Talk:Military occupations by the Soviet Union

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should section title be "Soviet-Axis war", "Soviet-Nazi war" or "Soviet-German Alliance war"?[edit]

I can accept that the war was not only against Nazis but not that the war was against the Axis alliance as such - the USSR id not declare war against Japan until two days after the Hiroshima bomb. One editor, however, points out Manchuria belongs to this section. In addition, the USSR fought against Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Finland).

Russia had land claims on Outer Mongolia before the war, and thus this was partially an irredentist claim more than fighting Japan. [1] (Russia lost Outer Mongolia in 1912 and essentially regained "Mongolia" in 1924) The Manchurian border war was that - a border war, ended when the Soviets signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Germany. The claim that somehow Finland and Norway were German allies or Axis allies is problematic - I found no source saying the Soviet occupations thereof were due to fighting the Axis. Or Germany.

As a result, I suggest "German Alliance" is the least POV term possible here. Collect (talk) 12:09, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Axis is usually used as synonym for that even though the traditional clear cut division does not really work with WWII. - Wanderer602 (talk) 14:01, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
If a word does not accurately represent the topic, then it is the wrong word. And I am still unsure why Finland is part of the Axis per one editor. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:23, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Finland was not the Axis member, but it was not a German ally either (just a co-belligerent). That the USSR attacked Japan only at the very end of WWII does not make Manchurian offensive not a part of WWII. --Paul Siebert (talk) 16:50, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Issue comes with certain words have more than one definition. In the strict sense being an ally would require there to be an strict formal alliance between the participants, in this sense Finland was not allied with Axis. However in less strict sense 'being an ally' can be expanded to included various other kinds of associations, and in this sense Finland on the other hand was allied with Axis. As for being part of Axis, it seems to come down with separation between Axis versus Allies. Since Finland was associated with Axis and fought against member of the Allies it is therefore valid grounds for some to state that it was part of the Axis. But again if we go by strict definitions it was not either ally nor part of Axis. - Wanderer602 (talk) 17:16, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Correct. Anyway, since I changed the title, and there is no mention of Axis there, there is no sense to continue this discussion any more.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:35, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Um -- your position is that since you insist on your wording that therefore there is no need to discuss the word used? What an interesting concept, Paul! The fact is that "Axis" s misleading, that the USSR was not at war with Japan from the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact onwards, and that the Manchurian border conflict is not generally considered "part of WW II" -- as the Soviets made peace with Japan at that time, and did not engage in any acts against Japan until after the Hiroshima bomb. And IIRC, the Soviets invaded Finland -- so finding Finland to be acting as part of the Axis is absurd utterly. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:48, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
The above post contains many factual errors.
"The fact is that "Axis" s misleading, that the USSR was not at war with Japan from the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact onwards" Wrong. Formally, the USSR and Japan were not at war in 1939. However, a cease fire agreement between Japan and the USSR was signed almost a month after MRP.
"the Manchurian border conflict is not generally considered "part of WW II"" As well as the war in China before 1939. BTW, not Manchurian, but Mongolian. You really see no difference?
"and did not engage in any acts against Japan until after the Hiroshima bomb." And does in make Manchurian offensive not a part of the war against the Axis? America also joined the war late, after the first major defeat of the Axis forced at Moscow, so what?
"finding Finland to be acting as part of the Axis is absurd utterly" Probably, however, Britain declared war on Finland exactly for that reason.
And, finally, does anybody questions the fact that since 1941 the USSR was one of three major Allies? If not, then what is the problem with the current title?--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:17, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Wow -- your correction is that it took a whole month for the USSR and Japan to make peace. Sorry -- that is almost a meaningless distinction. Next - the term "Manchuria" is generally considered to include Mongolia in many texts - so again a correction which is not a correction. The Mongolian SSR (aka "Outer Mongolia") was under Soviet hegemony from 1924 on. It was the border between Mongolia and Manchuria which was the causum belli - as you ought to be well aware. The US was at war with Japan from 8 Dec 1942 on -- or for a number of years before the Hiroshima bomb (which I seem to recall was developed by the US). Yet you can say with a straight face that "America also entered the war late"? Sorry -- I do not buy the idea that spending several years at war is the same as entering a war 2 days after the A-bomb! And again you seem to think that because the USSR invaded Finland and occupied Finnish territory that Finland was "one of the bad guys" in WW II. Even Soviet revisionists do not make that claim! Seriously -- the claims and "corrections" made in the post above are WP:FRINGE at best. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:50, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

