Another Brick In The Wall
A couple of decades after the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union built a wall separating Berlin creating a western capitalist side and eastern communist side to stop eastern Germans from enjoying the spoils of capitalism. This separation not only divided neighbors, friends, and families but also divided both economies resulting in a clear vision of the difference between US capitalism and USSR communism. In 1991, almost 30 years after the separation, the wall was finally knocked down and Eastern Berlin was finally alive again. Germans from all over the city gathered on the wall and proceeded in breaking the veil that separated their capital for over 3 decades. At this point, the USSR was clearly shown to the world as weak and vulnerable which led to Gorbachev’s final speech as leader of the party.
Crime Cultural Changes And Social Upheavals
The Soviet Unions collapse not only threw economic systems and trade relations throughout Eastern Europe into a tailspin, it also produced the upheaval in many Eastern European countries and led to increased crime rates and corruption within the Russian government. When the Soviet government fell, the Russian mafia, which had struggled to survive during the height of communism, stepped in to fill the power void. Government infrastructureranging from basic public utilities to police servicesmostly evaporated during the collapse. Additionally, government payroll services almost completely disappeared, so ex-KGB officers, police officers and Soviet Army soldiers flooded the mafias ranks in search of steady employment. Mafia oligarchs seized state-owned assets and enterprises throughout Russia, such as telecommunications and energy networks and industries, and the mafia extorted the public in exchange for providing security and enforcing laws wherever the Russian government was unable to. Though the current Russian administration has had some success combating organized crime, the Russian mafia is still extremely powerful and well-connected. However, in an autocratic society such as that of Russia, anyone who speaks in opposition to government corruption will be arrested, exiled or even murdered under mysterious circumstances. This oppression stymies Russias chances of establishing a true democracy and allows government corruption to continue to expand.
Europe Braces For Mobile Network Blackouts
Mobile phones could go dark around Europe this winter if power cuts or energy rationing knocks out parts of the mobile networks across the region.
Russia’s decision to halt gas supplies via Europe’s key supply route has increased the chances of power shortages. In France, the situation is made worse by several nuclear power plants shutting down for maintenance.
Telecoms industry officials say they fear a severe winter will put Europe’s telecoms infrastructure to the test, forcing companies and governments to try to mitigate the impact.
Currently there are not enough back-up systems in many European countries to handle widespread power cuts, four telecoms executives said, raising the prospect of mobile phone outages.
European Union countries, including France, Sweden and Germany, are trying to ensure communications can continue even if power cuts end up exhausting back-up batteries installed on the thousands of cellular antennas spread across their territory.
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The Soviet Empire’s Economy Was In Shambles
In an attempt to save their economy, Soviet officials did whatever it took to pick up the slack so that their people won’t starve and it worked . After a huge rise in their economy, the Soviet Union saw one of the harshest economic crashes in history: the Soviet people lost their homes, starved to death, and were desperate for any change that would relieve them from starvation and poverty. The USSR not only lost economic dominance, but it also lost the population’s faith in the government which led to their imminent downfall.
The Soviet Union Collapses
This atmosphere of possibility soon enveloped the Soviet Union itself. Frustration with the bad economy combined with Gorbachevs hands-off approach to Soviet satellites inspired independence movements in the republics on the U.S.S.R.s fringes. One by one, the Baltic states declared their independence from Moscow.
On August 18, 1991, concerned members of the Communist party in the military and government placed Gorbachev under house arrest. The official reason given for his imprisonment was his inability for health reasons to lead as president, though the public knew better. Leaders of the coup declared a state of emergency.
The military moved on Moscow, but their tanks were met with human chains and citizens building barricades to protect Russian Parliament. Boris Yeltsin, then the chair of parliament, stood on top of one of those tanks to rally the surrounding crowds. The coup failed after three days.
On December 8, Yeltsin traveled to Minsk, where he met with leaders of the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine, signing an agreement that broke the two countries away from the U.S.S.R to create the Commonwealth of Independent States. The agreement read, in part, The Soviet Union as a subject of international and geopolitical reality no longer exists. Just weeks later, Belarus and Ukraine were followed by eight of the nine remaining republics, who declared their independence from the U.S.S.R. after a meeting in Alma-Ata, in todays Kazakhstan.
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Russian Spy Group Arrested In Montenegro Sources Say
A 38-strong group of mostly Russian nationals has been arrested on suspicion of espionage in Montenegro.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic said on a live broadcast of a cabinet session that an “international operation” with foreign partners and the state prosecutor’s office was underway to preserve the country’s interests, but he did not elaborate.
Montenegro, a NATO member and an candidate for membership in the European Union, has joined international sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. It has expelled Russian diplomats in the past.
In 2016, Montenegro accused Russian agents of involvement in a plot to bring the pro-Russian opposition to power, assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and halt the integration of the former Yugoslav republic into NATO.
