45 Facts About Soviet Bloc


Eastern Bloc, known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America under the influence of the Soviet Union that existed during the Cold War .

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In Western Europe, the term Eastern Soviet Bloc generally referred to the USSR and Central and Eastern European countries in the Comecon .

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Term Eastern Soviet Bloc was often used interchangeably with the term Second World.

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Many states were accused by the Western Soviet Bloc of being in the Eastern Soviet Bloc when they were actually part of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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Cuba's defiance of complete Soviet Bloc control was noteworthy enough that Cuba was sometimes excluded as a satellite state altogether, as it sometimes intervened in other Third World countries even when the Soviet Bloc Union opposed this.

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Post-1991 usage of the term "Eastern Soviet Bloc" may be more limited in referring to the states forming the Warsaw Pact and Mongolia, which are no longer communist states.

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Soviet Bloc Union had invaded the portions of eastern Poland assigned to it by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact two weeks after the German invasion of western Poland, followed by co-ordination with German forces in Poland.

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Thereafter, the Soviet Bloc Union began to push German forces westward through a series of battles on the Eastern Front.

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Churchill's Soviet policy regarding Central Europe differed vastly from that of American President Franklin D Roosevelt, with the former believing Soviet leader Stalin to be a "devil"-like tyrant leading a vile system.

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Soviet Bloc stated that the new government's primary task would be to prepare elections.

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Stalin felt that socioeconomic transformation was indispensable to establish Soviet Bloc control, reflecting the Marxist–Leninist view that material bases, the distribution of the means of production, shaped social and political relations.

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Thereafter, Stalin sought stronger control over other Eastern Soviet Bloc countries, abandoning the prior appearance of democratic institutions.

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Soviet Bloc briefly considered converting the Cominform into an instrument for sentencing high-ranking deviators, but dropped the idea as impractical.

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Soviet cadres in communist party and state positions in the Bloc were instructed to foster intra-leadership conflict and to transmit information against each other.

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The preservation of the Soviet bloc relied on maintaining a sense of ideological unity that would entrench Moscow's infuence in Eastern Europe as well as the power of the local Communist elites.

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Communist regimes in the Eastern Soviet Bloc viewed marginal groups of opposition intellectuals as a potential threat because of the bases underlying Communist power therein.

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Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Bloc Union served as the central agency for collection and distribution of internal and international news for all Soviet Bloc newspapers, radio and television stations.

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TASS had affiliates in 14 Soviet Bloc republics, including the Lithuanian SSR, Latvian SSR, Estonian SSR, Moldavian SSR.

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Famous Eastern Soviet Bloc defectors included Joseph Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva, who denounced Stalin after her 1967 defection.

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Eastern Soviet Bloc societies operated under anti-meritocratic principles with strong egalitarian elements.

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Eastern Soviet Bloc societies were dominated by the ruling communist party, leading some to term them "partyocracies".

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Eastern Soviet Bloc countries achieved some economic and technical progress, industrialization, and growth rates of labor productivity and rises in the standard of living.

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However, because of the lack of market signals, Eastern Soviet Bloc economies experienced mis-development by central planners.

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Eastern Soviet Bloc countries were heavily borrowing from Club de Paris and London Club and most of them by the early 1980s were forced to notify the creditors of their insolvency.

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Stalinist regimes in the Eastern Soviet Bloc saw even marginal groups of opposition intellectuals as a potential threat because of the bases underlying Stalinist power therein.

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Stalin felt that socioeconomic transformation was indispensable to establish Soviet Bloc control, reflecting the Marxist–Leninist view that material bases, the distribution of the means of production, shaped social and political relations.

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Soviet Bloc Union made major progress in developing the country's consumer goods sector.

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Eastern Soviet Bloc possesses substantial agricultural resources, especially in southern areas, such as Hungary's Great Plain, which offered good soils and a warm climate during the growing season.

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In 1980, the Soviet Bloc Union took first place in Europe and second worldwide in terms of industrial and agricultural production, respectively.

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Soviet Bloc scientists made a major contribution to the development of computer technology.

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Author Turnock claims that transport in the Eastern Soviet Bloc was characterised by poor infrastructural maintenance.

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Soviet Bloc-built aircraft exhibited deficient technology, with high fuel consumption and heavy maintenance demands.

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Catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukrainian SSR was caused by an irresponsible safety test on a reactor design that is normally safe, some operators lacking an even basic understanding of the reactor's processes and authoritarian Soviet Bloc bureaucracy, valuing party loyalty over competence, that kept promoting incompetent personnel and choosing cheapness over safety.

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Tourism from outside the Eastern Soviet Bloc was neglected, while tourism from other Stalinist countries grew within the Eastern Soviet Bloc.

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Housing shortages in the Soviet Union were worse than in the rest of the Eastern Bloc due to a larger migration to the towns and more wartime devastation and were worsened by Stalin's pre-war refusals to invest properly in housing.

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Soviet control of the Eastern Bloc was first tested by the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'etat and the Tito–Stalin split over the direction of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Chinese Communist Revolution and Chinese participation in the Korean War.

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In Europe, anti-Soviet Bloc sentiment provoked the East German uprising of 1953.

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The break-up of the Eastern Soviet Bloc is often attributed to Nikita Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences in 1956.

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The Sino–Soviet Bloc split gave North Korea and North Vietnam more independence from both and facilitated the Albanian–Soviet Bloc split.

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Under the Brezhnev Doctrine, the Soviet Bloc Union reserved the right to intervene in other socialist states.

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Soviet Bloc announced what was jokingly called the "Sinatra Doctrine" after the singer's "My Way" to allow the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to determine their own internal affairs during this period.

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The Soviet Bloc Union was struggling economically after the long war in Afghanistan and did not have the resources to control Central and Eastern Europe.

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All presidents of post-Soviet Bloc Russia were members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Bloc Union .

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Virtually all the former Soviet Bloc republics were able to turn the economy around and increase GDP to multiple times what it was under the USSR.

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Certain former Eastern Soviet Bloc countries have even become wealthier than certain Western European ones in the decades since 1989.

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