ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Politics and Social Issues»
  • Europe Political & Social Issues

The Five Marches of an Empire called the Soviet Union

Updated on September 28, 2012
Soviet flag
Soviet flag
Lenin
Lenin
Stalin
Stalin

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.

Czechoslovakia 1968

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.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      My memory is telling me the comment about the proletariat not being able to govern itself came in Conquest's book The Great Terror. I also recall reading that on his deathbed he warned the party to beware of Stalin. Also what a politician/revolutionary says before gaining power is not always what they say after gaining power.

      I agree that things went downhill after Lenin died. That does not mean they were OK after the Bolsheviks took power. Recall the world of the Who song "Won't get fooled again"

    • Shushanik profile image

      Shushanik 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      One of famous Lenin's quotes is "every cook can govern the state", so he believed the Proletariat WAS capable of governing (which proved to be wrong, but anyway he believed in it and fought for it). That was the whole idea of the revolution he led.

      And by the way, thanks to Lenin all the women in the country had equal right with men long before European or American women could dream about it, including voting rights and possibility to participate in the political life of the country, so... not that evil... He just blindly believed in the Utopia of Marxism philosophy.

      Lenin had nothing to do with Stalinism. Quote from Wikipedia, "Stalin held the position of General Secretary of the party's Central Committee from 1922 until his death. While the office was initially not highly regarded, Stalin used it to consolidate more power after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, gradually putting down all opposition." The key phrase is "AFTER THE DEATH of Vladimir Lenin". Before that he wasn't a dictator and didn't have much power.

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Shushanik: Lenin instituted the reign of terror in Russia. He decided the Proletariat were incapable of governing themselves and he would have to govern for them. He failed to get rid of Stalin before Stalin became a dictator: and he knew what Stalin was.

    • Shushanik profile image

      Shushanik 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Lenin was evil? :) He just fought for what he believed was better life for the people. Okay, he was wrong, but why evil?

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 6 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, congratulations on your writing! The topic you chose is controversial, but at least you were brave enough to publish it. From far away, I know something about the marches, Chile received a large number of Hungarians after 1956, and a large number of Chilean youths went for Soviet training in Afghanistan during the Allende government here. I have met and spoken to people who had the actual experience. I am glad the cold war stopped, at least for the moment. Humans being humans, something else is sure to come up, somewhere! Voted up and interesting

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I like this. I know a little about the Stalin era from Robert Conquest's work and it seems to have been a terrible place to be. Only the ubiquitous corruption seems to have made it less than total hell.

    • profile image

      Skaven 6 years ago

      Lol... Lenin was en evil man... the whole writing is totaly subjective...

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 6 years ago from Singapore

      Bear in mind that all empires collapse, only the time period differs. The British empire lasted 200 years, which was perhaps the longest reign. The Soviet empire also collapsed after 60 years and now the American hegemony over the world is also ending. To classify Stalin and Lenin as evil is not correct. By that measure the men who dropped the atomic bombs over a defeated Japan also need to be classified as Evil.

    • parduc profile image

      parduc 7 years ago from Kos island, Greece

      Great hub, as always! Thanks!

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      yes. lest we forget! Curious same as Misha, there was more, so much more, but this was about certain marches I reckon.

    • nextstopjupiter profile image
      Author

      nextstopjupiter 8 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      That's the big question, Petra.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      It seems that Empires get away with murder until they try to occupay Afghanistan. Who is next?

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Sorry Jupiter, I have no interest in writing such a hub. Just was curious why you omitted the first occupation of Baltic countries by Soviet Union in 1940 and started only with 1944, that's it. :)

    • wolfpack5 profile image

      wolfpack5 8 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Ya nextstopjupiter, I would like to read that hub too... :)

    • nextstopjupiter profile image
      Author

      nextstopjupiter 8 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      Hi Misha, I would like to ask you to write a hub in which you explain why 1944 was NOT in the 1940s. I am always ready to learn new things!

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Umm, and why did you omit the 1940? I guess you have some more learning to do...

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Excellent history lesson, my friend. I love history and I thoroughly enjoyed your writing here.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 8 years ago from Canada

      So much life lost to maintain power. Very sad and not sure a history I would be proud about. Great article! :)

    • The Old Hack profile image

      The Old Hack 8 years ago

      Very interesting, well done.

    • flurish profile image

      flurish 8 years ago

      great work..

    • wolfpack5 profile image

      wolfpack5 8 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi my friend, that is a great hub. I am a history buff and enjoy reading hubs like these

      Keep up the work :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)