A report on United Nations and Cold War

Allied troops in Vladivostok, August 1918, during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
Members of the United Nations
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, 1945
1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states
Post-war Allied occupation zones in Germany
The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue
Clement Attlee, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, 1945
Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active secretary-general from 1953 until his death in 1961.
Post-war territorial changes in Europe and the formation of the Eastern Bloc, the so-called "Iron Curtain"
Kofi Annan, secretary-general from 1997 to 2006
Remains of the "Iron Curtain" in the Czech Republic
Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007
C-47s unloading at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin during the Berlin Blockade
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988
President Truman signs the North Atlantic Treaty with guests in the Oval Office.
Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraq chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003
Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin in Moscow, December 1949
Current secretary-general, António Guterres
General Douglas MacArthur, UN Command CiC (seated), observes the naval shelling of Incheon, Korea from USS Mt. McKinley, 15 September 1950
The ICJ ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.
US Marines engaged in street fighting during the liberation of Seoul, September 1950
Under Sukarno, Indonesia became the first and only country to leave the United Nations.
NATO and Warsaw Pact troop strengths in Europe in 1959
A Nepalese soldier on a peacekeeping deployment providing security at a rice distribution site in Haiti during 2010
From left to right: Soviet head of state Kliment Voroshilov, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Finnish president Urho Kekkonen at Moscow in 1960.
The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
The maximum territorial extent of Soviet influence, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961
Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949
Western colonial empires in Asia and Africa all collapsed in the years after 1945.
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980
1961 Soviet stamp commemorating Patrice Lumumba, assassinated prime minister of the Republic of the Congo
In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.
The United States reached the Moon in 1969.
The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City
Che Guevara (left) and Fidel Castro (right) in 1961
Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015
Soviet and American tanks face each other at Checkpoint Charlie during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
Aerial photograph of a Soviet missile site in Cuba, taken by a US spy aircraft, 1 November 1962
NATO and Warsaw Pact troop strengths in Europe in 1973
US combat operations during the Battle of Ia Drang, South Vietnam, November 1965
A manifestation of the Finlandization period: in April 1970, a Finnish stamp was issued in honor of the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth and the Lenin Symposium held in Tampere. The stamp was the first Finnish stamp issued about a foreign person.
The invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968 was one of the biggest military operations on European soil since World War II.
Suharto of Indonesia attending funeral of five generals slain in 30 September Movement, 2 October 1965
Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat with Henry Kissinger in 1975
Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger in 1976
Cuban tank in the streets of Luanda, Angola, 1976
During the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot, 1.5 to 2 million people died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.
Mao Zedong and US President Richard Nixon, during his visit in China
Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II treaty, 18 June 1979, in Vienna
Iranian people protesting against the Pahlavi dynasty, during the Iranian Revolution
Protest in Amsterdam against the deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe, 1981
The Soviet invasion during Operation Storm-333 on 26 December 1979
President Reagan publicizes his support by meeting with Afghan mujahideen leaders in the White House, 1983.
President Reagan with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a working luncheon at Camp David, December 1984
The world map of military alliances in 1980
US and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945–2006
Delta 183 launch vehicle lifts off, carrying the Strategic Defense Initiative sensor experiment "Delta Star".
After ten-year-old American Samantha Smith wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov expressing her fear of nuclear war, Andropov invited Smith to the Soviet Union.
Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sign the INF Treaty at the White House, 1987.
The beginning of the 1990s brought a thaw in relations between the superpowers.
"Tear down this wall!" speech: Reagan speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate, 12 June 1987
Otto von Habsburg, who played a leading role in opening the Iron Curtain.
Erich Honecker lost control in August 1989.
August Coup in Moscow, 1991
The human chain in Lithuania during the Baltic Way, 23 August 1989
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Since the end of the Cold War, the EU has expanded eastwards into the former Warsaw Pact and parts of the former Soviet Union.
A map showing the relations of Marxist–Leninist states after the Sino-Soviet split as of 1980:
The USSR and pro-Soviet socialist states
China and pro-Chinese socialist states
Neutral Socialist nations (North Korea and Yugoslavia)
Non-socialist states

The organization's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies.

