Third World Friendships


Photo source:

Th above photo represents “peace among all people,” and important aspect for the Soviet Union in the 1960’s.

In the 1960’s, the Soviet Union began to expand its influence in what was then (and now) referred to as the Third World. The areas of influence included parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, many of which were struggling to achieve, or had just recently achieved, independence from colonial rule. A very important dimension of this Soviet influence, however, was the establishment in 1960 of the University of the Friendship of Peoples just outside of Moscow. This university attracted students from over eighty developing countries, promising free tuition, accommodation, and medical care, plus a modest stipend. Initially, the university received over 28,000 applications.

For many Moscow natives, this was their first encounter with exotic peoples from other parts of the world. However, there were unpleasant incidents derived from Muscovites’ racism and mutual incomprehension. Overall, however, the Soviet Union was dedicated to solidifying its peaceful relations with these countries. In late 1960, Prince Norodom Sihanouk visited Moscow. In his speech to address the Soviet public, the Prince said, “I feel compelled to conclude this long speech by expressing our satisfaction at the fact that the great Soviet Union with conviction defends peaceful coexistence between countries with different regimes and ideologies.” This was an important part in Soviet history an could be considered one of the significant steps forward in the post-Stalin era.




One thought on “Third World Friendships

  1. I find the Soviet Union’s push for foreign relations in the 1960s fascinating, especially with newly independent African states. Many leaders like Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere were following the technological advances and economic growth of the Soviet Union, and their apparent interest in socialism was undoubtedly a factor in the Soviet establishment of the University of the Friendship of Peoples. Nice post!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s