This reflected the Soviet desire of territorial gains. He decided to wait at least 20 years before attempting to place it under state control and in the meantime concentrate on industrial development. Two major lines of interpretation have emerged among historians. Following invasion … Monks, nuns, and related personnel added an additional 40,000 dead.[28]. ", Paul Froese, Paul. Stalin's original declaration in March 1946 that there were 7 million war dead was revised in 1956 by Nikita Khrushchev with a round number of 20 million. [8], From 1921 until 1954, the police state operated at high intensity, seeking out anyone accused of sabotaging the system. Stalin’s ruling group afterward was in practice limited to the first four of these (plus sometimes Bulganin). The upheaval associated with collectivization was particularly severe in Ukraine and the heavily Ukrainian Volga region. The party, state, administrative, and intellectual cadres had been largely destroyed and replaced by intellectually and morally inferior personnel. Every harvest, Kolkhoz production was sold to the state for a low price set by the state itself. Meanwhile, the communist assumption of power in Prague in February 1948 (followed by the Soviet attempt to eject the Western Allies from Berlin by the blockade of 1948–49) led to the revulsion of the bulk of Western opinion and to the development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, which was to block Soviet expansionism in Europe. Postwar reconstruction proceeded rapidly, but as the emphasis was all on heavy industry and energy, living standards remained low, especially outside of the major cities. Demand for food intensified, especially in the USSR's primary grain producing regions, with new, forced approaches implemented. Radio became a powerful tool in the 1930s. Industrial workers needed to be educated in order to be competitive and so embarked on a program contemporaneous with industrialization to greatly increase the number of schools and the general quality of education. The Soviet Union by 1948 had installed communist-leaning governments in Eastern European countries that the USSR had liberated from Nazi control during the war. For the duration of the Cold War, the countries of Eastern Europe became Soviet satellite states — they were "independent" nations, which were one-party Communist States whose General Secretary had to be approved by the Kremlin, and so their governments usually kept their policy in line with the wishes of the Soviet Union, although nationalistic forces and pressures within the satellite states played a part in causing some deviation from strict Soviet rule. Zhdanov fell from favour and was demoted in the summer of 1948, Malenkov taking his position as Stalin’s chief aide. The Orthodox Church was generally left unmolested after the war and was even allowed to print small amounts of religious literature, but persecution of minority religions was resumed. In the governmental sphere the membership and candidate membership of the Politburo, as elected after the 17th Party Congress in 1934 and recruited at a Central Committee plenum in 1935, had consisted entirely of veteran Stalinists. Stalin did not feel up to delivering the main report and for most of the proceedings sat in silence while Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Malenkov delivered the main speeches. Most of the delegates present at the 17th congress in 1934 were gone, and Stalin was heavily praised by Litvinov and the western democracies criticized for failing to adopt the principles of "collective security" against Nazi Germany. [42] Communists would form coalitions with any party to fight fascism. Zhdanov died almost at once, but over the next year his chief adherents, including Politburo member Voznesensky, were arrested and later executed in the secret “Leningrad Affair.” To balance Malenkov, Stalin now moved Khrushchev from Ukraine to be a Central Committee secretary and secretary of the Moscow party. [56][57][58][59], At the same time, in a famous Victory Day toast in May 1945, Stalin extolled the role of the Russian people in the defeat of the fascists: "I would like to raise a toast to the health of our Soviet people and, before all, the Russian people. The sharp mobilization of resources used in order to industrialize the heretofore agrarian society created a massive need for labor; unemployment virtually dropped to zero. Uniformity of opinion was the development of the Caucasus, and the delegates instead pleaded for him to.. Occur and the northern Bukovina, and the heavily Ukrainian Volga region [. 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