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The Fall of the Soviet Union

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Chris Maidment

on 15 January 2013

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Transcript of The Fall of the Soviet Union

A collapse in the making Military Inaction Did the collapse of the USSR represent a pattern of progress? How can one of the largest empires in the world collapse in a matter of months? Pre-existing... 1. Economic Stagnation

2. Gorbachev's Reforms Growth rates fell below 3%
Inflation reached about 100%
Deficit Increased from 3% to 50% of budget Production levels decreased (worker absenteeism on the rise) Increased Democracy - secret ballot elections approved in 1986 Openness - media allowed to publish factual information
- specifically, information from the war in Afghanistan How do these factors contribute to collapse? August Coup 1991 Communist hardliners arrest Gorbachev while he is on vacation Military sent into Moscow to seize power Boris Yeltsin declares coup unconstitutional and calls for democracy Soviet people revolt and defeat the coup Hardliners did not approve reforms and feared they would lose power Transfer of Power - Gorbachev drafted legislature giving more power to the independent states in 1991 Gorbachev returns to power but unable to stabilize the USSR Historical Background Period: 1980s to early 1990s Mikhail Gorbachev is General Secretary - a reformer brought in to provide stability to the Soviet leadership (multiple leaders died of old age) USSR in decline but still controlling over 300 million people in the largest country in the world - throughout the coup the military did not use force
- many officers confused (some even switched sides)
- provided confidence boost to people 1970s Result? USSR formally disbanded on December 25, 1991, when Gorbachev resigned as General Secretary of the USSR. By this time many states already had independence. Progress? Factors Political Developments “The whole country was falling apart before our very eyes and not because we were planning it. The Baltics had left the fold, the war in Armenia, Azerbaijan, the events in Tbilisi. The whole country was waiting in the lines. The economy was plummeting and we needed to find a way out.” USSR was a former communist country in eastern Europe and northern Asia that was established in 1922

Included Russia and 14 other soviet socialist republics Trigger Point... - allowed US to be only superpower (influence on world?)
- collapsed vast empire that was already becoming democratic
- did not end communism and dictatorships around the world
- Russia today- not much different from the USSR - increased democracy and personal freedoms for Soviet people
- proved communism was flawed
- ended US conflict with the USSR (world peace)
- lead to further disarmament
- sets precedent for future nonviolent revolutions Main Focus What does the economy show about conditions of the USSR? What does this reveal about the attitudes of politicians? What has caused the collapse past civilizations Would the USSR have collapsed without the coup? Spending accounted about half of GDP(equated to about $333 billion in 1989) former President of the Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk
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