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Under what circumstances did the Soviet Union collapse 30 years ago?

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Mikhail Gorbachev looks at the clock just before his December 25 speech

For decades, only one country had the power to challenge the United States, the most powerful country, but its existence ended on the world map on December 25, 1991.

On that day, the then President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the nation from the Kremlin, saying, “As President of the Soviet Union, I will finish my mission.”

His speech was heard all over the world. For many, the Cold War and a communist force ended in those moments. But on the other hand there were those who believed that the existence of the Soviet Union had ended weeks before the Belvez agreement.

However, after the coup attempt in August of the same year, a large section realized that the Soviet Union had only a few days left.

Gorbachev and his allies in the federal government have been negotiating a new deal since that spring. The most flexible union was proposed for the member states of the Soviet Union. He believed that this was the last resort to save the Soviet Union.

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Photo taken during the August 1991 coup attempt

Coup attempt in August 1991

‘Moscow, 25 December 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union’ editor Connor O’Callaghan told BBC Mundo, “They wanted to defend a kind of union, but over time it became difficult for the leaders. No. “

The radical communists, the military and the intelligence agency KGB also rejected the proposal. Mikhail Gorbachev was placed under house arrest at his Crimean home. It is customary for him to celebrate his holiday in this house.

But the coup was planned and failed after public demonstrations in Moscow led by Boris Yeltsin. Boris Yeltsin is a colleague and critic of Mikhail Gorbachev.

Vladislav Zhubok, a professor of Soviet affairs at the London School of Economics, said: “Gorbachev wanted to sign a new union treaty on August 20. Nation. The Soviet Union must be destroyed, and I agree.”

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Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin in parliament after the coup attempt

New Union Agreement

Professor Vladislav Zubok, author of A Failed Empire in the History of the Soviet Union: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachoff, recalled, “The coup attempt was astonishing because everyone was on holiday at the time. No one thought it would happen in August.

Professor Vladislav Zhubok lived in Moscow during the Soviet Union. He says the public believes December 25 is a major milestone in the history of the Soviet Union.

“But I do not agree with that. When Gorbachev resigned, he had no authority. His speech was like a TV show.”

Those involved in the coup attempt prevented the new union agreement from coming into force in August, but they did not prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its script was written over many years and it is true that they did it fast.

After the coup attempt, many thought the end of the Soviet Union was near, but some, including Gorbachev, believed that the Soviet Union could be saved by a new kind of sovereign federation.

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Boris Yeltsin signed the Belavesha contract

Belavezza deal

Professor Vladislav Zhubok says, “Millions of people liked the idea of ​​the Soviet Union. They were used to living in a big country. They believed it could live under a new name or a different regime.”

But Boris Yeltsin had a different plan.

On December 8, 1991, then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with the leaders of three of the 15 member states of the Soviet Union. Among those who met Yeltsin was the then President of Ukraine Leonid M. Kravzuk, including Stanislav Shushkevich, President of Belarus. They released a joint statement called the Pelawela Agreement.

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According to the treaty, the Soviet Union was to be dissolved and replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States, which included member states of the former Soviet Union.

Journalist Connor O’Cleary considers this incident to be the last nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union. He says, “All the doors to return from here were closed. Gorbachev did not accept this, insisting that for the next two or three weeks he would maintain a federation of something he had been president of. He would stay.”

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On December 25 the red flag was removed from the Kremlin

alma-ata protocol

On December 21, 8 of the remaining 12 Soviet Union countries signed the Alma-Atta Protocol and joined the Commonwealth. After this, the real possibility of the survival of the Soviet Union came to an end.

According to Conor O’Clarry, this was the moment when Gorbachev realized that his term was over and decided to announce his resignation in a speech on December 25.

“Boris Yeltsin allowed him to remain in power in the Kremlin for a few more days and agreed to raise the red flag in the Kremlin on December 31.”

Professor Vladislav Zhubok insists that the signing of the Alma-Atta Protocol was unconstitutional in the Soviet Union. “They had no right to dismantle the Soviet Union. But they were able to do so. No action was taken against them.”

“It was clear at the time that the federal government was completely paralyzed, but the army had returned loyal to Yeltsin instead of Gorbachev.”

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At the time of Gorbachev’s resignation, the Kremlin’s command was in the hands of Boris Yeltsin.

Yeltsin’s control over the Kremlin

On December 25, peace prevailed in the Kremlin. Yeltsin had complete control over President Pawan. Yeltsin was given the task of guarding the Kremlin by a regiment loyal to him, and Gorbachev was imprisoned in his office and in some rooms.

In these rooms, news channels CNN and ABC were preparing to broadcast the resignation.

Prior to the speech, Gorbachev had a telephone conversation with then – British Prime Minister John Major. He was sad after this conversation. He went to a room in the Kremlin and rested alone for a while.

“He was very emotional. He drank a couple of pegs of wine. His colleague Alexander Yakovlev saw him crying in his room. Perhaps it was the saddest moment in Gorbachev’s life. But he soon recovered and restrained himself in speech.”

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At 7:32 pm on December 25, the flag of the Russian Federation was hoisted on the Kremlin instead of the red flag of the Soviet Union.

‘We Now Live in a New World’

According to the schedule, the speech of the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, began at 7 pm local time and lasted ten minutes. Gorbachev resigned as head of state.

Gorbachev justified his decision by saying, “We live in a new world now.”

Professor Vladislav Jubok explains that Gorbachev’s talk of the day was for television only. CNN translated the text and broadcast it worldwide.

Experts say Gorbachev’s words gave more meaning to the outside world. His fame was left in other parts of the world than in the Soviet Union.

“His speech on Soviet television was very brief,” says Subok. By then he had become very unpopular in the Soviet Union. No one was interested in what he was saying. By then, everyone understood that the Soviet Union was over. “

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Gorbachev’s speech

Professor Vladislav Zubok believes that Gorbachev’s speech was very polite. But after this speech, a sense of dissatisfaction was also seen among his colleagues in the corridors of power.

“Gorbachev was silent about his failures. He did not say why the economic crisis occurred. He wanted to stand in high morals before Yeltsin. That is why the reason for seeing Yeltsin Gorbachev after his speech was denied.”

Gorbachev may have praised Yeltsin a little in his speech, says journalist Conor O’Clear.

“Yeltsin saved him after the coup attempt. If Yeltsin had not been there, Gorbachev would have gone to jail or worse.”

Connor O’Calry says Yeltsin was outraged when Gorbachev did not mention Yeltsin in his speech. He ordered the immediate removal of the red flag from the Kremlin when it was determined that the red flag would remain until the end of this year.

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4 Surprising Facts About the Soviet Union

Dissatisfaction of Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin ordered Gorbachev and his wife’s personal belongings to be taken out of the Rashtrapati Bhavan premises later that night, after Gorbachev had previously said he would stay in the palace for a few days.

After that talk, Gorbachev and Yeltsin did not come face to face. Moscow’s Red Square fell into disrepair when the Red Flag was removed from the Kremlin because of Gorbachev’s influence in Russia.

At 7:32 pm, the Russian flag was hoisted in place of the Soviet Union’s red flag, led by Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first president.

After the collapse of the world’s largest communist state, 15 independent republics emerged – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Ukraine.

On the other hand, the United States at the other end of the world had reached the point of being the only superpower in the world.