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Collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union (USSR) Mr. Regan.

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Presentation on theme: "Collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union (USSR) Mr. Regan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union (USSR) Mr. Regan

2 Joseph Stalin Following WW II, Stalin & the USSR formed a sphere of influence for the Baltic Sea to the Balkans. Returned to his ruthless prewar & wartime policies of slave labor camps for various “enemies of the state.” Died in 1953

3 Nikita Khrushchev Publicly denounces Stalin’s abuses of power “De-Stalinization Calls for “peaceful coexistence” with the West.

4 Other side of Khrushchev Clamps down on critics at home Sends troops into Hungary in 1956 to quell an anti-communist uprising

5 Soviet tanks in Budapest, Hungary in 1956. Radio Free Europe broadcasts encouraged the Hungarians to battle on in the false understanding that they would receive reinforcements from the West.

6 For a brief moment it appeared that Hungary might be able to break away from the Soviet block, but the Soviet army put an end to all such hopes.

7 Street in Budapest after the Soviet invasion

8 Sputnik, 1957 First manned spacecraft Propaganda victory for USSR against the West Leads to a massive buildup of the USA’s space program Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut, first man in space Sputnik

9 Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 USSR under Khrushchev put nuclear missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida in Cuba. Closest the superpowers came to nuclear war during the Cold war After much US pressure & posturing, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba


11 Leonid Brezhnev 1966-1982 Brezhnev Doctrine: USSR had the right to intervene militarily in any Warsaw Pact country.

12 Detente Lessening of Cold war tensions between the USA & The USSR. Spirit of better cooperation 1970’s Arms control talks & treaties Cultural exchanges Trade agreements

13 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979 Invaded to keep the pro-communist government in power Convinced many in the West the USSR was still very aggressive and would eventually target the oil fields on the Middle East

14 USA & our CIA supplies arms to the mujahidin (Afghan resistance) *** Ironically, the Taliban (the remnants of the Afghan resistance) will use these same weapons to take over Afghanistan in the early 1990’s, and will use these same weapons to fight against the USA in its bid in 2002 to hold onto political power ***

15 Failure in Afghanistan Of the 620,000 Soviets who served in Afghanistan, 14,453 were killed or died from wounds, accidents or disease. War drains the Soviet economy. Dampens morale in the USSR with the failure to win in Afghanistan. “Their Vietnam” Soviet troops in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital

16 1980 Olympic Boycott The USA and 62 other nations decided to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympic games scheduled to be held in Moscow.

17 Four years later, the Soviet Union and its allies decided to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles.

18 Mikhail Gorbachev Took over in 1985 Eager to reform inefficiencies in government and the economy Changes he instituted would lead to the end of the USSR and its grip on power in eastern Europe

19 Mikhail Gorbachev Key Idea: Gorbachev did not set out to destroy the USSR. He wanted to reform the inefficient system. –In reforming the inefficiencies, the policies he implemented brought about its downfall –Until the end, however, Gorbachev’s vision was of a transformed USSR, not a broken-up USSR

20 Perestroika Economic reform Goal was to stimulate economic growth & make industry more efficient Backed some market economy reforms Caused inflation, shortages of food & medicine

21 Glasnost “openness, “ or “public voicing.” Gorbachev hoped to win support for his policies among ordinary citizens Ended censorship & encouraged people to openly discuss problems in the USSR

22 A new “openness” and spirit of cooperation with the USA was also part of glasnost

23 End of Communism in Eastern Europe & The Baltics Ability to question, doubt, and protest against the Soviet Union and the communist governments of Eastern Europe would lead to the end of communism in Eastern Europe The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovokia, 1989 Going over the Berlin Wall, 1989


25 The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was founded in 1922, made up of four republics. By 1991, when it broke up, it was an union of 15 republics. The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (SFSR) was the largest of the republics. Other republics, called Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), were located in Central Asia, Transcaucasia, Eastern Europe, and the Baltics. Now, the 15 republics are independent countries.

26 These days were gone

27 The End of Gorbachev mid- 1991, communist hard-liners tried to overthrow Gorbachev & restore the old order Coup failed, but weakened Gorbachev By the end of 1991, many Soviet republics had declared their independence, and Gorbachev has resigned as president

28 The Russian Republic Russia had been the largest of the for mer Soviet republics. Boris Yeltsin, the former mayor of Moscow, became the new president of Russia

29 Problems New constitution, but no democratic traditions (totalitarian traditions date back to the rule of the Mongols & the rule of the czars) Economic concerns (currency devaluation, inflation) Political challenges from former communists in the Parliament who see chaos in the new Russian “democracy”

30 1994, Russian troops sent into Chechnya to brutally crush a revolt against Russian rule Today, Chechnyan terrorists use guerilla tactics to wage their fight for freedom from Russia

31 Economic Woes Transition to a market economy has proved slow & often painful to many Russians Initially received little aid from the West “black market” and Russian Mafia / gangs have prospered

32 Vladimir Putin Yeltsin resigned in 1999 Vladimir Putin “democratically” elected as Russia’s new president Putin curbed some of the powers of Russia’s parliament and regional governments Some in the West feel Putin is leading Russia more away from democratic reforms

33 Nuclear issues Russia took over the old stockpile of nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union The west fears that, in order to raise badly needed money, Russia might sell off some of this stockpile to a Third World country or to a terrorist organization like Al-Qaeda

34 Dmitry Medvedev Head of Government, 2007-2012 Putin’s “Puppet”

35 The Future?? -- He’s Baaacccckkk!! Increased censorship, regulation of the media, more tension with the West on international issues

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