- United Nations

The 1945 Allied conference in San Francisco established the multi-national United Nations (UN) for the maintenance of world peace, but the enforcement capacity of its Security Council was effectively paralyzed by the ability of individual members to exercise veto power.

- Cold War

15 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in 1943 during World War II.

United Nations Security Council

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Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in 1943 during World War II.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Soviet general secretary Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference, February 1945
Church House in London where the first Security Council Meeting took place on 17 January 1946
US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to the Security Council in February 2003.
United Nations Security Council members of September 2021 by political orientation of the country's head of government. Dark red: International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties Red: Progressive Alliance Yellow: Liberal International Blue: International Democrat Union Gray: No international affiliation or independent.
US President Barack Obama chairs a United Nations Security Council meeting.
The meeting room exhibits the United Nations Security Council mural by Per Krohg (1952).
South African soldiers patrolling as part of MONUSCO in 2018
The G4 nations: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan
The Uniting for Consensus: Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, South Korea and others

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.

It held its first session on 17 January 1946 but was largely paralyzed in the following decades by the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union (and their allies).

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930

World War II

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Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

Global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945.

The League of Nations assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 1930
Adolf Hitler at a German Nazi political rally in Nuremberg, August 1933
Benito Mussolini inspecting troops during the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935
The bombing of Guernica in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, sparked fears abroad in Europe that the next war would be based on bombing of cities with very high civilian casualties.
Japanese Imperial Army soldiers during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Red Army artillery unit during the Battle of Lake Khasan, 1938
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured just before signing the Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938
German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (right) and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, after signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, 23 August 1939
Soldiers of the German Wehrmacht tearing down the border crossing into Poland, 1 September 1939
Soldiers of the Polish Army during the defence of Poland, September 1939
Finnish machine gun nest aimed at Soviet Red Army positions during the Winter War, February 1940
German advance into Belgium and Northern France, 10 May-4 June 1940, swept past the Maginot Line (shown in dark red)
London seen from St. Paul's Cathedral after the German Blitz, 29 December 1940
Soldiers of the British Commonwealth forces from the Australian Army's 9th Division during the Siege of Tobruk; North African Campaign, September 1941
German Panzer III of the Afrika Korps advancing across the North African desert, April-May 1941
European theatre of World War II animation map, 1939–1945 – Red: Western Allies and the Soviet Union after 1941; Green: Soviet Union before 1941; Blue: Axis powers
German soldiers during the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Axis powers, 1941
Soviet civilians leaving destroyed houses after a German bombardment during the Battle of Leningrad, 10 December 1942
Japanese soldiers entering Hong Kong, 8 December 1941
The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a total loss in the Japanese surprise air attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Sunday 7 December 1941.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston Churchill seated at the Casablanca Conference, January 1943
Map of Japanese military advances through mid-1942
US Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in the Pacific theatre, 1942
Red Army soldiers on the counterattack during the Battle of Stalingrad, February 1943
American 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombing raid on the Focke-Wulf factory in Germany, 9 October 1943
U.S. Navy SBD-5 scout plane flying patrol over USS Washington (BB-56) and USS Lexington (CV-16) during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, 1943
Red Army troops in a counter-offensive on German positions at the Battle of Kursk, July 1943
Ruins of the Benedictine monastery, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italian Campaign, May 1944
American troops approaching Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944
German SS soldiers from the Dirlewanger Brigade, tasked with suppressing the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation, August 1944
General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte, 20 October 1944
Yalta Conference held in February 1945, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin
Ruins of the Reichstag in Berlin, 3 June 1945.
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.
Ruins of Warsaw in 1945, after the deliberate destruction of the city by the occupying German forces
Defendants at the Nuremberg trials, where the Allied forces prosecuted prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany for crimes against humanity
Post-war border changes in Central Europe and creation of the Communist Eastern Bloc
David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the Independence Hall, 14 May 1948
World War II deaths
Bodies of Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre in December 1937
Schutzstaffel (SS) female camp guards removing prisoners' bodies from lorries and carrying them to a mass grave, inside the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945
Prisoner identity photograph taken by the German SS of a Polish Catholic girl who died in Auschwitz. Approximately 230,000 children were held prisoner and used in forced labour and Nazi medical experiments.
Polish civilians wearing blindfolds photographed just before their execution by German soldiers in Palmiry forest, 1940
Soviet partisans hanged by the German army. The Russian Academy of Sciences reported in 1995 civilian victims in the Soviet Union at German hands totalled 13.7 million dead, twenty percent of the 68 million persons in the occupied Soviet Union.
B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers on the Boeing assembly line in Wichita, Kansas, 1944
A V-2 rocket launched from a fixed site in Peenemünde, 21 June 1943
Nuclear Gadget being raised to the top of the detonation "shot tower", at Alamogordo Bombing Range; Trinity nuclear test, New Mexico, July 1945

