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Why didn’t The Soviet Union annex all of Eastern Europe?

the soviet union was once a widely impressive global superpower and the foundation of the massive eastern bloc throughout the cold war period encompassing russia and its neighbors and having a heavy influence over the rest of europe the ussr was the polar opposite of the united states and its western allies we know that ultimately the soviet union met an inevitable demise as communism crumbled across the east would this have changed if the ussr had consolidated its authority even further what if the soviets had incorporated all of eastern europe and more importantly.

Why didn't The Soviet Union annex all of Eastern Europe

the soviet union officially titled the union of soviet socialist republics was first established in 1922 and spanned over parts of Europe and asia with its roots in soviet russia the reason why moscow never consolidated its power throughout all of eastern europe has a bit to do with money and a tads to do with politics but at least some to do with the strategies of joseph stalin himself first it’s important to look at how the soviet.

union was initially formed and what state it was in prior to the outbreak of the second world war the period following the first world war saw a chaotic and evolving status of the russian state after the russian revolution civil war and red terror a treaty was signed between russia belarus ukraine and what was then known as the trans-caucasian federation of modern-day georgia armenia and azerbaijan in 1922.

this treaty officially established the ussr under the leadership of vladimir lenin in moscow upon lenin’s death in 1924 joseph stalin rose to command in his place and focused first on fortifying his power within the union he already had economy and development became a priority and the new dictator enacted a series of five-year plans in hopes of boosting the soviet economic growth as well as speeding up industrialization and collectivizing agriculture.

the communist party was too concentrated on establishing their ideal marxist state to worry about anything else at this point and this building process continued all the way up to the commencement of world war ii the ussr quickly decided to enter and occupy latvia lithuania and estonia in 1940 but this was not as unpredictable as one might assume these territories had actually been fused with imperial russia before the formation of the soviet union.

so when a deal was brokered with germany that allowed the soviets to retake these lands they did so with significant ease finland would also cede some of its territory to the ussr as a result of the russian finnish war around the same time but nonetheless this was yet again a region very familiar with the old imperial russia the soviets found further success though when romania gave up its landscape as we know today by the name of moldova during.

the war for obvious reasons the soviet union was rigorously preoccupied with the events of the conflict but they still managed to take this opportunity to further expand and by the end of the war this sphere had expanded to incorporate poland east germany romania czechoslovakia hungary yugoslavia bulgaria and albania many wonder why the ussr didn’t turn their influence into outright authority throughout this eastern bloc but the truth is if they had done so it likely would have doomed.

the union one factor had to do with the contemporary relationship between the east and west though they had been allies during the war the united states and the united kingdom were not excessively fond of the soviet union tensions had only grown since the end of the war and joseph stalin was not oblivious to this as an intelligence strategist he knew that if he were to fully incorporate the rest of the ussr’s influential sphere he would simultaneously erode the already weakened relationship he held with the west which would put the soviet union.

The Soviet Union annexed all of Eastern Europe

Why didn't The Soviet Union annex all of Eastern Europe

as a whole in danger although they had technically won the war the ussr had been devastated by the conflict the ravaged states of the union also meant that they would lack the necessary resources to confidently maintain strong security within an even larger ussr knowing all too well that over playing his hand in these circumstances would explode in his face from multiple sides stalin had to come up with an alternative.

the easiest way to maintain both influence and distant control of the eastern bloc would instead be to put soviet friendly governments in power in each surrounding state rather than trying to bring them under the moscow government this tactic made it trickier for the west to accuse the soviets of overstepping any boundaries and it required much less economic and military involvement from the ussr as well the economy was also a leading factor.

in why stalin would have wanted to keep his union from expanding much further the soviets had to rebuild after peace was made and that would be enough of a challenge as is the thoughts of adding more states into the union that would also need to be reconstructed after the war was utter lunacy and could not be truly considered there was simply no way that it could be done and would only serve to self-destruct the ussr in its entirety for these reasons.

it was not the plan of joseph stalin to seize more of the eastern bloc which would instead remain independent and simply uphold pro-soviet governments but after stalin’s death even more contributing factors came to light at first the soviets seemed to be in a strong position by the 1950s and two years after stalin’s death the warsaw pact was established as a response to the creation of nato and appeared to confirm the soviet’s capability across.

the eastern bloc without the needs to officially claim the rest of the sovereign territories while the warsaw pact would later crumble for now it proved that the soviet strategy had paid off back at home in moscow though the next decades would demonstrate something very different in a period marked by destalinization and the cold war concurrently the soviet government began to change nikita khrushchev who took control after the fall of stalin was widely critical of his predecessor and swiftly moved to pass reforms.

that would improve the soviet living conditions and change the current status quo these new shifts didn’t sit well with the communist party though and khrushchev was ousted by his own party in 1964. it wasn’t just the communist party that was showing resistance either multiple rebellions had broke out throughout the soviet sphere and the liberalization process occurring in the warsaw state of czechoslovakia became enough of a threat that the soviets along with the rest of the warsaw states minus albania and romania invaded their own ally.

this was merely the start of a new wave of turmoil that would not only ruin the ussr but also made it abundantly clear that still any idea to incorporate the rest of eastern europe into the soviet union would be dangerously impossible essentially the reason why the ussr never incorporated the rest of its eastern neighbors into the union can be simplified to say that there was never a good time the more complex answer of course would be that the west was always a threat and would have undoubtedly reacted with great resistance.

if the soviets had attempted to claim their influential sphere as part of the ussr this doesn’t even include the cost that it would take to restore the soviet infrastructure military and everything else that the war had wasted if the ussr had expanded they would have been charged with the duty of not only repairing their own foundation but of doing the same for their newly consolidated territories not every satellite state or sovereign nation within the soviet sphere was an inherent ally many revolted against their moscow-backed governments it would have likely taken an exertion of military force.

Why didn't The Soviet Union annex all of Eastern Europe

on behalf of the soviets to keep these states within the union and even if they could have handled this it may not have been worth it and lastly the rise and fall of neighboring yugoslavia begs one more question would ethnic discord have caused yet another challenge for the ussr if it had expanded over the entire east there seems to be endless explanations for why the soviet union never expanded beyond its initial peak so the real question may not be why didn’t the ussr incorporate the rest of eastern europe but instead why would they have even tried.

Read More:: Why did the Mauryan Empire Collapse?

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