The Eastern Bloc was a term that was used to describe a group of Communist nations located in Europe and Asia. These countries were under the control of the Soviet Union, China, and their allies. The Eastern Bloc nations were also known as “Second World” nations during the Cold War era. First World countries were the Eastern Bloc and were led by the U.S. and its allies. Third World Countries were neutral or not aligned with the Eastern or Western Bloc.
Throughout its history, the Eastern Bloc faced issues, including famine and poverty. The group of nations was isolated from the rest of the world, which finally led the Eastern Bloc to become open to investment and foreign aid. However, it wasn’t until Mikhail Gorbachev pushed for economic restructuring that the Eastern Bloc began to truly fall apart. After the Berlin Wall came down and reunified East and West Germany, the Soviet Union – and the Eastern Block – collapsed.
The Soviet Socialist Republics of the Eastern Bloc included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. There were also a number of allied states aligned with the Eastern Bloc, including Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bulgaria, China, Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Ethiopia, Grenada, Hungary, Kampuchea, Laos, Mongolia, Mozambique, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Somalia, South Yemen, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.