Skip to main content

Russia is not the successor of the USSR. history of the question

In order to understand what legacy Russia has illegally appropriated for itself, it is necessary to consider the history of the creation and liquidation of the Soviet Union.

No one doubts that the USSR was a real Russian empire – a multinational totalitarian state where millions of Russified citizens lived and considered this empire their homeland; the Russian language and culture dominated the entire space of the Soviet Union.

However, based on the founding treaty, the USSR did not become the successor of the Russian Empire. In 1922, a new socialist state was founded by Ukraine (USSR), Russia (RSFSR), Belarus (BSSR) and Transcaucasian Republics (TSFSR).

Moreover, Ukrainian Wikipedia generally denies the fact that the leadership of Soviet Ukraine signed the treaty with Russia, due to the fact that it was not ratified by the legislative body; its final text was not developed and the treaty on the establishment of the USSR did not become an international agreement.

Also, it is generally accepted that Ukraine (USSR), Russia (RSFSR) and Belarus (BRSR) were equal co-founding countries of the USSR. This fact is essential to remember when Russia attempts to claim the heritage of the USSR for itself.

Specialists in the field of international law and international relations are well aware that the text of the agreement on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (Bialowieza Agreement of December 8, 1991) begins with the statement that the USSR as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality has ceased to exist.

The USSR Constitution of 1977, as amended in 1991, clearly defined the status of the republics as formally sovereign entities with their own constitution, while depriving them of independent powers in the fields of defence and foreign relations.

The fall of the USSR, the existence of which was determined by the constitution of the USSR, had to happen in accordance with Article 72, which guaranteed the union republics the right to freely leave the Soviet state.

The act of concluding and signing the Białowieża Agreement shows that the leaders of the countries that signed it clearly acted outside the boundaries of the Soviet constitution of that time.

The member states did not utilize Article 72 of the Constitution of the USSR when they signed the agreement. Therefore, all the efforts of the Russian Federation and its troubadours, at various levels, to use arguments that the USSR as a state has allegedly continued to exist, but in a different guise and name (the Russian Federation) – simply contradict the available documents and our ideas about the history of the 20th century.

We can confidently state that Russia and the USSR are not one state or one subject of international law, but are different states that existed in parallel during a certain period of history.

Russia is considered only a partial legal successor to the USSR, along with the other fifteen former Soviet republics.

In addition, international law does not provide for the possibility of legal succession by a state of membership in international organizations.

The fact of fraud becomes obvious. There was no legal basis for Russia’s usurpation of the USSR’s membership in the UN, including a seat on the Security Council.

In view of this, the subsequent events that should have legalized the status of Russia as the successor of the USSR are also illegal and criminal.

When, at the beginning of December 1991, the leaders of the member states of the so-called Commonwealth of Independent States held a meeting in Almaty, they, among other issues, adopted a decision dated December 21, 1991, which recognized the fact that Belarus and Ukraine, together with the USSR are countries that were original members of the UN (as opposed to the Russian Federation).

That part of the decision, which concerns Russia’s continuation of the USSR’s membership in the UN, including permanent membership in the Security Council, is illegal.

The member countries of the CIS did not have the right to transfer/delegate the place of the USSR in the UN and the UN Security Council to another country.
The adoption of such a decision belongs exclusively to the powers of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 3 and 4 of the UN Charter.

Thus, President Yeltsin, sending his letter dated December 24, 1991, to the Secretary General of the United Nations, was guided by the conviction that he would be able to change the United Nations and avoid the complex procedure through replacing naming plates from “Soviet Union” to “Russian Federation”.

Despite the fact that according to Article 23 of the UN Charter, the USSR is listed as a permanent member of the Security Council; on the official website of the UN, Russia is listed as a member of the Organization, whose powers are supported only by a scan of Boris Yeltsin’s letter dated December 24, 1991.

From December 31, 1991, all members of the Security Council began to refer to the Russian Federation as a permanent member that usurped the seat of the USSR.

On January 31, 1992, at a regular meeting of the Security Council, with the participation of heads of state and government, in response to Boris Yeltsin’s speech, the President of the Security Council, John Major, said: “Thank you, Mr. President. I know that the Council would like me to welcome Russia as a permanent member of our Council. We congratulate you from the bottom of our hearts.”

We have to admit that for a certain period of Russia’s history it was possible to seize the seat of the USSR in the UN with the support and tacit consent of other members of this respectable Organization. It is time to remind Russia that international justice is not quick but inevitable. It is time to restore legality and justice within the walls of the UN!