Essay: Who was to blame for the Cold War? Who and …
By mid-1990, many of the Soviet republics had declared their independence. Turmoil in the Soviet Union continued, as there were several attempts at overthrowing Gorbachev. On December 8, 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Republic, formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.). After 45 years, the Cold War was over.
How Did the Cold War Start and End?
With the passing of several Soviet leaders, Mikhail Gorbachev assumed control of the Soviet Union. His rise to power ushered in an era of perestroika (restructuring) and of glasnost (openness).
As the decade came to an end, much of the Eastern Bloc began to crumble. The Hungarian government took down the barbed wire on its border with Austria and the West. The Soviet Union did nothing in response. Although travel was still not completely free, the Iron Curtain was starting to unravel. On November 10, 1989, one of the most famous symbols of the Cold War came down: the Berlin Wall. By the end of the year, leaders of every Eastern European nation except Bulgaria had been ousted by popular uprisings.