The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts, with the victorious great powers—China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States—becoming the permanent members of its Security Council.

The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century-long Cold War.

United States

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Transcontinental country primarily located in North America.

Transcontinental country primarily located in North America.

Cliff Palace in Colorado, built by the Native American Puebloans between AD 1190 and 1260
The original Thirteen Colonies (shown in red) in 1775
Declaration of Independence, a painting by John Trumbull, depicts the Committee of Five presenting the draft of the Declaration to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, July 4, 1776.
Territorial acquisitions of the United States between 1783 and 1917
The Battle of Gettysburg, fought between Union and Confederate forces on July 1–3, 1863 around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was the deadliest of all Civil War battles. With more than 51,000 casualties, it marked a turning point in the Union's ultimate victory in the war.
U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic images of World War II
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, August 1963.
U.S. president Ronald Reagan (left) and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit, February 1985
The World Trade Center in New York City burning from the September 11 terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001
Topographic map of the United States.
A map showing climate regions in the United States
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
Map of the United States showing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five major U.S. territories
The headquarters of the United Nations, of which the U.S. is a founding member, has been situated in Midtown Manhattan since 1952.
U.S. Government spending and revenue from 1792 to 2018
The Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is home to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Total incarceration in the United States by year (1920–2014)
A proportional representation of United States exports, 2019
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, July 1969
Wealth inequality in the U.S. increased between 1989 and 2013.
The Interstate Highway System in the contiguous United States, which extends 46876 mi
Most prominent religion by state according to a 2014 Pew Research study
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the primary teaching hospital of the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the largest hospital in the United States with 1,547 beds
The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, is one of the many public colleges and universities in the United States. Some 80% of U.S. college students attend these types of institutions.
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, has become an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
Mark Twain, American author and humorist
Roast turkey, a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner, November 2021
Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, April 2009
The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California, September 2015
The headquarters of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City
"the united states of America", April 6, 1776
Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower, docked at Plymouth, Massachusetts
Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861 Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861 Union states that permitted slavery (border states) Union states that banned slavery
Territories
The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1931, during the Great Depression.
Worker during construction of the Empire State Building in New York City in 1930; the Chrysler Building can be seen in the background
Rock formations in the Grand Canyon, northern Arizona
Mushroom cloud formed by the Trinity Experiment in July 1945, part of the Manhattan Project, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon in history
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
The World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during the September 11 attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2001
The amount of US debt, measured as a percentage of GDP from 1790 to 2018
Topographic map of the United States
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73)
Köppen climate types of the U.S.
The New York City Police Department is the nation's largest municipal law enforcement agency.
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City
The United States Capitol, where Congress meets: the Senate, left; the House, right
Percentage of respondents in the United States saying that religion is "very important" or "somewhat important" in their lives (2014)
The White House, residence and workplace of the U.S. President
The Texas Medical Center in downtown Houston is the largest medical complex in the world.
The Supreme Court Building, where the nation's highest court sits
The United Nations headquarters has been situated along the East River in Midtown Manhattan since 1952. The United States is a founding member of the UN.
The Pentagon, near Washington, D.C., is home to the U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world's foremost reserve currency.
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies
U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin saluting the flag on the Moon, 1969
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, has become an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
The Capitol Records Building, the home of the Capitol Studios, among the cultural landmarks of Los Angeles.
The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate

During the Cold War, both countries engaged in a struggle for ideological dominance, but avoided direct military conflict.

