When talking about Central Europe we quite often struggle with defining this area more specifically. Few suggest it is just a geographical definition of an area in the heart of Europe. But its historical background and cultural differences certainly make this region way more unique and specific.
The differences between Russia and the rest of Europe are considerable. Russia itself may (in some ways) have few European elements but inevitably excluded itself from the rest of Europe during the Russian Revolution in 1917, when Russia become the first communist state headed by Lenin, who quickly eliminated the opposition and limited private ownership. On the other side the breakup of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire meant that many countries become independent and adopted western political systems based on democracy and separation of powers.
After the World War 2, the Iron curtain divided Europe into two separate economical and political segments. Countries on the east side become (in most cases involuntarily) part of the Soviet Union and were forced to adopt Russian system of planned economy. This led to a considerable economy decline. Many Central European countries were suddenly considered to be part of Russia rather than part of Europe.
The concept of Central Europe emerged in 1980s when countries in the centre and south east of Europe started to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Soviet Union. Many writers from both Central and West Europe started to question future of the Soviet Union, tried to