Chapter 35 section 3: The Collapse of the Soviet Union

Chapter 35 section 3:
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
Democratic reforms bring important changes to the
Soviet Union
Do Now: Complete the primary source political cartoon
Gorbachev moves
toward democracy
• Politburo- ruling committee of
Communist Party;
– rules USSR harshly
• Leonid Brezhnev dies in 1982;
– two successors rule briefly
• Mikhail Gorbachev- becomes
Soviet leader in 1984
• Young, energetic, skilled and
wants to pursue new policies
1985: Gorbachev & the Era of
• Glasnosts- openness
-increased political freedoms
• Perestroikarestructuring
-economy more efficient
• Democratization-
-gradual change to political
• Foreign Policy-December 1987-(INF)Intermediate Range Nuclear
Forces Treaty- arms race
New Policies
• To achieve economic reforms, he needs to open
dialogue in society
– Promotes new policy of glasnost– openness; dissent allowed
• People complained about a lack of goods;
Gorbachev blames old system
he introduces perestroikapolicy of economic restructuring
Hope to make economy more efficient and productive
New Policies Continued
Democratization opens the political
• In 1987, he unveils plans to have more
• Voters, given a choice, elect many
reformers to new legislature
Foreign Policy
• Gorbachev signs arms control agreements
with US
Soviet Union Faces Turmoil
• Gorbachev wants to reform Soviet Union
but reforms lead to collapse
• Non-Russian ethnic groups rebel in
different republics
Lithuania defies Gorbachev
• In 1990, Lithuania declares independence
• Gorbachev fearing similar actions in other
republics sends troops
• Reformer Boris Yeltsin rallies people
against Communist old guard
• Old-time Communists oppose both
Gorbachev and Yeltsin
The Soviet Union Faces Turmoil
August Coup
• In August 1991, hard
liners try to seize control
of the government again
• Thousands of protesters
and Yeltsin rally against
this move
• Army refuses to attack
protesters and coup
End of the Soviet Union
• Government takes
actions to punish
Communist Party for
• Many republics declare
• Gorbachev cannot stop
• Republics form a
federation, CISCommonwealth of
Independent States
CIS- Commonwealth of
Independent States
Russia under Boris Yeltsin
• Yeltsin aims to reform the Russian
• Tries “shock therapy”- quick transition to
free market system
• New policies bring economic chaos,
hardship and political troubles
Chechnya Rebels
• In 1991, Chechnya declares
independence from Russia
• Yeltsin attempts to crush rebellion, causing
unrest at home
• As conflict continues in 1999, he resigns in
favor of Vladimir Putin
Russia under Vladimir Putin
• Fighting drags on in Chechnya
• In 2002, Chechen rebels seize theater in
Moscow; many die
• As of 2007, the rebels have been largely quieted
• Economic problems continue leading to unstable
• Social problems include homelessness and
• Decline in average life expectancy
Soviet Union/ Russian Leaders
•Used glasnost & perestroika to change Soviet Union’s
government & economy
•Ended Cold War tensions
•Helped to end communism throughout Eastern Europe
•Struggled with transition from communism to democracy
•Industry and farms were privatized
•Food shortages increased
•Unemployment rose
• lessened power of regional leaders
•Exerted control of DUMA, Russian legislature
•New relations with the West
•2002 signed arms reduction
•Led to economic growth
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