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About Russia, Its Revolutions, Its Development and Its Present


Michal Reiman

The author analyzes modern Russian history from a new perspective. Due to the ideological heritage of the XIXth and XXth centuries, the social settings of the sociopolitical history of the USSR (1917–1945) have not been fully identified. Detailed examination of ideological and political concepts shows that the revolution of 1917 became not a middle class, proletarian movement, but rather a plebeian one. The misjudgment by the new power enabled growth but caused tremendous losses of human lives and material damages. Socialization of economy and strict centralization led to a new social structure and established terror as an instrument for social reorganization. WWII revealed the necessity of a correction of these developments, but the events of the Cold War circumvented any further considerations.

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9. The USSR and Western Allies


Connection and contradiction of the Allies The Soviet-German confrontation of 1941 was key, because it radically changed the USSR’s international position� It made the country into one of the three lead- ing superpowers in the anti-Hitler coalition� At the very beginning of the war, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, had declared Britain an ally to the USSR, and said it would be willing to provide any aid necessary�274 Churchill made no secret of his opposition to communism, but Britain had no choice dur- ing the war with Nazi Germany� The British-Soviet agreement on joint action against Germany was signed on 12 July 1941, and contained an obligation for mutual assistance at the same time it forbade either side from negotiating sepa- rately with the enemy� After the attack on the USSR, the US State Department re- acted in like manner; President Franklin D�Roosevelt issued a declaration and a promise of assistance, and later Harry L� Hopkins, his personal ambassador, vis- ited Moscow� In late September and early October 1941, a conference of the three superpowers—the USA, Britain, and the USSR—led negotiations in Moscow on the details of the assistance to be provided� Initially, the British and American publics were not completely enthusiastic about these declarations�275 This new state of affairs was of prime importance to the USSR� That the war had initially unfolded so catastrophically for the USSR, with most British and American poli- ticians assuming it could hold out for a few weeks...

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