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Events which ended the Cold War

The communist countries in the soviet bloc had serious economic problems. The much trumpeted communism did not give the promised results. It was believed that the military spending of USA and USSR was the reason for the economic breakdown in Soviet Union and its satellites. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 seriously affected the Russian economy. Ronald Reagan's foreign policy was believed to have made a negative impact on the economic stability of the Soviet Union. Trillions of dollars had been spent for nuclear arms and conventional army. The western countries could withstand the costlier programs like Star Wars Missile Defense but the eastern blocs crumbled under the weight of heavy spending. The great desire for the common man to acquire wealth and get individual freedom was another reason for the end of the cold war. Cracks began to appear during 1980s as the Soviet controlled eastern blocs slowly started their movements for independence. One of the greatest political movements of the time was led Lech Walesa of Poland and his Solidarity Movement. In 1985, Michael Gorbachev came to power as the General Secretary of Communist Party. He wanted fix the problems under the communist control. He shifted the traditional policy of confrontation towards the west. In 1987, he had signed with Ronald Reagan Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) eliminating all intermediate and short range missiles from Europe. In February 1989, on the basis of an accord between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Soviet Union decided to withdraw her troops from Afghanistan. In 1991, Bush and Gorbachev met in Moscow to sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I). The defensive organization of Warsaw pact was changed into a political organization and established diplomatic relations with many countries. He was awarded Nobel Prize for peace in 1990 for trying to reduce the cold war tensions between the super powers.

The domestic policy of Gorbachev was based mainly under three programs. They were Perestroika or rebuilding, Glasnost or public voicing, and demokratizatsiya or democratization. Perestroika was adopted to restructure the soviet government and economy while glasnost was aimed to create an open atmosphere in national and international affairs. During the period, the soviet bloc countries strengthened their movements for independence. In 1989, Hungary decided to conduct free elections and pull down the fence between Austria and Hungary. In June 1989, Poland held its first elections under Solidarity Movement. The most memorable event which led to the end of the cold war came on November 1989, when Berlin wall was broken down. The end result was the unification of East and West Germany. In the following months, freedom movements became strengthened and reached its peak in countries like Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
The new policy of Gorbachev was not liked by the hardliners of the communist party. The Russian military leaders made a coup attempt in 1991 and arrested Gorbachev, but the intervention of Boris Yeltsin saved the coup. Yeltsin promoted the soviet republics to declare independence. Soon, the Soviet control was ceased and communism came to an abrupt end. In 1991, about 15 countries ceased to be the part of Soviet Union and declared independent countries. Later they formed, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Yeltsin was elected as the president of newly formed Commonwealth of Independent States.

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The signs of the end of the cold war began during the 1980s. The communist countries in the soviet bloc had serious economic problems. The much trumpeted communism did not give the promised results. It was believed that the military spending of USA and USSR was the reason for the economic breakdown in Soviet Union and its satellites. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 seriously affected the Russian economy. Ronald Reagan's foreign policy was believed to have made a negative impact on the economic stability of the Soviet Union. Trillions of dollars had been spent for nuclear arms and conventional army. The western countries could withstand the costlier programs like Star Wars Missile Defense but the eastern blocs crumbled under the weight of heavy spending. The great desire for the common man to acquire wealth and get individual freedom was another reason for the end ...

Solution Summary

This is a solution about the events which led to the end of the cold war. It explains about the reasons for the end of cold war in relation with the reforms of Michael Gorbachev. Some of the great events of the period include fall of the Berlin wall and unification of Germany. Soviet Union was dismembered at the end of the cold war.

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