Collapse of the Soviet Union 1985- 1991 By: Sarah Martin
Soviet Collapse Timeline 1985- Gorbachev becomes Communist Party Secretary General. 1987-Gorbachev proposes glasnost and perestroika and signs superpower treaty with US to begin scrapping nuclear warheads. 1991- Gorbachev resigns from office. (Christmas Day) 1990 -Soviet troops sent to Azerbaijan following inter-ethnic killings between Armenians and Azeris; Communist Party votes to end one-party rule; Gorbachev opposes independence of Baltic states and imposes sanctions on Lithuania; Yeltsin elected president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic by the latter's parliament and leaves the Soviet Communist Party. 1991 August - Senior officials, including Defence Minister Dmitry Yazov, Vice-President Gennadiy Yanayev and the heads of the Interior Ministry and the KGB detain Gorbachev at his holiday villa in Crimea, but are themselves arrested after three days; Yeltsin bans the Soviet Communist Party in Russia and seizes its assets; Yeltsin recognises the independence of the Baltic republics; Ukraine, followed by other republics, declares itself independent. 1991 September - Congress of People's Deputies votes for the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 1991 December - Leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus sign agreement setting up Commonwealth of Independent States. 1991 26 December - Russian government takes over offices of USSR in Russia. Mikhail Gorbachev signs his resignation as president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Soviet Union arose from The October Revolution which overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave the power to the Soviet party dominated by Bolsheviks. It was followed by the Russian Civil War. The Soviet Union is traditionally considered to be the successor of the Russian Empire. The last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, ruled until March 1917 and was executed with his family the following year. From 1917 to 1922, the predecessor to the Soviet Union was the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic which was an independent country as well as other Soviet republics at the time. The Soviet Union was officially established in December 1922 as the union of the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Transcaucasian Soviet republics ruled by Bolshevik parties. History Bolshevik Revolutionist Leon Trotsky. He was an influential leader in the early days of the Soviet Union, and a leading Marxist Theorist.
Continued... After World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States engaged in a Cold War. Each tried to increase its worldwide influence. The Soviet Union extended its power over much of Eastern Europe and even to Cuba. By the 1960s, it appeared that communism was permanently established in these regions. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet Union’s Communist leadership kept tight control over the Soviet people. The Soviet Union and the United States of America were the two world superpowers that dominated the global agenda of economic policy, foreign affairs, military operations, cultural exchange, scientific advancements including the pioneering of space exploration, and sports. Press during the Cold War.
Downfall of the Soviet Union The four principal elements of the old Soviet system were the hierarchy of soviets, ethnic federalism, state socialism, and Communist Party dominance. Gorbachev's programs of perestroika and glasnost produced radical unforeseen effects that brought that system down. As a means of reviving the Soviet state, Gorbachev repeatedly attempted to build a coalition of political leaders supportive of reform and created new arenas and bases of power. He implemented these measures because he wanted to resolve serious economic problems that clearly threatened to put the Soviet Union into a state of standstill. But by using structural reforms to widen opportunities for leaders and popular movements in the union republics to gain influence, Gorbachev also made it possible for conservative and radicalists communist representatives to oppose his attempts to liberalize and revitalize Soviet communism. Although some of the new movements aspired to replace the Soviet system altogether with a liberal democratic one, others demanded independence for the national republics. Still others insisted on the restoration of the old Soviet ways. Ultimately, Gorbachev could not forge a compromise among these forces and the consequence was the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reasons for the collapse • The rise of Russian nationalism • Economics, politics, and international affairs in the post- Cold War time Russian people of early 80s, right before the collapse of USSR.
