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Collapse of the USSR

A Presentation by VAS

Arjun Jain

on 7 May 2010

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Transcript of Collapse of the USSR

Causes Results Mar 1985 - Gorbachev becomes Leader Dec 1985 – Enter Yeltsin Key Events
Boris Yeltsin - head of the Moscow Communist Party
Begins sacking officials and axing privileges

Eduard Shevardnadze became foreign minister replacing Andrei Gromyko
He too shares the vision of making a more liberal dynamic society
Mikhail Sergeyvich Gorbachev - Communist Party General Secretary
He is Younger (54) and Talking about Change
Perestroika – Restructuring
Glasnost – Openness 1987 – Perestroika starts in earnest
Jan & June - Gorbachev proposes reforms in the economy and politics.
Bringing democracy
Perestroika becomes a best seller (via his book)

November - Yeltsin is sacked as he is going to far with perestroika
Stays on as construction minister
1988 - Perestroika hits problems
Mar 1989 - Yeltsin elected to parliament July 1989 - Soviet Bloc Crumbles November 1989 - Berlin Wall comes down Ausust 21s-22nd 1991 - Gorbachev returns Rise of Gorbachev Economic Issues Mikhail Gorbachev
(Born in 1931)
President of Soviet Union (1990-1991)
General Secretary of the Communist Party (1985-1991)

Gorbachev joined the Communist Party in 1952
In 1980, he became the youngest member of the Politburo
He signed the INF treaty with the USA
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989

After being a part of the USSR for so long, many countries wanted their independence. In 1990, Gorbachev visited the Baltic state in Lithuania. He was not interested in giving them their independence so he sent troops which increased the crisis. Similarly, many of the other nations under USSR control wanted their independence:
Ukraine (July 1990)
Republic of Georgia (April 1991)
Muslim Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan

Independence Propaganda and Secrecy Popular leader amongst the people
He was young and healthy unlike the previous leaders
Gorbachev introduced many revolutionary ideas.
Gorbachev introduced two new radical policies:
Perestroika (Restructuring) Improve quality and output of goods by giving businessmen more control
Means less control for the communist party
Glasnost (openness)
Freedom with media
Encouraged them to criticize any corruption or judgment which encouraged people to criticize their governments
Iron Curtain Collapsed no goods to export Lead to disastrous economic and political problems
Propaganda: controlled by the government so it was very limited and bias
Secrecy: many secret institutes and ideas were around and they were isolated from one another
Fall of Communism Elections are held for the Congress of People’s Deputies
Live television broadcasts of parliament Shut Down

Gorbachev pulls out the last of the soviet troops from Afghanistan

Soviet Troops attack a peaceful demonstration in Georgia
They use poisonous gas and sharpened shovels
Nineteen die (mainly women)
Gorbachev denies knowing about it
Jan/Feb 1990 - Protestors killed by Soviet Troops July 1990 - A lot Happens! August 19th 1991 – Coup Begins june 1991 – Yeltsin is Russian President Timeline Collapse of the USSR Warsaw Pact countries are free to decide their own futures
Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement beats the communist in June

Across eastern Europe – people want their feelings known
Last time it happened (Hungary 1956 & Prague 1968), Soviet Forces crushed the protests

September – Hungary opens its borders with the West, a shocking achievement that would have earlier been crushed by the Soviets

Perestroika overflows in the west
First iceberg
Sovetskaya Rossiya publishes a “clarion call” for communists to resist the reforms
The call comes as a letter from a Leningrad Chemist, Nina Andreyeva.

Baltic states begin wanting independence
Estonia forms the Popular Front
Latvia and Lithuania follow Estonia

Gorbachev continues with perestroika and glasnost
Welcomes President Reagon to Moscow
Proposes new presidency and parliament
“People power”.
Gorbachev chooses to not do anything
Scenes of joy are shown throughout the world
Only months earlier – those who tried to do the same act risked being shot

Czechoslovakia breaks free via the Velvet Revolution bloodlessly
Playwright Vaclav Havel as President

Romanians go for a revolution, and bloodshed begins in Timisoara
President Ceausescu is taken down and he and his wife are executed on Christmas

Perestroika dissatisfaction begins with shortages and lower living standards
Gorbachev attempts to make a looser Soviet Federation with the Baltic States

Mid Jan – Soviet troops kill at least 100 in Baku, Azerbaijan during demonstrations
Reforms keep moving

February – Gorbachev wants parliament to allow multiple parties – stripping Article 6
Perestroika turns Gorbachev into the first and only Soviet President
All Soviet leaders were general secretaries of the Communist Party
Gorbachev was voted the Supreme Soviet
Boris resigns from the Communist party

Ukraine declares sovereignty followed by Armenia, Turkmenistan, and Taikistan

Gorbachev wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Germany has been reunited

Gorbachev combines a radical reform package and a more cautious plan from Nikolai Ryzhkov for the economy
Yeltsin accuses Gorbachev of “Trying to mate a hedgehog with a snake.”

