The Eastern Bloc Mutual Defense Agreement

Scientists Kristen R. Ghodsee and Scott Sehon write in 2018 that “subsequent surveys and qualitative research in Russia and Eastern Europe confirm the persistence of these sentiments, as public discontent with failed promises of the free market has increased, especially among the elderly.” [297] Two weeks after the German invasion of western Poland, the Soviet Union had invaded the regions of eastern Poland assigned to it by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, followed by coordination with German troops in Poland. [31] [32] During the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland, the Soviets liquidated the Polish state and a German-Soviet meeting looked at the future structure of the “Polish region”. [33] The Soviet authorities immediately launched a campaign of Sovietism[34] of the new territories annexed by the Soviet Union. [36] [37] [38] The Soviet authorities collectivized agriculture[39] and nationalized and distributed Polish private and public goods. [41] [42] In 1955, the Warsaw Pact was formed partly in response to NATO`s integration of West Germany and partly because the Soviets needed an apology to keep Red Army units in Hungary. [107] For 35 years, the pact immortalized the Stalinist concept of Soviet national security, based on imperial expansion and control of satellite regimes in Eastern Europe. [110] This Soviet formalization of their security relations in the Eastern Bloc reflected Moscow`s fundamental security principle that the continued presence in Central and Eastern Europe was a basis for its defence against the West. [110] Through its institutional structures, the pact also partially compensated for the absence of Joseph Stalin`s personal leadership since his death in 1953. [110] The pact consolidated the armies of the other members of the bloc, where Soviet officers and security agents served under a single Soviet command structure. [111] In 1939, the Soviet Union unsuccessfully attempted to invade Finland[50] after which the parties concluded an interim peace treaty that granted the Soviet Union the eastern region of Karelia (10% of Finnish territory) and the Finnish Socialist Socialist Republic of Karelo by merging the territories ceded with KASSR.

After a Soviet ultimatum in June 1940, Bessarabia, Bucvinia and the Hertza region asked Romania[51] [52] the Soviets invaded these territories, Romania complied with Soviet demands and the Soviets occupied the territories. [51] [53] The GDR withdrew from the pact after German reunification in 1990. On 25 February 1991, at a meeting in Hungary, the pact was declared by the defence and foreign ministers of the six remaining member states. The USSR itself was dissolved in December 1991, although most of the former Soviet republics were the organization of the collective security treaty shortly thereafter. Over the next 20 years, the seven Warsaw Pact countries outside the USSR joined NATO (East Germany through reunification with West Germany and the Czech Republic and Slovakia as separate countries), as well as the Baltic states that were part of the Soviet Union. Housing construction in East Germany suffered from a lack of quality and a shortage of skilled labour, with shortages of equipment, land and permits. [181] In strictly Stalinist Albania, residential blocks (Panelka) were spartan, with six-storey walk-ups being the most common design. [181] Housing was allocated by trade unions in the workplace and built by volunteer workers organized into brigades in the workplace. [181] Yugoslavia suffered from rapid urbanization, uncoordinated development and poor organisation due to a lack of hierarchical structure and clear responsibility, low construction productivity, the monopoly position of construction companies and an irrational credit policy.

[181] Several differences of opinion between Western and Soviet leaders after the war were related to their divergent interpretations of immediate war and post-war conferences.

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