The fall of the Soviet Union can be attributed to the Cold War. However, the collapse of Soviet Union was a gradual process that took almost half of the century. In around 1945 when the Second World War ended, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a war that entailed fear and threats.
At that time, Cold War was a major concern in the international affairs. From the opponents of communism perspective, the purpose of Cold War was to ensure that communism was contained and that nuclear conflict was avoided. However, Soviet Union was determined to spread communism across the world including in the United States.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union disagreed over economic, cultural and political differences. In the United States, construction of retaliatory weapons started in preparation of the possibility of the need to use weapons. These weapons were known as the Strategic Triad. They included submarines, land based missiles and long-range bombers. This marked the start of nuclear arms race.
The governments of the two sides stockpiled more nuclear weapons to ensure that their governments are in line. Fortunately, nuclear was did not take place. This can be attributed largely to scare tactics embraced in the cold war. However, both the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in space race in the 1950s.
Both the Soviet Union and the United States wanted to beat the other in the space race for various reasons. The major reason was that their military and defense capabilities were to benefit from the establishment of a successful program of the space. The rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States was every intensifying which fueled the space race further.
However, 4 October 1957 marked a win for the Soviet Union because it launched a satellite Sputnik in the orbit. Nevertheless, the United States became the first country to land successfully on the moon.
Tension between the two sides continued with nuclear arms race and the space race being the major fields of competition. Over the years, crisis related to the cold war emerged including the Vietnam and the Korean wars as well as the Cuban Missile crisis. The economy of the Soviet Union became stagnant due to continued support of arms race.
However, Mikhail Gorbachev became a change advocate when he was appointed as the president of Communist Party. He started working with the United States’ president Ronald Reagan improving the relations between the two countries.
In 1989, the U.S president George W. Bush and Gorbachev declared the end of Cold War which marked the end of Berlin Wall and Communism end in the East Germany. In December 1989, communist governments in Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia fell and the Soviet Union ended in 1991 when it split into different republics.
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