Business News Russia - Page 15

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The Baptism of Kievans, a painting by Klavdiy Lebedev.

invasion of Poland and Winter War), and to gain one and a half more years for building up the Soviet military.

On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany broke the non-aggression treaty and invaded the Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history, opening the largest theater of the Second World War. Although the German army had considerable success early on, their onslaught was halted in the Battle of Moscow.

Subsequently the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–1943, and then in the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. Another German failure was the battle of Leningrad, in which the city was fully blockaded on land between 1941–44 by German and Finnish forces, suffering starvation and more than a million deaths, but never surrendering.

Under Stalin's administration and the leadership of such prominent commanders as Georgy Zhukov and Konstantin Rokossovsky, Soviet forces drove through Eastern Europe in 1944–45 and captured Berlin in May 1945. After marking this by the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945, the Soviet Army ousted Japanese from China's Manchukuo and North Korea, contributing to the allied victory over Japan.

1941–1945 period of World War II is known in Russia as Great Patriotic War. In this conflict, which included many of the most lethal battle operations in human history, Soviet military and civilian deaths were 10.6 million and 15.9 million respectively, accounting for about a third of all World

War II casualties. The Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation but the Soviet Union emerged as an acknowledged superpower.

The Red Army occupied Eastern Europe after the war, including the eastern half of Germany. Dependent socialist governments were installed in these satellite states. The USSR maintained control over these nations by many means, sometimes by military force, as in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Becoming the world's second nuclear weapons power, the USSR established the Warsaw Pact alliance and entered into a struggle for global dominance with the United States, which became known as the Cold War.

The Soviet Union exported its Communist ideology to newly formed independent allies, the China and North Korea, while also helping these countries in industrialization and development.