Gorbachev still is struggling to sell his vision of a new USSR
He warns of “dark forces of Nationalism”

Gorbachev gets the special executive powers he wants
Begins to shift more towards hard-line politics

Both he and Gorbachev work in offices in the Kremlin
Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and the communist old guard all want power

Soviet Troops kill 2 dozen people in Latvia and Lithuania,
13 attempted to storm the television tower in Vilnius, Lithuania

Baltic States are moving for a complete breakaway

Gorbachev is about to sign a expanding freedom deal with the republics

Early Morning plotters make a move
Gorbachev’s closest and senior colleagues are among them along with the military chiefs
All head to KGB
Tanks roll into Moscow and get into strategic positions
Emergency law is imposed
Newspapers closed

Gorbachev was on holiday and a day before the plotters ask him to declare state of emergency and he refuses
They house arrest him and block him off until the coup ends
The say that he is ill

Yeltsin rushes to the Russian Parliament, the white house, and begins organizing the resistance
Thousands of demonstrators back Yeltsin and start to protect the building
At noon he stands on a tank and publically defies the coup plotters The coup collapsed on the 21st under the public opposition and the lack of armed help
Needed to kill many protestors to detain Yeltsin
There is also heavy rain
Ring leaders bring back Gorbachev

Yeltsin orders the Soviet Communist party to end its activities on Russian Soil
Next Day Gorbachev resigns as Soviet Communist Party general secretary and dissolves its Central Committee

Russian Flag flies alongside the Soviet Flag above the Kremlin Moscow recognizes the Baltic states statuses as sovereign states on 6 September 1991
Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova are amongst the first few to break away

Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus meet secretly to create a new union
December 8 at Belovezh Forest, They form the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Others sign up too

25 December – Gorbachev announces to the world that he is stepping down as Soviet President.
Soviet flag is lowered for the last time in the Kremlin

USSR is no more
Late 1991 - USSR ENDS! The USSR (finally) collapsed in 1991 - A failed coup took place the day Boris Yeltsin seized power (in the afternoon against Gorbachev)
- Included in the coup were Communist Party members and leading military officers (such as the prime minister, the head of armed forces, and others.)
- During this coup, Gorbachev was held prisoner.
- The coup was a very militaristic campaign. One that followed the old style of Russia. It was only defeated through the eager work of the Russian citizens and the rise of Boris Yeltsin.
- Even though the USSR was destroyed by December 2, 1991. It was only a week later before Boris Yeltsin realized it. And Gorbachev only made a formal announcement about the end of Soviet Union on the December 25, 1991
- Within a week of Yeltsin seizing power, the USSR was dissolved and in it's place was the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).
§ Gorbachev described the CIS as an unconstitutional coup.
Gorbachev wanted to spread communism
Several countries opposed this idea
In Poland, communist rule came to an end on August 24, 1989
In Hungary (September 10, 1989)
By 1990, communism had collapsed in Europe
Political Cartoon Sue Ann Kime and Paul Stich perfectly illustrate the sheer magnitude and size of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In the cartoon, you can see a large ship which is representing the USSR. The smaller boats represent the countries that were part of the USSR. The USSR had forced over thirty countries in the Eastern Europe region to follow their government policies and imposed several other laws. The USSR ship is sinking in the whirl pool and the other countries are becoming independent. This source is not reliable because there is no specific date clarifying when it was published. Since we don't know the date, we can not justify if the source was created during the collapse of the USSR. However, this cartoon is useful because it portrays the facts about the collapse of the USSR. For example, it was stated that after the USSR collapsed the nations that were part of the USSR gained their independence and this cartoon expresses that fact. Sources “Collapse of USSR: 10 Years on.” BBC NEWS News Front Page. Web. 28 Apr.2010.

March 1985. mar 1985. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

Dec 1985. mar 1985. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

1987. 1987. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

1988. mar 1988. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

March 1989. mar 1989. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

July 1989. mar 1989. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

Nov 1989. nov 1989. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

Jan 1990. Jan 1990. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

July 1990. mar 1990. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

June 1991. june 1991. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

August 19 1991. August 19 1991. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

August 21 1991. August 21 1991. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

Winter 1991. Late 1991. Photograph. BBC: Collapse of USSR. BBC. Web. 7 May 2010.

“Collapse of the Soviet Union (Overview).” World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 4 May
2010. <http://www.worldhistory.abc-clio.com>.

"Collapse of the Soviet Union." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 26 Apr. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2010.

"Collapse of Soviet Union." Revolutionary Socialist Culture of Peace. Web. 29 Apr. 2010.

"Collapse of USSR: 10 Years on." BBC NEWS | News Front Page. Web. 29 Apr. 2010.
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