The Collapse of the Soviet Union
Russia continues to struggle to establish democracy.
Gorbachev Moves Toward Democracy
-1985 announced the policy of Glasnost or openness
-allowed churches to open, released dissidents from prison, allowed publication by previously banned authors
-Reporters investigated and criticized officials
-People began to have some freedom
Reforming the Economy and Politics
-citizens could complain about economic problems
-1985 perestroika or economic reconstruction
-1987 Democratization was started
-election of new legislation
-Keeping communism, but reforming it
-1987 Gorbachev and Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty which banned nuclear missiles with ranges of 300-3,400 miles
The Soviet Union Faces Turmoil
Powerful forces for democracy were building in the country so Gorbachev decided not to oppose reform.
Glasnost, perestroika, and democratization were all means for reform
The move to reform the Soviet Union ultimately led to its breakup
non-Russians formed a majority in the 14 Soviet republics other than Russia
Ethnic tensions brewed in the Soviet society. The Muslims people of the Soviet Central Asia called for religious freedom.
March 1990, Lithuania declared for independence
To try and get the back in the Soviet Union, Gorbachev ordered an economic blockade of the republic
January 1991, Soviet troops attacked unarmed civilians in Lithuania’s capital.
because of the assault in Lithuania, people looked for leadership in Boris Yeltsin.
In 1991, Yeltsin was elected Russian President
August 18th, 1991, hardliners detained Gorbachev at his vacation home on the Black Sea and forced him to resign as Soviet president
August 20th, hardliners ordered troops to attack the parliament building but they refused
August 21st, the military withdrew its forces from Moscow and Gorbachev returned to Moscow
this sparked anger into the communist party.
Gorbachev resigned as general secretary of the party.
in 1917, the Communist Party collapsed because of the failed coup
Estonia and Latvia declared their independence
by early December, all 15 republics declared independence.
Yeltsin and leaders formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
This was “the death” of the Soviet Union
On Christmas Day 1991, Gorbachev announced his resignation as president of the Soviet Union, a country that now didn’t exist.
Russia Under Boris Yeltsin
As president of the large Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin was now the most powerful figure in the CIS
Yeltsin’s goals were to reform Russian economy by using a plan called “shock therapy”
he lowered trade barriers, removed price controls, and ended subsidies to state-owned industries
In October 1993, legislators opposed to Yeltsin’s policies shut themselves inside the parliament building and ended up being bombarded by Yeltsin and he was later accused of acting as a dictator
War in Chechnya struck out and in 1994 Yeltsin sent russian forces to reduce the capital city to rubble
Yeltsin resigned in 1999 and named Vladimir Putin as acting president
Russia Under Vladimir Putin
In July 2002, the Kremlin said it would begin pulling some of its 80,000 troops out of Chechnya, but Russia had made and broken a promise before
In October 2002, Chechen rebels seized a theater in Moscow and more than 150 people died in the rescue attempt by Russian forces
Russia’s economic problems continued
- A decade of change between 1992 and 2002 caused enormous social upheaval in Russia