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Soviet involvement in the war was deeply unpopular in the USSR, being fought largely by conscripts among whom there were many casualties, but it ended not so much because of popular discontent but because the military and financial drain on the USSR was too great to be continued.

What does 'financial drain' mean?

  • And what is "military drain"? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 19 '16 at 12:32
  • See drain "13. that which gradually exhausts strength, resources, etc." – user3169 Feb 19 '16 at 18:19
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A drain is something where water can flow away, never to be recovered again.

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(picture taken from Wikipedia)

In this context, it is used as a (quite common) metaphor: the USSR simply had to put too much money into the war, which they would never see again.

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    On a more personal level, sometimes people will use financial drain to refer to an item that is costly to maintain (such as a boat, an extra house, or even an overpriced insurance policy, e.g.). – J.R. Feb 19 '16 at 10:32

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