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Russia and the world (1939-1956)

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Russia, which was an old European country, had followed the Western Europe in its decisions, even in the most prosperous periods of its history. Russia had been considered a part of Eastern Europe during the reign of the Tsars. It had been considered a poor power, and a mere cog in the European domination of the world. It had always been accorded only secondary status on the international stage. However, Soviet Russia had other newborn ambitions, which gave rise to the October revolution of 1917. After the revolutions and the communist war, the Soviet Union managed to emerge from its isolation in 1922. The Soviet Union then took part in the first international economic conference that took place in Genoa. It took advantage of this opportunity and signed the Treaty of Rapallo with Germany on April 16,1922.

After the signing of this agreement, the Soviet Union was first recognized by Britain in 1924, followed by France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greece and China. However, it was not until 1934 that the U.S recognized USSR officially. When it appeared that the Second World War would be imminent, the USSR began scouting for alliances with Western countries. However USSR's offer to form an alliance was turned down by Great Britain, Poland, Germany and France.

It looked as though the Westerners would have allowed a war between Germany and the USSR, and allowed these nations to destroy each other. This was probably one of the reasons why the Soviet Union was not invited to the Munich Conference in 1938. It was during this conference that France and Great Britain gave Hitler the free hand he needed to work on his expansionist policy in the East. Anti-communism seems to have been the guideline in the policy of Western countries before the war.

However, the pro-American orientation in Western historiography promoted the view that Soviet Russia could be equated with Hitler and Nazism, and that it was a threat to the Western civilization. Despite the disrespect shown towards the Soviet Union, the period between 1939 and 1956 saw Soviet Russia bloom, and occupy an important position in the international stage. At a certain point, it equaled America in its power. This nation has attracted an equal number of supporters and enemies, which has led to the world being divided into two opposing blocs.

In this context, some of the questions that arise are: What kind of a relationship did Russia share with the World? Was the international climate during this period defined by the relations between Russia and the world? How have these relationships helped in the interpretation of communist ideologies and its foundations? Despite the heavy losses that Russia had to face during the Second World War, the prestige and fame of this nation spread far and wide and Russia came to be known as a major center of anti-fascism.

Tags: Second World War, center of anti-fascism, Hitler and Nazism, Western civilization, Soviet Russia

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