Soviet leaders feared and distrusted the United States, which was the only country with the atomic bomb — and which had used it. With the stability a lot of benefits of the socialistic country vanished as well. Khrushchev was gone within three years, however, replaced by a collective headed by Leonid Brezhnev. In 1961, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told a party congress that the USSR would achieve full communism within 20 years. During the Stalin era, art and culture was put under strict control and public displays of Soviet life were limited to optimistic, positive, and realistic depictions of the Soviet man and woman, a style called socialist realism. The Cold War developed between the Soviet Union and the United States in response to post-World War II tensions between the two nations. The obvious difference was communism, which took away freedoms from everyday people. Film, as a means of influencing a largely illiterate society, received encouragement from the state; much of cinematographer Sergei Eisenstein’s best work dates from this period. The Holodomor, considered a genocide by many historians, was a man-made famine in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians. Kulaks, a term referring to prosperous peasants and anyone who opposed collectivizations, were forcibly resettled to Kazakhstan, Siberia, and the Russian Far North, as well as sent to Gulags. There is no definite agreement among historians about whether or Stalin actually followed the principles established by Marx and Lenin. Musical expression was also repressed during the Stalin era, and at times the music of many Soviet composers was banned. Access this article and hundreds more like it with a subscription to Junior Scholastic magazine. From its beginning years, government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks). Widespread immunization programs created the first generation free from fear of typhus and cholera. The internationalism of Marxism–Leninism was expressed in supporting revolutions in foreign countries. The conflict—known as the Cold War—came to an end in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. Part of the strategy employed by both powers was the use of education as a means of instilling a common ideology. After announcing willingness to negotiate a withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Politburo changed its mind and moved to crush the revolution. Even after the state inevitably succeeded in imposing collectivization, the peasants sabotaged as much as possible by cultivating far smaller portions of their land and working much less. Urban women under Stalin were the first generation able to give birth in a hospital with access to prenatal care. Vladimir Lenin: Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1924, was one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. This allowed for two Soviet Republics, Ukraine, and Byelorussia, as well as the USSR as a whole to join the United Nations General Assembly as founding members in 1945. During the opening stages of World War II, the Soviet Union created the Eastern Bloc (the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War) by invading and then annexing several countries as Soviet Socialist Republics by agreement with Nazi Germany in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. With the initiation of his “Second Revolution”, Stalin launched the “Cult of Lenin” and a cult of personality centered upon himself. The defining characteristic of communism in the Eastern Bloc was the unique symbiosis of the state with society and the economy, resulting in politics and economics losing their distinctions and autonomy. AM: When the Soviet Union fell, how did you take it? The Cold War dominated the second half of the 20th century, resulting in the collapse of communism. The generation born during Stalin’s rule was the first in which most members were literate. As the Cold War started, Stalin himself advocated for a top down anti-American campaign that seeped into all corners of Soviet society. Finally, traveling abroad and choosing your own path in life was practically impossible. When Soviet Union collapsed, life as we knew it ended and stability was gone. The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federation of Soviet Republics that were outwardly independent nations, but existed essentially as satellite states under the control of Russian power. It remains the official ideology of the ruling parties of China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam, and was the official ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the other ruling parties making up the Eastern Bloc. AM: How did you feel after coming to the U.S.? The Soviet Union and the United States stayed far apart during the next three decades of superpower conflict and the nuclear and missile arms race. Despite the strict censorship of the arts and the repression of political dissidence during this period, the Soviet people benefited from some social liberalization, including more equal education and social roles for women, free and improved health care, and other social benefits. Stalin’s regime was a totalitarian state under his dictatorship, in which Stalin exercised extensive personal control over the Communist Party and unleashed an unprecedented level of violence to eliminate any potential threat to his regime. 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