The June uprising reportedly took the Soviet and East German leaderships by surprise. The need to use Soviet troops to restore order was a major embarrassment to the unsettled Soviet leadership and its efforts to improve East-West relations. It was certainly a significant setback to fading Soviet hopes of wooing the West German population.
The events precipitated a qualitative revision of Soviet policy toward East Germany. The new policy included three major elements: support for the Ulbricht faction of the SED in the face of a serious leadership challenge, elevation of the GDR's political status, and transformation of economic relations between the two countries. These policy changes occurred within the broader context of the ever present German question.