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Study Notes

Soviet Influence in Europe

Level:
GCSE
Board:
Edexcel

Last updated 12 Apr 2018

The Soviet Union had been seeking to create a buffer zone between their territory and that of the west. The Red Army had marched over Europe to free the people from Nazi oppression, but instead of being an army of liberation, they became an army of occupation. These countries were turned into satellite states which were loyal to the Soviet Union. The creation of such satellite states in Europe was seen in the United States as evidence of the spread of communism which Kennan had warned about. Tension increased further between the US and Soviet Union.

There is an important distinction between the states of Eastern Europe. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were governed as though they were part of the Soviet Union. On the other side of the governing spectrum, Yugoslavia and Albania were communist but were not governed by the Soviet Union. This left East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria as Soviet Satellite states in which the Soviet Union interfered greatly with elections and the governing arrangements.

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