heard of him.
The 1922 Treaty of Union grouped together Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Transcausia. It expanded steadily and now includes 15 republics.
After Lenin's death in 1924 his reputation consolidated into legend, and his body was enshrined in a mausoleum within the Kremlin walls. When Stalin died in 1953 he, too, was embalmed and placed to Lenin's side for the Soviet people to revere. But, his opponents in his lifetime now voiced their thoughts aloud and Stalin's corpse was re-located, and Stalingrad was renamed Volgagrad.
Today, Lenin remains uniquely revered as the father of modern practical communism. Stalin is unofficially ignored, though few subsequent Soviet leaders have attained such power. His efforts to rebuild the war-ravaged republics into a cohesive world-power are seldom recounted.
The Union, which Stalin helped found, retains its place in world Communism. But Moscow is no longer the sole source of inspiration. Peking has arisen as a new authority, and many of the smaller communist parties in Western countries have been divided over which doctrine to follow. The "official" Soviet line still prevails in most Communist states however. The People's Republic of China and her European disciple, Albania, were noticeably absent from the celebratory summit in Moscow this month.
SYNOPSIS: A statue of Lenin has dominated the Soviet Union's fiftieth anniversary celebrations in Moscow. Lenin, who put his theories of Communism into practice, is the symbolic figure of Soviet success. His colleague, Joseph Stalin, helped forge the union in 1922. Stalin was then Editor of Pravda, with Lenin the unchallenged communist leader.
As Lenin lay on his deathbed, Stalin made good use of the prestige he had gained through helping mastermind the Treaty of Union, which was signed fifty years ago this weekend. The Treaty had brought together the first four socialist republics..Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Transcaucasia.
Soon Lenin became legend, while Stalin worked quietly--consolidating his power, expanding the Union.
World War Two sorely strained the Russian economy.
The eventual peace saw Stalin emerge one of the three most powerful men in the world at that time, an equal with Churchill and Roosevelt.
Soon impressive new cities were being built. But eight years after the war Stalin was dead and lay in state, his name entered in the history books alongside Lenin's.
After a power struggle with Malenkov and Bulganin, Khruschev emerged as a leader who contrasted with the chilling aloofness of Stalin.
Soviet politics quickly changed and stalin's museum was closed not to be re-opened.
Khrushchev set out to avoid the same image as Stalin and decided to remove all traces of Stalin's influence. Stalingrad became Volgograd, and where the former leader's features once dominated streets, suddenly found empty spaces.
Khruschev went on to give the Communist power a new image. For a while he and China's Chairman Mao Tse-tung formed a powerful due in world Communist brotherhood. He did, however, develop other new friendships as well.
Khruschev's successors have preferred compromise and peace talks to overt threats of war.
But on its fiftieth anniversary, the Soviet Union faces new problems. China and her European disciple, Albania, were absent from the celebrations. Moscow no longer dictates the Communist creed. Fifteen republics make up the Soviet Union today--in many of them there have been sporadic outbreaks of nationalism--minor by the unsuccessful revolutionary precedents of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, but worrying for the leaders of a Union claiming to be irrevocably united in the memory of Lenin.