“The Soviets Union will return” I wrote in 1991 after the collapse of
the USSR deprived the Russian imperium of a third of its territory,
almost half its people and much of its world power.
A similar disaster for Russia occurred in 1918 at the Treaty of
Brest-Litovsk. Defeated by the German-Austrian-Bulgarian-Turkish Central
Powers in World War I and racked by revolution, Lenin’s new Bolshevik
regime bowed to German demands to hand over the Baltic states and allow
Ukraine to become independent.
As soon as Josef Stalin consolidated power, he began undoing the
Brest-Litovsk surrender. The Baltic states, Ukraine, the southern
Caucasus and parts of “Greater Romania” were reoccupied. Half of Poland
again fell under Russian control. Stalin restored his nation to its
pre-war 1914 borders, killing millions in the process.
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