The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991.
The direct cause of the dissolution was the failed attempt by Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the USSR from March 11, 1985, to revitalize the Soviet economy through a process of limited political liberalisation (glasnost/perestroika) within the confines of a totalitarian communist one-party state.
The broader result of the dissolution was the fall of Communism as a global ideology between 1989 and 1991 and the end of the Cold War.Multi-ethnic communist federal states proved particularly vulnerable to disintegration during this time – the Soviet Union was, but one example of three such states that collapsed in Europe as a result of the fall of communism, the others being the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, which broke up in a series of wars in 1991–1992, and Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, its dissolution was peaceful in 1993.
New General Secretary - 1985 Edit
By the early 1980s the Soviet economy got a big hit, thus affecting the whole block. In Poland, more than 60% of population lived in poverty, and inflation, measured by black-market rate of the U.S. dollar, was 1,500% in the period 1982 – 1987. Poland later became the cradle of the Revolutions of 1989.
Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, only three hours after Konstantin Chernenko's death. Upon his accession at age 54, he was the youngest member of the Politburo. Gorbachev's primary goal as General Secretary was to revive the Soviet economy after the stagnant Brezhnev years.
In Kazakhstan, the independence struggle began with the Jeltoqsan uprising in 1986.
The Singing Revolution occurred in the Baltic states between 1987 and 1991.
Many people started protesting against the Soviet rule in Georgia in early 1989. In April 1989 the Soviet army massacred demonstrators in the Tbilisi Massacre. By November 1989, the Georgian SSR officially condemned the Russian invasion in 1921 and continuing genocidal occupation.
The collapse of Soviet Union power in Eastern Europe and the rapid withdrew its forces from Central and Southeast Europe staring in 1989 sent shockwaves reverberating throughout the Soviet Union itself. The nationalist sentiments in Lithuania, and then Estonia, Latvia and Armenia declared independence! Later on the more generalised disaffection in other Soviet republics, such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, was countered by promises of greater decentralization, but more open elections led to the election of candidates opposed to Communist Party rule and/or the Soviet Union itself!
Several regions later either rebelled, were hit by protests or declared independence. The 3 Baltic States, Georgia, Moldova, Chechnya and Ukraine were all looking for a quick exit from the USSR, which they loathed and hated on long held ethnic-historical lines. The Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia all started the Singing Revolution, with the main protest of Baltic Way, which was also the biggest one. Baltics are Waking Up was a famous song that was the main reason for these states to become Laureate of the Polar Music Prize in 1991.
After using tactics partly copied from the Baltics and Ukraine, the Anti-Communist Coalition Forces movement, led by the former Soviet major general, nuclear bomber pilot and atomic bomber force commander; Dzhokhar Dudayev staged a largely bloodless revolution that ousted the sitting Communist Republican president of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. Major General Dudayev was then elected in a landslide in the following election. He then and in he proclaimed Checheno-Ingushetia's independence, in the November 1991, as the Republic of Ichkeria. Shortly afterwards Ingushetia voted to leave the union with Chechnya, and was allowed to do so (thus it became the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria). Dzhokhar Dudayev was died in 1996.
The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt made the collapse of the USSR inevitable.
The republics who declared IndependenceEdit
Left in 1990Edit
- Lithuania- March 11, 1990- Long-standing ethnic issues. Never wanted to be part of the union any way.
- Latvia (de facto) – August 21, 1991- Long-standing ethnic issues. Never wanted to be part of the union any way.
- Estonia – August 20, 1991- Long-standing ethnic issues. Never wanted to be part of the union any way.
- Armenia – August 23, 1990- Long-standing ethnic issues. Would have stayed in a looser capitalist federation.
- Abkhazia – August 25, 1990.
- Transnistria – September 2, 1990.
- Udmurtia- A sovereign state in October 1990-? 1991. Recent ethnic issues. Would have stayed in a capitalist confederation.
- Bashkortostan- A sovereign state on October 11th 1990- ? 1990.
Left in 1991Edit
- Republic of Tatarstan, ? 1991- ? 1994
- Georgia – April 9, 1991- Long-standing ethnic issues. Would have stayed in a hard line USSR.
- Gagauzia - August 19, 1991
- Ukraine – August 24, 1991- Left fearing Russian nationalism. Would have settled for a looser socialist federation.
- Belarus – August 25, 1991- Left to stem off Belarusian nationalism. Would have settled for a looser communist federation.
- Moldova – August 27, 1991- Gradually became fed up with the reformed union and more nationalistic at the same time. It's isolation from the then remains of the USSR. They also did not agree with the coup leaders declaring martial law in Moldova without Moldova's concent. Would have settled for a reformed USSR.
