Why did Stalin want to spread his communist beliefs in Eastern Europe? Also why did he feel the need to make Germany pay reparations to the USSR?
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Stalin was eager to extend the territories under his control in order to establish friendly nations on his borders. The Soviet leader knew that if friendly governments ruled the territories surrounding his country, that they would be less likely to assist any enemy in attacking the USSR. Furthermore, Stalin wanted friendly governments around his nation, in order to act as a buffer and to protect the Soviet Union from any invasion. Stalin also wanted to control countries that traditionally had threatened Russia and later the Soviet Union, such as Poland and Germany. This was all done to protect the Soviet Union from further attacks and invasions, especially from his former allies, the British and the Americans. He, like other communists, believed that a confrontation between a Communist system and the Capitalist system was inevitable. Stalin is often portrayed as a blood-thirsty and power mad dictator. This is true, but he was also a committed communist and was a firm believer in the tenets of Marxism-Leninism. This Communist doctrine foresaw a global revolution in which all the nations of the world would become communists and property and wealth would be distributed equally. The ultimate aim of Communism was to reform society and transform humanity by the common sharing of goods, which would end exploitation and conflict. Stalin had previously favored developing communism in the Soviet Union, in opposition to the call of Trotsky, to export communist revolution around the world. By 1944-1945, Stalin was well aware that the Red Army and its victories allowed an unprecedented opportunity to expand Communism. This led him to adopt the policy of supporting Communist parties in eastern Europe. Stalin insisted on reparations in order to help rebuild his own country after a devastating and costly war and to prevent Germany from becoming powerful again. However, he was not unreasonable the way the French were in concluding the Treaty of Versailles.
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