Satellite state

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A satellite state (sometimes referred to as a client state) is a political term that refers to a country that is formally independent, but under heavy political and economic influence or control by another country. The term was coined by analogy to stellar objects orbiting a larger object, such as smaller moons revolving around larger planets, and is used mainly to refer to Central and Eastern European countries [1] of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War or to Mongolia between 1924 and 1990, for example.[citation needed] As used for Central and Eastern European countries it implies that the countries in question were "satellites" under the hegemony of the Soviet Union. In some contexts it also refers to other countries in the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War—such as North Korea (especially in the decades surrounding the Korean War) and Cuba (particularly after it joined the Comecon). In Western usage, the term has seldom been applied to states other than those in the Soviet orbit. In Soviet usage, the term was applied to the states in the orbit of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.[citation needed]

In times of war or political tension, satellite states sometimes serve as a buffer between an enemy country and the nation exerting control over the satellite.[2] "Satellite state" is one of several contentious terms used to describe the (alleged) subordination of one state to another. Other such terms include puppet state and neo-colony. In general, the term "satellite state" implies deep ideological allegiance to the hegemonic power, whereas puppet state implies political and military dependence, and neo-colony implies (abject) economic dependence. Depending on which aspect of dependence is being emphasised, a state may fall into more than one category.


Soviet satellite states

At the end of World War II, most eastern and central European countries were occupied by the Soviet Union.[3] The Soviets remained in these countries after the war's end.[4] Through a series of coalition governments including Communist parties, and then a forced liquidation of coalition members unliked by the Soviets, Stalinist systems were established in each country.[4] Stalinists gained control of existing governments, police, press and radio outlets in these countries.[4] Soviet satellite states in Europe included:[4][5][6][7]

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