It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, NATO, and other international organizations.

The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Behind them stand, from the left, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Fleet Admiral Ernest King, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, General of the Army George Marshall, Major General Laurence S. Kuter, General Aleksei Antonov, Vice Admiral Stepan Kucherov, and Admiral of the Fleet Nikolay Kuznetsov.

Yalta Conference

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The World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to discuss the postwar reorganization of Germany and Europe.

The World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to discuss the postwar reorganization of Germany and Europe.

The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Behind them stand, from the left, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Fleet Admiral Ernest King, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, General of the Army George Marshall, Major General Laurence S. Kuter, General Aleksei Antonov, Vice Admiral Stepan Kucherov, and Admiral of the Fleet Nikolay Kuznetsov.
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Behind them stand, from the left, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Fleet Admiral Ernest King, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, General of the Army George Marshall, Major General Laurence S. Kuter, General Aleksei Antonov, Vice Admiral Stepan Kucherov, and Admiral of the Fleet Nikolay Kuznetsov.
Soviet, American and British diplomats during the Yalta conference
Yalta American Delegation in Livadia Palace from left to right: Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, Maj. Gen. L. S. Kuter, Admiral E. J. King, General George C. Marshall, Ambassador Averell Harriman, Admiral William Leahy, and President F. D. Roosevelt. Livadia Palace, Crimea, RSFSR
A Big Three meeting room
Leaders of the Big Three at the negotiating table at the Yalta conference
Allied-occupied territories (red) on 15 February 1945, four days after the end of the conference
Poland's old and new borders, 1945 – Kresy in light red
The eventual partition of Germany into Allied Occupation Zones: {{legend|#69AB69|British zone}} {{legend|#2464D8|French zone (two exclaves) and beginning in 1947, the Saar protectorate}} {{legend|#FCA93E|American zone, including Bremen}} {{legend|#FF5555|Soviet zone, later the GDR}} {{legend|#FFFFCF|Polish and Soviet annexed territory}}
Partition plan from Winston Churchill: {{legend|#C9A091|North German state}} {{legend|#9195C9|South German state, including modern Austria and Hungary}} {{legend|#92C991|West German state}}
Morgenthau Plan: {{legend|#FF6464|North German state}} {{legend|#6464FF|South German state}} {{legend|#64ff64|International zone}} {{legend|#C8C8C8|Territory lost from Germany (Saarland to France, Upper Silesia to Poland, East Prussia, partitioned between Poland and the Soviet Union)}}
From left to right: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (far left); Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF, (standing behind Churchill); General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt)

Intended mainly to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe, within a few years, with the Cold War dividing the continent, the conference became a subject of intense controversy.

Roosevelt wanted Soviet support in the Pacific War against Japan, specifically for the planned invasion of Japan (Operation August Storm), as well as Soviet participation in the United Nations.

Soviet Union

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Transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

Transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991.

