Talk:History of the Soviet Union (1927–53)

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Russia defeating Germany "single-handedly"[edit]

"I'm not sure how well the Soviet Union would have handled Germany if the tens of thousands of trucks, thousands of tanks, artillery guns, food, fuel, millions of small arms and rounds of ammunition, etc., that were literally made in the USA and/or Britain hadn't been around. http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/persian/index.htm

And in the next paragraph Anglo-American aid to the USSR is acknowledged, with the irrelevant caveat that Russia was able to produce more at home than the Allies were able to ship in (well, duh). But the two paragraphs still contradict each other."

You are saying Germany? Maybe Axis is better? Germany alone was very far from matching USSR in military terms. Germany attacked with 8 other countries supporting her. Most of german tanks were produced in Chechoslovakia, not even in Germany.

If you compare Russia (not USSR) to Germany, well, Germany has never been a match alone.

LOL, half of these did not even reach USSr, were sunk by Germany and Britain (which was afraid to give them to germany if captured). Also, compare how many trucks, tanks etc. USSR already had, and you will figure out for yourself that answer to your queston: VERY WELL.

Lend lease had no critical impact on anything. Was there too late and in too insufficient numbers.

These supplies were delivered by 1945, while USSR needed them by 1942 only, since after that date, soviet factories were moved to east allready and installed.

And if you want to talk about aid, well, Lend-lease is not even comparable to those investments that USA and Britain poured in to Germany before the war to make Germany a counterbalance to USSR in Europe (since no other candidate was in place).

A question for you: would Germany be able to handle USSR if west would not have helped her? Think about it.

Also, what about USA help to Germany by the end of the war.

Snowdog's Comments[edit]

I was transalting this article in Italian. It seems to me that the part on the post-WWII period focuses more on USA than on Soviet Union and is not exaclty what I call NPOV. I mean, reading the article I got the impression that USSR only responded to provocations from the USA. While I think that provocations and retaliations were bilateral.

Snowdog 13:43, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)


TDC, When reverting the alleged "vandalism" from my edits for the first time you probably didn't notice that I simply made "collectivization" into a separate section a bit lower down the text. This piece missing it its old place may look like vandalism indeed, but it wasn't. Mikkalai 20:40, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

... or did you have something else in mind? Then you should have transferred my resectioning, with quite reasonable references to "main article"s, rather than reverting in one fell swoop. Mikkalai 20:44, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Sorry about that I did not see the industrialization and collectivization split into the two sections like that. TDC 20:49, May 5, 2004 (UTC)
Mikkalai was the one who had changed the headings yesterday. I liked it better before, but it doesn't matter much to me either way—the old headings, Mikkalai's headings, the new headings I had inserted yesterday, whatever. I'm just concerned with the constant disappearance of large chunks of text first posted many months ago. 172 17:53, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

TDC,

You are making far too many sweeping changes to an article that has stayed largely intact for many months at once. This is a recipe for an edit war stemming from confusion rather than real, concrete disagreements.

Once again, if you want better luck getting other users to follow what's going on, you can go with the temp page route. You made a great deal of progress when you started working on a temp page/proposed alternative on Hugo Chavez. How about doing it again? I'll get you started by creating TDC/History of the Soviet Union (1927-1953). I'll first post the old version of the article and then your version so that people are able to compare the differences between the two versions on your own page. 172 18:06, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. TDC 18:07, May 6, 2004 (UTC)
You can compare the differences between the two versions here. 172 18:11, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
172, you wrote you didn't like my headings. Let me explain. My main contribution recently into the USSR history is removing duplications and consolidation of big chunks of history. I am collecting pieces from several articles that often say the same but with different words and different mistakes. For example, the topic of "USSR collectivization" was being covered in four articles. The sole purpose of my resectioning was for the possibility of natural insertions of Main article: [whatever] Mikkalai 19:05, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
I don't mind your headings. Actually, I preferred your version of the headings. But I'm worried that American users in particular will misinterpret them. For example, people will see "great" changes and they'll likely read something value-laden in the word "great," as opposed to "great" in magnitude. 172 22:50, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

here

See the talk page for a full explanation of my changes. TDC 19:12, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

---

'Espionage' section[edit]

IMO 'USSR Espionage' is a totally separate thread of the history that deserves its own separate article, with its own timeline. There is much more to say (and already said in wikipedia) on the issue. The already existing info must be consolidated and cross-referenced. ...And other countries had their spies too. A *HUGE* layer of life here. Mikkalai 19:17, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

I think it should have its own section as well because of the large scope and relative ignorance that most people have about is. Aside from this, I believe that the sheer scale (and once again, I cannot understate just how large in scale it was) and original intent of pre-cold war espionage had a ===HUGE=== impact on the way the post war years unfolded. The Soviets never had the kind access into the US as they did during the 2nd WW.

Since Wiki articles do have a good deal of overlapping info, it should also be included in this one as well, even if my original contribution is abridged somewhat. TDC 14:08, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

In all the brief encyclopedic write-ups on the Soviet Union with which I'm familiar, the topic of espionage and the Soviet bomb gets only a couple of sentences to a single paragraph, mostly as backgrounding, when the Soviets' first testing of an atomic bomb in September 1949 comes up.
Perhaps TDC's content can be moved to Russia and weapons of mass destruction, where it can form a new section on the development of the Soviet atomic weapons program. When the explosion of the first Soviet nuclear weapon comes up, which was frightening to the U.S. because it was simultaneous with the fall of China (this ought to be mentioned as well), we could add this note in this article if TDC agrees to this move: (see Development of the Soviet atomic bomb). 172 20:47, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
I am not opposed to it going there, but there is a great deal of duplication in Wikipedia, and that is a good thing for tying loosely related topics together. In this articles current form, it places almost all the blame on the US for the Cold War, when that just is not fair. How can one say that considering the spike in Soviet espionage during WWII and the areas of focus, that Stalin was not preparing for a post war conflict? TDC 22:28, May 7, 2004 (UTC)
Soviet industrial espionage is very rich topic, and I reiterate, deserves a separate article. TDC's may be a section in it. Another one is e.g., Farewell Dossier. Computer technology: ES EVM. I can dig some official info (article in Communications of the ACM) on the analysis of microchips recovered from Soviet space rockets. Mikkalai 21:06, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Any article on USSR may have a subsection on espionage, if it is relevant there, in the form of an appropriate summary, and with reference the the main Soviet espinonage article, to avoid duplications and diverging. Mikkalai 21:10, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

