Soviet Estonia

In World War II Estonia had suffered immense losses. Estonia's population had decreased by one-fifth. One tenth of the population had fled westward during the war and tens of thousands of soldiers had been killed. The Soviet counteroffensive brought Estonia under renewed communist rule by late 1944. The second half of the 1940s saw forced collectivisation and large-scale deportation. By the mid 1950's, Soviet forces were able to eradicate most of the armed resistance. After Stalin's death in 1953, the situation initially eased but next two decades brought stagnation and Russification. In the second half of the 1980s, during Glasnost and perestroika, aspirations for independence revived and a new national awakening started.