The Disintegration of the USSR

Thomas Marshall
Mind Map by Thomas Marshall, updated 9 months ago More Less
Thomas Marshall
Created by Thomas Marshall over 3 years ago


A mindmap on the overview of the fall Of the USSR-How, Why and the impact that it had on the Cold War.

Resource summary

The Disintegration of the USSR
1 The Nationalities Problem
1.1 The USSR was a federation of 15 different republics of which the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was by far the largest.
1.1.1 The collapse of Communism in many countries meant that nationalism had made a return and the collapse of the economy removed any further incentive to stay in the USSR.
2 The Baltic States
2.1 Estonia Latvia and Lithuania had been occupied by 4diffrent nations since the first world war. Perestroika and Glasnost had encouraged reforms and to press for independence. In 1988, Popular fronts made up of coalition reformers formed in all 3 republics. In February of 1990 local elections were held throughout the USSR and pro-independence candidates won in all 3 republic states. March Lithuania and Latvia declared independence and in May so did Latvia.
2.1.1 Gorbahev's Reaction He initially moves against the Baltics becoming independent as he wants to keep the USR whole at all costs. He imposes and economic blockade on Lithuania in April 1990 and in January 1991 stationed troops in all 3 states on the pretext of searching for military deserters. In Vilnius Lithuania, they seized radio and TV centres killing 13 civilians but after massive public demonstrations had to withdraw. 11 of Jan Bush contacted Gorbachev to epxress his concern. The violence had stegthened the fighters will for Independence
3 Armenian-Azerbaijan Confilct
3.1 The most serious part of this conflict occurred in Caucasus region and was between Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijan.The Nagorno-Karabakh district, populated by Armenians was given to Azerbaijan by Stalin in 1923. Glasnost enabled rallies to be held in the Winter of 1987-88 and demand its return by the Armenians. In Febuary1988 after growing demonstrations, Nagorno-Karabakh voted to merge with Armenia. Gorbachev vetoes this and anti-Armenian riots emerged in Azerbaijan.
3.1.1 Gorbachev removes both leaders but the failure to resolve the confilctled to growing Nationalism in both countries. Early 1988 Armenian intellectuals and nationalist formed theKarabakh comittee to organise a campaign for the return of the region. In opposition the this the Popular front of Azerbaijan was formed in July 1988 which aimed at independence from the USSR and the retention of the region. Blockade of Armenia July 1988 the region was placed under direct control of Moscow. In hope of a lasting solution Gorbachev let the matter be handled by the USSR's Supreme Soviet. This voted on however to keep in in control of Azerbaijan. However the Armenian Supreme Soviet decided to integrate it into Armenia anyway. This lead to the Azerbaijan Popular Front (APF) to have a rail blockade. This lead to food and pertol shortages. It also held demonstration in Baku the capital which degenrated into riots against the local Armenians of which at least 91 werre killed. APF then decided to declare a state of emrgency and the following day its members siezed goverrnment and Communist party buildings. Gorbachev responds by declaring Martial Law and sending in Soviet troops. Th break the APF blockades attacking protestors killing over 130. It regains control of Baku however the population was completely alienated. Most of Baku's population attends the mass funerals of the protestors.
4 Georgia
4.1 The independence movements in the Baltic and Transcaucasia inspire similar movements here. 7-8 of April troops were used after more than 100000 people gathered in front of Government offices calling for independence. 19 were killed and 200 wounded. This helped radicalise Georgian politics leading many to believe that that independence was preferable over Soviet Rule.
5 Central Asia Republics
5.1 Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Gorbachev's attempts to purge the Local communist Party organisation of corrupt officials triggers a nationalist backlash which leads both to vote in becoming independent. 1986 Gorbachev replaces Kazakh leader with a Russian. Seen as humiliating and evidence of further Russian domination. 16 Dec rioting breaks out in cities all over the country. The government arrests thousands in crackdown.
5.1.1 In Uzbekistan, it was equally clumsy. 18000 Uzbek members of the communist party dismissed and replaced on the whole by Russians who knew little about the country or language triggering nationalism which wanted ethnic Uzbek rule and independence.
6 Moldavia
6.1 The Democratic Movement of Moldova (DMM) was formed in 1988 to campaign for greater independence from the USSR. It took the form of the demand for Moldovan traditions and the recognition of Moldovan as the official language.
6.1.1 On the 31 of August 1989 it succefully got a new language law implemented to make Moldovan the official language. In 1990 it became the largest part for the elections of the Supreme Soviet.
7 Ukraine
7.1 This was of paramount importance to Russia as it was the second largest Republic. If this fell then the USSR would be irrepairibly damged. Lvov became a centre of protests which demanded greater tolernce of Christians and culture. Initially attempts were made to end these but this became much more difuclut when the Republic wide Ukranian Popular Front Movemewas created in 1989. Oct 1990 declared its goal wasd to no longer to be autonomy witht eh USSR but for complete independence.
8 Belarus
8.1 Again inspire by the Baltic state Popular fronts the Belarus Popular front was formed in 1988 as it demanded democracy and independence. The discovery of mass graves in the woods outside Minsk of those executed by the NKVD during Stalin's era added momentum to this. It was argued only complete independence would protect Belarus from this reocurring.
9 Russia
9.1 Elections had taken place for the Congress of People's Deputies in March/April 1990 and gave a majority to reformers and outright oponetns of Communism. Clear that the 1920's USSR was doomed. Yeltsin now Gorbachev's rival emerged as the leading politician in Russia and elected as chairman of congress. 12 june congress declared Russia was independent and that its laws took precedent over the Supreme Soviet of the UHSSR. It did not however rule out the negotiation of a new federation therefore.
10 End of the USSR
10.1 Gorbachev drafts a New Union Treaty Nov 1990. March 1991 a referendum is held on the question f forming a new union by the members of the USSR. They were asked whether they supported the idea or not. Referendum boycotted by Baltics, Gergia, Moldavia and Armenia but in the others it was supported.
10.1.1 Gorbachev under threat He was increasingly weak as he had not been elected and had a weak power base. He had two opposition quarters. 1- Communists in the army, party, KGB who thought his policies had caused the fall of the USSR. 2- reformers like Yeltsin. Coup 18/19 August 1991 On August 18 2 days before the union treaty was to come into effect leading Communists who opposed the change made a last ditched effort to save the USSR. They launched an abortive Coup in Moscow while Gorbachev was on holiday. No public backing meant rebels collapsed. Yeltsin rallied crowds against the Coup. Gorbachev sidelined as he was on holiday and Yeltsin hailed as a hero of Russia. The Communist party was made illegal in Russia. End of the USSR The republics that agreed to the Union treaty refused to implement it. Gorbachev attempts to redraft it but they all reject it. Ukraine then decides on complete independence killing the USSR after a referendum. Ukraine, Russia and Belarus the establish the Commonwealth of Independent Staes (CIS) which was joined by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan,Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Georgia joins later. On Christmas Day, 1991 Gorbachev resigns and by the 31 of Dec the USSR ceases to exist. The new CIS organisation was a ghost organisation.
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