However, the corruption that plagued the Soviet regime, and the incompatability of communism and consumerism, meant that despite several attempts to restructure and reform, the regime collapsed amidst a number of political wrangles.
It was President Yeltsin that eventually remained victorious, defying several coups and declaring The Communist Party illegal.
Moscow is the capital of Russia and is located in the far west of the country on the river Moskva.
It has a population of 11,273,400 (as of 2004), although a great number of both permanent and temporary illegal migrants, plus the ongoing merging of suburbs, raise the unofficial population to about 13.5 million people - about one tenth of the entire Russian population.
An internal passport system making it illegal for non-residents to remain in the city for longer than 90 days is proving ineffective at combatting this trend.
As well as being a thriving economic centre (boasting more billionaires than any other city in the world), Moscow is also a centre of the arts.
Moscow has a number of competitive football teams, including Dynamo, CSKA, Lokomotiv and Spartak, all of whom have played on the European stage.
It also hosted the 1980 Olympic Games, which were boycotted by many countries due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Already the most populous city in Europe, Moscow continues to grow.
This is largely due to its 20% per annum economic growth, which attracts workers (often illegally) from other parts of Russia where the economy has stagnated or is even in decline.
Later, under Brezhnev, the USSR continued to prosper as Soviet patriotism saw the Russians competing with the USA in the arms and space races.
Perhaps this is why these times are still referred to by many ageing Russian's as a golden age in their history.
It is only the eighth most-populated country in the world.