The Five Marches of an Empire called the Soviet Union
In 1917, this Empire was founded by an evil man whose name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov and who called himself Lenin. After his death in 1924 another man took over who was even more evil. His name was Josef Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwili, better known as Stalin. Under his dictatorship the empire was cleaned from so-called enemies of the empire. Millions of these enemies were arrested, executed or sent to labor camps where they starved to death. When this process was almost finished, the era of the marches began in order to expand the empire and its influence. The first march took place in 1944, followed by other marches which took place every twelve years.
The first march 1944
In 1944, toward the end of WWII, the Soviet army re-occupied the three Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (The first occupation took place in 1940/41). These countries became part of the Soviet Union, the occupation ended only in 1991. During the first years of occupation many people were executed. Hundreds of thousands of the population were deported to Siberia in the following years - only a handful of them came back - , others left the countries. Armed resistance against the occupation continued till the mid-1950s. Following the occupation of these three states the Soviet Union occupied the countries of Eastern and Central Europe as a result of WWII. In these countries puppet regimes were established, they became satellites of the Soviet Union.
The second march 1956
Whenever one of these countries tried to break free and to go its own way, the Soviet Union intervened. The first victim was Hungary. During the 1956 revolution Hungary temporarily withdraw from the Warsaw Pact, and a multi-party system was restored. Soviets and Hungarian political police shot at peaceful demonstrators, many demonstrators died throughout the country. Spontaneous revolutionary militias arose and heavy street fights started against the Soviet Army and the fearful communist secret police in the capital Budapest. In the narrow streets of the city a roughly 3,000-strong Hungarian resistance fought Soviet tanks using Molotov cocktails and machine-pistols. The immense Soviet preponderance suffered heavy losses, by 30 October most Soviet troops had withdrawn from Budapest to garrisons in the Hungarian countryside. The Soviet Union sent new armies to Hungary. On 4 November 1956, the Soviets retaliated massively with military force, sending in over 150,000 troops and 2,500 tanks. During the Hungarian Uprising an estimated 20,000 people were killed, nearly all during the Soviet intervention. Nearly a quarter of a million people left the country.
The third march 1968
The next victim was Czechoslovakia. In response to a brief period of liberalisation, better known as the Prague Spring, five Eastern Bloc countries invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. On August 21, the Soviet Army, supported by their Warsaw Pact allies, rolled tanks into the streets of the capital Prague. Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev viewed this intervention as vital to the preservation of the Soviet, socialist system and vowed to intervene in any state that sought to replace socialism with capitalism. In 1969, Czechoslovakia was turned into a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. Many people left the country.
The fourth march 1979/80
On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan in order to strengthen its influence in the region. Over 100,000 Soviet troops took part in the invasion backed by another one hundred thousand. A puppet regime, backed by the invaders, was established. But this time the Soviets met armed resistance. Backed by the U.S. administration, mujahideen fighters had taken up arms against the Soviet occupiers. It was the beginning of the end of the empire.The occupation resulted in the killings of between 600,000 and two million Afghan civilians, an estimated 15,000 Soviet troops were killed. Over 5 million Afghans fled to other countries. Faced with mounting international pressure and great number of casualties on both sides, the occupiers withdrew in 1989.
The last march 1991
After the collapse of communism in the Central and Eastern European satellite states in 1989 and the restoration of independence of the three Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 1991, the Soviet empire went on to its last march - into the history books ... , ... like all the other overstretched empires before.
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