At the end of World War Two the Soviet Union (the old name for Russia) and the United States of America were suspicious of each other. The Soviet Union would not let their newly conquered lands in Eastern Europe be free. They also would not disband their armies.
This worried the capitalist and democratic countries of what we call the West. They agreed to protect each other.
The Americans had nuclear weapons which the Soviets did not have. These weapons could destroy whole cities. The Soviets though had spies. Their spies in America and Britain stole the secrets to the Nuclear weapons. Then the Soviets could build their own. Both America and the Soviet Union built thousands of bombs. They built enough to kill everyone on earth.
Both countries started to experiment with travelling into space. They wanted to explore. However, they also wanted to learn how to make missiles so they could put bombs on the top of them. There wasn’t a lot of difference between a nuclear missile and a space rocket.
Sometimes the people in Eastern Europe would rebel. The Soviet soldiers would crush them. Whenever people in the Soviet Union complained they were sent to Siberia, which is very cold, and forced to work.
One of the most difficult places was Berlin. This city was divided. West Berlin was free but East Berlin was ruled by the Soviets. The Soviets wanted the Americans to leave so they tried to starve the people of West Berlin to get the Americans to go home. America and her allies sent in enough food by place to keep the people alive.
Then so many people were trying to escape from East Berlin that the Soviets made a wall through the centre of the city, dividing west from east Berlin. Anyone who tried to climb over the wall would be shot.
The West tried hard to make sure that other countries did not become communist. Sometimes they did bad things to stop this from happening.
Then the Americans decided to build weapons in space that could shoot down the Russian missiles in space. The Soviets did not have enough money to carry on. They had a new leader who was young called Mikhail Gorbachev. When the people of East Berlin started protesting, Gorbachev did not attack them. They pulled down the wall and freed themselves. Then people in the Soviet Union started protesting and wanting to end the Soviet Union. Again, Gorbachev let them win. People were now free. The Cold War was over.
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