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The Stalin Line was a line of fortifications along the western border of the Soviet Unionmarker. Work began on the system in the 1920s to protect the USSR against attacks from the West. The line was made up of concrete bunkers and gun emplacements, somewhat similar but less elaborate than the Maginot Line. It was not a continuous line of defenses along the entire border but rather a network of fortified regions, meant to channel the potential invaders along certain corridors.

In the aftermath of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, with the westward expansion of the USSR in 1939 and 1940, into Polandmarker, the Baltic, and Bessarabiamarker the decision was made to abandon the line in favour of constructing the so-called Molotov Line further west, along the new border of the USSR. A number of Russian generals felt that it would be better to keep both lines and have defence in depth, but this conflicted with the pre-World War II Soviet military doctrine.

Thus the guns were moved, but were mostly in storage as the new line began construction. The 1941 German invasion caught the new line unfinished and the Stalin Line largely abandoned and in disrepair. Neither was thus of any use in stopping the onslaught of Operation Barbarossa, though parts of the Stalin Line were manned in time and contributed to the defense.

Following World War II, the line was not maintained, in part due to its wide dispersal across the USSR. Unlike in Western Europe, where similar fortifications were demolished for development and safety reasons, much of the line survived beyond the breakup of the USSR in 1991 due to being ignored. Today, the remains of the Stalin Line fortifications are located in Belarusmarker, Russiamarker and Ukrainemarker (plus possibly the eastern parts of Moldovamarker) .

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