During the cold war , the dissidents by their sheer presence were able to bring out the hollowness of Soviet claims that theirs was also a form of democracy and they had the unanimous support of people behind them. Thus historically, the dissidents have played a very important part in how the Western countries have viewed Soviet Union as a country. Because of the oppressive nature in which these dissidents were handled, the democratic faade of Soviet Union crashed and the differences between East and West became hugely apparent.
The dissidents managed to reveal the actual manner of political repression in Soviet Union. Those who disagreed with the government's policies were arrested and sent to labor camps. Rather than acting as a deterrent to others, such actions prompted other dissidents to publicize these arrests using western media. When the government tried to arrest more people, more information started coming out from these camps - the stories about labor camps and psychiatric hospitals where prisoners were treated inhumanly and subjected to mental and physical torture. All this information caused a huge uproar against the government both within and outside the Soviet Union. ...Show more