While it was mainly to protect a lot of modern-day Ukraine, Poland defeated a Soviet Russia (before it became the Soviet Union) in the Polish-Soviet War. Their victory kept the Soviets out of Poland and the majority of Ukraine. However about two decades later, Poland was crippled by the Germans from the West and the Soviets returned to the East. The Soviet Union had essentially controlled Poland at the end of the war, but Stalin promised the United States and the United Kingdom that Poland would remain independent and democratic. It didn't take long for communists to take over the government and remain a Soviet puppet until 1989.