Essay on The Collapse Of The Soviet Union

Essay on The Collapse Of The Soviet Union

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In a time where the US arose as the sole remaining superpower of the Cold War, it could be easy to think of the Soviet Union as all but ceasing to exist. With the breakup of the Warsaw Pact, the dissolution of the Union itself, and a collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, the great threat to the West had vanished. However, the regions which occupied the old USSR still existed, and the people still remembered their past glory. Leading the charge of this remembrance was Russia, the de-jure and de-facto successor to the USSR . Since 1991, the Russian Federation has undergone challenges, many of which resulted from fiscal incompetence and corruption amongst the government. Under Boris Yeltsin, policies akin to Poland’s “shock therapy” led the charge, believing in mass privatization and modernization which sent many into panic. Yeltsin’s successor Vladimir Putin led a different path, one of a return to government ownership with controlled private business. Both Yeltsin and Putin hold an integral part of Post-Soviet history, but it is the incompetence of Yeltsin that led to the rise of Putin and the current government of Russia.
As the Soviet Union collapsed, and Russia was left as an independent nation, it began to seem as though the power once felt by the Russian state had left. Economic reforms and programs throughout the 1990’s had left the nation stagnant, and GDP contracted on a near yearly basis. Riots were commonplace throughout Moscow, and the criminal underworld flourished as the state could not adequately provide protection. This chaos is what Boris Yeltsin inherited, and at times, contributed to. The primary issue of the 1990’s was economic reform, of which moving from Communist to Capitalist Markets was seen as the prima...


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...eed to workers under the old USSR in Russia. “In spring 2001, Putin pushed forward the implementation of long delayed Judicial, pension, housing and utility reforms . . . these steps gave rise to hopes that Putin had finally begun his liberal breakthrough.” (Brown 103) As the USSR collapsed, so too did many jobs and retirements with it. This caused an uproar in Russian life, with many unemployed, and even having to go back to the work force after decades of retirement. Pushing forward a policy of guaranteeing these pensions allowed economic growth to occur, but first the economy itself needed a refocus to fully realize this plan. For the past decade Russian businesses had been sold out to the highest bidder, creating numerous oligarchs and mega-wealthy corporations out of Russian resources. Vladimir Putin took a strong stance, the state was in power, not the wealthy.

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