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Changing Cold War Relations - 1980s changes in the ussr


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Changing Cold War Relations - 1980s changes in the ussr

  1. 1. In the 1980s the USSR went through many changes which would ultimately lead to the end of the Cold War. What were these and why did they happen?
  2. 2. At the start of the 1980s, the USA and USSR’s relationship was worse than ever. The USA did not take part in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and the USSR did the same in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  3. 3. Both sides went through significant political change. In the USA right-wing politician Ronald Reagan was elected President. Reagan – a former movie actor – was very anti- Communist.
  4. 4. The Soviet Union also had several changes in their political leadership. The most significant was the appointment of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Communist Party.
  5. 5. Gorbachev once told his wife, Raisa, when speaking about the USSR, that “we can’t go on living like this.” Under his leadership, the Soviet Union went through massive political, military and economic reforms.
  6. 6. Gorbachev tried to build better relationships with western leaders, including Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Gorbachev met Reagan several times, and proposed plans such as phasing out nuclear weapons.
  7. 7. Gorbachev made several reforms in the Soviet Union, notably: • Perestroika • Glasnost • Democratisation • Ending Brezhnev Doctrine
  8. 8. Perestroika Perestroika means a change in the economy to allow more private companies to be set up. This is a big change in a Communist country. It had only a small influence but was very symbolic.
  9. 9. Glasnost Glasnost means ‘openness’. As the USSR was a secret state, Gorbachev wanted it to have less secrets. This meant many things, including having a more free media and allowing banned books to be published.
  10. 10. Democratisation This change allowed more people to influence politics and the Communist Party. For instance more candidates were allowed in elections.
  11. 11. Ending Brezhnev Doctrine The Brezhnev Doctrine was that the Soviet Union would intervene in any Communist country which might support capitalism. Gorbachev said that this would no longer happen.
  12. 12. The Soviet Union also pulled out the Afghanistan War in 1989. Like the USA in Vietnam, the Afghanistan War was an embarrassment to the USSR. They could not afford the financial cost of continuing.
  13. 13. Countries in Eastern Europe had revolutions to end Communist rule, including in Romania, Hungary and Poland. Most famously, the Berlin Wall was knocked down in 1989. East and West Germany were reunited.
  14. 14. Gorbachev was temporarily removed from power in August 1991, and the Soviet Union began to collapse. In December 1991 the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The Cold War was over.