However because of the introduction of these policies, more and more reformers were encouraged to push for further liberalisation. Soon popular opinion in the soviet union had shifted towards a more Western approach with more political and economic ideas adopted from the West.
Some people saw this as a chance to reject the whole ideals of communism and called for such things.
Gorbachev's policies allowed reformers in the communist parties of Eastern Europe to push for measures.
1989: Solidarity movement in Poland wins congressional elections; next year, its
leader, Lech Walesa, won the Presidency.
1990 In March, the East German communist party loses its hold in congressional
elections, and in October, re-unites with West Germany.
1990—Soviet Union passes a law allowing republics to break away with a 2/3
majority in a referendum. In June, Boris Yeltsin (Russian President) leads its
congress to declare its sovereignty over Russia (removing the largest SSR from
the sphere of the USSR). In August, a coup led by military hard-liners attempts
to seize power in Moscow to stop the decline of the USSR and Gorbachev’s
“give away” of control. Coup leaders, however, are arrested and Yeltsin replaces
regional leaders who supported it.
1991-- Belavezha Accords declare the USSR dissolved, and form the Commonwealth
of Independent States with Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. In July, the Warsaw
Pact is dissolved.
1990-91 USSR pulls out its nuclear and conventional forces from Warsaw Pact
Cherynobyl Disaster - The nuclear power plant accident in the Ukraine town of Cherynobyl. It was initially covered up by the Soviet government, compounding the health crisis, while further sowing the seeds of distrust within the constituency, as the extent of the disaster and the cover-up came to light.
In 1989 the Soviet troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan. With 15,000 soldiers dead and missing and over 400,000 incapacitated by disease or serious illness, support for the war had dwindled and the soviets misjudgement and underestimation of the Mujahideen, and the over stretching of the Soviet troops had lead to the USSR losing the war, meaning they had wasted valuable resources and troops in an unnecessary conflict.
1983: President Reagan proposes Strategic Defense Initiative (STAR WARS)