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Much of Eastern Europe effectively becomes an extension of a massively expanded Soviet Empire. The Soviet Bloc also creates a buffer zone between the USSR and the rest of the Western Europe.

In April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) is formed by 10 Western European states, the US and Canada to provide a military framework for co-operation in the face of what is seen as a common enemy.

Relations between the West and the Soviet Union are plunged into a freeze - the Cold War.

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