Why did Russia emerge as a superpower after WW2?

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Why did Russia emerge as a superpower after WW2?

Following its victory in World War 2, Russia emerged as a superpower of the world. Russia’s superpower status was based upon it having one of the strongest militaries in the world and its new geographical influence and it’s economic strength. Ultimately, Russia’s economy was the most important reason for it’s emergence as a superpower after World War 2, as this underpinned it’s military might's and allowed it to compete with America.

Russia’s economy was the most important reason for it’s superpower status. Stalin had used the five year plans to turn Russia from a primarily agricultural economy into an advanced industrial economy. The developments seen during 1928-1941 laid the foundations for future economic growth within Russia. By 1941, all farms in Russia were collectivised, which allowed enough food to be produced to feed the rapidly urbanising population. During this time, a generation of workers was trained, who following war could develop Russia’s industry further. Despite Germany’s scorched earth policy costing almost all of the progress made during the first two Five-Year Plans, the Fourth Five-Year Plan made Russia the fastest economy in the world. The focus of the Fourth and Fifth Plan was heavy industry and rearmament ensuring Russia was prepared for any future war. Ultimately, Russia’s economy was a key reason for it’s emergence as a superpower as it was well suited to military preparation and was built on a strong foundation for growth.

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Russia’s superpower status was also grounded on it’s military might. Indeed by 1946, Russia had the largest standing army worldwide, numbering 3 million men. Russia was truly able to compete with its superpower rival America, as it matched the latter’s atomic bomb in 1949, going on to develop it’s own Hydrogen bomb in 1953. Moreover, Russia began developing rockets immediately after war, which could be used as missiles against America. However, Russia’s military might was based on its strong economy, as these projects were extremely expensive. Indeed, Russia’s economy allowed it to devote 7.4 billion roubles to defence spending ...

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