The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formally dissolved on December 25 (Christmas Day), 1991, when the Hammer and Sickle Flag of the Soviet Union was lowered for the last time above the Kremlin and replaced with the new Russian Federation flag.The fall of the Soviet Union also symbolizes the fall of communism. There’s really no direct cause as to why the Soviet Union collapsed and was replaced by the Russian Federation, but there are a few main factors as to why. Also, since there was a decline of government power, it was pretty obvious that communism in the USSR was not really working out.

Soviet Union After World War II
Soviet Union After World War II


Unlike past USSR leaders, Gorbachev did not use military force to put down revolutions in Eastern Europe. The fall of the Berlin Wall and communist governments throughout the old Soviet Bloc generated demands for reforms to the Soviet government as well. In addition to Gorbachev's poor use of military force, he realized that communism was not working. Gorbachev recognized that the Soviet economy needed fundamental reforms, as it had not posted positive growth in nearly a decade.

Tanks on Red Square during the 1991 coup attempt


The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan contributed to the downfall of the USSR. Similar to America's foreign policy, the Soviets become involved in the Afghanistan War because they wanted to revive a failing socialist nation, just like how America entered the Vietnam War. It was
a costly and, ultimately, pointless war.


Soviet troops entering Afghanistan
Soviet troops entering Afghanistan

  • Socialism failed economically - Economic Stagnation occurred, there were years without a reform
  • Outside opposition (Capitalist countries) and Nationalism within the republics
  • Competition with the West (They wanted equality with USA, but had no money)
  • Party officials were killed for personal gain, weakening the party
  • Conspiracy theory - There are rumors that Gorbachev knew he would bring down the system.
    Soviet troops withdrawing from Afghanistan
    Soviet troops withdrawing from Afghanistan
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Impact on American Society

For fifty years or so the United States was in constant fear of the USSR. At last, the Cold War was dissolved. Now with the Soviet Union out of the way, the American society’s fear of communism was replaced with terrorism and the Al-Qaeda.