What about US espionnage and the CIA tunnel in Berlin ? Ericd 22:14, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Write it if you want it, but this particular article is about the Soviet Union, not the US or the CIA.

The ammount of material on this site pertaining to the CIA is quite large and without any detail about KGB activities seems grossly out of context. That is why I am writing a 5 part series of articles, quite similar to this one, on KGB and NKVD activities during the 20th cenury.

It should provide some balance to the grossly unfair anti-CIA propaganda, but I encourage everyone to participate in it.TDC 22:24, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

Where? Mikkalai 22:27, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

It should be up in a week or two, I have to research it in depth first. Ed Poor is going to do some work on it when it goes up as well. TDC 22:28, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

The question was not 'when', but 'where'. Shall I click New pages every hour for "a week or two" :-)? Mikkalai 22:46, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Neutrality's preposed compromise between VeryVerily and 172[edit]

"In response, the United States sustained a massive anticommunist ideological offensive. How the efforts to contain communism through aggressive diplomacy and interventionist policies varies. Some maintain that Washington brandished its role as the leader of the "free world" at least as effectively as the Moscow brandished its position as the leader of the "progressive" and "anti-imperialist" camp; others believe that the United States was meddling in other nation's internal affairs under the banner of "freedom," "democracy," and "human rights." Still others have some combination of these two views." Neutrality 22:08, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

There is no real contradiction between the two, so the "compromise" should be the merge, rather than the opposition. Mikkalai 22:46, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
"Others believe": there is nothing to "believe": when US congress approves money for dissidents in a country it is meddling big time. Imagine a Belarus sheds some pitiful money for the American rat race, which is accepted by, say, <put your favorite runner-up here>. Mikkalai 22:51, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
And don'd forget $$ Soviet Union pumped into U.S. Commies. Mikkalai 22:51, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

"Freedom," "democracy," and "human rights" are in quotation marks, along with "progressive" and "anti-imperialist." We are not supposed to give more creedence to the propaganda of one side over the other. 172 22:54, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

Why not be more specific? Perhaps it could be discussed how in some locations (Western Europe, Japan) the US promoted liberal democracy as a bulwark against communism, while in others (Portugal, Turkey, South Korea, and so forth) it was content to back anti-communist dictatorships? john k 23:34, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

This article about SU, not US, hence one has to be concise when speaking of US. Mikkalai 23:50, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

I'd also suggest that we should do as much as possible to avoid "scare quotes." john k 23:35, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

These aren't really scare quotes. In the context of where this paragraph is situated in the article, it's in reference to the ideological offensive that both superpowers launched following the unveiling of the containment doctrine. It's referencing the ways both blocs characterized themselves. 172 23:49, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
IMO the "scare quotes" are relevant as they stand here: they say exactly what is intended: during the cold war some cliches were used as a weapon of demagogy (by both sides), rather than in their direct meaning. Mikkalai 23:50, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

I must say the "proposed" version does look rather like a censored version of 172's work with all things disliked by American conservatives cut out. G-Man 22:58, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

That's because you share 172's ideological perspective. To others "172's work" looks almost like propaganda. Let's work towards language all can agree on. VV 23:33, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm, yes I agree it is perhaps unconciously written from a left-wing perspective and may perhaps need some compromises. But I dont think cutting out large chunks is the answer, that smacks of censorship to me. A lot of the deletions in the 'alternative' version seem to be ideologically driven more than anything else. G-Man 23:54, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't think I cut out anything of substance, or indeed much at all. I did take out the list of buzzwords, an unhelpful detail. And I replaced, e.g., a loaded term like "advance its will" with "aggressive diplomacy", which I think is a substantial improvement. (His text implies/states that "freedom" et al. was a cover for other ambitions.) This is not anything close to "censorship". VV 00:03, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

TDC is quite proud of his beliefs, and he sticks to them. But I disagree that his version is working toward imposing a form of conservative U.S. ideological censorship. On Hugo Chavez, TDC and I put up his proposed alternative, and eventually TDC was able to work out a version along with other users synthesizing his proposed alternative and the current article. The result was a broader perspective, not a more narrow one. Chavez did not come out looking like either a "good guy" or a "bad guy," but as a president of Venezula interested in consolidating his power, which he is. TDC argued his points very effectively and was reasonable with the other users, who in sum along with him chose to adapt, adopt, or reject each of his individual proposals.

He'll be coming back soon [1], and I'll be more than willing to discuss these changes with him. TDC is out to change the content of articles, and I can work with him. VeryVerily, in contrast, just has axes to grind against individual users, namely me in particular. 172 04:21, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Industrialization statistics[edit]

Where, exactly, did the statistics in the "Industrialization in practice" section (e.g. Pig iron output ... rose from 3.3 million to 10 million tons per year)? I am writing a research paper and would like to include the source of which those statistics came from in my research. Thanks!

Recent edits[edit]

Genyo:

More recent Soviet specialists have called into question what they see as the excessive voluntarism of Conquest's thesis and Ukrainian émigré historians, which you seem to be articulating in your edits.

