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The Formal Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Day the World Changed - Essay Example

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On December 8, 1991, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and the Byelorussian republics met in the sylvan solitude of Belovezhskaya Pushcha to discuss the fate of the Soviet Union. At the end of the day, the leaders declared the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union and the new formation of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)…
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The Formal Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Day the World Changed
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The Formal Dissolution of the Soviet Union: The Day the World Changed

Download file to see previous pages... As the Soviet Union quickly dissipated, the arms race slowed considerably and neared a halt. The Communist backbone of Asia, held together by Moscow, split and severed into several independent countries and republics. And, the once powerful Soviet Union was forced to relinquish the hegemonic crown to the United States of America. On December 8, 1991, world history took a new course. Only a handful of critical moments represent the dots upon which human history is connected. The meeting in Beloveshskaya Pushcha-coupled with the reign of Mikhail Gorbachev, the end of communism in the Soviet Union, and the advent of multiparty politics-embodied a crucial time when the world held its breath and undoubtedly proved to be one of the most momentous events in recent history.
Accordingly, the disbanding of the Soviet Union came as a result of nationalist fallout that had simmered and stewed under the Communist Soviet regime. Many years of communism had proved to be oppressive and ineffective. It only fueled nationalistic dissent. Mikhail Gorbachev, who succeeded Konstantin Chernenko in 1985, provided a vent through which this nationalist fervor could emerge. With the introduction of his much-touted policies of glasnost and perestroika, Gorbachev gave voice to the growing conflict brewing in the Soviet Union. ...
This set the stage for the "August Coup" in 1991 that would prove to be a prelude to the historic meeting in Belovezhskaya Pushcha later that year.
Previously, in 1990, the Soviet Communist Party's monopoly of power had finally been curtailed. That same year, Lithuania and Estonia raised the banner of revolt by announcing that they too were pulling out of the Soviet Union. The following year, the USSR was forced to recognize the independence of three of the Baltic States. The Ukraine also officially announced its independence in 1991. The mighty Soviet Union of Stalin and Lenin was now history, and the disintegration of the USSR meant more power for the United States of America. During the Cold War, "the exclusive focus on the Soviet Union was the impetus for United States policy" (Shalom, Steven R. The Continuity of US Imperialism 26). But, with the conclusion of the Cold War, the United States was free to focus on other agendas without consulting the once powerful and influential Soviet Union. In the 1990s, the United States decided to invade Iraq even though Russia opposed the action. American effrontery was a clear indication that weakened Russia was no longer a threat to the New World Order (Chomsky, Noam Collateral Damage 1992). President Bush sent troops to Somalia in 1992. He sent United States marines to Haiti in 1994. The Clinton administration launched missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan. Russia did not approve of any of these military interventions, but they proved to be an insubstantial power in the face of American hegemony. Prior to the dissolution of the USSR, the Soviet Union would have been a force to be reckoned with in these matters. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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