Ph.D. (History), Senior Research Fellow
State Institution “Institute of World History of National Academy of Science of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine
Abstract. The article analyzes the internal crises experienced by the Soviet bloc countries during the Cold War. It is noted that the crises of society in Eastern Europe, in which in the early 1950s the model of the state system of the totalitarian type of the Soviet model was finally established, they arose constantly and over time unfolded and deepened. The social order imposed on the states under the influence of the USSR proved to be foreign completely and the population of these countries was unprepared and refused to accept it, which was one of the main causes of permanent outbursts of social discontent. The crisis of governance in the Soviet Union that arose after Stalin’s death, uncertainty, and some hope for the liberalization of public life gave the socialist camp hope for democratic reforms that could begin with a new leadership in the USSR. An extraordinary surge in social activity in the Soviet bloc led to the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, which decided on a variety of forms of transition to socialism and could create the conditions for a peaceful and radical political and economic transformation. However, subsequent events showed the inability of the Soviet leadership to manage effectively the socialist camp in times of crisis, the use of military force as the only possible method of resolving conflicts, unwillingness to reform the system in the face of the challenges of the time, indomitable authoritarianism.
It is noted that the internal crises that erupted in the Soviet bloc, along with the casualties of the population and the threat to the stability of European security, nevertheless showed the readiness of these countries to change and internal resistance to the system, which were able at any time, if possible, lead the states on the path of reforms and democratization.
Keywords: Soviet bloc, Poland, the GDR, Hungarian Revolution, “Prague Spring”, Cold War.
1. Boffa, Dzh. (1994). Istoriya Sovetskogo Soyuza: v 2-kh t. M.: Mezhdunarodnyye otnosheniya. T. 2: Ot Otechestvennoy voyny do polozheniya vtoroy mirovoy derzhavy. Stalin i Khrushchev. 1941-1964 gg. 2-ye izd. Retrieved from: https://scepsis.net/library/id_3226.html [in Russian].
2. Bukharin, N.I., & Yazhborovs’ka, I.S. (2011). Vladyslav Homulka: na povorotakh istoriyi. Nova i novitnya istoriya, 4, 146–168. [in Ukrainian].
3. Derzhalyuk, M.S. (2017). Uhors’ka revolyutsiya 1956 roku: prychyny, rezul’taty ta uroky (Chastyna 1). Problemy vsesvitn’oyi istoriyi, 1, (3), 109–139. [in Ukrainian].
4. Dogovor o druzhbe, sotrudnichestve i vzaimnoypomoshchi, 14 maya 1955 g. 100(0) klyuchevykh dokumentov po rossiyskoy i sovetskoy istorii. Retrieved from: https://www.1000dokumente.de/index.html?c=dokument_ru&dokument=0013_war&object=translation&l=ru [in Russian].
5. Yedemskiy, A.B. (2011). Po sledam sekretnykh konsul’tatsiy na Brionakh 2-3 noyabrya 1956 g. Slavyanskiy al’manakh 2010, 15, 462–488. [in Russian].
6. Lavrenov, S.YA., & Popov, I.M. (2003). Sovetskiy Soyuz v lokal’nykh voynakh i konfliktakh. Moskva: ACT; Astrel’. Retrieved from: http://militera.lib.ru/h/lavrenov_popov/07.html [in Russian].
7. Lipinskiy, P. Gomulka i sovetskiye lidery. Novaya Pol’sha. Retrieved from: https://novayapolsha.pl/article/gomulka-i-sovetskie-lidery/[in Russian].
8. Likhtey, I. (2017). Podiyi 1956 roku v Uhorshchyni y pozytsiya OON. Mizhnarodni zv”yazky Ukrayiny: naukovi poshuky i znakhidky, 26, 486–498. [in Ukrainian].
9. Volokitina, T.V., Murashko, G.P., & Noskova, A.F. (2002). Moskva i vostochnaya Yevropa. Stanovleniye politicheskikh rezhimov sovetskogo tipa (1949-1953): Ocherki istorii. Moskva: ROSSPEN. [in Russian].
10. Novopashin, YU.S. (ed.). (1993). Politicheskiye krizisy i konflikty 50-60-kh godov v Vostochnoy Yevrope / RAN, In-t slavyanovedeniya i balkanistiki, nauch. Tsentr obshcheslav. issled. Moskva. [in Russian].
11. Svilas, S. «Vengerskiy oktyabr’» 1956 g. i diplomatiya Belorusskoy SSR. Razvitiye. Retrieved from: http://evolutio.info/ru/journal-menu/2011-1/2011-1-svilas [in Russian].
12. Stykalyn, A. (2007). O konkretno ystorycheskykh obstoyatel’stvakh rospuska Komynforma y perekhoda k novym formam vzaymodeystvyya kompartyy. Istorychna panorama: zbirnyk naukovykh prats’, 5. Chernivtsi: CHNU «Ruta». Retrieved from: http://politics.ellib.org.ua/pages-4835.html [in Russian].
13. Carmichael, N. A Brief History of the Berlin Crisis of 1961. NationalArchives. Retrieved from: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/foreign-policy/cold-war/1961-berlin-crisis/overview/berlin-wall-overview.pdf [in English].
14. Fowkes, B. (2000). Eastern Europe 1945-1969: From Stalinism to Stagnation. Routledge. [in English].
15. Golan, G. (1971). Czechoslovak Reform Movement. Communism in Crisis 1962-1968. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [in English].
16. Knight, A. (1993). Beria: Stalin’s First Lieutenant. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [in English].
17. Lakishyk, D. (2020). German Question in the Foreign Policy Strategy of the USA in the Second Half of the 1940s – 1980s. Yevropeys’ki istorychni studiyi: naukovyy zhurnal, 16, 73–92. [in English].
18. Ouimet, M. (2003). The Rise and fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. [in English].
19. Karner, S., Tomilina, N.G., Tschubarjan, A., Iščenko, V.V., Prozumenščikow, M., Ruggenthaler, P.… & Wilke, M. (2008). Prager Frühling: Das internationale Krisenjahr 1968. Bd.1. Beiträge. Köln: Böhlau Verlag Köln. [in German].
20. The Prague Spring 1968: A National Security Archive Documents Reader. National Security Archive. Retrieved from: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/prague-spring-68 [in English].