Since its inception, the Soviet Union pursued an active foreign policy. Sometimes it happened forcedly.
Until the beginning of the Second World War, the USSR was the only state in the world to build socialism. Its economic potential was relatively small. The devastation after the Civil War and foreign military intervention affected.
In this regard, in the system of contradictions of the then world, its role was not decisive. The main players were the colonial empires - Great Britain, France, Italy, a little later - Germany, as well as the USA.
The Western world understood the danger of the emerging socialist example. Therefore, the task of liquidating the first socialist state was one of the most important. However, the limited influence of the USSR in the world at that time and the colossal economic difficulties of the global economic crisis of 30 of the 20 century brought the economic contradictions of that time to the fore. That is why the Second World War was a war for the economic division of the world.
The influence of the USSR on the formation of the global configuration of the world was small. During this period, he solved the problem of survival in a hostile environment, seeking to break through the international blockade.
During the Second World War, the USSR played a key role in defeating the coalition of the Axis countries. On the Soviet-German front, more than 70% of the military power of fascist Germany was destroyed.
The military might of the USSR and the bloc of socialist states created following the results of the Second World War brought our country into the world leaders.
Europe lay in ruins. The United States took up the restoration of its western regions. They became the natural leader of the Western world in the new world configuration.
The USSR restored its economy and helped restore the countries of Eastern Europe that were part of the socialist bloc. He became the leader of the socialist world.
So according to the results of the Second World War, a bipolar world took shape. In fact, it was the confrontation of two superpowers - the USSR and the USA, having comparable military power.
This confrontation determined the world architecture for the entire second half of the 20-th century and continues to affect today, almost a quarter of a century after the fall of the USSR.
Therefore, today it is important to consider the geopolitics of the USSR in the post-war period.
Officially, geopolitics as a science was not recognized in the USSR. Therefore, no geopolitical concepts and provisions in the USSR could not exist.
However, those fundamental positions and attitudes that guided the leaders of the USSR in foreign policy were, by their nature, pure geopolitics.
Therefore, considering the foreign policy of the USSR, we should speak about its geopolitics.
The beginning of the political confrontation of the Soviet and Western blocs was initiated by Churchill’s Fulton speech.
The creation of a military-political bloc of NATO and a few years later the Warsaw Treaty Organization institutionalized the military-political confrontation of the two systems.
The power of the socialist bloc, the attractiveness of socialist ideas for the peoples of the world, including the countries of the Western bloc, led to the ideological ideological contradiction of the time - capitalism against socialism.
In fact, two geopolitical projects came together in the struggle for world domination: the Soviet socialist and the Western capitalist.
The first of them was based on the Marxist-Leninist theory of building socialism and proletarian internationalism.
In the socio-political respect, this project involved the construction of a society of social justice, involving the elimination of conditions for the exploitation of man by man. It was supposed to create an alternative to the Western way of life.
In geopolitical terms - the creation, through support of national liberation and socialist movements, of a system of states of the socialist type, restraining aspirations for world domination of the western countries.
The second was based on a rational monetarist ideology, an aspiration for expansion, the preservation of democratic principles in the inner life.
In the geopolitical sense, this project assumed the containment of the spread of socialist ideas and the gradual degeneration of the countries of the socialist camp with the subsequent establishment of world hegemony of Western civilization.
Radically different and the vision of the essence of man. In the USSR, it is a comprehensively developed personality, with communist convictions and high patriotic feelings for the world's first socialist state, a man-internationalist. The western model was based on an economic person who built his life meaning on gaining material wealth, personal well-being and high status in society.
Thus, the opposing ideological systems were antagonistic in nature. This ruled out the possibility of mutual conversion, interpenetration. Even a partial rejection of the key positions of ideology meant a transition to the camp of the enemy, submission to his leader, rejection of his spiritual and cultural identity.
Accordingly, the confrontation between the Soviet and Western blocs was antagonistic. His resolution was possible only through the destruction of one of them with submission to the winner through the adoption of his ideological system.
This gave rise to the “cold war” that began in 1947 during the Fulton speech of British Prime Minister W. Churchill.