Now it is essentially a matter of consensus that the famine in the Ukraine was an outgrowth of collectivization more than anything else-- that is a requisite for development strategy of the first Five Year Plan, allowing the state to control the distribution of grain, and garner a cheap and steady supply. The following is a list of leading sources in this area of study:

Getty's book review of Conquest's Harvest of Sorrow is helpful:

  • Getty, "Starving the Ukraine: Review of Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-famine, by Robert Conquest", London Review of Books, 7 January, 1987.

Could you cite some concensus among Ukrainian historians, because if such a consensus exists, I am unaware of it! Genyo 01:57, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're referring to. There is a question as to what extent the famine was deliberate and meant to crush the support of the Ukrainian nationalists. Western Soviet specialists see the famine as essentially an outgrowth of collectivization and Stalinist industrialization strategies. 172 02:04, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Stephen Cohen, Gabor Rittersporn, Lynne Viola, Shiela Fitzpatrick, Moise Lewin, and Robert Dallin are also leading sources. Book reviews and relevant ISBN numbers are easy to find online. 172 01:37, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

172,

Conquest provided a scholarly alternative to the modern orthodoxy you cite. You might want to check the NY Times Book Review on him--amazingly positive, expecially in light of the fiasco of their own papers inaccurate fradulent coverage of the problem as it occurred.

Stalin's animus toward Ukrainians, as well as the Ukrainian nationalist problem in the Soviet Union are well documented by Orest Subtelny, in a book acclaimed by World Affairs Report as the best history of Ukraine in English.

I you've found that Conquest found subsequent analysis convincing, let me know. I'd still be interested in any list of scholars of Ukrainian history that support your thesis.

Genyo 15:19, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I already gave you a list of scholars who have done more recent work. Please see above. 172 17:42, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Let me re-word my request in light of the inaccuracy of your last request.

Could you cite some concensus among historians who specialize in Ukraine, because if such a consensus exists, I am unaware of it!

Thank you for your careful reading!

Genyo 02:15, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The historians I listed above do specialize in Ukraine. 172 02:48, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

AH! I do intend to check them out! Genyo 22:59, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

172, at least one "scholar" on your list is a known Soviet revisionist. Gabor Rittersporn has stated that Stalin's fears of conspiracy during the Great Terror "were not groundless" and that most of the people killed during the purges were "elites." The numbers and pathology behind the terror-famine are well accepted at this point. Conquest is not the only one, but he is certainly the most respected. Marlowe 21:24, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I don't agree with all of Rittersporn's work, but you're not characterizing Rittersporn but rather a straw man. No one seriously denies that the terror-famine happened; nor can anyone seriously deny its horrendous nature. The question is to what extent it was deliberate or whether it was more of an outcome of collectivization. 172 21:33, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Then I suppose that this argument depends on whose scholarship one is willing to stand behind. Rittersporn's or Conquest's. I accept the scholarship of Conquest and you accept the scholarship of Rittersporn. Maybe for the sake of the article, insert both points of view with references to each work.Marlowe 15:46, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Mr. Marlowe, your position sounds reasonable! Genyo 04:21, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Katyn massacre at wrong time[edit]

This article places the Katyn massacre in 1944-5, during the Soviet advance into Nazi-held territory. It happened in 1939 or 40, after the Soviet takeover of eastern Poland. The Katyn massacre page says it right.

Thank you very much for pointing this out, I've fixed it now. Everyking 00:35, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Objections from anon user[edit]

An anon user posted his objections at the wrong place, I just moved them here without comment. --Irpen 04:04, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

Interesting article, I have a couple of questions, though.

Before the war, Stalin was uninterested in pushing Soviet boundaries beyond their full Tsarist extent.

You mean, we all missed what the Comintern was dedicated to, right? Collecting tsarist memorabilia from the White aristocracy in Paris, maybe? That was what it was all about? And the Soviet intervention in Spain? Ah, that was an international folk and political song festival. One of those events Stalin loved so much, where the comrades got all together to sing the all time choir hits Bandera Rosa and The Internationale.

In this sense, the aims of the Soviet Union were not aggressive expansionison but rather consolidation, i.e. attempting to secure the war-torn country's western borders.

I suppose this is what you call moving the borders of SU westward by 200-300 miles.

Stalin, assuming that Japan and Germany could menace the Soviet Union once again by the 1960s, thus quickly imposed Moscow-dominated governments in the springboards of the Nazi onslaught: Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.

My first thought, reading this, was "if only the Romanian, Polish and Bulgarian people knew the Japanese and their wretched non-agression pact with Soviet Union are to blame for 40 years of totalitarian regime." Then, I felt something was amiss... Not sure what. So, let me get this straight. First, Soviet Union, to prevent Poland from becoming a springboard for Nazi invasion, strikes a deal with the Nazis to divide Poland in two, so that Soviet Union and Nazi Germany can have a common border. You know, the closer you hug them, the less can they move. Smart, very smart. Then, Stalin lures Germany into attacking Russia by killing Tuchacevsky and about 40,000 Red Army officers. Double smart. Then, you feed the German war machine 8 million Russian soldiers and 20 million civilians, so that Germany could be pushed back to Central Europe. Now, that's a whammy. You see, after Germany is done with, the rest is, phew, piece of cake. SU can claim that it was Germany's fault, all along (wink!). Or am I missing something? Hello, is this thing on? (Sorry, I am worse than lt. Columbo, I always forget something. The 40,000 Polish officers executed at Katyn were actually, how should I put it, saved, maybe, from certain death at Auszwitz? Dr. Kevorkian, rejoice, you are not the only one on the planet who has seen the truth.) --(unsigned by anon)