Vladimir Lenin Lenin's original name was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. He was the founder of the Bolshevik Party and the USSR in 1917. Lenin was a Russian revolutionary leader and statesman. Although he was a lawyer, he came to dislike the profession. He especially detested the class favoritism he observed while working as a lawyer. He was well read, had an excellent memory, and was noted for his incredible energy and directness. <ul><li>Introduced Political Design </li></ul><ul><li>New Economic Policy allowed capitalism grow and sell food. </li></ul><ul><li>Founded USSR in 1917 </li></ul>
Mikhail Gorbachev Gorbachev rose to the top party spot in March 1985. Almost from the start, he strove for significant reforms. Such as the two main points of the Gorbachev era: "glasnost" and "perestroika”. Gorbachev realizing the Soviet Union could not compete began to argue in favor of an end to the arms race with the West. The agreements while in the Soviet interest caused tension for him in the Soviet Union. For his efforts he was named the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner for helping to end the Cold War. Gorbachev’s authority is ultimately destroyed. He resigned on Christmas Day 1991 as President of the Soviet Union. The SU is dissolved into 15 independent nations, 11 of which found the CIS as a new federation. Soviet Leader from 1985 - 1991
Gorbachev Reform <ul><li>Glasnost (openness) </li></ul><ul><li>the government allowed churches to open. </li></ul><ul><li>it released dissidents from prison and allowed the publication of books by previously banned authors. </li></ul><ul><li>However Glasnost led to increased criticism of the government, criticism of Leninism, and people started to speak their veiw that the soviet government was a failure. </li></ul>Mikhail Gorbachev introduced two new ideas of reform. <ul><li>Perestroika (economic restructuring) </li></ul><ul><li>Perestroika introduced a completely free market in which goods that people wanted were produced at prices they were prepared to pay </li></ul>Perestroika - the process of change in our country - started from above. It could not have been otherwise in a totalitarian state. But past experience showed that if the spark of reform was not caught by the masses, it was doomed. We had to awaken society from its lethargy and indifference as quickly as possible and involve the people in the process of change.
Foreign Policy under Gorbachev United States-Soviet relations began to improve soon after Gorbachev became general secretary. The first summit meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev took place in Geneva in November 1985. The following October, the two presidents discussed strategic arms reduction in Reykjavik, without making significant progress. In the late summer of 1987, the Soviet Union yielded on the long-standing issue of intermediate-range nuclear arms in Europe; at the Washington summit that December, Reagan and Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. This banned nuclear missiles with ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles. <ul><li>Gorbachev and Reagan were competing in an arms race. </li></ul><ul><li>Reagan had most expensive military buildup that cost more than $2 trillion. </li></ul><ul><li>Gorbachev knew he couldn’t compete with Reagan and arms control became one of his top priorities. </li></ul>U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in 1987.
Boris Yeltsin Yeltsin’s ruling brought much chaos. <ul><li>Yeltsin inherited one of the worst man-made disasters in modern history </li></ul><ul><li>Economic output collapsed, inflation exploded </li></ul><ul><li>The chaos culminated in the 1998 crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Russia looked ungovernable and impossible to reform </li></ul>Just days after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin resolved to embark on a program of radical economic reform, with the aim of restructuring Russia's economic system—converting the world's largest socialist planned economy into a market-oriented capitalist one. During early discussions of this transition, Yeltsin's advisers debated issues of speed ,with an apparent division between those favoring a rapid approach and those favoring a gradual or slower approach.
The August Coup • The liberals wanted further change in Russia. Including a multi party state and more civil liberties. • Pressing Gorbachev for greater reform measures. • Angering the conservatives who arrested Gorbachev on August 19, 1991. • Then declared a state of emergency. • But the effort collapsed. By 1991, Gorbachev was prepared to negotiate a settlement in which the republics would belong to a new union, which would only be ruled by the central government in certain areas, while the member republics would be responsible for other matters. However, many hardliners were horrified by this imminent break-up of the USSR. These were people who were already opposed to Gorbachev's economic reforms, which had failed and worsened the economic situation. Therefore, on the 18th of August, these hardliners launched a coup to overthrow Gorbachev, in which he was placed under house arrest and rule was taken over by an eight-member committee. President's bodyguard, Korzhakov stands with Boris Yeltsin on a tank to defy the August coup on August 18, 1991.
The Soviet Union after the split The independent nations that split off from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its breakup in December 1991. 1- Armenia 2- Azerbaijan 3- Belarus 4- Estonia 5- Georgia 6- Kazakhstan 7- Kyrgyzstan 8- Latvia 9- Lithuania 10- Moldova 11- Russia 12- Tajikistan 13- Turkmenistan 14- Ukraine 15- Uzbekistan
Soviet Art This beautiful painting was painted in 1949 by Boris Ieremeevich Vladimirski.
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