The strategy of the West was to implement the so-called “anaconda loop” aimed at strangling the USSR in the inland space of Eurasia, and also to limit and blockade Soviet influence throughout the world. For this purpose, it was supposed to close the coastal zone of Eurasia (Rimland), which is under US control from Western Europe through the Middle East and Central Asia to the Far East, India, Indochina and Japan (already occupied by the USA).
In turn, the USSR sought to prevent full coverage of its territory by zones of Western influence and control, to ensure the spread of its influence in the world, including areas of other continents.
In this struggle, several stages can be distinguished, significantly differing in features. historical conditions, the state of the opposing parties, their goals, applied methods and strategy of action.
The first of these is characterized by the fact that the confrontation of the parties took place in the conditions of post-war chaos and the generally unsettled system of international relations, when it seemed possible to correct the existing balance of forces, including using radical methods.
The Soviet bloc at this point was a community of Eastern European countries that were part of the Yalta agreements in the Soviet zone of influence and China, led by the USSR.
The Western bloc was significantly more powerful. It included, in addition to European countries that were in the zone of Anglo-American influence, and countries that were in colonial dependence on the leading players of the Western world, primarily Great Britain.
The Soviet Union and all the other countries of the Soviet bloc were badly damaged during the Second World War. The main asset of the USSR remained its Armed Forces and highly efficient military industry. The allies of the USSR during this period could not render him substantial assistance in confrontation with the West.
The Western bloc relied on the power of the United States and partly of Great Britain. The US economy during the Second World War has increased significantly. The losses of Great Britain, in comparison with other countries of Europe, were not great.
The basis of the military power of the Western bloc was the US military.
An important asset of the US was the presence of nuclear weapons, which at that moment did not own any country in the world.
The main strengths of the Western bloc included: significant superiority in economic potential, overwhelming superiority of naval power and strategic aviation.
The main weaknesses were a lower moral potential, a significantly weaker ideological motivation of the population, less combat-ready ground forces in Europe, as well as the remoteness of the main military industry capacities of the Western bloc located in the United States from the likely theater of military operations in Europe.
Among the main strengths of the Soviet bloc, one should note the high level of ideological motivation and patriotism of the population and the Armed Forces of the USSR and China, their high moral potential, a significant superiority in the combat potential of the ground forces, their advantageous strategic location, independence in communication from sea and ocean communications due to the location of all the countries of the block on the Eurasian continent.
The prevailing conditions for the confrontation of these geopolitical blocs determined the objectives of the parties that were similar at that time. Both of these sides sought to rebuild their economies and gain a foothold on the achieved lines.
At the same time, the Soviet bloc sought to maximize the opportunities to expand its influence by supporting the beginning of the development of the national liberation anti-colonial movement.
In turn, the Western bloc tried to use social contradictions, mainly in the states of Eastern Europe, to weaken the Soviet bloc and separate some states from it.
Accordingly, the main geopolitical strategy of this stage on the part of the Western bloc was the expansion and consolidation of Anglo-American influence in the Middle East, Central Asia and Indochina, with destabilization of political regimes in Eastern European countries that were part of the Soviet bloc.
The essence of the geopolitical strategy of the Soviet Union was to repel attempts to destroy the Soviet bloc, to restore economic potential, to minimize the possibility of direct military aggression from NATO, and under favorable conditions, to reduce the pressure of the American “anaconda loop” by local geopolitical counterattacks.
In a military-strategic sense, the United States relied on superiority in nuclear weapons and strategic aviation, and the USSR on superiority in ground power, primarily in armored forces, which in a short time allowed to crush NATO forces and occupy the territory of European countries right up to the shores of the Bay of Biscay .
A specific feature of the geopolitical confrontation at this stage is the wide use of military force by the parties, the leading countries of the blocs - the USSR and China on the one hand, the United States, Great Britain and France - on the other.
This period is characterized by an abundance of minor wars in the Middle East, Indochina and other regions of the world, as well as a series of anti-Soviet demonstrations in some countries of Eastern Europe. The brightest episode of this stage of geopolitical confrontation was the Korean War, where the armed forces of the leading countries of the opposing blocs - the USSR and China against the USA, Great Britain and their allies - came together in direct armed confrontation.