The Soviet Union after World War II
Lenin, Trotsky and Kamenev celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution
The Soviet Union after World War II
The Russian famine of 1921–22 killed an estimated 5 million people.
Construction of the bridge through the Kolyma (part of the Road of Bones from Magadan to Jakutsk) by the workers of Dalstroy.
Five Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. Only two of them – Budyonny and Voroshilov – survived Great Purge. Blyukher, Yegorov and Tukhachevsky were executed.
The Battle of Stalingrad, considered by many historians as a decisive turning point of World War II.
From left to right, the Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer in Tehran, 1943.
Map showing greatest territorial extent of the Soviet Union and the states that it dominated politically, economically and militarily in 1960, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 but before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961 (total area: c. 35,000,000 km2)
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) with US President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, 3 June 1961.
Nikolai Podgorny visiting Tampere, Finland on 16 October 1969
Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev and US President Jimmy Carter sign the SALT II arms limitation treaty in Vienna on 18 June 1979
Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with US President Ronald Reagan
The Pan-European Picnic took place in August 1989 on the Hungarian-Austrian border.
T-80 tank on Red Square during the August Coup
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Internally displaced Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, 1993
Country emblems of the Soviet Republics before and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (note that the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (fifth in the second row) no longer exists as a political entity of any kind and the emblem is unofficial)
Sukarno and Voroshilov in a state meeting on 1958.
1960s Cuba-Soviet friendship poster with Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet stamp 1974 for friendship between USSR and India as both nations shared strong ties, although India was a prominent member of Non-Aligned Movement
Gerald Ford, Andrei Gromyko, Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger speaking informally at the Vladivostok Summit in 1974
Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signing bilateral documents during Gorbachev's official visit to the United States in 1990
1987 Soviet stamp
Military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, 7 November 1964
The Grand Kremlin Palace, the seat of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, 1982
Nationalist anti-government riots in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1990
A medium-range SS-20 non-ICBM ballistic missile, the deployment of which in the late 1970s launched a new arms race in Europe in which NATO deployed Pershing II missiles in West Germany, among other things
From left to right: Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovich, Valentina Tereshkova and Nikita Khrushchev at the Lenin's Mausoleum in 1963
Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
The DneproGES, one of many hydroelectric power stations in the Soviet Union
Picking cotton in Armenia in the 1930s
Workers of the Salihorsk potash plant, Belarus, 1968
Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod (VAZ) in 1969
Soviet stamp depicting the 30th anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency, published in 1987, a year following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Soviet stamp showing the orbit of Sputnik 1
Aeroflot's flag during the Soviet era
Population of the Soviet Union (red) and the post-Soviet states (blue) from 1961 to 2009 as well as projection (dotted blue) from 2010 to 2100
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, visiting the Lviv confectionery, Ukrainian SSR, 1967
Young Pioneers at a Young Pioneer camp in Kazakh SSR
People in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR, 1981
Svaneti man in Mestia, Georgian SSR, 1929
An early Soviet-era poster discouraging unsafe abortion practices
Cover of Bezbozhnik in 1929, magazine of the Society of the Godless. The first five-year plan of the Soviet Union is shown crushing the gods of the Abrahamic religions.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow during its demolition in 1931
A paranja burning ceremony in the Uzbek SSR as part of Soviet Hujum policies
World War II military deaths in Europe by theater and by year. Nazi Germany suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.
2001 stamp of Moldova shows Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space
People in Donetsk celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, 9 May 2018
Soviet singer-songwriter, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky in 1979
Valeri Kharlamov represented the Soviet Union at 11 Ice Hockey World Championships, winning eight gold medals, two silvers and one bronze
One of the many impacts of the approach to the environment in the USSR is the Aral Sea (see status in 1989 and 2014)
Landscape near Karabash, Chelyabinsk Oblast, an area that was previously covered with forests until acid rainfall from a nearby copper smelter killed all vegetation
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1941
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1970

The beginning of the Cold War saw the Eastern Bloc of the Soviet Union confront the Western Bloc of the United States, with the latter grouping becoming largely united in 1949 under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the former grouping becoming largely united in 1955 under the Warsaw Pact.

It was a founding member of the United Nations as well as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; it was also a member of the OSCE and the WFTU, and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.

Clockwise from top:A column of the U.S. 1st Marine Division's infantry and armor moves through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir

UN landing at Incheon harbor, starting point of the Battle of Incheon

Korean refugees in front of a U.S. M46 Patton tank

U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, landing at Incheon

F-86 Sabre fighter aircraft

Korean War

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Fought between North Korea and South Korea from 1950 to 1953.

Fought between North Korea and South Korea from 1950 to 1953.

