I. From Cold War to Post-Cold War A. By the 1970s, U.S.-Soviet relations had reached détente—a relaxation of tension and improved relations. 1. By 1979, however, a new period of East- West confrontation began when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. a. They wanted to restore a pro-Soviet regime there. b. The U.S. viewed this as an act of expansion.
B. In 1980, President Ronald Reagan began a military buildup and a new arms race with the Soviet Union. 1. Reagan gave military aid to the Afghan rebels to fight the Soviets.C. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. 1. His willingness to rethink Soviet foreign policy led to a dramatic end to the Cold War. 2. In 1987 Gorbachev made an agreement with the United States—the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty—to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
D. Gorbachev changed Soviet policy by stopping military support to Communist governments in E. Europe. 1. This led to the overthrow of Communist regimes in these countries.E. Germany was reunified in 1990— signaling the end of the Cold War.F. In 1991 the Soviet Union was dissolved.
II. Upheaval in the Soviet Union A. In 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was removed from office. Alexei Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev replaced him. 1. During the 1970s, Brezhnev became the main Soviet leader. 2. He wanted to keep E. Europe as Communist states. 3. He issued the Brezhnev Doctrine which asserted that the Soviet Union had the right to intervene if communism was threatened in another Communist state.
B. Under Brezhnev, the Soviet Union was allowed more access to Western culture. 1. Dissidents—people who spoke out against the regime, were still punished.C. The Soviet Union’s economy continued to emphasize heavy industry. 1. The Soviet economy was weakened by the government’s bureaucracy that discouraged efficiency and encouraged indifference. a. Collective farmers had no incentive to work hard in the collective work brigades. 2. By the 1970s, the Communist ruling class had become corrupt. 3. By 1980, the Soviet economy was seriously declining.
D. In 1985, the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev was chosen to lead the Soviet Union. 1. Gorbachev’s basis of reform was perestroika, or restructuring, of the Soviet economy and government. 2. Gorbachev created a new state presidency. 3. Gorbachev began a new era of glastnost, or openness, in public discussion of Soviet problems.
E. As the Soviet government eased its control, ethnic tensions emerged throughout the Soviet republics. 1. During 1990 and 1991, several of these republics called for independence from Soviet control. 2. In 1991, conservative leaders arrested Gorbachev and tried to seize power. a. Boris Yeltsin and others defeated their attempt. 3. Soviet republics moved for independence, and the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus declared the Soviet Union dissolved. a. Gorbachev resigned in December 1991.
F. Boris Yeltsin became president of the new Russia. 1. He worked to introduce a free Market economy in Russia. 2. Chechens tried to secede from Russia and form their own independent republic. a. Yeltsin used brutal force against the Chechens.G. In 1999 Yeltsin resigned and in 2000 Vladimir Putin was elected president. 1. Putin’s economic reforms have led to budget surpluses and a growing economy.