In light of Victor Suvorov's books I'd say it is a bit hard to believe Stalin did not plan to invade Europe. I am an Ukrainian who actually lived in the SU. I do not believe for a single nanosecond that Stalin was not interested on Europe, and then world hegemony. -- Denis Vlasenko

Mainly deletions in several parts[edit]

CJK, would you please elaborate why you consider the article improved after you mainly deleted text from it (you laso edited some but not much). It is not clear from your edit summaries and I don't want to simply revert since I assume your persistence is for some good reasons. Please don't take this personally, just explain your deletions. Thanks! --Irpen 02:03, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

Forgot to mention, I agree with your edit about Berlin blockade. That left the facts in and removed the analysis which may or may not be valid. I still question the rationale of your other deletion. Regards, --Irpen 02:08, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
I deleted the part about "American rhetoric" because, although in some cases true, I felt that it was being used here to excuse Soviet actions in the Cold War. -CJK
I disagree. It is true, relevant and it is up to the reader whether it is an "excuse". In fact, no reasonable person would accept such an excuse. --Irpen 03:36, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
No, the purpose of the insertion was to portray America as the bad guy (as usual). The section does not even mention Soviet Rhetoric. CJK
It was not my insertion but I view its purpose is to bring in a proper context. You are welcome to try adding the info about the Soviet rhetoric if you view this deficient. --Irpen

Restoring now after waiting for objection. Feel free to add info about the Soviet rhetoric. -Irpen 20:48, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

About Greece, the government was not authoritarian until 1967, I believe, and will provide sources if requested. CJK
You are right, but it was right-wing and anticommunist. I edited that now. ---Irpen
You still labeled it a "corrupt autocracy". CJK
Please don't twist what it said. As for "corrupt" the chapter didn't use this word at all. And "autocracy" was in the next paragraph with "at times". As presented in the article, it does not need to apply to Greece specifically. Do you deny that there were autocracies among the regimes the US was aiding during the policy of containment? Please read more carefully and only then make claims of what was said. --Irpen
Exactly when was the Greek government an "autocracy at times"? CJK 6 August 2005

I will try to make sure this is said more clearly that other regimes are meant. -Irpen 20:48, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

The last paragraph was deleted because it was essentialy redundant about the containment policy above. Also the insertion that the Soviets made "no aggressive moves" is out of touch with reality. CJK 5 April 2005
It was not redundant but sums it up which is good for the reader. As for "no aggressive moves" thing, the paragraph never said it. It was about calculated moves and it made perfect sense. Remember the context, the country's devastated by the war, it had to choose the priorities and had to choose where to push and were to withdraw. Remember, this wasn't a general statement about Soviet international policy. The paragraph is specifically about the time it describes. Things did change later, of course. --Irpen 07:06, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
The paragraph has specifically said the Soviets made no aggressive moves except those that concerned its "security" which is a typical Communist lie. -CJK
I what way was it a lie? The prioroties were chosen in accordance with what the gov viewed more important. The way it's phrased does not justify this cynicism, which is universal btw (to different degrees though). Saying this directly would be a tautology. The meaning is that the Soviets calculated their policies at the time and this is correct. It takes much faster for the countries that don't bother doing such calculations to collapse than it took for the SU.
It specifically implies that Soviet moves to set up puppet regimes in Eastern Europe, aiding Communist groups around the world, blockading Berlin, and threatening Turkey are "not aggressive". CJK 6 August 2005

It doesn't imply anything like that. This does not deny the Soviets made aggressive moves when they viewed their security was at stake. It just said that they withdrew when they viewed they could afford to. The way the article had it didn't justify the aggressive policies in E Europe at all and even less so the article denied it. --Irpen 20:48, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

And the other section paragraph is redundant as this is not an article about U.S. policy. CJK
Yes, this is not the article about the US policy but US policies was relevant to the Soviet policies at that time. Following this logic, go delete the third pargraph from History of the United States (1945-1964)#The Eisenhower administration and "massive retaliation" and explain there that the article about the US and not SU and enjoy the responses.
Fine, if you feel it absolutely must be there than do so. CJK 6 August 2005

I am glad we agree on some things too. I don't feel that this exacct version has to be there but the passage about the context is necessary. I will restore it for now. You are welcome to try to edit it. --Irpen 20:48, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

So you just reverted to your deletions unaltered! Unbeleivable! Suggested reading to begin with: "...but don't be reckless!" chapter of the "Be bold!" Wikipedia guideline. It's just a few paragraphs long. --Irpen 23:19, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

What is so "unbeleiveable" about deleting material that I have already explained is incorrect? CJK 6 August 2005

Did you read the links above? Note that in the previous time, I didn't revert you. Moreover, editing the article after your changes, I took some of them as entirely valid, as follows:
  1. "Uninterested in pushing" vs "did not push" (substitution of fact by analysis)
  2. anachronistic usage of "autocrasy" to pre-67 Greece
  3. Berlin wall issue: again kept the facts, cut the analysis
Please read my responses given within our previous dialog and justify your complete revert seriously or, better yet, offer a constructive edit. I've seen you doing that in different articles and there is no need to start another revert war. Looking forward to your suggestions. --Irpen 02:34, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
As per above I am restoring some of the material and editing some to taking into account CJK's statements. Regards, --Irpen 20:48, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
You reinserted the "no aggressive moves" which I deleted. CJK 6 August 2005
It was and remains with qualification: "When security was not at stake". --Irpen 21:42, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
And Soviet "security" concerns caused it to take over Eastern Europe and aid Communist groups? I don't think so. CJK 6 August 2005
No less that US security conserns caused it to aid anti-communist, at time authoritarian, groups. I see you already deleted again! Look, why are you so defiant? Just take a breath and re-read the discussion. I will wait with restoring for some time. Thank you. --Irpen 21:55, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
The difference being the Soviet Union "feared" something that didn't even exist (a revived Nazi Germany). Of course, if they thought that Germany was slipping back to the old ways they would have every right to intervene, but taking over every country they came in contact with because of a threat that they thought would exist in the future is totally unjustified. CJK 6 August 2005

