In 1945, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt held a meeting known as the Yalta Conference. Here, they outlined plans for peace that included the partitioning of Germany into four parts. Although Stalin also agreed to allow free elections in Europe, he broke the promise after the war and established the Eastern Bloc, a buffer state against invasion from the west that Churchill famously termed the “iron curtain.” Meanwhile, the United States’ policy of containment resulted in the Marshall Plan, allowing for massive spending in Europe to prevent the spread of communism. Conflicts in ideology led to the formation of two separate alliance systems: NATO and the Warsaw Pact. While the USSR and the USA never fought directly (the concept of MAD prevented this), they competed for international dominance through space and arms races, as well as proxy wars. Hostilities in Germany resulted in the building of the Berlin Wall during Khrushchev’s reign. By 1991, the USSR had fallen due to a combination of glasnost and perestroika, both policies implemented by Gorbachev.