From 1900 to 1945 Russia and then the USSR remained a developing country striving to catch up quickly with the WeSt and modernize on the periphery of Europe. By May 1945, the USSR had paid a high price in its efforts to reverse the German invasion and contribute to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Behind in the nuclear race and looking ahead to over a decade of post-war reconstruction, the USSR/Russia went through several major changes over the course of the Cold War years and after.

From post-war reconstruction beginning in 1945 and Stalin’s last years in power to Brezhnev’s high point in 1972 and decline to 1982 identify and explain the 3 main turning points in how the CPSU moderated its approach to ruling over the peoples of the USSR. What were the two main broad challenges that most impacted the USSR during these Cold War decades? Cover the given period evenly.