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Brezhnev Doctrine

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Definition: The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet foreign policy outlined in 1968 which called for the use of Warsaw Pact forces to intervene in any Eastern Bloc nation which was seen to compromise communist rule and Soviet domination, either by trying to leave the Soviet sphere of influence or even moderate its policies. The Doctrine was seen clearly in the Soviet crushing of the Prague Spring movement in Czechoslovakia. Brezhnev described his response in a speech outlining the Brezhnev Doctrine:

"...each Communist party is responsible not only to its own people, but also to all the socialist countries, to the entire Communist movement. Whoever forgets this, in stressing only the independence of the Communist party, becomes one­sided. He deviates from his international duty...Discharging their internationalist duty toward the fraternal peoples of Czechoslovakia and defending their own socialist gains, the U.S.S.R. and the other socialist states had to act decisively and they did act against the antisocialist forces in Czechoslovakia."

The term was used by the Western media and not by Brezhnev or the USSR itself.

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