Clockwise from top:A column of the U.S. 1st Marine Division's infantry and armor moves through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir

UN landing at Incheon harbor, starting point of the Battle of Incheon

Korean refugees in front of a U.S. M46 Patton tank

U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, landing at Incheon

F-86 Sabre fighter aircraft
Territory often changed hands early in the war, until the front stabilized.
Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans fled south in mid-1950 after the North Korean army invaded.
A U.S. howitzer position near the Kum River, 15 July
Man of the Year, the American soldier on Time magazine cover, 1951
G.I. comforting a grieving infantryman
M24 Chaffee light tanks of the US Army's 25th Infantry Division wait for an assault of North Korean T-34-85 tanks at Masan
Crew of an M-24 tank along the Nakdong River front, August 1950
Pershing and Sherman tanks of the 73rd Heavy Tank Battalion at the Pusan Docks, Korea.
General Douglas MacArthur, UN Command CiC (seated), observes the naval shelling of Incheon from USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7), 15 September 1950
Combat in the streets of Seoul
Pershing tanks in downtown Seoul during the Second Battle of Seoul in September 1950. In the foreground, United Nations troops round up North Korean prisoners-of-war.
US Air Force attacking railroads south of Wonsan on the eastern coast of North Korea
Chinese forces cross the frozen Yalu River.
Three commanders of PVA during the Korean War. From left to right: Chen Geng (1952), Peng Dehuai (1950–1952) and Deng Hua (1952–1953)
Soldiers from the US 2nd Infantry Division in action near the Ch'ongch'on River, 20 November 1950
A column of the US 1st Marine Division move through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir.
Map of the UN retreat in the wake of Chinese intervention
B-26 Invaders bomb logistics depots in Wonsan, North Korea, 1951
US Marines move out over rugged mountain terrain while closing with North Korean forces.
British UN troops advance alongside a Centurion tank, March 1951
US M46 Patton tanks, painted with tiger heads thought to demoralize Chinese forces
New Zealand artillery crew in action, 1952
Men from the Royal Australian Regiment, June 1953
Delegates sign the Korean Armistice Agreement in P'anmunjŏm.
A U.S. Army officer confers with South Korean soldiers at Observation Post (OP) Ouellette, viewing northward, in April 2008
The DMZ as seen from the north, 2005
Korean War memorials are found in every UN Command Korean War participant country; this one is in Pretoria, South Africa.
A soldier of the Dutch detachment of the UN forces in North Korea prepares to return sniper fire, 1952
To disrupt North Korean communications, USS Missouri (BB-63) fires a salvo from its 16-inch guns at shore targets near Chongjin, North Korea, 21 October 1950
A B-29 Superfortress bomber dropping its bombs
A US Navy Sikorsky HO4S flying near USS Sicily (CVE-118)
Pyongyang in May 1951
A USAF Douglas B-26B Invader of the 452nd Bombardment Wing bombing a target in North Korea, 29 May 1951
Mark 4 bomb, seen on display, transferred to the 9th Bombardment Wing, Heavy
South Korean soldiers walk among the bodies of political prisoners executed near Daejon, July 1950
Civilians killed during a night battle near Yongsan, August 1950
A US Marine guards North Korean prisoners of war aboard an American warship in 1951.
Two Hill 303 survivors after being rescued by US units, 17 August 1950
Bob Hope entertained X Corps in Korea on 26 October 1950.
The Korean Peninsula at night, shown in a 2012 composite photograph from NASA
North Koreans touring the Museum of American War Atrocities in 2009

North Korea was supported by China and the Soviet Union while South Korea was supported by the United Nations, principally the United States.

In 1948, as a result of Cold War tensions, the occupation zones became two sovereign states.

Allies of World War II

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International military coalition formed during the Second World War to oppose the Axis powers, led by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy.

International military coalition formed during the Second World War to oppose the Axis powers, led by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy.

