Brezhnev Doctrine

Brezhnev Doctrine

For many centuries, human’s history has been one of the most controversial and debated issues worldwide. Hence, a large number of historical events are worth thorough consideration and analysis. For example, the Brezhnev doctrine is one of such historical events that provoke numerous discussions even in modern times. Considering its nature, this doctrine of the Soviet Union involves many political and social issues that remain the reason for concern for numerous historians. Brezhnev Doctrine was invoked in order to justify the military interventions of the Soviet Union in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

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The Brezhnev Doctrine has a significant historical background. First, the doctrine is supposed to present the Soviet foreign policy in regard to such countries as Czechoslovakia and Hungary. In 1968, it was outlined by a famous Soviet scholar S. Kovalev. The primary purpose of the doctrine was to justify Czechoslovakia invasion, which happened in August 1968. Furthermore, alongside with the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Soviet government aimed to also present their justification of the invasion of Hungary, which took place in 1956. Hence, this Brezhnev’s policy of foreign interventions was intended to suppress various liberalization efforts and uprisings in the aforementioned countries. Furthermore, the Soviet Union government aimed to compromise their political hegemony within the whole Eastern Bloc. Consequently, the doctrine presented by Leonid Brezhnev considered the way in which the Soviet Union wanted to take control over Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

The policy of the Brezhnev Doctrine had many implicit bases. In fact, according to Brezhnev’s foreign policy considering the doctrine, it was estimated that counties remaining under the authority of the Soviet Union communist parties preserved a limited independence. Hence, such countries would not be allowed to refuse the ruling of the communist party in case they wanted to. Regarding the implicit meaning of the doctrine, it was underlined that the Soviet Union reserved its leadership among the countries following communistic system and was able to ensure the inter-state cooperation within these countries. Furthermore, behind the doctrine’s principles, many military issues were practiced by the government of the Soviet Union.

In order to understand the issue of Brezhnev doctrine’s use of military interventions in such countries as Hungary and Czechoslovakia, it is essential to consider its origins. Such event as Hungarian crises have led to the doctrine’s implementation in this country. Since the main political leader, Joseph Stalin, was dead, Hungary intended to introduce a new political leader of their country. However, the Soviet government was not satisfied with the policy of Imre Nagy, a new Prime Minister of Hungary. Consequently, the Hungarian Communist Party overthrew Nagy with their own representative, Rákosi. As long as Hungary was a part of the Eastern Bloc, the principles of the communist policy, particularly the Belgrade Declaration, had to be spread among all countries of the Eastern Bloc (Glasencnik, 2013). Hungarian people did not meet this declaration, and a great number of demonstrations and calls for Hungarian withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact occurred. Accordingly, the Soviet government used the doctrine as a means to apply their communist policy in Hungary.

Czechoslovakia remains another country that was dealing with the Brezhnev doctrine conflict. Since Alexander Dubček aimed to perform serious liberal reforms, the main objective of his policy in Czechoslovakia was to create a socialist state. Hence, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia began to panic, considering the fact that a large number of people were against the communistic policy principles. Consequently, the reaction of the Soviet government occurred immediately. Brezhnev compared the political situation in Czechoslovakia to that happening in Hungary. Furthermore, he questioned political intentions of Dubček and asked for the clarification of his reforms. Czechoslovakia’s leader reassured Brezhnev of being in full control of his reforms in regard to socialism. However, the Ukrainian Communist Party was concerned about Dubček’s deviations from standard socialism (Kalashnikov). As a result, they asked Moscow to influence political situation of Czechoslovakia in order not to suffer from the collapse themselves.

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Brezhnev doctrine was aimed to be used as a formal reason to justify the military intervention of the Soviet Union in countries like Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Hence, Brezhnev claimed that the internal and external forces encourage the development of socialism not only within their country, but also among all countries of the Eastern Bloc. Furthermore, the problem of capitalism was supposed to be a common problem of all socialist countries. During the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers Party, Leonid Brezhnev pointed that preservation of socialism on the international level was much more important than sovereignty issue of each particular country (Wilde, 2017). Consequently, in case of any kind of disobedience of the socialism integrity policy, each country was at risk of the Soviet Union intervention. Moreover, since the government of the Soviet Union strictly preserved the principles of socialism, they wanted other countries to function in the same way. They explained that if all countries followed core principles of socialism, the global community would live in peace and respect.

The doctrine was based on several principles in regard to socialism preservation. Hence, in order to justify Soviet intervention in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the Soviet government invoked Brezhnev doctrine as the main factor for their military actions. Doctrine usage can be explained based on several aspects. First, it was aimed to defend the socialist community presented in both countries. Furthermore, the doctrine considered the fact that Communist parties of the Eastern Bloc, and people in particular, are free to develop their countries in regard to their internal political interests. However, such interests should not damage a socialist system within the country where it is preserved and within other countries. In other words, according to the doctrine, each Communist Party had to take responsibility not only over its own people, but also over the entire Communist movement in regard to all socialist countries. Consequently, if a certain socialist country of the Eastern Bloc tried to implement their own interests and it contradicted the core principles of socialism, such issue had to be solved by a central force, also including the armed forces of the Soviet Union. Such international intervention was interpreted by the Soviet government as the most rational way to preserve socialist system on the international level. Hence, all socialist countries were affected by non-compliance with the key principles of socialist policy.

As Hungary and Czechoslovakia tried to withdraw from the general social community, they were both undermined by the common conflict from the side of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Both countries aimed to implement their own self-determined socialist policy that seemed to contradict socialist principles introduced by the Soviet Union. Consequently, in order to perform their internationalist duty in relation to peoples of the socialist countries and protect their own socialist principles, the Soviet government and other socialist countries had to act against the antisocialist forces raised in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. As a result, Brezhnev doctrine performed the role of suppression of anti-socialist movement.

In conclusion, a large number of historical events are still worth thorough examination. The majority of them have many controversial aspects and facts. Brezhnev doctrine is one of such events that can be reconsidered and studied again. According to the fact that the doctrine was aimed at socialist preservation, its core principles strictly regulated any kinds of anti-socialist actions. Consequently, when Hungary and Czechoslovakia tried to implement their own political interests, the doctrine was invoked in order to suppress such disobedience.

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