Was Russian dominion over Eastern Europe really that bad?

Nov 2014
1,669
Birmingham, UK
Also, I wish people would shut up about how Soviet "occupation" of eastern Europe was soooo bad.
you mean like the millions of people who lived under that occupation that celebrated its demise like a once-in-a-lifetime lottery win? should they shut up?
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
There's a reason why Lenin referred to the Russian Empire as a "prisonhouse of nations."

Also, I wish people would shut up about how Soviet "occupation" of eastern Europe was soooo bad. Like, have they seen who was in charge in Western Europe and what the alternatives were?
The alternative? EVERY former satellite nation under the USSR chose that western alternative. The Soviet style was dreadful and those who were forced to live under it couldn't run fast enough to other type of polity. From what I read, the vast majority are much happier.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,810
The alternative? EVERY former satellite nation under the USSR chose that western alternative. The Soviet style was dreadful and those who were forced to live under it couldn't run fast enough to other type of polity. From what I read, the vast majority are much happier.
Actually the Hungarians are kind of not happy. But then again, back in the Cold War times Hungary was known as "The happiest barack in the prison camp".

Back then they were the only easterners with a currency fully convertible to western currency (also known as actual money, as opposed to what they had in the Soviet Union and elsewhere). They also had a weird dual economy where people had an official day-job, and then an actual job where they made said money.

Since they were at the time comparing themselves to the other members of the Eastern Bloc, they were doing great! Relatively... Today they get to compare themselves to the other Western Europeans, and then they're not at all happy with the picture...
 
Nov 2014
1,669
Birmingham, UK
putting 'occupation' in scare-quotes as though it was anything else :D

next someone will be telling me that Polish people just spontaneously decided they wanted Communism
 
Jan 2016
1,151
Collapsed wave
The positive attitude towards Russia in the Balkans was probably also boosted by the change of Russian monarchs.

Alexander II, the liberator of Bulgaria was assassinated shortly after the russo-turkish war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_II_of_Russia

His successsor Alexander III had much less ambitious foreign agenda and was generally focused more on internal affairs, which has left the Balkans to be truly independent.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,006
Bulgaria
The turning point was Act of Unification in 1885 when after a rebellion in Eastern Rumelia a union with Principality of Bulgaria was proclaimed in violation of Berlin treaty. There were tensions between Alexander III and Alexander of Bulgaria at the time and right after declaration of unification in the city of Plovdiv, emperor withdrew his troops from Bulgaria.

Then Serbia attacked Bulgaria.

We held in high esteem Alexander II, there is equestrian monument to the Tsar Liberator in the very centre of our capital. His son and grandson not so much. Actually we fought on the central powers side against his grandson troops.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,006
Bulgaria
Finns have a statue of emperor Alexander II in Helsinki, his reign is part of their history.

Poles dont like general Gurko very much, as governor of Poland, he enforced the russification policies of Alexander III. We cherish the man, streets and even one bulgarian town are named after him.

There is no such thing as eastern europe, every country in the area has its own unique experience.
 
Jun 2016
1,786
Russia
The question whether the Easthern Europe was occupied or liberated by USSR after ww2 each one must decide for himself. If one's country was occupied by Nazi Germany, in this case Soviet army liberated it. If the guy associate himself, his nation with Nazi, thinks his country was voluntary ally of Hitler, in this case the country was really occupied.
As for culture, education, art I think the socialist time was the best time for all Easthern European country.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,214
Welsh Marches
A matter of fact enters the question too: were countries that fell under Soviet sway free to decide for themselves who should govern them? And I think we all know the answer to that.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,343
here
There's a reason why Lenin referred to the Russian Empire as a "prisonhouse of nations."

Also, I wish people would shut up about how Soviet "occupation" of eastern Europe was soooo bad. Like, have they seen who was in charge in Western Europe and what the alternatives were?
This is either a joke or I need to wonder if you and I live on the same planet?