A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from by Vladislav M. Zubok

By Vladislav M. Zubok

Western interpretations of the chilly War--both realist and neoconservative--have erred via exaggerating both the Kremlin's pragmatism or its aggressiveness, argues Vladislav Zubok. Explaining the pursuits, aspirations, illusions, fears, and misperceptions of the Kremlin leaders and Soviet elites, Zubok bargains a Soviet point of view at the maximum standoff of the 20 th century.

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Molotov, received a tongue-lashing from Truman who demanded that the Soviets honor the Yalta accords on Poland. 41 When the Soviet Union refused to end its wartime occupation of northern Iran, strong Anglo-American protests and a major diplomatic crisis in the United Nations compelled Moscow to withdrew its troops. Five months later, in August 1946, Soviet attempts to impose on Turkey a new regime for the Straits raised fears in London and Washington that Moscow was intent on gaining direct access to, and possibly a permanent presence in, the Eastern Mediterranean.

In the end, for all its flaws, in Greece containment proved to be a sound investment. NOTES 1.  Anderson, The United States, Great Britain, and the Cold War, 1944–1947 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981), vii–27; Robert Frazier, Anglo-American Relations with Greece, The Coming of the Cold War, 1942–47 (London: Macmillan, 1991), 1–20; John O. ), Ambassador MacVeagh Reports: Greece, 1933–1947 (hereafter Ambassador MacVeagh Reports) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), 583–5. 2.

For the most part, the Yugoslav Communists until early 1948 had been unstinting in their support for Stalin and the Soviet Communist Party (known by the acronym VKP(b) until October 1952 and then renamed the KPSS or the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). 13 INITIAL SOVIET EFFORTS TO REASSERT CONTROL Far from demonstrating Soviet strength, Stalin’s decision to provoke a split with Yugoslavia revealed the limits of Soviet coercive power—economic, political, and military. The Soviet Union and its East European allies imposed economic sanctions against Yugoslavia and adopted a wide array of political measures to destabilize and precipitate the collapse of Tito’s regime.

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