The Soviets were getting fearful not of another Nazi Germany. But they had every reason to be conserned about the anti-Soviet block being built. This is completely separate from the subject of "who was worse". Soviets perceived a whole Europe getting allied against it under the US leadership as a real threat and acted. It was cynical, yes, immoral towards the Eastern Europeans, yes, but all geopolitics is cynical and immoral. But even this is beside the point. The paragraph says, the soviets were aggresive to defend their interest when the viewed them vital and withdrew when they thought they could afford to. All this means is that the regime was not stupid and does not imply it was moral or good. It does imply that they were not conserned with the world revolution anymore, but this is more or less an accepted view. Please remember, who had the upper hand in all this and who ultimately won in this stand-off. The containment policy, moral judgements aside, utlimately worked and Soiets perceived it dangerour from the start. You can say that they provoked it themselves, but this is again going into who was right/wrong argumentation. You are welcome to restore this thought in a different phrasing, but a simple deletion of pieces of article with vital information is not making it better. --Irpen 22:21, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

But the article is stating this as a fact. And if we insert that this is an opinion, we would have to give Nazi Germany's claim of taking over Europe to "protect" Germany serious as well. And it did say the Soviets feared a revived Germany by the 1960s. CJK 6 August 2005
Nothing about the revived Germany is said in the paragraph you deleted. Please assume and exemplify good faith. And Nazi Germany claims were different at its time and it is a totally diferent thing from this issue. Please reread our discussion. Thank you. --Irpen 22:39, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
Its not "different". All dictatorships claim they do things for "defensive" reasons. CJK 6 August 2005

I see you are persisting. Fine, I will give it a cool off period. In the meanwhile, I still suggest you review our earlier discussion and the article's edit history. Regards, --Irpen 22:49, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

OK, thinking more of it, I edited the paragraph instead of restoring it. I hope you find it acceptable. I will be happy to see good faith correction, but I view the fast-hand deletions as unconstructive. Generally, I am not sure this minor changes in the article was worth so much of the editors' time, but I will be glad if the new version is found more acceptable. --Irpen 03:06, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

posted from CJK's talk page by Irpen: OK, but there should be at least a paragraph explaining the West's objection to the Soviet claim. CJK 7 August 2005

What "claim"? Withdrawing from Iran and Czechoslovakia in 40s, non-interference in Greece and backing up from Finland isn't a claim. I could see a paragraph about "Soviet Rhetoric" you suggested earleir for the next chapter but I don't see it here. You can try, of course, to do either, and, as you know, it may be subjected to constructive criticizm, same as our discussion above. OTOH, maybe we could leave this alone for now. With spending so much time on this discussion and rewritings, the later version differs from an original so little, that I am not sure it was worth it. And this is not because there was not enough compromise, but perhaps, the article is already close enough to an optimal balance. Of course, there is always a room for improvement but there are so many articles that are in much more dire shape and there is so much interesting material that needs to be added to WP, so that I would like to work on other things too in the limited time I have for WP. Regards, --Irpen 19:49, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

I meant the claim of Soviet aggression only being done for "security" purposes. CJK 7 August 2005

I already changed the security in the article to "perceived security". This cast enough doubt on the Soviet geopolical view. And actually it was not necessary, since it goes without saying that all geopolitical thinking is based on perceptions. In the climate of cold war all perceptions were just the opposite. If Soviets thought A, the West thought B and vise versa. I really can't spend anymore time on this now. I would really feel bad if anyone starts over with tearing pieces off this article. These arguments completed a couple of circles by now. I urge all parties to read the talk page and check the history before editing. Three short paragraphs at Be bold#...but don't be reckless about deletions and making use of history and talk is an extremely useful reading. I hope, the article will stay at its near FA level. Irpen 21:18, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

I have to side with CJK here, the USSR did much more than secure its western border (although that was part of it,) it actively fomented Communist revolution. While we can debate the motives stuff like the Czech coup, Greece, Turkey, and the Korean War cannot all be based on "the Soviet Union needed to secure itself from future invasions." J. Parker Stone 22:34, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Irpen, the restored paragraph sounds pro-"pragmatic Stalin" editorializing really. and c'mon with the "corrupt, British-led Greek monarchy." perhaps we should reference Eastern Europe with "despotic, Soviet-controlled totalitarian regimes"? this is not the place for POV characterizations. J. Parker Stone 22:37, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

The USSR's actively fomenting the Communist revolution at that time is not an accepted view in the field (at least about the world revolution). "Czech coup", Greece, Turkey and Korea? Exactly as per article, the Soviets persisted with installing the regime at its border and had to (or chose to) withdraw when viewed that the scarce resources are better spent elsewhere. This does not mean that they would not do it if the could. But the price seemed too steep. For a Greek monarchy of that time, the word "corrupt" sounds too harsh? Fine, replace it with a better one. "Corrupt" is a less POV term than your example of "despotic, Soviet-controlled totalitarian regimes", which is a generalization too. Anyway, as I said at CJK's talk page, I really tried my best in this long discussion. Perhaps, I was all wrong and the article needs an anti-Soviet balance. I am glad other editors are joining at last. --Irpen 02:53, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

New Section: "Soviet expansion and domination in E. Europe[edit]

I have created a short new section here that will deal with the Soviet takeover of Eatern Europe which can hopefully be expanded upon. CJK 19:20, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

