In order to become a superpower, the Soviet Union tried to extend its reach. During the cold war, the United States and the Soviet Union became great competitors and each side actively sought to control the world in search of publicity. In the Eastern Bloc, Cuba, Vietnam, and Korea, the USSR extended its influence. In addition, there was a great deal of influence in Afghanistan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). During the closing months of the Second World War and most of the 1940s, in Eastern Europe, the USSR formed communist regimes and led to the Eastern Bloc. In the Eastern Bloc, the Soviet Union installed a government called “Soviet-controlled Marxist-Leninist” using the bloc politics process and thus expanding its influence (Gori 27). USSR managed to take control, and as a result, communist party permanently controlled the administration of the region. In the People’s Republic of China (PRC), USSR signed a mutual assistance and defense treaty. The treaty negotiations took place in Moscow, and the terms stipulated that USSR would provide $300 million credit to China (Gori 30). Furthermore, the treaty did mandate that USSR would have control over China’s major port cities and railroads. Through the treaty, USSR managed to have a great influence in PRC.
Beginning in the 1950s, USSR started to give assistance to Afghanistan country and expanding its influence. The aid was in the form of building roads, pipelines, and irrigation activities. The USSR communist party later on overthrew the monarchy in the 1970s and established its social reforms in the region. In 1979, USSR significantly influenced Afghanistan taking control of the Kabul capital. The USSR then managed to gain full control of the nation and its people. In addition to the influence in Afghanistan, USSR had a great impact on Korea during the Korean War that took place in 1950-1953. USSR played a fundamental role in the Korean conflict. The Soviet Union aided in the provision of soviet aircraft, pilots, and medical services. The MiG 15 fighter jets were the notable assistance that helped in the war against the US forces. After the war, the Soviet 25th Army advanced to the Northern Korea and established a headquarters at Pyongyang. USSR soldiers became instrumental in the development of “North Korean People’s Army and Korean People’s Air Force” (Jones 39). Besides, the USSR fueled the creation of Northern regime in Korea and funded some of its air force. The Soviet Union, therefore, managed to establish its communist leadership in Korea.
In the Vietnam War, the Soviet troops along with the economic aid to the nation drove the USSR influence in the region. Soviet Union supported Vietnam in the war through material aid including the air defense system, aircraft, food and medical services. Also, radar, ammunition, and artillery were the other support given to Vietnam. Its troop aid was majorly comprised of advisers that provided guidance and training to the North Vietnamese operators. Its troops also actively involved in shooting the US fighters and propelled the missile war which escalated the development of cold war between US and USSR superpowers. In Cuba, there was the establishment of diplomatic ties between the nation and the Soviet Union in 1950. Through this move, the Cuban nation became increasingly dependent on the Soviet’s military aid and markets. Consequently, Cuba became a partner of USSR during the cold war. In 1972, Cuba joined the Soviet Union in an economic organization that was purposed in creating “corporation amongst the socialist planned economies under the Soviet leadership” (Jones 67). USSR kept good contact with Cuba and shared close relations that saw USSR have a great influence on the Cuban nation. This influence resulted into the development of the Cuban missile crisis which had a noteworthy impact on the nations involved and further melted the U.S.-Soviet relations.
Gori, Francesca. The Soviet Union And Europe In The Cold War, 1943-53. 1st ed., Houndmills [U.A.], Palgrave, 2002.
Jones, C. B. Understand The Cold War. 1st ed., London, Hodder Education, 2010.