End of cold war and fall of USSR

By zhixin
  • Reagan's military build-up

    A 5-years, $1.5trillion defense programma (1982-1986) included the MX ICBM and the Trident II SLBM. It also included funds for the strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). This build up places pressure on Gorbachev and forces him to acknowledge the impossibility of USSR matching such prog with the Soviet declining economy.
  • Initiation of Strategic Defense Initiation (SDI) or 'Star Wars'

    SDI will act as an defense shield to protect USA from Soviet nuclear weapons. Reagan saw this as the panacea to save America and pressed for new technology such as laser beams and giant mirrors in space to create such shield. It deteriorated relations with the USSR
  • Gorbachev showed willingness in ending the cold war

    Summer 1985, Gorbachev unilaterally announced a temporary moratorium on nuclear testing and challenged the US to follow suit. (Reagan's effort to increase military spending while cutting taxes has saddled him with enormous budget deficit and hence made him receptive to Gorbachev's attempt to limit the arms race) This was under the principle of 'reasonable sufficiency'
  • Gorbachev's internal reform (perestoika)

    1. Perestroika led to widespread resentment and left Soviets disillusioned, severely undermining kremlim's authority. -Enterprise Law (1987) -Law on Joint Ventures (100% in 1990) -destabilized r/s with EE states and broke away -GNP declined by 2% by 1990, foreign debt skyrocketed, nat budget and foreign trade deficit widened EE essentially titied to USSR by virtue of their economic dominance
  • Gorbachev's internal reform (glasnost)

    Glasnost destroyed the myth of Soviety system and opened floodgats of criticism against government, questioning its legitimacy to rule. it was introduced to support petestroika but it failed and further increased political discontent within USSR. Led to the separation within USSR: Christian Armenians battled Muslim Azeris in the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan.
  • Gorbachev's attempt to improve relations with the US

    Gorbachev replaced his long-time Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko (preeminent syumbol of Soviet toughness) with the reformist party leader, Eduard Shevardnadze who has no experience in foreign policies. This move greatly improve r/s with the US as seen with Reagon responding with enthusiasm.
  • Reykjyavik's Summit

    Gorbachev accepted Reagan's 'Zero option' plan whereby all Soviet SS-20 intermediate-range missiles based in Europe would be dismantled in exchange for the removal of the Pershing IIs and GLCMs that NATO recently deployed. However, Reagan's obduracy in refusing to scrap the SDI toepedoed the talk. Arms race did not end in 1986.
  • End of arms race

    The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed on 8 Dec 1987 which marks the end of the nuclear arms race. This treaty led to a drastical asymmetrical reduction of theatre nuclear weapons-destruction of 851 Soviets launchers and 283 American launchers. It was the turning point and a major diplomatic defeat for G.
  • Gorbachev's speech at the UN

    Gorbachev endorsed the principle of 'freedom of choice' and further announce a further reduction in Soviet military presence in EE (by half a million in the next 2 years). He singled out EE for substantial cut in tanks, artillery pieces and combat aircrafts, signalling a new approach to Mowscow's r/s with its satellites.
    Confirmed the end of conventional arms race with CFE treaty in Nov 1990.
  • Solidarity wins Polish elections

    Marked the end of cold war as defined as the division in Europe
  • Fall of Berin Wall

    The reunification of Germany marked the end of the cold war as defined by the division in Europe.
  • Seccionist tendencies

    Lithuania declared independence in March 1990 and in May, Latvia announced its intention fo secede. Estonia soon followed. Slow Soviet response to the Chernobyl accident in 1986 exposed Soviet's weakness and fuelled tge seccssionist fervor of Ukraine and Georgia.
  • The emergence of Boris Yeltsin

    Yeltsin became the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Republic and launched a vigorous campaign on behalf if full democratization of the Sovet political system, the establishment of market economy and the recognition of a greater autonomy for the Soviet Republic. He was elected president of Russian Republic in july 1990 due to popular vote. These highlights Yeltsin's attempts to destroy and democratize the communist system and eventually, lead to the downfall of USSR.
  • Union Treaty

    This treaty accorded much greater autonomy to the republic in a last attempt to hold th country tgt thru peaceful means. However, the consevatives opposed it as an unreasonable and unacceptable sacrifice of central authority. The Baltic states on the other hand wanted nothing to do with it. This treaty showed the irreversible forces of disintegration
  • August Coup

    Yeltsin made ues of the coup to advance his position, further cementing his political position at the expense of G's political credibility. Union treaty was the immediate cause of this coup and hardliners made use of glasnost and perestroika to carry this out. This coup revealed the internal division of the kremlim .