This stage was completed by the end of the fifties of the last century, when the USSR created nuclear potential (nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles) sufficient to deter direct military aggression against the USSR.
In general, it can be stated that at this stage both sides managed to achieve their goals.
The USSR strengthened the Soviet bloc, restored its economic potential, and created conditions that practically excluded the possibility of direct military aggression against it.
The United States and its allies maintained and expanded the zones of control over the geopolitical margin of Eurasia, restoring the economic potential of Europe.
At its core, this was a stage of “geopolitical defense” on both sides.
The onset of the second stage was marked by a wave of the national liberation movement, which led to the collapse of the world colonial system.
For the Soviet Union, it was a stage of “geopolitical offensive”.
In conditions when the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation minimized the possibility of a direct military confrontation between the USSR and the USA, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the armed confrontation of the units was transferred to the periphery.
At the same time, the military and economic potentials of the parties became comparable.
The direct confrontation between the Western and Soviet blocs was concentrated in the ideological, scientific, technological, moral, psychological and economic spheres, where the special services of the opposing sides began to play a key role.
The Western bloc, realizing the weakness of its ideological base, sought to compensate for this by improving the moral and psychological methods of population management. In particular, the mass introduction of pop culture in Western countries, its export to the countries of the Soviet bloc, has become a hallmark of this period.
The era of information wars.
Among the main strengths of the Western bloc were: achieved superiority in the field of information warfare technologies, control over the sea and oceanic zones of the planet, based on superior naval power.
In addition to the above mentioned among the main weaknesses of this block, it is possible to not ideologically manage the majority of the population due to the need to hide the true goals of their policies, to limit themselves to psycho-emotional tools of influence on social processes.
Among the main strengths of the Soviet bloc, in addition to those previously noted, should be noted the continuing ideological superiority, the possibility in this regard to ideologically influence social processes.
The weakness of the Soviet bloc in the new conditions revealed the underdevelopment of the Soviet Navy. This extremely limited the ability of the USSR to provide military support to its allies in remote areas of the seas and oceans.
The prevailing conditions of opposition to the geopolitical blocs determined their goals.
Continuing the course to further strengthen the Soviet bloc, the USSR set itself the task of cutting the Eurasia-wide zone of Anglo-American domination - cutting the "anaconda loop", gaining access to the world's oceans.
The United States, in turn, set out to prevent this.
At the same time, the USSR was counting on the development and support of the national liberation movement and socialist revolutions.
While the Western bloc focused on the use of information warfare techniques in order to reformat the minds of the population and especially the ruling elite of the Soviet bloc countries.
The main content of the geopolitics of this stage on the part of the Western bloc was the creation of a network of military-political blocs along the perimeter of Eurasia, the prevention of socialist revolutions and taking control of national liberation movements.
The essence of the geopolitical strategy of the Soviet Union was to dissect the system of zones of Western control surrounding continental Eurasia.
The priorities of the geopolitical efforts of the USSR during this period were: the Middle East, Indochinese and South American.
In general, this stage of geopolitical confrontation for the USSR and its allies was successful. The main geopolitical goals were achieved.
The emergence of USSR-friendly regimes in Vietnam, Syria, Libya, Cuba, Nicaragua, and several other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South America meant the destruction of the integral system of Western control over the coastal zones of Eurasia, the rupture of the American “anaconda loop”.
At the same time, it was during this period that signs of future severe geopolitical defeats appeared.
The loss of an important ally in the face of Maoist China was a hard hit for the USSR and the entire Soviet bloc. This country did not go for integration with the West, but for many years became one of the opponents of the USSR.
The hierarchy of power created in the USSR with the most severe discipline and severe responsibility for managerial mistakes (what was later called “unreasonable repression”) was the key condition for the country's survival in the pre-war, military, and early post-war years.
In the sixties, a key element was removed from this system - the personal responsibility of managers of all ranks for their activities. In combination with the withdrawal of the party and economic leadership from under the control of the special services, this led to the decay of the ruling elites of the socialist countries.