I will go over the new section later. In the meanwhile, find any quote where Stalin or other Soviet leader makes a public "claim", as you wrote. Until then, "perception" is the right word. You may add some discussion that such perception was baseless, hypocritical or paranoid, as per the source you find (no reader is interested in Wikipedia editor's own thoughts in the article).
Also, the "war-torn" is very relevant for post-war situation in SU and you would have to justify its removal. --Irpen 21:05, August 14, 2005 (UTC)
The section read that the Stalin perceived the threat and therefore took over Eastern Europe in response to his perceptions. The problem is, it is pure speculation whether or not he actually "perceived" anything as he could of just made it up for an excuse. Therefore a "claim" would be a more accurate word to use in this instance. I'll put the "war torn" back in. CJK 21:19, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

As per above, you are welcome to find a quote where he makes such a claim. Your "excuse part" is legitimate and can be added if you can write about it. It is legitimate to question the idea that what Soviets did was for the security (in fact, it was probably a smaller part of their motivation), but you cannot question it "on your own". I am sure, you can find an authoritative opinions on that, an then, add this to an article. I will try to find something too. --Irpen 21:44, August 14, 2005 (UTC)

All I am saying is that this is a claim made by a dictator who killed millions of people and therefore it should not be taken as a completely legitimate opinion, particularly considering that the "securing" was done to prevent invasion by Western nations even though the West was far from prepared for this considering mass demobilization following the end of World War II. CJK 22:09, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

CJK, the "claim", as you call it, may be questioned for many reasons but killing millions by Stalin isn't one of them. You are right, however, to look for a darker motives of the Soviet government rather than taking what's on the surface at face value. Note, however, that the Soviets did have reasons to get extra-cautious. The country was devastated. Fulton speech was soon pronounced, US emerged from the war as the only superpower without any desire to see a competitor to grow and challenge it in the near or distant future. Again, this is not to say that Stalin was trustworthy of course. That's why the suspicions of the west made it to the article too.

Finally, I think that the expanded version of the section deserves an article on its own. I just shortened the detailed history of takeover to a statement that it did happen along the similar pattern in this and that country. Your original version with details about PL, RO, CS, etc., is a good encyclopedic story but too much detail for this article. We wanted to say that the Soviets sponsored a series of takeovers and we did so. This belongs to the H of SU article but the details of each coup belong elsewhere. --Irpen 22:22, August 14, 2005 (UTC)

The reason the claim is questionable was more about Stalin being a dictator and hence not extremely reliable as a source. Again, I question the idea that the West was menacing the Soviet Union in WWIIs immediate aftermath, as I said the Soviets were the ones with the huge army and thus the idea that the West could have invaded the Soviets after demobilization is dubious. CJK 22:36, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

As a ruthless dictator Stalin was more sort of "evil" but in the world affairs he was exactly as much honest or rather dishonest as any politician of his time. Geopolitics is an extremely cynical business and examples are abundant. We may question his motives not because he was a bad guy, but because the reality contradicted the words and actions deviated from promises, but no less than Churchill's or Truman's, for that matter (again, I am speaking only about foreign policy here). So, let's not bring the argument here about what a bastard Stalin was. It's just not what makes us suspect that something was fishy here. When making a long-term policy, the leaders have to consider further than immediate threats. The Soviets had enough, so to speak, with their neighbors being in the orbit of the, so called "imperialists". They also were happy to expand, as they could, but who would not? The world revolution thinking, however, was clearly an anachronism. The concept by that time was to build Socialism/Communism in a state of its own in a capitalist environment. And the reality is that the CPSU installed the regimes of their liking on their borders but, backed off elsewhere. As pointed out earlier, they backed of for the combination of two reasons: Greece, Turkey, Iran were less vital for their interests (1) and they had to choose were to commit the scarce resources (2). I don't see why you consider the current version not neutral. It can be improved but mainly in terms of details and style, but not by adding more anti-Soviet POV "for the balance". If you are unwilling, I will try to set aside a little time and spin-off the section into a more detailed article. But I have two or three projects high on my list and this policy article is already taking the time, I would rather spend elsewhere. I would be glad if other editors joined this discussion and took over but this doesn't seem to be happening. With best regards, --Irpen 00:54, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

It is not "anti-Soviet" to question the legitimacy of Stalin's claims any more than its "anti-German" to question the motivations for Hitler's invasion of Poland. The only thing I don't want is for this to be portrayed as "poor Stalin had to secure his borders because of the evil West". Calling it "perceived" takes Stalin's word for it that there was a realistic threat, of which there was little. CJK 17:26, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

No it doesn't. Calling it 'perceived" makes it look that Stalin thought it could be a realistic threat at some point. Whoever wrote it, judging from professional writing, knew what he was talking about. I believe it was 172 and we could ask him, if you doubt the sources that assert this. I am not a native speaker but it seems to me that there is a difference between saying that "there was a perception" and "there was a reality". --Irpen 17:36, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

Just checked again. Look at your section I rewrote yesterday. It ends with: "The idea that these actions were necessary to secure Soviet western border was viewed in the west as hypocritical. It was rather viewed as an attempt to spread Communism and pro-Soviet governments throughout Europe." All doubts are already there, arent' they? --Irpen 18:22, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

True, but just in that particular section. And I think it is doubtful, or at least it should not be stated as fact, that Stalin took over Eastern Europe because he "perceived" a threat that would develop in 20 years. CJK 18:44, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
For the sake of compromise I'll leave it but make additional changes to the text. CJK 20:37, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

CJK, I find your recent edits reasonable. One q. though, are you sure that Soviet troops re-entered CS in '48? It may just be my ignorance, though. Thanks! --Irpen 20:42, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

I am not entirely certain, and I have edited that point out. Thank you. CJK 17:45, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Issue with text as is[edit]

  • In addition, the Soviets never forgot their requests that the United States and Britain open a second front on the European continent; but the Allied invasion did not occur until June 1944, more than two years after the Soviets had demanded it. In the meantime, the Russians suffered horrendous casualties, as high as twenty million dead, and the Soviets were forced to withstand the brunt of German strength.

