Soviet Union Table of Contents
Article 59 of the Constitution stated that citizens' exercise of their rights was inseparable from performance of their duties. Articles 60 through 69 defined these duties. Citizens were obliged to work and to observe labor discipline. The legal code labeled evasion of work as "parasitism" and provided severe punishment for this crime. The Constitution also obligated citizens to protect socialist property and oppose corruption. All citizens performed military service as a duty to safeguard and "enhance the power and prestige of the Soviet state." Violation of this duty was a betrayal of the motherland and the gravest of crimes. Finally, the Constitution obligated parents to train their children for socially useful work and to raise them as worthy members of socialist society.
The Constitution and other legislation protected and enforced Soviet citizenship. Legislation on citizenship granted equal rights of citizenship to naturalized citizens as well as to the native born. Laws also specified that citizens could not freely renounce their citizenship. Citizens were required to apply for permission to do so from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, which could reject the application if the applicant had not completed military service, had judicial duties, or was responsible for family dependents. In addition, the Presidium could refuse the application to protect national security. However, the Presidium could revoke citizenship for defamation of the Soviet Union or for acts damaging to national prestige or security.
Data as of May 1989