Russia Keynote

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Russian History & Effects on Eastern Europe : 

Russian History & Effects on Eastern Europe

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Czars were absolute rulers of Russia from the 1500’s to early 1900’s. Peter the Great Ivan the Terrible

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In 1917, the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin began the Bolshevik Revolution which overthrew the Czars.

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1921 - The Bolsheviks (later called Communists) established the USSR or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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The Soviet Union included Russia and fourteen other Eastern European and Southwest Asian Republics.

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Communism, a system where the government ensures that property and wealth are equally owned, became the dominant way of life in the Soviet Union.

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From the very beginning, Communism allowed the government to control all aspects of people’s culture.

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The terms USSR, Soviet Union and Russia were often used interchangeably during this time. Russia USSR Soviet Union

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After Lenin’s death in 1924, the Soviet Union became a major industrial and military power under the leadership of Joseph Stalin.

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1924-1953. Soviet Union became a brutal police state in which the government executed or sent millions to prison for disagreeing or demonstrating against the government.

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1939-1945 WWII. The Soviet Union stopped Nazi Germany from advancing eastward and was a major factor in Germany’s defeat.

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The Soviet Union lost over 20 million people in the war.

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As a result of pushing the Nazi’s back to Germany, the Soviet Union became a major factor in the life of Eastern Europe.

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There was so much influence over these countries that these Eastern European countries soon became known as Soviet Satellites, or countries that are independent but under heavy influence from a more powerful country.

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Despite being allies (partners) during WII, the US and Soviet Union sharply disagreed over how Europe and the rest of the world should look after the war.

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1945-1991. The Cold War was a war of words and ideas between: Western Europe & US (Democracy & Capitalism) USSR & Eastern Europe Satellites (Communism)

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During the Cold War, there was massive military buildup on both sides.

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NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was formed to stop Communisim. The Warsaw Pact was formed to stop democracy and capitalism.

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Both organizations held that an attack on one member nation was an attack on all member nations.

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During the Cold War there were many periods of tension between the superpowers.

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Berlin Blockade

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Cuban Missile Crisis

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Berlin Wall (1961)

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Although the US and the Soviet Union never fought directly, both sides helped others fight against each other. Some examples include....

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Korean War 1950-1953

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Vietnam War (1959-1975)

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In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power and knew that Communism wasn’t working. He tried to move the USSR towards Democracy and Capitalism.

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1991. Hard-line Communists arrested Gorbachev and used the military to take over the government.

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Boris Yeltsin, leader of the republic of Russia rallied the people. Eventually, Gorbachev was released and change was inevitable.

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Late 1991. Communism in the USSR was dead. The USSR crumbled and soon all the republics declared independence.

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The former USSR republics and it’s Eastern European satellites changed to democracies and capitalism.

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Today. Although many Eastern European countries have fully democratic governments, some countries are struggling because of policies like ethnic cleansing.

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Ethnicity means a people who think of and identify themselves as members of a group. It usually refers to a group with similar ancestry, culture, and racial characteristics (hair color, skin color, body shape).

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An example of ethnic cleansing was when the government of the former Yugoslavia, imprisoned, executed or forced people to leave their homes in an effort to clean their country of unwanted ethnic groups.

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This government policy led to major uprising from the people and eventually led to the breakup of Yugoslavia into smaller countries according to their ethnic backgrounds.

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1950’s Cold War Propaganda (3:21)

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Fallout Shelter (:38)

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Teaching Kids What To Do... (4:48)

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Soviet Television Propaganda (:48)

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The End

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