Moscow has repeatedly dismissed such accusations as absurd. Montenegro joined the Western military alliance in 2017.
‘unauthorised Drone Activity’ Near North Sea Oil Field
French energy giant TotalEnergies has reported “unauthorised drone activity” near one of its offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea.
Denmark, has like other countries in the region, raised its safety level for its power and gas sector after several countries said two Russian pipelines to Europe spewing gas into the Baltic Sea had been attacked.
“There have been observations of unauthorized drone activity at the Halfdan B oil and gas field in the North Sea,” a spokesperson said in a written comment, adding the activity had been observed on Wednesday.
“We have taken the necessary steps in accordance with our security procedures and are in close dialogue with the authorities.”
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Ukraine Completely Takes Transport Hub Of Kupiansk
Ukrainian forces have driven Russian troops from their remaining positions on the east bank of the river that divides the important transport hub of Kupiansk.
Most of the city was recaptured earlier this month as Ukraine’s counteroffensive smashed the Russian frontline in the north east of the country.
Cold War International History Project
The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. Read more
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How The Cold War Ended
- B.S., Texas A& M University
On December 25, 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Using the words, Were now living in a new world, Gorbachev effectively agreed to end the Cold War, a tense 40-year period during which the Soviet Union and the United States held the world at the brink of nuclear holocaust. At 7:32 p.m. that evening, the Soviet flag above the Kremlin was replaced with the flag of the Russian Federation, led by its first president, Boris Yeltsin. At the same moment, what had been the worlds largest communist state broke into 15 independent republics, leaving America as the last remaining global superpower.
Of the many factors leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union, a rapidly failing post World War II economy and weakened military, along with a series of forced social and political reforms like perestroika and glasnost, played major roles in the fall of the mighty Red Bear.
Reasons For The Collapse Of The Soviet Union
- Many factors affected the Soviet Union’s economy including the nuclear race, the Chernobyl disaster, and the war against Afghanistan
- During USSR’s economic crisis, military officials and politicians kept their luxurious lives while the general public suffered from extreme poverty
- The sudden freedom of speech Gorbachev instated pushed people to revolt against the communist regime by exposing its many flaws
- After the independence of all 15 neighboring countries, the USSR lost most of its internal influence and power which led to its downfall
The world is in constant flux through time, many civilizations rise and fall at every corner of history from ancient Rome to the colonial Great Britan, history will always repeat itself. The 20th century was the century of wars: two World Wars, a cold war, the Vietnam war, the Korean war, countless revolutions, civil wars, and genocides that spread throughout the entire 1900s. At the top of all the turmoil and bloodshed were two superpowers that were considered to be the pinnacle of strength and superiority: the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Soviet Union for short.
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A Nuclear Marathon Is Never Good For The Economy
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Atomic Cloud Rises Over Nagasaki.
The end of the Second World War came in the form of a mushroom cloud bang on Japanese territories which pushed the Soviet Union to develop nuclear weapons of their own to assert dominance over their western competition. This kind of hardware is not easy nor cheap to come by, and the Soviets spent millions in the hopes of winning the nuclear race against the USA which already had working bombs that they used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the summer of 1945. This kind of expenditure put a dent in the USSR’s economy which made way to an increase in poverty and frustration amongst their people.
Holding Lyman Has Grown ‘difficult’ For Russia Moscow
Holding the city of Lyman in the eastern region of Donetsk has grown “difficult” for Russian forces, its Moscow-installed leader has said.
Alexander Petrikin, the pro-Russian head of the city administration, said in a video update: “Today, September 29. The situation in the city is difficult. Ukrainian militants keep shelling Krasny Liman and Krasny Liman district.”
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Kennan Cable No1: How The State Survived The Collapse Of The Soviet Union
A quarter century after the demise of the Soviet Union, the term post-Soviet continues to be used as a general tag for the remains of an empire. Russia often talks of reviving the Soviet space, even if its search for economic integration and military partners has failed to reach critical mass amongst the former Soviet republics. Yet outside the Baltic States, who eschewed ties with the former Soviet Union and definitively left for the European Union in 2004, the post-Soviet label retains its relevance in large part because the countrys former members still share a common political legacy: the unified state.
Historically, the Imperial/Soviet state encompassed more than just the bureaucracy and public administration it also served as the sole source of political authority while retaining substantial law-creating powers for itself. The first article of Imperial Russias 1906 Fundamental Laws proudly declared that the Russian State is one and indivisible. Meanwhile, the 1977 Soviet constitution began by addressing the essential features of the Soviet state, including democratic centralism, socialist law, and the exercise of state power through a single institution . The latter, of course, was a legal fiction. The Communist Party exercised monopoly rights over state power as expressed in Article 6 of the 1977 Soviet constitution.
