033109 - 03/31/09 PLCP 321 Disintegration of the USSR o...

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03/31/09 PLCP 321 Disintegration of the USSR o Relatively peaceful Some violent episodes but they were small Could have been a lot of violence in the Baltic states but Gorbachev decided not to use force o Why so peaceful? The system was being transformed into another system as it collapsed System was very backward looking when Gorbachev tried to reform it o Ex: On the first day of the coup, they kept Gorbachev in the Crimea. They were going to arrest Yeltsin’s right-hand man at the airport but didn’t because he wasn’t in the VIP lounge. The police couldn’t imagine a leader that wouldn’t use all the benefits he was able to get. o Ex: After the 1986 elections the country basically shut down when the government debates were televised Leaders had already formed a place for themselves in the post- Soviet world during the end of the Soviet period Elites had incentive to not kill anyone, but also to help the disintegration of the system Gorbachev was one of the last true believers of
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033109 - 03/31/09 PLCP 321 Disintegration of the USSR o...

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