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What were the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union - Essay Example

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What were the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union

There are others who propound the theory that the Soviet Union had been deliberately dismantled. In their opinion, this system would have continued; but for the destructive acts of some individuals. This conjecture results in the question of who had been responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. The erstwhile Communists of Moscow have held that Gorbachev was the sole cause for this unwelcome development (Ekedahl and Goodman, 1998, p. 149).
Yeltsin embarked upon a program of consolidating his power. In this endeavour, he acted with great haste, and this had a major contribution to the disintegration of the USSR. Gorbachev also played a major, but unintended role in the process of disintegration. Some of the reasons for the dismantling of the Soviet Union are the liberalization of the system, and its democratization; and permitting the Eastern European countries to claim independence. In addition, the Soviets did not employ force against those seeking self-determination, this proved to be highly encouraging for those seeking self rule (Brown, 2007, p. 318).
Prior to Gorbachev’s rule, any expression of nationalism was dealt with very severely. Some of the modes of punishment for such activity were arrest, imprisonment, exile to Siberia, or even execution. Gorbachev liberalised the system and provided the opportunity for democracy to flourish in the Soviet Union. These measures resulted in the disintegration of the USSR (Brown, 2007, p. 319).
The Second World War was highly damaging for the Soviet Union. The innumerable executions of persons suspected of being dissidents, had a number of adverse effects on the Soviet system. The Red Army’s leadership was incompetent, it was poorly armed and troop morale was at its nadir. The extant transport arrangements were woefully inadequate, and this led to serious shortages, all over the country (Kenez, 2006, p. 133).
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was accompanied with considerable bloodshed, ...Show more


One of these asserts that the Soviet system had been founded on principles that were not viable, in the long run. Those who subscribe to this school of thought have repeatedly…
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