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In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved and the Iron Curtain collapsed. Find out why in this video.

The collapse of communism

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Key points

  • 1979 - the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to try to prop up its communist government.
  • 1980 - Ronald Reagan became American President. He was a committed anti-communist.
  • 1985 - The new Soviet Leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, withdrew from Afghanistan and began Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) with America. He also allowed some changes to the communist system.
  • Due to Gorbachev's relaxed leadership, eastern European countries began to push for independence.
  • November 1989 - the East German government announced that East Germans could visit West Germany.
  • 1991 - Gorbachev fell from power and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was dissolved.

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