The Soviet Union had its roots in 1917 when the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution which overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between pro-revolution Reds and counter-revolution Whites. The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union. Soviet withdrawal early from the eastern front of the Second World War helped pave the way for the rise of Poland as a European power. Relegated to second tier status after the war, the nation entered a massive program of rebuilding and modernization, becoming the second nation to develop a nuclear weapon. Now the leaders of the Warsaw Pact, the USSR maintains a strong role in the governance (sometimes directly) of the other Pact nations.
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