Eastern Bloc

Soviet bloccommunist blocEastern EuropeEasternEastSocialist Blocsocialist countriesblocCommunistEastern bloc countries
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 USSR during the Cold War (1947–91), in opposition to the non-communist Western Bloc.wikipedia
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Cold War

the Cold Warcold-warCold War era
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 USSR during the Cold War (1947–91), in opposition to the non-communist Western Bloc. 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.
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.

Hungarian Revolution of 1956

Hungarian Revolution1956 Hungarian RevolutionHungarian Uprising
The break-up of the Eastern Bloc began in 1956, with Nikita Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences denouncing Stalin, which facilitated the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which the Soviet Union suppressed, and the Sino–Soviet Split with the PRC, which gave North Korea and North Vietnam more independence from both, and facilitated the Soviet–Albanian split.
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.

Sino-Soviet split

Sino-Soviet tensionsSoviet rivalChinese-Soviet border
The break-up of the Eastern Bloc began in 1956, with Nikita Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences denouncing Stalin, which facilitated the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which the Soviet Union suppressed, and the Sino–Soviet Split with the PRC, which gave North Korea and North Vietnam more independence from both, and facilitated the Soviet–Albanian split. Generally, in Western Europe, the term Eastern bloc comprised the USSR and its East European satellite-states, in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon); in Asia, the Socialist bloc comprised the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, 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); and in the Americas, the Communist bloc included the Caribbean Republic of Cuba, since 1961.
Among the Eastern bloc countries, the Sino-Soviet split was about who would lead the revolution for world communism, to whom — to China or to Russia — would the vanguard parties of the world turn for political advice, financial aid, and military assistance?

People's Republic of Kampuchea

State of CambodiaKampucheaCambodia
Generally, in Western Europe, the term Eastern bloc comprised the USSR and its East European satellite-states, in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon); in Asia, the Socialist bloc comprised the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, 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); and in the Americas, the Communist bloc included the Caribbean Republic of Cuba, since 1961.
The new administration was a pro-Soviet government supported by a substantial Vietnamese military force and civilian advisory effort.

Central and Eastern Europe

CEECentral-Eastern EuropeCEE Region
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 USSR during the Cold War (1947–91), in opposition to the non-communist 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.

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 USSR during the Cold War (1947–91), in opposition to the non-communist Western Bloc.
The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc.

Soviet–Albanian split

Albanian-Soviet splitbreak with the Soviet Unionbroke
The break-up of the Eastern Bloc began in 1956, with Nikita Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences denouncing Stalin, which facilitated the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which the Soviet Union suppressed, and the Sino–Soviet Split with the PRC, which 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 Socialist 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.

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 fall itself 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.

Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia

invasion of CzechoslovakiaSoviet invasion of CzechoslovakiaSoviet invasion
That year, the fall of former French Indochina to communism following the end of the Vietnam War gave the Eastern Bloc renewed confidence which had been frayed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring, which had led to Albania withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact, briefly aligning with Mao Zedong's China until the Sino-Albanian split.
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.

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan

AfghanistanRepublic of AfghanistanDRA
Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan nominally expanded the Eastern Bloc, but the war proved unwinnable and too costly for the Soviets, challenged in Eastern Europe by civil resistance in Poland.
The most prominent Parcham leaders were exiled to the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union.

Mikhail Gorbachev

GorbachevMr. GorbachevPresident Gorbachev
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, while growing internal nationalist sentiment threatened to break-up the Soviet Union.

Brezhnev Doctrine

did not intervene
Under the Brezhnev Doctrine, the Soviet Union reserved the right to intervene in other Communist countries.
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.

Cuban intervention in Angola

CubaOperation CarlotaAngola
The Cuban Missile Crisis preserved the Cuban Revolution from rollback by the U.S., but Fidel Castro became increasingly independent of Soviet rule afterwards, most notably in its 1975 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.

Prague Spring

invasion of CzechoslovakiaSoviet invasion of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia
That year, the fall of former French Indochina to communism following the end of the Vietnam War gave the Eastern Bloc renewed confidence which had been frayed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring, which had led to Albania withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact, briefly aligning with Mao Zedong's China until the Sino-Albanian split.
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.

