The Cold War from the Soviet Union's view (21 September 1955)
Historical Map of Russia & the former Soviet Union
After the death of Stalin in 1953, a thaw in relations between East and West allowed for the end of the occupations of Germany and Austria. However when West Germany was accepted into NATO, the Soviets retaliated by forming their own alliance: the Warsaw Pact.
Death of Stalin
Joseph Stalin dies at his residence in Kuntsevo, near Moscow
Crimea transferred to Ukraine
Soviet Union transfers Crimean Oblast from Russian SFSR to Ukrainian SSR