The USA and the New Europe, 1945-1993

By Peter Duignan; L. H. Gann | Go to book overview

6
Embattled Empire: From Soviet Union to CIS

Russia stood on the edge of an abyss. It seemed as if the country was boiling over from anger, envy, and resentment of every imaginable kind which until then had been kept under a lid of awe and fear. Now that the population had lost respect for the government, there was nothing to hold society together: neither civic sense nor patriotism. For it was the state that had made Russia a country, not vice versa.

(Describing Russia at the time of revolutionary outbreaks in 1904, quote from Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution, New York, Vintage Books, 1991.)

The first half of the twentieth century witnessed the breakdown of three great empires. The Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires collapsed at the end of World War I, and the European colonial empires broke asunder after World War II. However diverse, they had ruled over a multiplicity of peoples and had relied on supranational armies not formally identified with any one ethnic community. But in the end, they all proved unable to cope with the discordant forces of nationalism. Only one great empire seemed destined to survive -- the Soviet Union. Formed of 15 republics nominally equal in status, the Soviet Union made up a huge multi-ethnic conglomerate, composed of an estimated 287,015,000 people, extending over 8,849,496 square miles, two and a half times the size of the US, by far the world's largest country, with immense natural resources. Its people contained all manner of European and Asian stock. The Soviet Union's "core" state was the Russian Federated Socialist Republic, which accounted for about three-quarters of the Soviet Union's territory, two-thirds of its

-180-

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The USA and the New Europe, 1945-1993
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2 - An Expanding Alliance 1945-1987 34
  • 3 - The Us and Its Main Partners: Informal and Formal Links 1949-1985 61
  • 4 - Germany: Key to a Continent 90
  • 5 - East-Central Europe: The Great Transformation 1985-1992 128
  • 6 - Embattled Empire: from Soviet Union to Cis 180
  • 7 - The Us and the New Europe 1985-1993 227
  • 8 - The Us: A Hopeful Future 276
  • Notes 319
  • Bibliography 342
  • Index 349
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