Eastern Bloc

Soviet blocCommunist BlocSocialist BlocEast BlocEastern Bloc economiesEastern EuropeEasternSoviet-blocEastCommunist era
Cold War alliances mid-1975.svg" of the Cold War era between April–August 1975:wikipedia
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Cold War

The Cold WarCold War eraCold-War
The Eastern Bloc (also the Socialist Bloc, the Communist Bloc, and the Soviet Bloc) was the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (USSR) during the Cold War (1947–1991) in opposition to the capitalist Western Bloc.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc), and the United States with its allies (the Western Bloc) after World War II.

Western Bloc

Western AlliesWestWestern
The Eastern Bloc (also the Socialist Bloc, the Communist Bloc, and the Soviet Bloc) was the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (USSR) during the Cold War (1947–1991) in opposition to the capitalist Western Bloc.
The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc.

Eastern Europe

Eastern EuropeanEasternEast European
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc.

Sino-Soviet split

Sino–Soviet splitSino-Soviet tensionsSoviet rival
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
Against that ideological background, China took a belligerent stance towards the West, and publicly rejected the USSR's policy of peaceful coexistence between the Eastern bloc and the Western bloc.

People's Republic of Bulgaria

BulgariaCommunist BulgariaBulgarian People's Republic
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
After a new energy and transportation infrastructure was constructed, by 1960 manufacturing became the dominant sector of the economy and Bulgaria became a major exporter of household goods and later on computer technologies, earning it the nickname of "Silicon Valley of the Eastern Bloc".

Central and Eastern Europe

CEECentral-Eastern EuropeEastern and Central Europe
The Eastern Bloc (also the Socialist Bloc, the Communist Bloc, and the Soviet Bloc) was the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (USSR) during the Cold War (1947–1991) in opposition to the capitalist Western Bloc.
]]Central and Eastern Europe, abbreviated CEE, is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe (the Visegrád Group), the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Southeastern Europe (Balkans), usually meaning former communist states from the Eastern Bloc (Warsaw Pact) in Europe.

People's Republic of Kampuchea

State of CambodiaCambodiaKampuchea
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
The new administration was a pro-Soviet government supported by a substantial Vietnamese military force and civilian advisory effort.

Hungarian Revolution of 1956

Hungarian Revolution1956 Hungarian RevolutionSoviet invasion of Hungary
This speech was a factor in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which the Soviet Union suppressed.
These Soviet actions, while strengthening control over the Eastern Bloc, alienated many Western Marxists, leading to splits and/or considerable losses of membership for communist parties in capitalist states.

Soviet–Albanian split

Soviet-Albanian splitAlbaniaAlbanian-Soviet rift
The Sino–Soviet split gave North Korea and North Vietnam more independence from both and facilitated the Soviet–Albanian split.
The Soviet–Albanian split refers to the worsening of relations between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the People's Republic of Albania, which occurred in the 1955–1961 period as a result of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's rapprochement with Yugoslavia along with his "Secret Speech" and subsequent de-Stalinization, including efforts to extend these policies into Albania as was occurring in other Eastern Bloc states at the time.

Revolutions of 1989

fall of communismthe fall of the Iron Curtaincollapse of communism
Unlike previous Soviet leaders in 1953, 1956, and 1968, Gorbachev refused to use force to end the 1989 Revolutions against Marxist–Leninist rule in Eastern Europe.
Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country whose citizens overthrew its Communist regime violently.

Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia

Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakiainvasion of CzechoslovakiaOperation Danube
That year, the communist victory in former French Indochina following the end of the Vietnam War gave the Eastern Bloc renewed confidence after it had been frayed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring.
The process of de-Stalinization in Czechoslovakia had begun under Antonín Novotný in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but had progressed more slowly than in most other states of the Eastern Bloc.

Berlin Wall

fall of the Berlin WallWallthe wall
The fall of the Berlin Wall and end of the Warsaw Pact spread nationalist and liberal ideals throughout the Soviet Union, which would soon dissolve at the end of 1991.
The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

CzechoslovakiaCommunist CzechoslovakiaČSSR
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
While Beneš was not a Moscow cadre and several domestic reforms of other Eastern Bloc countries were not part of Beneš' plan, Stalin did not object because the plan included property expropriation and he was satisfied with the relative strength of communists in Czechoslovakia compared to other Eastern Bloc countries.