One month is a really long term. For example, Germany destroyed Poland in less then one month. More important, and you totally missed that that the ceasefire agreement had no relation to MRP.
Re ""Manchuria" is generally considered to include Mongolia in many texts" Really?!!
Re "The Mongolian SSR (aka "Outer Mongolia") was under Soviet hegemony from 1924 on." And? Khalkhin Gol is in Mongolia, not Manchuria.
Re "Yet you can say with a straight face that "America also entered the war late"? " Of course. The US entered the war after the most decisive WWII battle had already been lost by Germany. America just nominally participated in the European theatre until 1943, when the second most decisive battle was lost by the Axis.
Re "Sorry -- I do not buy the idea that spending several years at war is the same as entering a war 2 days after the A-bomb! " Do you buy the idea that, had Kwantung army been deployed to, e.g., Burma, it could dramatically tip the balance in south Asia to the Axis side. Why hadn't Japan done that? And, by the way, many scholars agree that Japanese surrender was triggered by the invasion, not by the A-bomb.
Re "And again you seem to think that because the USSR invaded Finland and occupied Finnish territory that Finland was "one of the bad guys" in WW II. " Of course no. Finland joined the war against the USSR in 1941. It was German co-belligerent, and that fact is well known for everybody but you.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:05, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Wow -- "One month is a really long time  ? the M-R pact specifically mentioned Japan, thus it is clear one of the purposes of the pact was to end the Soviet-Japan war. April 1941 was when the Soviet-Japan border treaty was signed - defining the Mongolia-Manchukuo border (I suppose someone could argue that "Manchuria" was not mentioned, but all the history books I found use the term "Manchuria" and when two nations claim the same territory, for some really strange reason, both country names are generally used.) The US for some really strange reason dopes not consider Pearl Harbor a "minor" act, nor does it consider the spending of large numbers of American lives over a long period "minor", nor does it consider the funds spent on the Allies, including vast sums for the Soviets, "minor" while I consider the loss of Soviet lives after Hiroshima fighting in Manchukuo to be quite "minor" in comparison. In fact, the texts all affirm that the primary Soviet goal was a Pacific seaport -- on Manchuria. Now you iterate that Finland "was a German co-belligerent" but amazingly enough - that is a "FRINGE" view now. The Soviets started the "Winter War" and so accusing the Finns of starting it is absurd, even by Soviet historians. In fact, the USSR was expelled from the League of Nations for its invasion and occupation of Finland. So much for your "co-belligerent" claim -- though the Soviets succeeded in taking much of Finland after WW II, and huge "reparations", on the flimsy basis that Finland got aid from Germany after the M-R pact was abrogated. Unless you believe that the Finns got aid from Germany and atacked the Soviets in the first place, that argument fails utterly. [2] among many others indicates the complexity of what happened when Finland was under Soviet occupation. BTW, 1939 is before 1941, Paul. Cheers. Now I think we have discussed your misapprehensions sufficiently on this article talk page. Collect (talk) 12:25, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Re "the M-R pact specifically mentioned Japan" Where? Did you read this document?
Re "April 1941 was when the Soviet-Japan..." See no connection to the issue we are discussing.
Re "The US for some really strange reason dopes not consider Pearl Harbor a "minor" act" It was important ... politically. However, taking into account huge scale of hostilities in the Eastern Front, it is hardly be called a major. By the way, Churchill advised Stalin to abstain from joining the war against Japan if that could have a negative impact on the most important theatre - the Eastern front.
Re "while I consider the loss of Soviet lives after Hiroshima fighting in Manchukuo to be quite "minor" in comparison." In comparison to what? To American losses at Iwo Jima? In addition, not Soviet losses matter, but Japanese. Try to read at least something.
Re "In fact, the texts all affirm that the primary Soviet goal was a Pacific seaport -- on Manchuria." Irrespective to the correctness of this fact, what relation does it have to this dispute?
Re "
Re "Now you iterate that Finland "was a German co-belligerent" but amazingly enough - that is a "FRINGE" view now." Really? Taking into account your previous factual mistakes, this one is fully understandable.
Re "The Soviets started the "Winter War" and so accusing the Finns of starting it is absurd..." Of course, but that has no relation to your previous thesis.
Re "In fact, the USSR was expelled from the League of Nations for its invasion and occupation of Finland." Correct, but I see no connection with the Finnish co-belligerence issue.
Re "So much for your "co-belligerent" claim -- though the Soviets succeeded in taking much of Finland after WW II, and huge "reparations", on the flimsy basis that Finland got aid from Germany after the M-R pact was abrogated." It is not my claim, most historians agree that Finland was Nazi co-belligerent in 1941-44.
Re "Unless you believe that the Finns got aid from Germany and atacked the Soviets in the first place...". Winter war ended with Moscow Peace Treaty, which was ratified by both sides. Continuation war was a separate conflict, and Finland was a German co-belligerent during it.
Finally, since I do not understand the connection between all of that and the article's content, I suggest you to stop that per WP:FORUM.--Paul Siebert (talk) 14:45, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Afghanistan[edit]

