How did World War II affect the Soviet Union domestically?  Were the effects, on balance, positive or negative for the USSR? Consider geography, economics, and domestic politics, among other aspects.

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Whether the effects of World War II on the Soviet Union were positive or negative surely depends on the time frame in which we consider the question.  For the short and medium terms, the war’s impact would have to be seen as negative.  In the longer run, the war might be said to have had somewhat of a positive effect on the USSR because it helped the country become a world power.

In the short and medium term, WWII was a terrible thing for the Soviet Union.  More than any other country, the USSR was devastated by the war.  The Soviet Union lost a huge number of people to the war.  An estimated 24 million Soviet citizens died during the war.  Something like 10 million of these were military deaths while others were killed by things like starvation.  This amounts to approximately 14% of the pre-war population of the country.  This is a higher percentage than were killed in Germany, even counting the people (like the Jews) killed by...

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