Soviet republic (system of government)

A soviet republic (from Russian: Советская республика - Sovetskaya respublika, German: Räterepublik, French: République des conseils, Dutch: Radenrepubliek, Ukrainian: Радянська республіка, Belarusian: Савецкая рэспубліка, etc) is a republic in which the government is formed of soviets (workers' councils) and politics are based on soviet democracy.

Although the term is usually associated with Soviet member-states, it was not initially used to represent the political organisation of the Soviet Union, but merely a form of democracy.

There were several revolutionary workers' movements in various areas of Europe which declared independence under the name of a soviet republic in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.[1]


The first Soviet republics were short-lived communist revolutionary governments that were established in what had been the Russian Empire after the October Revolution and under its influence. These states included some such as the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic which won independence from Russia during the civil war period. Others such as the Ukrainian Soviet Republic and the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia later became union republics of the Soviet Union and are now independent states. Still others such as the Kuban Soviet Republic and the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic were absorbed into other polities and no longer formally exist under those names.

In the turmoil following World War I, the Russian example inspired the formation of Soviet republics in other areas of Europe including Hungary, Bavaria, Slovakia and Bremen.[2] Soviet republics, most notably the Chinese Soviet Republic (Jiangxi Soviet), later appeared in China during the early stages of the Chinese Civil War. Other than these cases, "soviet republic" typically refers to the administrative republics of the Soviet Union.

See also


  1. Weaver, Matthew Lon (2010-01-01). Religious Internationalism: The Ethics of War and Peace in the Thought of Paul Tillich. Mercer University Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780881461886.
  2. Stephen A. Smith. "Towards a Global History of Communism." The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism. Stephen A. Smith, ed. Oxford University Press, 2014. p. 8. ISBN 9780191667510
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