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Did the Soviets Avoid the Early Collapse of the Iron Curtain?

In the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet influence in Romania was very strong. The USSR controlled the country’s economy and political life. That was completely expected since the new government after the end of the Cold war was pro-Soviet. The first serious efforts to bring back sovereignty appeared in the 1960s. The communist government of Romania wanted to become economically independent and release the country from the covert and overt Soviet actions that made this country a satellite state under the strong control of the USSR. Therefore, regarding international relations, these two countries weren’t in equal position. The USSR had the power over Romania. And Romania wanted to make its own decisions. So, Soviet informal controls needed to be stopped.

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Operation RYAN: The Man Without a Face in an Elusive Program

During the early 80s, the world was again on the brink. The diplomatic relations between the East and the West were very unstable. There were a few factors. The Soviets believed the United States was going to start a nuclear attack. A personal element was present, too. Yury Andropov was haunted by the events in Hungary in the 1950s and how the once powerful Communist state began to crumble. Therefore, he justified operation RYAN, or Raketno Yadernoe Napadenie (Nuclear Missile Attack). The whole purpose of the operation was to collect intelligence to prevent a possible attack. In other words, the project was a sort of intelligence operation among the countries of the Iron Curtain, primarily the (former) Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic as their close ally. The program was initiated in May 1981.

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The Art of Flower Gardening – Few Tips from 1889

“A beautiful garden, tastefully laid out, and well kept, is a certain evidence of taste, refinement and culture. It makes a lowly cottage attractive, and lends a charm to the stateliest palace,” wrote Sophia Orne Johnson in 1889, in her manual about flower gardening for the ladies. Here are her tips for mastering this skill and building a good image in the society…

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