The Rebirth of the Russian State
The Post-Soviet Model of Statehood
The Persistence of the Unified State
Nationalities And Ethnic Groups
The Soviet Union was an ethnically diverse country, with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups. The total population of the country was estimated at 293 million in 1991. According to a 1990 estimate, the majority of the population were Russians , followed by Ukrainians and Uzbeks . Overall, in 1989 the ethnic demography of the country showed that 69.8% was East Slavic, 17.5% was Turkic, 1.6% were Armenians, 1.6% were Balts, 1.5% were Finnic, 1.5% were Tajik, 1.4% were Georgian, 1.2% were Moldovan and 4.1% were of other various ethnic groups.
All citizens of the USSR had their own ethnic affiliation. The ethnicity of a person was chosen at the age of sixteen by the child’s parents. If the parents did not agree, the child was automatically assigned the ethnicity of the father. Partly due to Soviet policies, some of the smaller minority ethnic groups were considered part of larger ones, such as the Mingrelians of Georgia, who were classified with the linguistically related Georgians. Some ethnic groups voluntarily assimilated, while others were brought in by force. Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians, who were all East Slavic and Orthodox, shared close cultural, ethnic, and religious ties, while other groups did not. With multiple nationalities living in the same territory, ethnic antagonisms developed over the years.
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1941
Ethnographic map of the Soviet Union, 1970
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The Soviet Union After Stalin
After Stalins death in 1953, he was succeeded by Georgi Malenkov, and then Nikita Khrushchev. In 1956, Khrushchev made a secret speech to the congress condemning Stalins regime and dictatorial rule. Shortly thereafter, he began to implement a series of reforms know as the thaw. These reforms included transforming Soviet foreign policy to that of peaceful cooperation with the West, and destroying the GULAG system and releasing thousands of political prisoners who had been incarcerated under Stalin. Destalinization continued after Khrushchev became prime minister in 1958.
Despite these reforms, anti-communist uprisings and general anti-government dissent in the Republics were strongly and violently suppressed. Massive uprisings in East Germany and Hungary worried Communist Party leaders who decided to slow down the processes of political liberalization. SSR leaders and writers who advocated nationalism and independence for their countries were arrested and imprisoned for up to 15 years.
Bread Crumbs In The Sands Of Time
On the 26th of December 1991, Gorbachev gave a speech to try to explain what went wrong in Russia. His words conveyed an air of regret and disappointment since every plan he put in place backfired massively, turning the once glorious empire to a shadow of its former self. Gorbachev declared that communism has failed and that the Russian people shall take their country to a much better democratic future. With those words, Gorbachev resigned as head of state which was followed by the definite dissolution of the USSR a day later.
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Putin Claims West Is Ready To Provoke ‘colour Revolutions’ And A ‘bloodbath’
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of standing ready to provoke “colour revolutions” and a “bloodbath” in any country.
Putin, who did not provide any evidence or name a country, was speaking via a video link with the heads of the intelligent services of the ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.
The term colour revolution has been used to describe anti-regime protest movements.
Democratic Reform Throughout The Soviet Block
At the time it dissolved, the Soviet Union was composed of 15 separate constitutional republics. Within each republic, citizens of diverse ethnicities, cultures, and religions were often at odds with each other. Especially in the outlying republics in Eastern Europe, discrimination against the ethnic minorities by the Soviet majority created constant tension.
Beginning in 1989, nationalist movements in the Warsaw Pact Soviet satellite nations, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia resulted in regime changes. As the former Soviet allies divided along ethnic lines, similar separatist independence movements emerged in several of the Soviet republicsmost notably, Ukraine.
Even during World War II, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army had conducted a guerilla warfare campaign for Ukrainian independence against both Germany and the Soviet Union. After Joseph Stalins death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev, as the new leader of the Soviet Union, allowed an ethnic Ukrainian revival, and in 1954, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became a founding member of the United Nations. However, the continued repression of political and cultural rights by the Soviet central government in Ukraine spurred renewed separatist movements in the other republics, which fatally fractured the Soviet Union.
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From Chapter Three: Revolutions
In the spring and summer of 1989, another dramatic development occurred within the Soviet political elites: the Iron Curtain that prevented them from going abroad suddenly parted. This had revolutionary implications for Soviet politics, especially for the educated Moscow-centered intelligentsia. Since Stalins times, the West had been the forbidden fruit and the object of intense curiosity for Soviet citizens. The post-Stalin intelligentsia held an imagined West as a vital part of their identity, dreams, and cultural self-validation. Several educated cohorts had grown up with a veritable obsession with and idealization of Western culture and music, first jazz, then rock. Many of those people who learned to despise the Soviet system under Brezhnev felt uncritical admiration for all things Western.
Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union has been shortlisted for the 2022 Pushkin House Book Prize.