Among the party and economic leaders of the USSR and the countries of the socialist camp, there has been a tendency to form stable clan formations, the predominance of their interests over the state ones in the practice of management. An intensive degradation of the leading strata of Soviet society began, both morally and intellectually.
Having concentrated on solving geopolitical tasks, the leadership of the USSR did not pay enough attention to the development of its society, both spiritually and materially.
The great danger was borne by the underestimation of the information warfare technologies by the Soviet leadership. It did not recognize the information struggle as an independent sphere of interstate rivalry at all, reducing it only to an ideological confrontation in the form of propaganda and counter-propaganda.
The stagnation in the theoretical understanding of the development of real socialism, ill-considered steps in the field of domestic policy led to the emergence of a significant dissident movement. Its representatives considered Western society and capitalism a role model. In fact, they were an internal force hostile to the USSR, a vehicle for Western influence. In society, increased social apathy.
The consequence of these negative processes was a slowdown in the economic development of the countries of the socialist camp, a departure from the key principles of socialism.
Against this background, convergence theories that appeared in the West in the 70s had a tremendous impact on the minds of the Soviet leadership and certain layers of the intelligentsia.
From the end of the 70-s of the 20-th century, the last stage of geopolitics of the USSR began.
Having created a powerful ocean-going fleet that allows it to conduct active geopolitics, relying on military force, the USSR lost the main thing - its ideological superiority over its geopolitical adversary. The attractiveness of socialist ideas as a result of imbalances in the practice of building socialism and stagnation in the development of his theory has dropped significantly.
In socialist countries, the ruling bureaucracy has become a special class that pursues its clan interests to the detriment of the whole people. The significant and highly influential groups that appeared in it, explicitly and implicitly, orienting themselves to Western values, partly connected with Western special services, became powerful agents of Western influence in the USSR and other socialist countries. In an effort to discredit the very socialist idea, under the guise of managerial mistakes, they began to systematically create artificial economic and social problems.
At the same time, an effective struggle against the shadow economy, which in its essence was capitalist and threatened with the restoration of capitalism, was phased out.
The emergence of significant layers of dissatisfied with the prevailing state of affairs in society with the general apathy of the population, created the prerequisites for the restoration of capitalism in the USSR.
Under these conditions, the USSR lost the ability to conduct active geopolitics. The attempt to break through the ring of American zones of influence in the southern direction by supporting a friendly regime in Afghanistan with military force ended in failure.
The Soviet elite of the Gorbachev era, adopting Western ideas of convergence, actually abandoned the socialist path of development and embarked on the path of surrender to the West.
From this point on, Soviet geopolitics actually reduced to a rejection of resistance to the geopolitical offensive of the West.
At first, the influence of the USSR began to weaken in foreign countries — Africa, Latin America, the Far East and Western Europe, where, under the banner of “Eurocommunism,” the reorientation of left-wing and communist parties from the Soviet Union to petty-bourgeois and proper European political realities began. At the same time, the leadership of the USSR is not even trying to oppose these tendencies.
Then it is time to anti-Soviet "revolutions" in the countries of Eastern Europe. ended with the termination of the Warsaw Pact and the elimination of the socialist camp. It was a huge blow to the very near zone of the USSR’s strategic defense.
In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
The Soviet bloc suffered a complete defeat and disappeared.
A new geopolitics began - the geopolitics of Russia, the successor of the USSR.
The fall of the USSR and the Soviet bloc marked a change in the global configuration from bipolar to unipolar, built according to the Center-periphery scheme.
The center was identified with the victorious Western bloc led by the United States, the periphery is the rest of the world.
The beginning globalization was accompanied by the intensification of regional integration processes at the regional level along a civilization basis. In the geopolitical confrontation, not individual states began to come to the forefront, but their communities formed on the basis of civilizational proximity.
Western civilization, the first to receive full organizational design in the form of NATO and the European Union, having secured global supremacy, began to modernize the world in its own interests. However, this did not suit everyone.
As a result, the global geopolitical confrontation on an ideological basis was replaced by the confrontation of civilizations, with the formation of the confrontation between the Western (Euro-American) civilization, on the one hand, and the Islamic, Orthodox and Confucian (Chinese) civilizations - on the other hand .