One thing that's interesting about Afghanistan is that its Soviet-backed government lasted until 1992 although the Soviet troops withdrew in 1989, such that it actually outlived the Soviet Union itself. So, at what point did the government stop being an occupation regime by becoming a sovereign ally: when the last Soviet soldier left in 1989, or did it acquire sovereignty at some point ahead of the Soviet withdrawal? How interesting that at some point the Soviet Union was inconspicuously transformed from occupier to friendly ally of the same country. That's very different from, say, the occupation of France by Germany in WWWII. I'm not railing against the term occupation (some writers do refer to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan), but I'm genuinely curious about the phenomenon. Is "regime change" (like Grenada in 1983 or Panama in 1989, but here restricted to 1979) a better term? Zloyvolsheb (talk) 17:22, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, this article should be in accordance with the main article. It does not call the period from 1979 to 1989 "Soviet occupation". In actuality, the Soviets did not install a new government, they supported one of two opposing parties. I agree that "occupation" is a frequently used term, however, it is not the major one. --Paul Siebert (talk) 20:20, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
"Occupation" may be applicable to December 1979 on the grounds that Soviet forces killed then-ruler Amin, but it's unclear to what point that would extend. The Soviet personnel were in Afghanistan before the December 1979 regime change because they had been invited there previously; the Afghan government after Amin also maintained that the Soviet troops were welcome, and it was especially they, and not the Soviets, who wanted the Soviet troops to stay under Gorbachev. "Occupation" in this context may only mean that the Soviet presence was unpopular with many Afghans, though the government it reinforced was popular enough to stay in power for several years after 1989. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 20:48, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. We can speak about Soviet intervention, and about Soviet military presence. Military presence alone does not constitute occupation. Interestingly, David M. Edelstein (Occupational Hazards: Why Military Occupations Succeed or Fail. International Security, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Summer, 2004), pp. 49-91) does not include Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in to his list of XX century occupations, whereas NATO occupation is there.--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:54, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Since when did Edelstein's paper become a definitive list of occupations? Can you present a source that discusses whether or not the Soviet presence in Afghanistan was an occupation? There is significant literature that discusses "Soviet occupied Afghanistan" here and here. --Nug (talk) 21:54, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
That Edelstein is a reliable source, I expect you to treat it with respect. If you have some alternative list of occupations, feel free to present it.
Re gscholar, "Afghan civil war" gives more results.--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:13, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Since there has been almost continuous civil war in Afghanistan since the collapse of the Soviet Union, your gScholar is worthless. You did not answer the question, on what basis do you conclude that Edelstein's paper gives a definitive list of occupations? --Nug (talk) 22:29, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
PS should present a source that actually disputes the notion that there was an "occupation", rather than engaging in original research. Otherwise, it would seem that most reliable sources use the term.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 22:33, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Incorrect. I do not have to prove the opposite. In contrast, Nug has to prove that "Soviet occupation" is a mainstream term used by scholars to describe the period of Afghan history from 1979 to 1989. Taking into account that both Soviet war in Afghanistan and Cold war articles use different terminology (and those articles have much less issues than this one), I assume "occupation" is not a mainstream term. Regarding the date of the start of the Afghanistan civil was, what about that:
"Afghanistan’s case is unique because at first it was the socialist revolution of 1978 that started the civil war."
"The active involvement of the Soviet military forces in suppressing the Afghan resistance in order to stabilize the Marxist regime further strengthened the opposition forces."(Nasreen Ghufran. THE TALIBAN AND THE CIVIL WAR ENTANGLEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN. Asian Survey, Vol. 41, No. 3 (May/June 2001), pp. 462-487)
--Paul Siebert (talk) 22:51, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Sources: [3] Seekins writes: A "strategic" school of thought, often drawing on the determinism of early twentieth-century geopolitics, depicts the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as the inevitable march of a "heartland" power to the sea.

