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In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918.
It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south.The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus.The country had the world's second largest economy and the largest standing military in the world.The Soviet Union had the world's longest border, like Russia, measuring over 60,000 kilometres (37,000 mi), or circumferences of Earth. The Soviet Union's highest mountain was Communism Peak (now Ismoil Somoni Peak) in Tajikistan, at 7,495 metres (24,590 ft).
The Soviet Union also included most of the world's largest lakes; the Caspian Sea (shared with Iran), and Lake Baikal, the world's largest and deepest freshwater lake that is also an internal body of water in Russia.
Modern revolutionary activity in the Russian Empire began with the Decembrist revolt of 1825.