During the Cold War, the Third World was the official rhetoric used by the United Nations and in Western mainstream media to refer to economically undeveloped countries, many of which were unaligned between the competing power blocs of the US/NATO/EU on one side, and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact and Comecon allies on the other. It was usually applied to the mostly economically undeveloped nations of Africa, Latin America, and Asian countries.
The term was considered offensive by many, and after the Cold War the rhetoric shifted to a two-fold division rather than threefold division - using the class envy Marxist idioms of the "rich" Northern countries and "poor" Southern countries, which became the Global North and Global South. However the Russian Federation in the so-called Global North didn't fit the stereotype of a "rich" Northern country, other than being resource rich and its ability to retain a powerful military establishment; its manufacturing sector was in dire need of modernization, and its domestic consumer market and service sectors remained largely undeveloped. In the 21st century, the Russian Federation aligned with the Global South in the BRICS+ organization. The Western-controlled G7 consists of what's left of the Global North.
- The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989