By the end of World War II, the Soviet Union had enormous prestige in the international arena. This contributed to the strengthening of the left forces in many Western countries. Thus, the first post-war elections in Great Britain, held in July 1945, brought success to the Labor Party. The Conservatives, led by the legendary Winston Churchill, were defeated. Communists achieved great success in Europe - their number increased from 1.5 million to 4.8 million people in just a few years.
July 16, 1945 in the state of New Mexico (Alamogordo desert), the United States conducted a successful atomic charge test for the first time. On August 6 and 9, 1945, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki underwent atomic bombing. The atomic bomb came into being and gave American supremacy over the USSR an undeniable and threatening character. The Soviet leadership attempted to eliminate the US monopoly on atomic weapons, especially since there were reserves in this area. As early as the prewar years, Soviet physicists I. V. Kurchatov, Ya. B. Zeldovich, Yu. B. Khariton, and others laid the foundations for obtaining a controlled chain reaction of nuclear fission. The resolution of the State Defense Committee of August 20, 1945 "established a special committee headed by L.P. Beria, who was entrusted with the management of all work on the use of uranium intraatomic energy.
Thus, the competition of two systems, starting in 1917, moved into a new phase, the attribute of which was the arms race. In the USSR, forces and resources were invested in the military industrial complex and to support socialist orientation regimes. The post-war world plunged into a state of cold war. The first signal to her was the famous speech of former British Prime Minister William Churchill, delivered on March 5, 1946 in the city of Fulton, in the presence and with the approval of US President G. Truman. The speech was sustained in aggressive tones and became a prologue to the polarization of the world. With the formation in 1947 of the Information Bureau of Communist and Workers Parties (which existed before 1956 and designed to coordinate the actions of these parties for the adoption of joint resolutions), Europe was finally divided: on the one hand the USSR and its allies, and on the other - USA with its partners.
For many years, the German problem remained one of the central questions of world politics and the Cold War. The future of Germany was at the center of discussion at the Crimean (Yalta), as well as at the Potsdam (Berlin) conferences. As a result, Germany was divided into 4 zones of occupation: Soviet, American, British and French. Berlin received a special status - it was divided into 4 sectors led by the commandants, subordinated to the Control Council, which was led by the commanders of the occupying forces. In all zones of occupation of Germany, the policy of “three Ds” was implemented - demilitarization, democratization, denazification (destruction of the remnants of fascism). Of course, a policy was pursued in the Soviet occupation zone aimed at increasing the influence of left-wing forces: land reform was carried out, local elections were held, and the activities of some political parties were permitted.
However, the peaceful settlement of the German question immediately ran into serious difficulties, aggravating the contradictions between the USSR, on the one hand, and the United States, Britain and France, on the other. On March 12, 1947, the "Truman Doctrine" was proclaimed, providing for US military assistance to those countries over which the "communist threat" hung. Along with Churchill's speech, this doctrine became a kind of a fuse for the Cold War.
At the end of 1946, the United States and Great Britain merged their zones of occupation of Germany into a single zone - Bizoniya, and in 1948, with the accession of the French zone to it, Trizonia arose. Relations between the former allies continued to escalate. In 1949, both sides took steps to finally split Germany and create two separate German states. The Soviet side provided an opportunity to make this first dangerous step to the West. In May 1949, the West German Landtag adopted the constitution of West Germany, and on September 20, 1949 the government of the country was formed, which became known as the Federal Republic of Germany. Half a month later, on October 7, 1949, in Berlin, the second German state was constituted - the GDR. These events were preceded by the "Berlin crisis", which erupted after a separate monetary reform was carried out in West Germany in June 1948. The reaction of the Soviet side was harsh and immediate - the transport connection between Berlin and the western occupation zones was interrupted. In essence, it was the blockade of the western sectors of Berlin. For the purpose of its breakthrough, the West organized an “air bridge” - the delivery of goods by military transport aviation, which operated from March 1948 to May 1949.
