Déjà Vu All Over Again: Prague Spring, Romanian Summer, and Soviet Autumn on Russia’s Western Frontier,

Cambridge University Press

This article explores the complex dynamics that informed Soviet policies on the western frontier – the territories stretching between the Baltic and Black Seas annexed by the Soviets in 1939–40 – and involves several interlocking aspects: the permeability of borders prone to irredentist pressures by socialist satellites, mass tourism from the West and the Soviet bloc, and the increasing flow of information from foreign media sources; the conflicting sentiments that led locals to embrace or reject reforms based on different pre-Soviet memories, the experiences of the Second World War, postwar sovietisation policies and the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956; the impact of Romanian and Czechoslovak policies on the authorities and populations of the western republics and the Kremlin's concerns over the region as key factors in the decision to invade Czechoslovakia; and, finally, the domestic and international consequences for an aging, self-styled revolutionary regime choosing between youthful reform and stagnant stability.