[4] wage a jihad against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

[5] workers who remained in Afghanistan throughout the years of Soviet occupation

[6] AP extensive collection of photographs, videos and audiotapes in an exhibition covering the last years of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan and the collapse of the communist regime in 1992

Highbeam in fact gives a count of 3,763 matching articles which seems sufficient.

Questia only finds 901 articles and books from such non-RS publishers as Praeger, Rutgers, Routledge, Syracuse, Harvard, and the UN. In fact the UN itself states Soviet occupation: More than two centuries of virtually unbroken Abdali rule in Kabul ended in 1978. ... The 1980s were a decade of Soviet occupation, the 1990s of civil war19 [7]

All using the term "Soviet occupation" with "Afghanistan." I would suggest this is sufficient to show this is so far from being "fringe" that it appears essentially unanimous in finding the Soviet presence in Afhanistan to have been an "occupation." Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:52, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

The articles telling about the same subject must be consistent. This article describes the events in Afghanistan differently from what Soviet war in Afghanistan and Cold war say, so, to avoid POV fork you must convince the community to change those two articles accordingly.
Regarding gscholar, since you yourself rejected this type of arguments from me, I am not sure you have a moral right to resort to such arguments in discussion with me. Moreover, the sources that tangentially mention this issue, such as the article about Afghan Opium economy, are hardly relevant. I provided the source that says that Afghan civil war started before Soviet intervention, and that the USSR militarily supported one party in this conflict. This view was published in respectable journal and by no means is fringe.--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:15, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
When did Collect "reject this type of argument" from you?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 00:48, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
You are right. Collect did not reject this argument explicitly. However, he was a participant of the discussion where I put forward the arguments of this type. Ironically, whereas those arguments didn't force him to reconsider his position regarding the Baltic states, he seems to believe gscholar can be used as a tool during this discussion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:30, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
As I did not use gscholar - I think you need to rethink how you phrase your arguments. They appear to be IDONTLIKEIT at this point, rather than any actual reason to refuse the hundreds of strong RS sources from Harvard, Praeger, UN etc. etc. etc. Collect (talk) 02:35, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Paul Siebert cites Nasreen Ghufran in THE TALIBAN AND THE CIVIL WAR ENTANGLEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN. Asian Survey, Vol. 41, No. 3 (May/June 2001), pp. 462-487, to claim there was no Soviet occupation. Here is what Nasreen Ghufran says in a 2011 paper about Pakistan: "However, Pakistan remerged as an ally in the 1980s during the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan"[8] --Nug (talk) 01:42, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
You misinterpreted my words. I used this source to support the claim that the Afghan civil war started in 1978. As Zloyvolsheb correctly noted, there was probably some short period of occupation, however, Karmal/Najibulla's regime lasted even after Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and even longer then the USSR itself.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:51, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
And the UN source specified that the occupation lasted far longer than you wish to admit. As do hundreds of other reliable sources from all the major academic presses. In short - plenty of RS sources for the fact that the Soviet occupation was real, extensive, and decade long. Collect (talk) 02:32, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
The claim that there was an occupation, but only for a fraction of the time the Soviet military was involved, appears to be based on original research and synthesis.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 03:52, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Are you going to write a new POV fork of the Soviet war in Afghanistan article? If you believe it was an occupation, change that article first.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:57, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
