Despite the fact that the two superpowers were allies during the World War II, they, however, differed on views pertaining to post-war reconstruction as one was pursuing capitalism, while the other was socialism, and this diversion is said to be the root cause of the world's bipolarity. The USSR sought alliances from its established satellites in Eastern Europe as well as Latin America and South East Asia, influenced these nations towards Socialism and Communism, while the U. S. sought the containment of communism and established several alliances to this end, particularly in Western Europe and the East. The USSR found allies in other communist regimes in Eastern Europe such as Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Albania, Romania, East Germany, and Finland, making the political machinery and arsenal of Communism spread strongly.
Despite informal expression of war between the US and USSR, the Cold War period was characterized by international crises such as the Korean War in 1950-53, the Berlin Blockade in 1948-49, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Vietnam War in 1959-1975, the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979-89, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 (Wohlforth 1993). However, the potential for mutually assured destruction through deliverable nuclear weapons deterred direct military attacks between the US and USSR. When the Cold War drew close to the period of 1990s, newly appointed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced glasnost and perestroika, unclothing the real face of classical revisionism, which he called Socialism, while the US increased diplomatic, economic, and military pressure on the USSR. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 alongside the ideologies of revisionism, the United States was left as the only triumphant superpower in a unipolar world.
As this paper intends to present an artifact that would convey a conflict and identity between Prague and another country under USSR during the cold war, such artifact chosen is the ammunition relic. The ammunition relic is so chosen since it fits tremendously in the then existing military and political turmoil caused against the Czech and Chechen people in the spread of communism. Apparently, the two capitals held in focus for this purpose are Prague (Czechoslovakia) and Grozny (Chechen Republic). The ammunition relic has a corresponding significant in terms of the ongoing construction and promotion of the national identity of the two countries in respect of the Cold War conflict. It symbolizes control, power, domination, and repression of people by their governments in the latter's pursuit for world recognition of the government systems that they upheld.
The Relationship Between the USSR and Czechoslovakia
During the Cold War
The beginnings of communism in Czechoslovakia ensued in the post-World War II era. On May 1945, the USSR liberated its capital - Prague - from the Germans after a popular uprising. The mark of the true emergence of communist power in Czechoslovakia began in 1948 upon organized mass strikes by communist party members, leaving the government