Was this a real Soviet complaint? Were the Soviets truly "upset" that a second European front was no opened till D-Day (when in actuality it was Italy, but Whatever)? Surely the Soviets relaized that in order for the Allies to assault the European continent, years of planning and logisitics would have to be arranged, especialy when one considers what happened at Dieppe. Where is the source for this, it stirkes me a bit odd. DTC 17:40, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes. In 1942, the Soviets were desperate for help and very worried about the military situation. In 1943, the were also upset, not then entirely due to their military situation, which by that time was improving, but because the war was so costly; they wanted the Allies to share the load. Stalin (my source here is Churchill's memoirs) was most upset the Second Front wasn't going to happen, but he seemed pretty happy with Italy as an alternative. Toby Douglass 16:20, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Text is pro-Stalin[edit]

I've just begun reading the document, and I've only really read the "Changes in Soviet Society" section, where I've added some realism and information about the costs and injustice of the improvements in Soviet society. My view is that this text is extremely pro-Stalin. It turns a completely blind eye to the terrible crimes he committed, the atrocities and death which fueled these improvements. Toby Douglass 16:22, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Someone who wrote a good deal of the doument is a Stalinist apologist. I can see some editing bringing the text back to reality, though. Toby Douglass 16:54, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Simply because the author doesnt adopt anti-communism or a "Stalin = Evil" stance as their default position on these historical events does not inherently mean they are pro-Stalin. This black and white, us vs them, good vs evil way of thinking has demonstrated deficiencies for dealing with a world that is often (usually) far more complex than their cognitive immaturity is capable of processing accurately. Perhaps the best advice I can presently give them is this line from the article itself: "In a secret 1950 document, NSC-68, they (USG) proposed to strengthen their alliance systems, quadruple defense spending, and embark on an elaborate propaganda campaign(my bold)to persuade Americans to fight this costly cold war."

What this means is a great deal of what many Americans consider common undisputed facts about soviet ideals, aims, goals, military designs, weaknesses, etc, are in fact pure, unadulterated BS told you by a sector of USG designed to keep tax dollars flowing into military R&D, intel technologies, etc. Know this, and seek out the beliefs you may hold that may be nothing more than bogeyman stories. Mycos 07:26, 11 June 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mycos (talkcontribs)

In reference to the edits of November 9, I am concerned that much of what was changed is now POV in content or tone (or spelling, as in the capitalization of "the State"). I will make changes slowly, so there is room for discussion of individual items. Jd2718 00:23, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

citations[edit]

citations are needed, esp:

  • War and Stalinist Development (3rd Paragraph) 6 Million forced laborers 1930-1940, 7 million deaths 1933 -1945
  • Wartime Developments P1, first 2 sentences
  • Wartime Development P5 (the Victor Sorge stuff)
  • Wartime Developments P6 (in entirety)
  • Wartime Developments P7 (the Moscow stuff - might be easier to cut the speculation than to cite iffy material - not necy to make the points well anyhow)

Wartime Developments P9 is just ugly and should be rewritten. The second front discussion is interesting, but it is undoubtedly not correct that the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the war because of the late opening of the second front. This was just a secondary contributing factor.

I started to tag, but no need to create a mess if we can dig up the sources Jd2718 04:41, 18 February 2007 (UTC) (rewritten Jd2718 05:04, 18 February 2007 (UTC) )

No rush on these. Most exist in related articles; I will cross them off as I find them. Anyone else is welcome, of course, to help. Jd2718 15:58, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
There are many cases in which citations really are needed because the author chose to represent a particular POV often without citation or acknowledgment of what the opposing POV's were. The fact tht sources may be available in other articles does not justify so many lapses in this one, especially with regard to disputed interpretations or facts. I have worked through several sections of the article inserting citation requests because no reader should assume that the rendering in the text has been settled or documented until the citations are brought forward. Furhter, the fact that this problem was mentioned two years ago but nobody took on the necessary assignment suggests the need to tag the questionable or undocumented assertions now.--Mack2 (talk) 15:56, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

War section needs some reorganisation[edit]

The section on the "Great Patriotic War" (what a corny name) needs some shuffling and adding to. After an opening on general stuff, it goes into "wartime developments" and talks about the level of preparation of the Red Army. ... But then it shifts into 1939-40 stuff, before the USSR was invaded! Basically, I think a new section needs to be added before this Great Patriotic War section, discussing Soviet-Nazi diplomacy in the '30s and Soviet aggression in the early stages of World War II. Then a new section starts with Operation Barbarossa and how prepared the Soviets were. I guess I'll start this tomorrow. Brutannica 07:27, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

O.K., I did the necessary shuffling. I did it in the fashion that made the most sense to me; if someone else thinks differently, let 'em do it, but at least the page now is an improvement. The biggest gap is the "foreign relations before 1941" I created. The USSR was part of the strenuous diplomatic efforts of the '30s and a few paragraphs on its negotiations with Nazi Germany and France would be essential. Brutannica 23:42, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The beginning of the Cold War[edit]

This section is pure rubbish - whoever wrote it has NO idea WHATSOEVER of Sovet policy with regard to non-communist States.

The Soviets were thinking in terms of communism; the struggle between the working class and the rich. Their entire policy was to encourage conflict between these two classes with the goal of encouraging war as a mean to achieve social change.

I quote from the article;

The wherewithal of the United States to advance a different vision of the postwar world conflicted with Soviet interests. National security had been the real cornerstone of Soviet policy since the 1920s, when the Communist Party adopted Stalin's "socialism in one country" and rejected Trotsky's ideas of "world revolution." Before the war, Stalin did not attempt to push Soviet boundaries beyond their full Tsarist extent.

