This chapter highlights the development of nations and nationalism during the Soviet period, focusing particularly on the relationship between Russians and non-Russians and the disintegrative processes which occurred under Gorbachev. The nationalism which triumphed over the USSR and sovietization is treated as a form of "decolonization nationalism. The goal of the Soviet Union was to overcome global imperialism, viewed by Lenin as the last stage of capitalism. Lenin was a "strategic Marxist," who used Karl Marx's theories to provide the foundation for his own political action program. Lenin's advocacy of the right of nations to self-determination was devised to overcome non-Russian concerns about Great-Russian chauvinism. To Lenin, the key to solving the national problem in the Russian Empire was overcoming Russian hegemony through inter-national equalization. The major principle of Lenin's approach to the national problem was territorial autonomy for nations whose members opted to remain in the multinational socialist state.