(from the schoolbook "Basics of Social Science" for the 5th grade)
In 2012 the USSR consisted of 17 soviet republics and a great number of autonomous SSRs.
As a result of the 1962 war, and several further military operations, the USSR was expanded by adding the South-Azerbaijan SSR, Cataluña SSR, Aragon SSR, Castilla SSR, Eskimo SSR. But three republics were lost during disastrous earthquakes from 1979-1983 that completely destroyed the Caucasus.
The main government unit is the Council of Ministers.
The Communist Party has the leading and guiding role in the USSR.
The General Secretary of the Communist Party is the head of the party and the state.
Until the middle of 1972 this position was held by Nikita Khrushchev, a three time Hero of the Soviet Union, four time Hero of Socialist Labor. (The second and third Gold Stars and fourth Medal of the Hero of Socialist Labor, Khrushchev, received it for winning the Nuclear War in 1962, for the Ice Campaign and post-war reconstruction of the economy respectively.)
Due to the prolonged serious illness of Nikita Khrushchev, the post of General Secretary in June 18, 1972 was taken over by Alexei Kosygin, a prominent statesman and party leader, Hero of the Soviet Union, and three time Hero of Socialist Labor. A. N. Kosygin led the country until his sudden death in January 2, 1985.
Former military pilot, the hero of 1962, a 3M bomber pilot Zahar I. Elganin succeeded Kosygin. In 2012 Elganin is 90 years old, but thanks to the success of Soviet medicine the General Secretary looks no more than 65 and is still quite vigorous.
On the first day of the war, his bomber attacked Washington and this greatly influenced the rapid collapse of the enemies’ armed forces control, and started the mass panic in the U.S.
Elganin was awarded the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union and was promoted to Colonel for this feat. Later Elganin held several senior command positions in the Armed Forces, and commanded the Madrid Front. Since 1981 he was also the defense minister. Since 1983 he has been a member of the Politburo, and following the death of Alexei Kosygin, he became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.