First, these world processes were understood by Huntington in his work “The Clash of Civilizations”, where he predicted the inevitability of a collision between Western civilization and the rest.
In addition, a number of the most important factors determining the direction of development of world geopolitics operated (and continue to operate today):
1. Intensive formation of a single world power system in conditions of the dominance in the world of a bloc of countries of Western civilization led by the United States.
2. Intensive growth in the population of the Earth in the face of increasing consumption of Western civilization as the environmental pressure approaches the critical threshold for the entire Earth’s habitat.
3.Global industrial raw material imbalance, consisting in the fact that the largest industrial potential is concentrated in the United States, Europe and Japan, while the main energy and raw materials are concentrated in Russia and the third world countries.
4. Appearance of independent geopolitical subjects of transnational character on the world arena.
Already at the beginning of the 90 of the last century, it was clear to the world's leading analysts that the effect of these factors would give rise to a global crisis, leading to a contradiction between the growth of production and consumption and the available resources necessary for development, the capabilities of the Earth’s ecosystem.
Russia, as a geopolitical subject, is the basis of Eurasia, which geographically, landscape, linguistically, climatically, culturally and religiously and ideologically unites the Eurasian West and the Eurasian East.
The enormous intellectual potential and geographic location of the “Eurasian Center”, as well as its considerable military potential, called into question the durability of the monopolar model without eliminating Russia as a subject of geopolitics.
Therefore, defeating the Soviet bloc and the USSR, the leaders of the Western world set themselves the task of defeating Russia as well.
Under the conditions of domination in the political elite of Russia of that time, outspoken Westerners, compradors, agents of Western influence and simply agents of Western intelligence services who relied on a whole network of American advisers, it was possible to do this without the use of NATO forces following the model of the collapse of the USSR.
The darkest in the history of Russia came the 90 years of the 20 century.
The Russian political elite was under complete American control.
Minor statist forces represented mainly by immigrants from the armed forces and special services of Russia have not played a significant role.
The people are disoriented and disorganized. The surviving and newly created communist, socialist and nationalist parties and movements, despite the mass demonstrations, did not significantly influence the policy of the authorities.
In domestic policy, the Russian government under the slogans of liberalization and democratization, the introduction of market relations and the elimination of monopolism, in fact, carried out the defeat of the country.
Industrial chains collapsed, the most important enterprises of high-tech industry were destroyed by transferring to private hands, the armed forces were reduced and special services were dispersed, the secrets of which were passed on to Western states, the production of weapons and military equipment was curtailed, the development of new types was eliminated, the leading scientific institutions engaged in the most advanced research, a number of leading scientists were simply killed.
The largest enterprises of the oil and gas complex and transport infrastructure were in the hands of domestic compradors and foreign companies.
Under these conditions, Russian geopolitics, conducted under the direct control of American intelligence services, has been reduced to total surrender in all areas.
Outside the post-Soviet space, the Russian leadership refused to support and interact with virtually all traditional allies of the USSR, leaving this space to the United States.
In the post-Soviet space, it pursued a blatantly anti-Russian policy, blocking all integration projects (in particular, the Eurasian integration project of President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev put forward in 1994), while simultaneously supporting anti-Russian regimes in the post-Soviet republics.
Indulged the Russian leadership and separatism on the territory of Russia itself.
However, despite the best efforts of foreign intelligence services and Russian compradors, it was not possible to ruin the country. Although the losses were huge in all areas.
The main reason was hidden resistance at lower levels of the power hierarchy, protests of the population and the activities of a small number of patriotic people in the Russian elite.
The coming to power in V. Putin’s 2000 year marked a new stage in Russian geopolitics. The coming to power of his team, consisting largely of immigrants from the armed forces and special services, led to a significant increase in the influence of patriotic forces in the Russian political elite, while simultaneously weakening the comprador pro-Western forces.
The failure of military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the liberation of South American countries from American hegemony, in particular, related to the brightest Venezuelan politician Hugo Chavez, and the failure of the Arab Spring operation in the Middle East became of great importance for weakening Western, especially American, influence in Russia. and in North Africa. It became clear that the United States and Western Civilization as a whole is far from omnipotent.