How does that article contradict the notion that there was an occupation? It has text like "the Soviets occupied the cities", "Pakistan took in millions of Afghan refugees (mostly Pashtun) fleeing the Soviet occupation", "The accords had failed to address adequately the issue of the post-occupation period", ect.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 04:45, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Read the Soviet war in Afghanistan article first. It is in a good shape, and I believe, the users who worked on it have been able to adequately reflect major viewpoints. It was a civil war there, which started before Soviet intervention. The Soviets neither changed political system nor installed new regime, they just supported one of two wings (the moderate one) of the same political party. I agree that many sources mix military presence with military occupation, however, "occupation" is a very concrete term, and Soviet military presence hardly fits it. Nevertheless, I agree that media frequently apply the term "occupation" to the events in Afghanistan. However, since media frequently make mistakes (thus, in popular mind, the conflict in Afghanistan started after Soviet intervention, whereas in actuality it started before, the sources can be provided), I am not sure we can rely solely on what media says, as well as on brief mention of "occupation" some scholarly articles. --Paul Siebert (talk) 05:14, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
This just gets better. First a gscholar search on "Afghan Civil War" even though that civil war persists today long after the collapse of the SU, then unsupported claim that Edelstein presents a definitive list of occupations, then a cite of Nasreen Ghufran, now finally citing a Wikipedia article! Paul, please don't waste our time. --Nug (talk) 08:34, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
The first argument sounds reasonable, although you did not accept similar arguments from me during some other discussion. With regard to the rest, you again misinterpreted my words. Where did I claim that Edelstein's list is comprehensive? However, the fact that he includes NATO occupation of Afghanistan and does not include Soviet occupation requires some explanation. In actuality, whereas NATO deposed Talib government and installed a totally new one, the USSR just took one side in the intra-party conflict.
I used Ghufran to support the statement that the civil war started in Afghanistan before Soviet intervention, and you failed to proof that this source is fringe or unreliable.
And, I do not cite a Wikipedia article, I am just pointing your attention at the fact that this article should be in accordance with the main article per WP:CFORK. If you believe that "occupation" is the most adequate term, why didn't you try to modify the main article accordingly? I suspect that the reason is that your do not believe in a success of such enterprise...--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:24, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Western Ukraine[edit]

A section on the occupation of Western Ukraine needs to be added. It was occupied at around the same time as the Baltic states.--Sanya3 (talk) 00:30, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Make me unsee that[edit]

Soviet Union never occupied anything — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.130.40.170 (talk) 19:31, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move per request.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 12:51, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


Soviet occupationsMilitary occupations by the Soviet Union – Eliminate ambiguity. When I read "Soviet occupations", the first thing I think of is "teacher, factory worker, and people's revolutionary commissar". Per the doctrine of least astonishment, I think it would be a better idea to choose a title with less ambiguity, given that the word "occupation" has multiple definitions. Alternatively, "Countries occupied by the Soviet Union" is also a valid title. --benlisquareTCE 21:01, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

For info, the discussion linked above as Talk:Military occupations#Requested move is currently at Talk:Military careers#Requested move. – Fayenatic London 13:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)