The Allied leaders of the European theatre (left to right): Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meeting at the Tehran Conference in 1943
The Allied leaders of the Asian and Pacific Theater: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill meeting at the Cairo Conference in 1943
Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1941 by the U.S. Office of War Information
Wartime poster for the United Nations, created in 1943 by the U.S. Office of War Information
British Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft (bottom) flying past a German Heinkel He 111 bomber aircraft (top) during the Battle of Britain in 1940
British Crusader tanks during the North African Campaign
British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal under attack from Italian aircraft during the Battle of Cape Spartivento (27 Nov 1940)
British soldiers of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in Elst, Netherlands on 2 March 1945
Free French forces at the Battle of Bir Hakeim, 1942
FAFL Free French GC II/5 "LaFayette" receiving ex-USAAF Curtiss P-40 fighters at Casablanca, French Morocco
The French fleet scuttled itself rather than fall into the hands of the Axis after their invasion of Vichy France on 11 November 1942.
The fall of Damascus to the Allies, late June 1941. A car carrying Free French commanders General Georges Catroux and General Paul Louis Le Gentilhomme enters the city, escorted by French Circassian cavalry (Gardes Tcherkess).
Soviet soldiers and T-34 tanks advancing near Bryansk in 1942
Soviet soldiers fighting in the ruins of Stalingrad during the Battle of Stalingrad
Soviet Il-2 ground attack aircraft attacking German ground forces during the Battle of Kursk, 1943
American Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bomber aircraft attacking the Japanese cruiser Mikuma during the Battle of Midway in June 1942
U.S. Marines during the Guadalcanal Campaign in November 1942
American Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft during the bombing of oil refineries in Ploiești, Romania on 1 August 1943 during Operation Tidal Wave
U.S. soldiers departing landing craft during the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944 known as D-Day
Philippine Scouts at Fort William McKinley firing a 37 mm anti-tank gun in training
Soldiers of the National Revolutionary Army associated with Nationalist China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War
Soldiers of the First Workers' and Peasants' Army associated with Communist China, during the Sino-Japanese War
Victorious Chinese Communist soldiers holding the flag of the Republic of China during the Hundred Regiments Offensive
Members of the Belgian Resistance with a Canadian soldier in Bruges, September 1944 during the Battle of the Scheldt
Norwegian soldiers on the Narvik front, May 1940
Pilots of the No. 303 "Kościuszko" Polish Fighter Squadron during the Battle of Britain
Polish partisan of the Home Army (AK), "Jędrusie" unit, holding a Browning wz.1928 light machine gun
Partisans and Chetniks escorting captured Germans through Užice, autumn 1941
Partisan leader Marshal Josip Broz Tito with Winston Churchill in 1944
Chetniks leader General Mihailovic with members of the U.S. military mission, Operation Halyard, 1944
Romanian soldiers in Transylvania, September–October 1944
The dead bodies of Benito Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci, and several Fascist leaders, hanging for public display after they were executed by Italian partisans in 1945
The first version of the flag of the United Nations, introduced in April 1945
A British poster from 1941, promoting the greater alliance against Germany
U.S. government poster showing a friendly Soviet soldier, 1942

After the war ended, the Allies, and the Declaration that bound them, would become the basis of the modern United Nations; one enduring legacy of the alliance is the permanent membership of the U.N. Security Council, which is made up exclusively of the principal Allied powers that won the war.

Despite the successful creation of the United Nations, the alliance of the Soviet Union with the United States and with the United Kingdom ultimately broke down and evolved into the Cold War, which took place over the following half-century.

Comorians protest against Mayotte referendum on becoming an overseas department of France, 2009

Decolonization

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Undoing of colonialism, the latter being the process whereby a nation establishes and maintains its domination of foreign territories, often overseas territories.

Undoing of colonialism, the latter being the process whereby a nation establishes and maintains its domination of foreign territories, often overseas territories.

