The informal term "Soviet Empire" referred to the fact that the
Soviet Unionexerted a strong influence over a number of nations.
The application of the term "
empire" to the Soviet Union seems uncontroversial to critics of the Soviet system, but most scholars agree that the Soviet Union was a hybrid entity containing elements common to both multinational empires and modernizing nation states. [Beissinger, Mark R. 2006 "Soviet Empire as 'Family Resemblance,'" Slavic Review, 65 (2) 294-303; Dave, Bhavna. 2007 Kazakhstan: Ethnicity, language and power. Abingdon, New York: Routledge.]
The Soviet Empire was said to consist of the following:
Member states of the Soviet Union
Over time the number of the constituent
republics of the Soviet Unionvaried. The late Soviet Union included the following 15 republics.
*Russian SFSR (which in turn included of several autonomous republics)
Members of Comecon
These countries were the closest allies of the Soviet Union. They were members of the
Comecon, a Soviet-led economic community founded in 1949. In addition, the ones located in Eastern Europe were also members of the Warsaw Pact. They were sometimes called the " Eastern bloc" in English and were widely viewed as Soviet satellite states. North Koreawas a Soviet ally, but always followed a highly isolationist foreign policy and therefore it did not join the Comecon or any other international organization of Communist states.
oviet involvement in other countries
A number of countries had pro-Soviet governments for shorter periods of time during the Cold War. In the political terminology of the Soviet Union, these were "countries moving along the socialist road of development", as opposed to the "countries of developed socialism", listed above. Most received some aid, either military or economic, from the Soviet Union, and were influenced by it to varying degrees. Their support for the Soviet Union was short lived for various reasons; in some cases the pro-Soviet government lost power, while in other cases the same government remained in power but changed its relations with the Soviet Union.
Some of these countries were "not" Communist states. They are marked in "italic".
People's Republic of Congo(1969-1991)
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen(1970-1990)
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia(1974-1991)
* Lao People's Democratic Republic (1975-1991)
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan(1978-1991)
* People's Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1989)
Communist states opposed to the Soviet Union
Some Communist states were openly opposed to the Soviet Union and many of its policies. Though their forms of government may have been similar, they were completely sovereign from the USSR and held only formal ties. Relations were often tense, sometimes even to the point of armed conflict.
Albania(following the Sino-Soviet split)
People's Republic of China(following the Sino-Soviet split)
Democratic Kampuchea(1975-1979, under Pol Potand the Khmer Rouge)
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