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    Changes in Eastern Europe and Russia after the Soviet Union

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    Background: : â??Until the Communist governments of the Warsaw Pact nations began to fall like dominoes late in 1989 â?" followed two years later by the Soviet Union â?" the Eastern Bloc appeared to be a permanent fixture on the international landscapeâ?¦By the end of 1991, the one-time monolith of Eastern European communism seemed near extinctionâ?¦ The journey, however, had only begun. The changes of 1989-91 â?" initially so promising and hopeful- often had unexpected and even painful repercussions. The removal of the political and social straitjackets was welcome, but it resulted in an inevitably awkward period of adjustment" (p. 410).

    Question: Write a response identifying two of the most significant challenges that people in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union faced in the period immediately following the collapse of communism?

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    Solution Preview

    Hello and Welcome to Brainmass!! I have listed some guidelines for you to include in your paper. Use these to complete your essay. The way you organize your essay is up to you. I have provided you with social, economic, and political challenges seperately that took place in the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries after the fall of communism. The references are formatted using APA styling which you are welcome to use.

    After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Eastern Europe and the USSR began to see revolutionary changes. Reformers assumed power throughout this region and put an end to 40 years of communist rule. With the reunification of Germany in 1990, and "after surviving a hard-line coup attempt in 1991, Gorbachev was forced to cede power in Russia to Boris Yeltsin, who oversaw the dissolution of the Soviet Union" (US Dept of State, 2001). This development also officially marked the end of the Cold War.

    Political change:
    ?The post Soviet and Communist era was sudden and Eastern Europe found transition from a Marxist ideology to democracy a confusing and sudden one.
    ?Even though they found a change to democracy as a natural alternative, they lacked the skills and the experience for a successful change. This included skills such as "the ability to engage in political discourse, the ability to compromise, and political initiative (The Power of Place)" (Nosotro, 2010)
    ?The distress of transformation affected Russia the most among all those involved. It went from a superpower, the head of the communist world, to a nation under pressure to make the transition to democracy and capitalism.
    ?"In 1993, Russian voters approved a new constitution drafted by President Yeltsin. The constitution grants strong powers to the president, including the power to issue decrees that have the force of law. By contrast, the Russian parliament is relatively weak. In the area of national defense, Russia opposes NATO's expansion into Eastern Europe, but has a cooperative arrangement with the alliance" (CRF, 2002)
    ?Russian political parties are aggressive, but are important only in parliamentary elections. Elections have been generally free and fair with up to 70 percent voter participation (CRF, 2002)
    ?Voters in Poland only just accepted a new democratic constitution in ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution deals with the challenges in Eastern Europe and Russia immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union. Specificalyy, it addresses the political, social, and economic changes that took place after the fall of Communism.