Comorians protest against Mayotte referendum on becoming an overseas department of France, 2009
The Chilean Declaration of Independence on 18 February 1818
Dom Pedro proclaims himself Emperor of an independent Brazil on 7 September 1822
Greek War of Independence
Russian and Bulgarian defence of Shipka Pass against Turkish troops was crucial for the independence of Bulgaria.
Romanian War of Independence
Serbian War of Independence
British Empire in 1952
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781
Map of the first (light blue) and second (dark blue) French colonial empires.
French poster about the "Madagascar War"
Captured French soldiers from Điện Biên Phủ, escorted by Vietnamese troops, 1954
Map of all possessions of the first and second French colonial empires.
Czechoslovak anti-colonialist propaganda poster: "Socialism opened the door of liberation for colonial nations."
Manuel L. Quezón, the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (from 1935 to 1944)
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in Micronesia administered by the United States from 1947 to 1986
U.S. troops in Korea, September 1945
Portuguese Army special caçadores advancing in the African jungle in the early 1960s, during the Angolan War of Independence.
Dutch soldiers in the East Indies during the Indonesian National Revolution, 1946
Czechoslovak anti-colonialist propaganda poster: "Africa – in fight for freedom".
The UN Human Development Index (HDI) is a quantitative index of development, alternative to the classic Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which some use as a proxy to define the Third World. While the GDP only calculates economic wealth, the HDI includes life expectancy, public health and literacy as fundamental factors of a good quality of life. Countries in North America, the Southern Cone, Europe, East Asia, and Oceania generally have better standards of living than countries in Central Africa, East Africa, parts of the Caribbean, and South Asia.
British decolonisation in Africa
Western European colonial empires in Asia and Africa all collapsed in the years after 1945
Four nations (India, Pakistan, Dominion of Ceylon, and Union of Burma) that gained independence in 1947 and 1948
A Baltic exilee protest sign from the second half of the 20th century calling on U.N. to abolish Soviet colonialism in the Baltic states.
The Black Star Monument in Accra, built by Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah to commemorate the country's independence
Four international organizations whose membership largely follows the pattern of previous colonial empires.
Gandhi in 1947, with Lord Louis Mountbatten, Britain's last Viceroy of India, and his wife Vicereine Edwina Mountbatten.
Patrice Lumumba, first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo-Léopoldville, was murdered by Belgian-supported Katangan separatists in 1961

The fundamental right to self-determination is identified by the United Nations as core to decolonization, allowing not only independence, but also other ways of decolonization.

These include the breakup of the Spanish Empire in the 19th century; of the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian empires following World War I; of the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Belgian, Italian, and Japanese colonial empires following World War II; and of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War.

The United Nations Security Council Chamber

United Nations Security Council veto power

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Power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to veto any "substantive" resolution.

Power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to veto any "substantive" resolution.

The United Nations Security Council Chamber

Critics say that the veto is the most undemocratic element of the UN, as well as the main cause of inaction on war crimes and crimes against humanity, as it effectively prevents UN action against the permanent members and their allies.

After the end of the Cold War, there was a brief period of harmony on the Security Council.

Damaged Egyptian vehicles

Suez Crisis

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The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression (العدوان الثلاثي) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,

The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression (العدوان الثلاثي) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,

Damaged Egyptian vehicles
The location of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea.
Port Said, at the entrance to the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean.
Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies led an international committee in negotiations with Nasser in September 1956, which sought to achieve international management of the Suez Canal. The mission was a failure.
Israeli AMX-13, shown here from the rear and side
Anglo-French para drops on the Suez Canal and Israeli conquest of Sinai
Israeli M4A4 Shermans were also used in the Sinai campaign.
An Israeli Air Force Meteor in flight
Israeli paratrooper near the Mitla Pass
Israeli soldiers in the Sinai wave at a passing French plane
Israeli paratroopers dig in near the Parker Memorial
Israeli AMX-13 Light tank
Ibrahim el Awal after its capture by the Israeli Navy
A battle-damaged de Havilland Sea Venom on
A Hawker Sea Hawk of 899 Naval Air Squadron, armed with rockets, about to be launched from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle for a strike on an Egyptian airfield
Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Port Said, 5 November 1956.
Troops of the Parachute Regiment escort a captured Egyptian soldier at Port Said
2ème RPC paratroopers patrol in Port Said, October 1956
A British link up between the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, and the Commandos at the Coast Guard barracks in Port Said. The paratroopers have with them a captured SU-100 tank destroyer, and the Commandos a Buffalo amphibious assault vehicle.
Presidents Eisenhower and Nasser meeting in New York, 1960
Statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps (a Frenchman who built the Suez Canal) was removed following the nationalisation of the Suez Canal in 1956.
An Israeli soldier stands next to an Egyptian gun that had blocked the Tiran Straits.

After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders.

The economic potential of the Middle East, with its vast oil reserves, as well as the Suez Canal's geo-strategic importance against the background of the Cold War, prompted Britain to consolidate and strengthen its position there.