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The Declaration and Treaty on the Formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Декларация и договор об образовании Союза Советских Социалистических Республик) officially created the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), commonly known as the Soviet Union. It de jure legalised a union of several Soviet republics that had existed since 1919 and created a new centralised federal government (Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union and Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union (TsIK) were the legislative while Council of People's Commissars was the executive) where key functions were centralised in Moscow.

The Treaty along with the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR was approved on 30 December 1922 by a conference of delegations from the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR. The Treaty and the Declaration were confirmed by the 1st Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by heads of delegations[1] – Mikhail Kalinin, Mikhail Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze and Grigory Petrovsky, Aleksandr Chervyakov[2] respectively on December 30, 1922. The treaty provided flexibility to admit new members. Therefore, by 1940 the Soviet Union grew from the founding four republics to 15 republics.

On 8 December 1991, Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian Presidents signed the Belovezha Accords. The agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its founder states (denunciation of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR) and established the CIS. On 10 December, the accord was ratified by the Ukrainian and Belarusian parliaments. On 12 December, the agreement was ratified by the Russian Parliament, therefore the Russian SFSR renounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and de facto declared Russia's independence from the USSR.

On 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the first house of Soviet legislature (the second house, the Council of the Union, was without a quorum).

In January 1924, the Second Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union, that was called in accordance to the treaty ratified the first 1924 Soviet Constitution. The constitution's text is essentially the rewritten and expanded treaty. It even contains the same declaration. The treaty had 26 articles, but the constitution had eleven chapters and 72 articles.

Aftermath and legality

Some experts argue that the original Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, ceased to exist as such, upon the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on 5 December 1936, which greatly altered the internal arrangement and reorganised the Soviet Union from a confederation into a proper federal country. Instead of the Congress of Soviets, the new constitution created a permanent parliament, the Supreme Soviet. It also tied together most of the authorities and most significantly affirmed the role of the Communist Party as the "driving force" behind the Soviet Union's working masses.

With regard to the original Treaty, the adoption of the Constitution re-organised the make-up of the Union. The Transcaucasian SFSR ceased to exist, and its three republics were fully admitted to the Union. Simultaneously, two of RSFSR's autonomies, the Kazak and the Kirghiz ASSRs, were re-organised as full republics. Therefore, the seven became the eleven.

The Transcaucasian SFSR existed until December 5, 1936, when it was broken into Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani SSRs. The same day, the Kazak and Kirghiz ASSRs of the RSFSR ceased to exist, and their territory was divided between the new Kazakh and Kirghiz SSRs.

1940

In a prelude to World War II, several new republics were created before the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. The first was the Karelo-Finnish SSR, which on 31 March 1940 was elevated to a union republic from the Karelian ASSR, previously part of the RSFSR.

After the annexation of Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were transformed into the Lithuanian SSR (July 13), Latvian SSR

Joseph Stalin's position as General Secretary of the Communist Party was also unchanged. However, the party's position was. Prior to the treaty, the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) (RKP(b)) had its own bureaus to oversee activities in distant regions such as the Turkestani Bureau, the Transcaucasian Bureau etc.. After the Treaty, the party was reorganised as the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) (VKP(b) – V for Vsesoyuznaya, the All-Union). Although the republics' parties remained, Russia's party retained its primus inter pares position but also officially took over as a supreme authority in the USSR.

One area in which the Soviet division of power was not resolved during the treaty's signing was Soviet Central Asia, which contained several problems. A major battleground during the Russian Civil War, the region would remain unstable after it. Turkestan had come under Russian control fairly recently, between 1867 and 1885. Moreover, unlike other ethnic borders of the former Russian Empire, which were delimited during the Tsarist days (for example, Transcaucasia lost its feudal administration by the mid-19th century), the Soviet authorities inherited two provinces that were de jure never part of Russia proper, the Emirate of Bukhara and the Khanate of Khiva. During the Russian Civil War, they shared the fate of the other republics, but even there, their special status was preserved, and they were established as the Bukharan and Khorezm People's Soviet Republics. Despite Mikhail Frunze's victories, the conflict was ongoing, and whole provinces were under control of the Basmachi movement in 1922.

To settle the issue, in line with the korenizatsiya policy a massive programme of national delimitation in Central Asia w

To settle the issue, in line with the korenizatsiya policy a massive programme of national delimitation in Central Asia was undertaken. On October 27, 1924, TsIK issued a decree where the former Bukharan, Khivan People's Republics as well as the RSFSR's Turkestan were re-organized as the Uzbek SSR and the Turkmen SSR, both of whom became full Union Republics on 13 May 1925. The borders of the new republics matched the ethnic ones, and Uzbekistan initially also contained a newly-formed Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which would be elevated to a full Union Republic on October 16, 1929 to become the Tajik SSR.

In January 1924, the Second Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union, that was called in accordance to the treaty ratified the first 1924 Soviet Constitution. The constitution's text is essentially the rewritten and expanded treaty. It even contains the same declaration. The treaty had 26 articles, but the constitution had eleven chapters and 72 articles.

Aftermath and legality

Some experts argue that the original Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, ceased to exist as such, upon the adoption of the Some experts argue that the original Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, ceased to exist as such, upon the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on 5 December 1936, which greatly altered the internal arrangement and reorganised the Soviet Union from a confederation into a proper federal country. Instead of the Congress of Soviets, the new constitution created a permanent parliament, the Supreme Soviet. It also tied together most of the authorities and most significantly affirmed the role of the Communist Party as the "driving force" behind the Soviet Union's working masses.

With regard to the original Treaty, the adoption of the Constitution re-organised the make-up of the Union. The Transcaucasian SFSR ceased to exist, and its three republics were fully admitted to the Union. Simultaneously, two of RSFSR's autonomies, the Kazak and the Kirghiz ASSRs, were re-organised as full republics. Therefore, the seven became the eleven.

The Transcaucasian SFSR existed until December 5, 1936, when it was broken into Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani SSRs. The same day, the Kazak and Kirghiz ASSRs of the RSFSR ceased to exist, and their territory was divided between the new Kazakh and Kirghiz SSRs.

In a prelude to World War II, several new republics were created before the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. The first was the Karelo-Finnish SSR, which on 31 March 1940 was elevated to a union republic from the Karelian ASSR, previously part of the RSFSR.

After the annexation of Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and After the annexation of Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were transformed into the Lithuanian SSR (July 13), Latvian SSR (July 21) and Estonian SSR (also July 21) and were formally adjoined to the Soviet Union on 3, 5 and 6 August respectively. The final republic was the Moldovian SSR, which merged the large territory of Bessarabia with the Moldovian ASSR, previously part of the Ukrainian SSR.

After World War II, no new republics were established. Instead, the Karello-Finnish SSR was downgraded into an autonomous republic and reannexed by the RSFSR on July 16, 1956.

On December 8, 1991, the leaders of the Ukrainian and Belorussian SSRs, and the RSFSR met to agree on the annulment of the 1922 treaty, which was terminated on December 25, 1991, effectively dissolving the USSR.

On March 15, 1996, the State Duma of the Russian Federation expressed its legal position in relation to the decision of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in "The denunciation of the Treaty establishin

On March 15, 1996, the State Duma of the Russian Federation expressed its legal position in relation to the decision of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in "The denunciation of the Treaty establishing the Soviet Union" as the wrongful, unconstitutional act passed by a grave violation of the Constitution of the RSFSR, the norms of international law and then in force legislation.[4]

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