National security in the Western sense was never the cornerstone of Soviet policy, EVER. Soviet policy was about the pursuit and support of the class struggle. This means *war*. Soviet armies were always massive - far, far greater than would ever have been required for national security.

In this sense, the aims of the Soviet Union may not have been aggressive expansionism but rather consolidation, i.e. attempting to secure the war−torn country's western borders.

Complete and utter bilge. Whoever wrote this is Western, thinking in Western terms and trying to put a gloss onto Soviet actions because they want the Soviets to look acceptable. The Soviets *simply did not think in Western terms*. Like most Western Soviet apologists, there is here a fundamental failure to comprehend the Soviet worldview.

Disagreements over postwar plans first centered on Eastern and Central Europe. Having lost 20 million dead in the war, suffered German and Nazi German invasion, and suffered tens of millions of casualties due to onslaughts from the West three times in the preceding 150 years, first with Napoleon, the Soviet Union was determined to destroy Germany's capacity for another war by keeping it under tight control. U.S. aims were quite opposed, since they would require a democratic restored Germany as a trade and perhaps military partner.

Actually, for the first two years after the war, US aims were to entirely subjugate Germany. This stopped because it was realised as entirely impractical and because the Soviets were becoming a danger.

Russia's historic lack of warm water maritime access, a perennial concern of Russian foreign policy well before the Bolshevik Revolution, was also a focus for Russia, yet another area where interests diverged between East and West. Stalin pressed the Turks for improved access out of the Black Sea through Turkey's Dardanelles Strait, which would allow Soviet passage from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Churchill had earlier recognized Stalin's claims, but now the British and Americans forced the Soviet Union to pull back.

Churchill always was absolutely in favour of warm water access for the USSR - "a country the size of Russia must have a warm water port". Unfortunately, the British were incredibly stupid and voted him out of office just as the war ended, so he was not involved in post-war negotiations.

But when the Soviet leadership did not perceive the country's security was at stake, the policies were more measured: the Soviet Union eventually withdrew from Northern Iran, at Anglo−American behest; Stalin did observe his 1944 agreement with Churchill and did not aid the communists in the struggle against government in Greece; in Finland he accepted a friendly, non−communist government; and Russian troops were withdrawn from Czechoslovakia by the end of 1945. However, a pro−Soviet government seized power in Czechoslovakia three years later.

The Greek agreement was never an agreement. Churchill made it clear that post-war influence must be settled properly once the fighting was over. However, in the interim, as these countries were over-run, there had to be a temporary agreement for spheres of influence. This was duly done - and Greece was 90% Allied, 10% Russian. Stalin adhered to this agreement, which wasn't the agreement at all.

Toby Douglass 16:59, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

Someone has vandalized the article ("hi" at the top of the page). I can't yet edit articles, I'm new here. Can someone remove it ? Thanks. Vadim from Russia Stalker 1986 (talk) 11:47, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism removed Stalker 1986 (talk) 11:55, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Adding the Polish Deportations[edit]

The details about the Baltic deportations have been on this page for more than 2 years. Why then are the deportations of Poles not on this page? Jniech (talk) 13:40, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Only so many editors to go around that care. Perhaps a brief summary out of the Population Transfers article? —PētersV (talk) 14:44, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Had a quick look at the article on deportations but it needs a lot of work. The deportations from the Baltic in this article are not mention there as such. The deportation of Poles is grouped with Germans but to my knowledge the Germans citizens of Soviet Union were sent west not east like the Polish citizens.
I repeat, as the Baltic deportation have been in this article for two years why waste time debating the addition of Polish deportations in the same format? Jniech (talk) 17:04, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, not debating, suggesting where information might already be available. I'm away from home and from my references at the moment. :-) —PētersV (talk) 21:29, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Did you see my version before it was removed?
The Soviets quelled opposition by executions and by arresting thousands. They sent hundreds of thousands (estimates vary) to Siberia and other remote parts of the USSR in four major waves of deportations between 1939 and 1941. (see Soviet invasion of Poland (1939))
It basically has the same format as the Baltic deportations which been on this page for two years. Jniech (talk) 11:43, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:German Soviet.jpg[edit]

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Minor contribution in one section[edit]

Regarding the 18th Party Congress, I believe it was Litvinov that praised Stalin and criticized the Western Powers for their failure to adopt "collective security". I have so edited the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.234.86.68 (talk) 18:35, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Estimates about Polish deportations[edit]

Not sure what the issue is with the originally statement saying “They sent hundreds of thousands (estimates vary)” which I felt summarized the general thinking i.e. why any citation is needed. Anyway I have replaced it with a longer version complete with references. Jniech (talk) 15:45, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Hunger[edit]

The article deosn't inform about starvation of millions. The title "The Soviet state's development" is POV, kind of "The Nazi state development".Xx236 (talk) 07:28, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

1) It does. 2) Why POV? GreyHood Talk 15:56, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't proprtionally inform about drawbacks of the Soviet policy, wchich make the article POV. Generally people don't call an extermination "development". Only fanatics do.Xx236 (talk) 11:21, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

development of industrial power[edit]

It wasn't rational industrialization but construction of war industry and militarization of the Soviet society. The Red Army was the biggest and best armed army of the world in 1941.Xx236 (talk) 11:41, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

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Deaths caused by First Five Year Plan[edit]

I'm by no means an active editor, so I won't make any edits for fear they're unwarranted, but I don't see this addressed anywhere on this talk page. The current text under "Planning" says: "Despite approximately 1,000,000 deaths...", referring to the First Five Year Plan. Given that the first Plan was revised to include collectivization, which caused around six million deaths alone, should this figure not be updated? A number of citations can be easily found on other related pages. Xensity (talk) 05:52, 11 December 2012 (UTC)