The Rise of Kruschev -Background
- For many years the USSR pictured Stalin as a national hero for millions of Soviets. he had defeated Hitler and made the USSR a nuclear superpower
- Stalin died in 1953. There was a lot of greif and moaning. People wondered who would take over the USSR.
- In 1955 Nikita Kruschev rose to power. He was very different to Stalin and he ended USSR's long rivalries with China and Yugoslavia.
- He talked of "peaceful co-existance" with the west. He planned spending cuts on arms, and also went to the first post-war summit between the USSR, the USA, France and Britain in July 1955. He also wanted to improve standards of living for Soviets.
- Kruschev relaxed control of the Soviet Union. He shut down Cominform, released political prisoners from the Gulag and pulled Soviet troops out of Austria.
- He seemed to be signalling to the countries of Eastern Europe that they would be allowed much greater independance to control their own affairs.
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- After the Communist Party International in 1956, Kruschev made an astonoshing attack on Stalin.
- He got all the gory evidence on Stalin's purges and denounced him as a wicked tyrant who was an enemy of the people and who kept all power to himself.
- Kruschev also said much worse things about Stalin and began a programme of De-Stalinisation.
- He released more political prisoners
- He closed down Cominform as part of his policy of reconciliation with Yugoslavia.
- He invited Marshall Tito to Moscow
- He dismissed Stalin's former Foreign Minister, Molotov
- Those in Eastern Europe who wanted more freedom saw hopefull times ahead.
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The Warsaw Pact
- One aspect of Stalin's policy did not change
- His aim in Eastern Europe was to create a buffer against attack from the West.
- Kruschev continued this policy
- In 1955 he created the Warsaw Pact. This was a military allowance similar to NATO. The members would defend each other if one was attacked.
- The Warsaw Pact included all Communist countries of Eastern Europe, except for Yugoslavia, however it was mainly dominated by the USSR.
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