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History Dictionary

Cold War

The term Cold War was used to describe the state of strong political-military tension between the US-led Western bloc and the former Soviet Union-led Eastern bloc that lived through most of the second half of the twentieth century. Although the armed confrontation between the two blocs has never been reached, the mutual aggressions, such as the arms race, the intervention in various regional conflicts (such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Angola, among others), the Cuban missile crisis and the Berlin issue, made it appear that a new conflict was imminent. The Helsinki Conference in 1979 and Mikhail Gorbachev's rise to power in the Soviet Union eased the climate of tension. Already in the late 1980s, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the end of communist rule in the various Eastern European countries and the breaking of the Berlin Wall brought a definitive end to the Cold War.

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