Quel avenir pour la Russie  ?

CAMBRIDGE – Dans les années 1950, beaucoup d'Américains craignaient que l'Union soviétique ne dépasse les USA en tant que principale puissance mondiale. Son territoire était le plus vaste de la planète, elle se classait au deuxième rang mondial par son économie et au troisième par sa population, et elle produisait davantage de pétrole et de gaz que l'Arabie saoudite.

Elle détenait prés de la moitié de l'arsenal nucléaire mondiale, elle disposait de davantage de soldats que les USA et elle était le premier pays au monde par le nombre de ses scientifiques et de ses ingénieurs. Elle a fait exploser une bombe à hydrogène en 1952, seulement un an après les USA, et elle a été la première à lancer un satellite dans l'espace en 1957.

En termes d'influence, l'idéologie communiste était au firmament dans l'après-guerre en raison de ses références antifascistes en Europe et de son identification avec les mouvements populaires  d'indépendance nationale dans le Tiers monde. La propagande soviétique alimentait abondamment le mythe du triomphe inévitable du communisme.

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