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STALIN'S PERSONALITY
In the hallway [at Yalta] we stopped before a map of the world on which the Soviet Union was coloured in red. Stalin waved his hand over the Soviet Union and exclaimed, ‘They [Roosevelt and Churchill] will never accept the idea that so great a space should be red, never, never!’
Milovan Djilas writing about Yalta in 1948.


1) Stalin belived in the World Revolution, inevitable war with West.

2) He was a dictator, and he thought leaders could break promises to the public. For example he promised free elections to the people in eastern Europe, but then he set up pro-Soviet governments.

3) Stalin didn't trust West, due to the his historical experience.

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HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE

  • During the Russian Civil War, The Whites had united in an attempt to crush the Bolsheviks (Communists). The Whites were made up of different anti-Bolshevik groups.
  • The Whites also received help from the West (USA, France and Britain). Their troops tried to force Russia back into war against Germany, in order to weaken it even more because it was in the state of civil war.
  • Britain followed a policy of appeasement, which gave Hitler exactly what he wanted, because Britain was not ready to go to war against Germany and it believed that it would motivate Hitler to fulfill his promise and destroy Communism. Stalin was aware of the fact that Britain was pointing Hitler to Russia and signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact when Hitler wanted to invade Poland.
  • When the Nazi invasion of the USSR began and the enemies were at the gates of the cities, Stalin spent 3 years asking France and Britain to unite and open up a second front, which would force Hitler to reduce the pressure on the USSR. However, Britain decided to wait and see if Hitler would destroy be able to destroy Communism this time and put an end to Stalin's regime.
  • ALL OF THESE FACTORS ARE EVIDENCE FOR HOSTILITY FROM THE WEST.


YALTA 1945

The Yalta Conference took place between the 4th and 11th of February, 1945. The big three there were Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and F. D. Roosevelt. By 1945, the USSR was dominating Eastern Europe and had control over the yet untested power of the nuclear bomb. This made Stalin a strong negotiating figure.


WAR AIMS

  • Stalin wanted to have a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. The USSR was exhausted by the Second World War (27 million Soviets were killed) and Stalin wanted to have a "buffer zone" so that Russia does not suffer more damage to its land, industry and people.
  • He demanded high reparations from Germany, which would compensate for the damage suffered by the USSR during the Second World War. This would make Germany weak and would give Stalin the time necessary to get his country back on its feet.
  • Stalin wanted American loans, which would flow into the shattered USSR economy and would help rebuild the industries.


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COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY



"Two worlds - two plans
We bring life, they cause death"


1) Stalin believed that there is going to be future World Revolution, inevitable war with West. He had to be prepared and to keep money for the Revolution.

2) As there was an inevitable war coming, Stalin wanted to make a barrier, ''buffer zone'', to be sure that his country would be safe. As Germany was a
dominating country in Europe, Stalin wanted to keep Germany weak or to control it.