Twenty-Five years ago, the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR) began on December, 26, 1991, and Russia was internationally recognized as its legal successor on the international stage and now, Ex-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev says the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was a “crime and a coup”.
In a rare interview with BBC’s, Steve Rosenberg, Gorbachev stated that he resigned to avoid a bloody civil war.
Gorbachev also spoke about the how the West was “provoking Russia” and trying to undermine Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
The Soviet Union (USSR) had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government that had replaced Tsar Nicholas II. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary “Reds” and the counter-revolutionary “Whites.”
Brezhnev’s next two successors, transitional figures with deep roots in his tradition, did not last long. Yuri Andropov was 68 years old and Konstantin Chernenko 72 when they assumed power; both died in less than two years. In an attempt to avoid a third short-lived leader, in 1985, the Soviets turned to the next generation and selected Mikhail Gorbachev.
Gorbachev made significant changes in the economy and party leadership, called perestroika. His policy of glasnost freed public access to information after decades of heavy government censorship.
Gorbachev also moved to end the Cold War. On the U.S. side, former President Ronald Reagan who formed a friendship with Gorbachev also helped end the Cold War. In 1988, the Soviet Union abandoned its nine-year war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces. In the late 1980s, he refused military support to the Soviet Union’s former satellite states, which paved the way for Revolutions of 1989. With the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and with East Germany and West Germany pursuing unification, the Iron Curtain came down.
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