Non-Aligned Movement

NAMnon-alignednon-alignment
Many states were also accused by the Western Bloc of being in the Eastern Bloc when they were more Non-Aligned.
The Movement advocates a middle course for states in the developing world between the Western and Eastern Blocs during the Cold War.

Chinese economic reform

economic reformsreform and opening upeconomic reform
In response, China moved towards the United States following a 1969 border war which almost became a nuclear war, and later reformed and liberalized its economy, while the Eastern Bloc stagnated economically behind 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.

Third World

third-worldthird world countriesdeveloping world
Cuba's defiance of complete Soviet control was noteworthy enough that Cuba was sometimes excluded as a satellite state altogether, as Fidel Castro intervened in other Third World countries to spread communism without orders from Moscow, despite its alliance with the Soviets.
The three-world model arose during the Cold War to define countries aligned with NATO (the First World), the Communist Bloc (the Second World, although this term was less used), or neither (the Third World).

Leonid Brezhnev

BrezhnevBrezhnev, LeonidBrezhnevite
That year, the fall of former French Indochina to communism following the end of the Vietnam War gave the Eastern Bloc renewed confidence which had been frayed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to suppress the Prague Spring, which had led to Albania withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact, briefly aligning with Mao Zedong's China until the Sino-Albanian split.
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.

Joseph Stalin

StalinJosef StalinJosif Stalin
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who viewed the Soviet Union as a "socialist island", stated that the Soviet Union must see that "the present capitalist encirclement is replaced by a socialist encirclement".
Tensions arose between the Soviet-backed Eastern Bloc and U.S.-backed Western Bloc which became known as the Cold War.

Solidarity (Polish trade union)

SolidaritySolidarity movementSolidarity trade union
Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan nominally expanded the Eastern Bloc, but the war proved unwinnable and too costly for the Soviets, challenged in Eastern Europe by civil resistance in Poland.
The survival of Solidarity was an unprecedented event not only in Poland, a satellite state of the USSR ruled (in practice) by a one-party Communist regime, but the whole of the Eastern 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.
The Pact began to unravel in its entirety with the spread of the Counter-Revolutions of 1989 through the Eastern Bloc, beginning with the Solidarity movement in Poland and its electoral success in June 1989.

Authoritarianism

authoritarianauthoritarian regimeauthoritarian government
Azerbaijan is an authoritarian dominant-party state and North Korea is a totalitarian one-party state led by the heirs of their Eastern Bloc leaders, yet both have officially eliminated mentions of communism from their constitutions.
Post-totalitarian authoritarian regimes are those in which totalitarian institutions (such as the party, secret police and state-controlled mass media ) remain, but where "ideological orthodoxy has declined in favor of routinization, repression has declined, the state's top leadership is less personalized and more secure, and the level of mass mobilization has declined substantially". Examples include the Russian Federation and Soviet Eastern bloc states in the mid-1980s.

Cambodia

🇰🇭KhmerCambodian
However, North Korea was similarly subordinate before the Korean War, and Soviet aid during the Vietnam War enabled Vietnam to dominate Laos and Cambodia until the end of the Cold War.
The People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK), a pro-Soviet state led by the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party, a party created by the Vietnamese in 1951, and led by a group of Khmer Rouge who had fled Cambodia to avoid being purged by Pol Pot and Ta Mok, was established.

Polish People's Republic

Polandcommunist PolandRepublic of Poland
In Poland, leader Władysław Gomułka, who had previously made pro-Yugoslav statements, was deposed as party secretary-general in early September 1948 and subsequently jailed.
With a population of approximately 37.9 million inhabitants near the end of its existence, it was the most populous state of the Eastern Bloc after the Soviet Union.

Marshall Plan

Marshall Aidthe Marshall Planreconstruction
In June 1947, after the Soviets had refused to negotiate a potential lightening of restrictions on German development, the United States announced the Marshall Plan, a comprehensive program of American assistance to all European countries wanting to participate, including the Soviet Union and those of Eastern Europe.
Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary and Poland.