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The Collapse of the Soviet Union


Assignment topic: The Collapse of the Soviet Union

Number of Pages: 2 Pages/ 550 words

Format: APA


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The Collapse of the Soviet Union

The fall of the Soviet Union was a gradual process that started at the end of the 1980s when 15 member countries broke up to claim their independence on the 25th of December 1991. As a result, the cold war that was existing between the union and the United States ended. The events and occurrences were perpetrated by Mikhail Gorbachev when he was elected as the secretary-general of the union through his reforms to try and revamp the political situation in the country and modernize the economy.

Immediately after taking over his position as secretary-general of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev engaged in reformations mainly through the Perestroika and Glasnost reforms. Using the Perestroika reform strategy, Gorbachev tried to restructure the union in a bid to increase its efficiency. His change legalized and allowed private ownership and reduced some of the tight controls that the government had on the economy (Morgan, 2014). However, the reform did not work for the better of the union as its members had gotten used to the habit of the government conducting every business exclusively. The second reform, Glasnost allowed for the freedom of speech that further increased openness in government (Morgan, 2014). The change created a platform in which the media reported independently about the government while the member states gained the freedom of protesting against the government, thus leading to more states using the reform to fight for their independence.

The newly established freedom led to the Baltic States to demand their independence and further created an opportunity for more nationalistic movements that sought for the liberation of several states including Armenia, Ukraine and Georgia (Suesse, 2018). Besides, there was an attempted takeover in which Gorbachev was kidnapped by the communist hardliners and announced too sick to govern. They expressed to their interest to take over that led to massive protests by the Soviet citizens (Suesse, 2018). Although the hardliners tried to shut the protests, the military did not use force on their people, thus the failure of the takeover and further the dissolution of the Union.

In conclusion, the collapse of the Soviet Union is attributed to the reforms by Gorbachev, which were aimed at reforming the union and increasing its efficiency. However, the changes created an avenue that was used by the Soviet Union states to articulate for their independence. They used the reform platforms as avenues to push for and pressurize for their freedom which further led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  


Morgan, J. (2014). Radioactive: the fall of the Soviet Union. The Lancet Oncology, 15(9), 928-929.

Suesse, M. (2018). Breaking the Unbreakable Union: Nationalism, Disintegration and the Soviet Economic Collapse. The Economic Journal, 128(615), 2933-2967.

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