Began a gradual departure from the destructive policies of 90's.
It was possible to strengthen the shattered territorial unity of Russia, including with the use of military measures.
The most odious oligarchs were expelled from the political and economic life of the country, their assets were nationalized.
Found some support for integration processes in the post-Soviet space.
The integration structures have earned - the “Eurasian Economic Commonwealth”, the “Collective Security Treaty Organization” and the “Common Economic Space”.
There has been a departure from the subordination of American dictate in the field of global geopolitics.
In fact, Russia began to cautiously return to the principles of Soviet geopolitics, but on a different conceptual and ideological basis.
Russia began to pursue a unified state policy in the field of energy trade, which turned it into an influential energy power capable of influencing economic processes in its neighboring regions of Europe and Asia.
The network of gas and oil pipelines created by a single plan has become the most important instruments of geopolitical influence of Russia.
Russia began to openly condemn the practice of double standards, American hegemony and a unipolar world. Thus, US aggression against Iraq in the 2003 year was severely condemned by Russia.
The restoration of relations with the traditional allies of the USSR and Russia, destroyed in the 90-s of the 20-th century, began. Began an active rapprochement with China.
The largest successful geopolitical projects of Russia in this period were the creation of:
1. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which united the Eurasian space from Belarus to China.
2. The BRICS Bloc is an economic union of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa, which in fact economically cut the American “anaconda loop”, breaking through a serious gap in the system of zones of American influence covering Russia.
3. Eurasian Union, consisting of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, which, covering more than 85% of the territory of the former USSR, became the prototype for the further political integration of the post-Soviet space.
Regarding the appearance of the future world, the Russian leadership proclaimed its commitment to the idea of multipolarity and cooperation with all forces, in particular with continental Europe interested in opposing American hegemony.
At the same time, the significant influence of the liberal-Westernist forces in the political establishment of Russia that remained in this period made the Russian geopolitics of this period twofold.
Along with steps to revive Russian influence in the world, actions were taken in the opposite direction.
During this period, Russia abandoned its military presence in Cuba and Vietnam, did not prevent military aggression against Libya, refused, under foreign pressure, to supply C-300 air defense systems to Iran.
The tectonic shifts in world geopolitics associated with the shift of the center of gravity of the world economy to the Asia-Pacific region, the loss of Western countries of their dominance in the world economy with the leading position of China, India and Brazil, as well as the developing global crisis generated by Western civilization to overcome the available means implies the inevitability of a serious reorganization of the geopolitical picture of the world, combined with the threat of large-scale military conflicts.
Under these conditions, Western control over Russia is a critical factor for restoring and maintaining Western domination in the world. The coming to power in Russia of the pro-Western leader in the 2012 election of the year was crucial for the United States and its allies.
The election of V.Putin in this election as President of Russia is a heavy defeat for pro-Western forces in Russia, which seriously weakened their influence on Russian geopolitics.
The policy of restoring Russia as a geopolitical center of power will continue.
In its geopolitics, Russia will strive to build a multipolar world.
The priorities of the Russian geopolitics will be the further integration of the post-Soviet space, based on existing integration projects, such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Union, the expansion of economic and political cooperation within the framework of the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
An important direction of Russian geopolitics will be the reduction of international tension and the prevention of military conflicts in the world, the restoration of an effective system of international security.
The priority vectors of Russian geopolitics will be:
1. Western, focused on the development of equal relations with European countries and the normalization of relations with the United States, in order to prevent slipping into a new "cold war".
2.South, encompassing the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa, where Russia will seek to normalize the military-political situation, stop military conflicts, primarily Syrian, to restore mutually beneficial economic and political relations with the friendly countries of the region.
3.South-American, where Russian interests consist in the development of mutually beneficial economic relations with the leading countries of the region.
4.Eastern, the most important today for Russia, where it will seek to further strengthen good-neighborly relations with its great neighbor China, as well as India, Vietnam, both Korean states, as well as normalize relations with Japan.
This will allow, in combination with the restoration of the economic and strengthening of Russia's military potential, to ensure the security of the country and its ongoing development.