Mikhail Gorbachev

GorbachevMikhail S. GorbachevMikhail Gorbachov
In the late 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev pursued policies of glasnost ("openness") and perestroika ("restructuring") to reform the Eastern Bloc and end the Cold War, which brought forth unrest throughout the bloc.
Gorbachev declined to intervene militarily when various Eastern Bloc countries abandoned Marxist-Leninist governance in 1989–90.

Brezhnev Doctrine

did not intervene
Under the Brezhnev Doctrine, the Soviet Union reserved the right to intervene in other socialist states.
These interventions were meant to put an end to liberalization efforts and uprisings that had the potential to compromise Soviet hegemony inside the Eastern Bloc, which was considered by the Soviet Union to be an essential defensive and strategic buffer in case hostilities with NATO were to break out.

Western Europe

WesternWestern EuropeanWest European
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
During the four decades of the Cold War, the definition of East and West was rather simplified by the existence of the Eastern Bloc.

Communist state

Communist regimecommunist countriescommunist
The Eastern Bloc (also the Socialist Bloc, the Communist Bloc, and the Soviet Bloc) was the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the hegemony of the Soviet Union (USSR) during the Cold War (1947–1991) in opposition to the capitalist Western Bloc.
Philipp Ther posits that there was an increase in the standard of living throughout Eastern Bloc countries as the result of modernization programs under Communist governments.

Prague Spring

invasion of CzechoslovakiaSoviet invasion of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia
That year, the communist victory in former French Indochina following the end of the Vietnam War gave the Eastern Bloc renewed confidence after it had been frayed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring.
The process of de-Stalinization in Czechoslovakia had begun under Antonín Novotný in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but had progressed more slowly than in most other states of the Eastern Bloc.

Cuban intervention in Angola

Operation CarlotaAngolaCuba
The Cuban Missile Crisis preserved the Cuban Revolution from rollback by the United States, but Fidel Castro became increasingly independent of Soviet influence afterwards, most notably during the 1975 Cuban intervention in Angola.
Some East Bloc countries and Yugoslavia first established ties with the MPLA in the early 1960s during its struggle against the Portuguese.

Non-Aligned Movement

Nonaligned MovementNAMnon-aligned
Many states were also accused by the Western Bloc of being in the Eastern Bloc when they were actually part of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Movement advocates a middle course for states in the developing world between the Western and Eastern Blocs during the Cold War.

Vietnam

Viet NamSocialist Republic of VietnamViệt Nam
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961).
Following the partition of Vietnam in 1954, North Vietnam maintained relations with the Eastern Bloc, South Vietnam maintained relations with the Western Bloc.

Warsaw Pact

Soviet blocWarsaw TreatyEastern Bloc
Post-1991 usage of the term "Eastern Bloc" may be more limited in referring to the states forming the Warsaw Pact (1955–1991) and Mongolia (1924–1992), which are no longer communist states.
ДДСВ) Warsaw Pact, formally known as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defence treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern Bloc socialist republics of Central and Eastern Europe in May 1955, during the Cold War.

Chinese economic reform

reform and openingeconomic reformsreform and opening up
In response, China moved towards the United States following the Sino-Soviet border conflict and later reformed and liberalized its economy while the Eastern Bloc saw the Era of Stagnation in comparison with the capitalist First World.
In the academic scene, scholars have debated the reason for the success of the Chinese "dual-track" economy, and have compared it to attempts to reform socialism in the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union; as well as to the growth of other developing economies.

North Korea

Democratic People's Republic of KoreaNorthDPRK
Generally, in Western Europe the term Eastern Bloc referred to the USSR and its East European satellite states in the Comecon (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania); in Asia, the Soviet Bloc comprised the Mongolian People's Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the People's Republic of China (before the Sino-Soviet split in 1961). The Sino–Soviet split gave North Korea and North Vietnam more independence from both and facilitated the Soviet–Albanian split.
In the late 1980s and the 1990s its foreign policy was thrown into turmoil with the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

Leonid Brezhnev

BrezhnevLeonid I. BrezhnevLeonid Ilyich Brezhnev
That year, the communist victory in former French Indochina following the end of the Vietnam War gave the Eastern Bloc renewed confidence after it had been frayed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring.
The Soviet leadership gave its approval for this, as the Soviet Union could not afford to maintain its massive subsidy for the Eastern Bloc in the form of cheap oil and gas exports.