politics of the country began in the early days of Soviet power in 1917. The Soviet Polity in the Modern Era. Federation of American Scientists. Data shows Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia saw a tripling of unemployment and a 42 increase in male death rates between 1986 87 In the following decades, only five or six of the post-communist states are. The two countries concluded the MolotovRibbentrop Pact and the GermanSoviet Commercial Agreement in August 1939. At the same time the two countries secretly set up training programs for illegal German army and air force operations at hidden camps in the Soviet Union. Life expectancy started to decline in the 1970s, possibly because of alcohol abuse. Library of Congress Country Studies. In 1956 he denounced Stalin's use of repression and proceeded to ease controls over party and society. Era of Stagnation Main articles: History of the Soviet Union (196482), History of the Soviet Union (198291), and Era of Stagnation The Era of Stagnation was a period of negative economic, political, and social effects in the Soviet.