- Kyrgyzstan – August 31, 1991- Resigned in disgust as the coup leaders tried to remove the republic's leader and over ethnic issues. Never wanted to be part of the union any way, but would have settled for a looser capitalist federation.
- Uzbekistan – September 1, 1991- Gradually became fed up with the reformed union and more nationalistic at the same time. Would have settled for a reformed USSR.
- Nagorno-Karabakh – September 2, 1991
- Tajikistan – September 9, 1991- Resigned in disgust as the coup leaders tried to remove the republic's parliament, favouring the hard line leader of the republic and over long standing ethno-religious. Never wanted to be part of the union any way, but would have settled for a looser capitalist federation.
- Azerbaijan – October 18, 1991- Gradually became fed up with the reformed union and more nationalistic at the same time. Would have stayed in a hard line USSR.
- Turkmenistan – October 27, 1991- Gradually became fed up with the reformed union and more nationalistic at the same time. Terkmanbashis's huge ego also played a significant role as did it's isolation from the then remains of the USSR. Would have settled for a reformed USSR.
- Chechen Republic of Ichkeria - November 1, 1991
- South Ossetia – November 28, 1991. North Ossetian SSR finally became the first autonomous republic of the RSFSR to officially declare it's full national sovereignty, on June 20, 1990 (although it still remains firmly part of Russia). In 1991, North Ossetian SSR was renamed the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania.
- Russia – December 12, 1991- Left due to Boris Yeltsin's ego and Russian nationalism. Would have settled for a looser klepto-capitalist federation.
- Kazakhstan – December 16, 1991- Gradually became fed up with the union and more nationalistic at the same time. Assumed independence since the USSR did not exist any more. Would have settled for a reformed USSR.
Autonomy in 1993Edit
- The Ural Republic July 1, 1993 to November 9, 1993. It was formed as a result of a referendum held on April 12, 1993 by Eduard Rossel.
Post-Soviet dictators and cults of personalityEdit
The former communist leader Alexander Lukashenko has retained power in Belarus. He has been criticized for anti-sematisum, setting up a mini-personality cult and repressing political opposition ever since he came to power.
Former Kazakhstan communist leader Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in power since 1991. He has been criticized for repressing the political opposition ever since and setting up a mini-personality cult and fixing elections so both he and his party alwas 'won' them.
The former communist leader Islam Karimov retained power in Uzbekistan and has been criticized for repressing all the political opposition and being a dictator ever since. He oversaw the 2005 Andijan Massacre.
The former communist leader Saparmurat Niyazov retained power in Turkmenistan and was been criticized as one of the world's most totalitarian and repressive leaders. He is notoreius for maintaining his own masive cult of personality. A gold statue of himself still rotates to follow the daily passage of the sun, despite of his death in 2008. A town was later renamed in his honer.
The former KGB spy boss Vladimir Putin was voted in to power as Russian president/prime minister in 2000. He has been criticized for repressing the political opposition, setting up a personality cult, reportedly fixed elections, homophobia and threatening the rights of ethnic minority groups originating from the Caucus Mountains (Azaris, Chechens, etc) ever since. A vodka brand is named in his honor.
|Leader in question.||Years in office.||Elcetorial fairness.||Economic policy.||Security policy.||Minority rights.||The fight against organised crime.||Forren affairs.||Green issues.||Total Score.|
Saparmurat Niyazov, AKA- Türkmenbaşy (Turkmenistan).
|Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus).||1994 to date||0%||30%||80%||100%||100%||100%||95%||72.20%|
|Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan).||1989 to date||66%||90%||100%||100%||60%||100%||25%||76.427%|
|Islam Karimov (Uzbekistan).||1989 to date||0%||75%||90%||60%||100%||80%||20%||60.71%|
|Vladimir Putin (Russia)||2000 to date as either president and prime minister||25%||100%||100%||75%||100%||30%||100%||75.71%|
|Ilham Aliyev (Azerbijan)||2003 to date||25%||75%||100%||100%||25%||100%||90%||73.57%|
Boris Yeltsin (Russia)
|Eduard Shevardnadze (Georgia)||1995-2003||25%||25%||90%||0%||100%||50%||100%||55.71%|
|Viktor Yanukovych (Ukraine)||2010 to date||55%||15%||25%||100%||100%||50%||90%||62.14%|
Moscow was involved in a number of conflicts including the-
- Nagorno-Karabakh War,
- War of Transnistria,
- 1991–1992 South Ossetia War,
- First Chechen War,
- War in Abkhazia (1992–1993),
- Ossetian–Ingush conflict,