The psychological atmosphere around the Berlin Crisis contributed to the creation of a Western alliance directed against the USSR. The economic union, born in 1947 within the framework of the plan of the head of the US State Department, General Marshall, quickly turned into a military and political one. On April 4, 1949, the United States and Canada signed the North Atlantic Pact - NATO together with 10 Western European countries. In the same year, TASS reported that the Soviet Union had atomic weapons. This meant that the American monopoly on the atomic bomb came to an end.
The relations of the USSR with the "camp of socialism" in the first post-war years also did not always develop simply and easily. So, in 1948, it became a fact of breaking relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, which had a stunning effect on the world community. On June 29, 1948, Pravda reported on the situation in the Yugoslav Communist Party, the leadership of this country was accused of conducting hostile - USSR debtor policy and treachery of the cause of socialism.
Fatal role in the conflict was played by Stalin’s great-power way of thinking and actions, his desire to take control of Eastern European countries, intolerance for dissent. Without waiting for the repentance of the leader of the Yugoslav communists I. Tito, Stalin became even more entrenched in his determination to bring him to the "ideological court." In 1949, all treaties on friendship, mutual assistance and post-war cooperation between the two countries were broken. The complete isolation of Yugoslavia from the USSR and other socialist countries was secured by the resolution of the Information Bureau "The Yugoslav Communist Party in the power of murderers and spies." Following the USSR, Poland, Hungary , Bulgaria, Romania and Czechoslovakia interrupted contacts with Yugoslavia.
In the late 40s. radically changed the situation in Asia. In the summer of 1949, the final stage of the war unfolded between supporters of Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek. At the same time, Mao proclaimed that China joins the anti-imperialist camp, led by the USSR, and hopes for his friendly help. On October 1, 1949, the creation of the Chinese People's Republic, which became a single state, was announced in Beijing. Already in December, Mao arrived in Moscow, where difficult negotiations were held for two months. February 14, 1950 an agreement was signed between the two countries.
The USSR and China pledged to provide each other with any assistance, including military, in case one of the countries was subjected to aggression. The establishment of economic ties has begun. The Soviet model, which, as the PRC leaders believed, very convincingly proved its effectiveness, became the model of the development of new China. The USSR provided a credit of $ 300 million to its strategic partner, and also pledged to return the railways in Manchuria and the bases in Port Arthur and Dalny.
The presence of a tandem of great powers that was gaining more and more power gave rise in Moscow and Pe-kin to the mood about which Khrushchev said that they express their desire to try by force the stability of the capitalist system. The Korean War of 1950–1953, in which the USSR and China let themselves be drawn in, became one of the key moments of the cold war's initial phase. Since 1945, Soviet and American troops were stationed on the territory of Korea, occupying positions north and south of the 38th parallel, which divided the peninsula into two parts. After the establishment of the two Korean states in 1948 and the withdrawal of the occupation troops from their territory, the government of the DPRK, headed by Communist Kim Il Sung, began to prepare for an offensive in order to cause an uprising in southern Korea.
Stalin reproduced the direct involvement of the USSR in this enterprise, trying to keep the local conflict between North Korea and South. Successfully launched the offensive of the North Korean troops led to the rapid seizure of the capital of the South Korean regime - Seoul. Soon, however, the situation changed. NATO countries entered the war under the UN flag. The leading role was played by the United States, whose troops launched hostilities in the territory of the DPRK. The Americans captured the North Korean one-face Pyongyang. There was a threat to the borders of the USSR and China. The counter-offensive of the Korean-Chinese troops in early 1951 threw the Americans to the 38th parallel. A maneuverable war began with attacks and counterattacks from both sides.
The participation of Soviet troops in the fighting was to provide air cover for the several air divisions from the American raids of the border zone. During the war, the USSR lost 335 aircraft and 120 pilots. The total casualties of our country in Korea amounted to about 300 people. Negotiations on the cessation of hostilities began as early as 1951, but were crowned with success only after Stalin’s death.