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The USSR went through many changes in the 1980s,
leading to the Cold War’s end. There are many
different reasons for these...
Financial problems
Government-owned
businesses were badly run
and needed changes to
stop this, including
private investmen...
Poverty
Many Russians lived in
poverty. They faced long
queues even to buy bread.
People in the USSR could
see on TV that ...
Military problems
The USSR was failing to
win the Afghanistan War
and it was costing them
too much money.
The Soviets also...
Chernobyl
Chernobyl was a nuclear
power station in the USSR
which exploded in 1986.
In spite of the deaths it
caused (and ...
Influence of the USA
The USA put more pressure
on the Soviet Union.
US President Ronald
Reagan hugely increased
military s...
The USA also tried to
develop the Strategic
Defense Initiative (or
Star Wars).
This was an anti-missile
system based in sp...
Reagan tried to persuade
the people of Eastern
Europe to rebel against
the USSR.
They used radio
broadcasts such as
‘Voice...
Eastern Europe
Like in the USSR, people
in Eastern Europe lived
in poverty and wanted
change. It was hard to
stop revoluti...
Mikhail Gorbachev
Gorbachev was the
youngest ever leader of
the USSR.
He introduced various
changes including working
with...
Ronald Reagan
US President Reagan was
very anti-Communist.
He gave support to
Afghanistan and had an
influence in Poland t...
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II, from
Poland, gave many
speeches which hugely
influenced Catholic
Poland and the West....
Margaret Thatcher
UK Prime Minister Thatcher
was a big supporter of
Ronald Reagan.
She had good relations
with Gorbachev. ...
Changing Cold War Relations - why did change happen
Changing Cold War Relations - why did change happen
Changing Cold War Relations - why did change happen
Changing Cold War Relations - why did change happen
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Changing Cold War Relations - why did change happen

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Changing Cold War Relations - why did change happen

  1. 1. The USSR went through many changes in the 1980s, leading to the Cold War’s end. There are many different reasons for these changes.
  2. 2. Financial problems Government-owned businesses were badly run and needed changes to stop this, including private investment. The USSR was also struggling to fund its military commitments.
  3. 3. Poverty Many Russians lived in poverty. They faced long queues even to buy bread. People in the USSR could see on TV that the West was not this poor. Without changes, the USSR risked a revolution.
  4. 4. Military problems The USSR was failing to win the Afghanistan War and it was costing them too much money. The Soviets also could not afford to keep military control of Eastern Europe.
  5. 5. Chernobyl Chernobyl was a nuclear power station in the USSR which exploded in 1986. In spite of the deaths it caused (and later cancers) it was kept secret at first. Gorbachev was shocked by this.
  6. 6. Influence of the USA The USA put more pressure on the Soviet Union. US President Ronald Reagan hugely increased military spending, which the USSR could not match. This included building Stealth Bombers.
  7. 7. The USA also tried to develop the Strategic Defense Initiative (or Star Wars). This was an anti-missile system based in space. If successful this could have made Soviet missiles useless.
  8. 8. Reagan tried to persuade the people of Eastern Europe to rebel against the USSR. They used radio broadcasts such as ‘Voice of America’ and ‘Radio Free Europe’ to encourage this.
  9. 9. Eastern Europe Like in the USSR, people in Eastern Europe lived in poverty and wanted change. It was hard to stop revolutions. Groups such as Solidarity in Poland opposed Soviet rule.
  10. 10. Mikhail Gorbachev Gorbachev was the youngest ever leader of the USSR. He introduced various changes including working with western leaders and reforms such as Glasnost.
  11. 11. Ronald Reagan US President Reagan was very anti-Communist. He gave support to Afghanistan and had an influence in Poland too. He also increased arms spending to cause the USSR financial problems.
  12. 12. Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II, from Poland, gave many speeches which hugely influenced Catholic Poland and the West. He supported Solidarity, the group that helped end Communist rule.
  13. 13. Margaret Thatcher UK Prime Minister Thatcher was a big supporter of Ronald Reagan. She had good relations with Gorbachev. Thatcher also helped by allowing the USA to base nuclear missiles in the UK.

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