The response of the USA and its allies

For the Western Allies, the setting up of communist governments in Eastern Europe was a major concern.

World War Two had been fought in the name of freedom.

Now it seemed that in many countries the hard-won freedom from Nazi dictatorship was being replaced by communist dictatorships.

In 1946, George Kennan, an official at the US Embassy in Moscow, was asked to provide a summary of what the Soviets were up to and their intentions in Eastern Europe.

Kennan’s response became known as The Long Telegram because it was 8,000 words in length.

The Long Telegram

Kennan’s telegram explained that the USSR was heavily armed and feared the outside world.

It was determined to spread communism and therefore there could be no peaceful co-existence between the USSR and the USA.

However, the USA was stronger than the USSR and so communism could be ‘contained’.

The Novikov Telegram

The Soviet response to The Long Telegram was The Novikov Telegram, in which the Soviet ambassador to the USA, Nikolai Novikov, warned that the USA had emerged from World War Two economically strong and was set on world domination.

quote
The basic goal of this anti-Soviet campaign of American "public opinion" is to exert political pressure on the Soviet Union and compel it to make concessions. Another, no less important goal of the campaign is the attempt to create an atmosphere of war psychosis among the masses, who are weary of war, thus making it easier for the U.S. government to carry out measures for the maintenance of high military potential.Nikolai Novikov

As a result, the USSR needed to secure its buffer zone in Eastern Europe.

The USA saw the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe as the start of an attempt to spread communism around the world.