On December 25th 1991, the red flag came down from the Kremlin after more than seventy years: socialism was no more. One of the world's superpowers, with all its military might, satellite states and secret police, that was never conquered, had defeated itself. History, we were told, had come to an end. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power amidst growing tensions with the West and this stagnating economy. He initiated much needed and sought after political and economic reforms, hoping to rid the USSR of its worst elements. Just a few years later, the fifteen republics comprising the USSR would go their separate ways. Yet, the USSR’s legacy lives on, as many unresolved problems caused by its collapse and creation persist into the modern day.
Four UoL historians will give brief presentations covering different perspectives of the Soviet collapse, which will then be followed by a Q&A.
-Dr Roland Clark: The Reaction in Eastern Europe.
-Dr Beatrice Penati: The Collapse in Central Asia.
-Dr Michael Hopkins: The International Response.
-Dr James Pearce: The Memory of the Soviet collapse in contemporary Russia.
Discussant: Dr Myriam Wilks-Heeg