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The Collapse of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). Problems/Crises that led to the collapse Ch 19.5 CST 10.9.7. By 1985 Soviet society had stopped growing as a result of totalitarian policies banning political dissent. RESPONSES:

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The Collapse of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.)

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The Collapse of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.)

Problems/Crises that led to the collapse

Ch 19.5

CST 10.9.7


By 1985 Soviet society had stopped growing as a result of totalitarian policies banning political dissent.

  • RESPONSES:

  • Gorbachev initiated Glasnost to encourage a free flow of ideas and information (refer to chart)


By 1986 the Soviet economy was inefficient and unproductive.

  • RESPONSES:

  • Gorbachev introduced perestroika, giving managers more authority over their farms and factories and allowing for creation of small private businesses.


The Soviet-U.S. arms race had become too costly.

  • RESPONSES: President Ronald Reagan (U.S.) and Mikhail Gorbachev (U.S.S.R.) signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in December 1987

  • The treaty banned nuclear missles with ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles.


Mikhail Gorbachev & President Reagan


RESPONSES: Hard-liners demanded Gorbachev’s resignation

Protesters appealed to Boris Yeltsin to oppose the coup

Yeltsin mobilized support against the coup

Troops refused to obey hard-liners

The coup failed and Gorbachev returned to Moscow.

In August 1991, hard-liners staged a coup against Gorbachev.


August Coup 1991


Yeltsin meets the crowds


By early December, 1991, the U.S.S.R broke up.

  • RESPONSES: (Look at the map)

  • After the coup, Estonia and Latvia declared their independence.

  • Other republics soon followed.

  • Yeltsin met with the leaders of the republics to “chart a new course.”

  • The remaining republics formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)


Commonwealth of Independent States


1992-1994 The Russian economy under Boris Yeltsin was ailing.

  • RESPONSES: Yeltsin adopted “shock therapy” to deal with the suffering Russian economy

  • It involved an abrupt shift to free-market economics

  • He lowered trade barriers

  • Removed price controls

  • Ended subsidies to state industries.


In 1991, Chechnya declared its independence.

  • RESPONSES:

  • Yeltsin denied Chechnya’s right to secede

  • He ordered Russian troops into Cechnya

  • Despite a cease fire, the fighting flared up again and Yeltsin resigned as the fighting raged.

  • Vladimir Putin attempted to deal forcefully with the rebellion.

  • The fighting continues to date.


Vladimir Putin


Chechnya at war


May 7, 2008

  • Demitry Medvedev was sworn in as the new, handpicked president of Russia.

  • Vladimir Putin was sworn in May 7 as the Prime Minister

  • They will rule Russia together

  • A repressive regime increasingly unfriendly to the United States and Western powers.


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