Presentation on theme: "The End of the Cold War. The decline of Communism was not a result of American policies and the Cold War, but more to do with the problems faced by the."— Presentation transcript:
The End of the Cold War
The decline of Communism was not a result of American policies and the Cold War, but more to do with the problems faced by the USSR at home and abroad..
Throughout the 1980s, the Soviet Union fought an increasingly frustrating war in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Soviet economy faced the continuously escalating costs of the arms race
Afghanistan Xmas Eve 1979 Brezhnev invades Afghanistan. Why? – It is an important piece of land since it is located between Russia and Middle East oil. – USA was giving them aid. – Groups within wanted to create a Muslim state and Soviet Union was afraid it would spread to southern USSR. – rge_detailed_political_map_of_the_world_since_sovi et_times.jpg rge_detailed_political_map_of_the_world_since_sovi et_times.jpg
This immediately caused a rift with the West and 61 countries boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. USSR quickly take the capital of Kabul and install a new communist government. An opposition group called the Mujaheddin is formed with military aid and training from the US. Osama bin Laden is a leader within this group and gets a reputation for being a brave fighter.
Mujaheddin engages in Guerilla warfare tactics in the mountain areas. By 1988 the Mujaheddin occupied 75% of country. New Soviet leader is chosen Mikhail Gobachev and he realises war cannot be won. The USSR pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, The casualities included 15,000 dead and missing, and over 400,000 incapacitated by disease or serious illness.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan became president of the USA. As a strong anti-communist, he called the Soviet Union the "evil empire" and increased spending on arms. The US military developed the neutron bomb, cruise missiles and a Star Wars defence system using space satellites.
The Neutron Bomb A neutron bomb is a type of nuclear weapon designed specifically to release a large portion of its energy as neutron radiation rather than explosive energy. Although their extreme blast and heat effects are not eliminated, it is the enormous radiation released by ERWs that is meant to be a major source of casualties. This meant that buildings would not be destroyed but the people in them would be killed.
Star Wars March 23, Reagan outlined his Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars," a space-based defensive shield that would use lasers and other advanced technology to destroy attacking missiles far above the Earth's surface. Soviets forced to spend heavily to match the program causing near economic collapse.
By 1985, the Soviet Union was in trouble. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the USSR
Problems facing the USSR in the 1980s Afghanistan had become "Russia's Vietnam". Russia could not afford the arms race. The Soviet economy was backwards - factories and mines were decrepit and out of date. Backward industry was causing increasing environmental problems - eg pollution, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion of 1986, and the Aral Sea dried up.
Many people were much poorer than the poorest people in the capitalist West - unrest about shortages was growing. Crime, alcoholism and drugs were out of control in Soviet towns. The Soviet system had become corrupt and out of date - instead of dealing with problems, the government just covered them up (eg Chernobyl, 1986). Many people were dissatisfied with the Soviet police state and censorship.
He/Gorbachev withdrew from Afghanistan. He realised that the USSR could not afford the arms race, and opened the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) with the USA. He signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in He began to reform the Soviet system by allowing perestroika (competition in business) and glasnost (freedom).
Other Countries Free elections held in Poland in June 1989 were won by Solidarity, originally a banned trade union, and Lech Walesa became the first non-communist president of Poland. Revolutions in other Eastern European countries quickly followed - notably the fall of the Berlin Wall in November In 1991, Gorbachev fell from power and the Soviet Union was dissolved.
Berlin Wall falls Gorbachev renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine, which pledged to use Soviet force to protect its interests in Eastern Europe. On September 10, Hungary opened its border with Austria, allowing many people including East Germans to flee to the West. After massive public demonstrations in East Germany and Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall fell on November 9.
– German unification At a September 12 meeting in Moscow, the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and the two Germanys agreed to end Allied occupation rights in Germany. On October 3, East and West Germany united as the Federal Republic of Germany.
1990—Soviet Union passes a law allowing republics to break away USSR pulls out its nuclear and conventional forces from Warsaw Pact nations In December 1991 the USSR officially ceased to exist