What reason did the Soviet Union give for its expansion after World War II?

1 Answer
Mar 19, 2018

It justified it as an act of defence and as a liberation of these countries.


A fractured relationship between the then Soviet Union and the West in 1945 was nothing new. The nascent Bolshevik state had been attacked by the West in its support for the White armies after the Russian revolution in 1917. Moreover in 1941 the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany, culminating in the deaths of approximately 27 million Russians most of the civilians. Germany had been supported by fascist East European states such as Romania and Hungary during the war.
Therefore when World War 2 ended and the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe and their German zone of occupation, Stalin saw this as an opportunity to set up a buffer zone of communist states, protecting the Soviet Union from future attack from the West.

Previous experience gave some credence to Soviet fears. However the brutal suppression of any opposition, the imposition of totalitarian regimes, and the callous, cynical and calculating way in which Stalin exploited the situation even before the end of the war, e.g. holding back Soviet troops to allow the Nazis to crush the Warsaw Uprising, is testament to the reality as opposed to the myth of Soviet "liberation" of Eastern Europe.