Explain why the collapse of the USSR was followed by serious economic and political problems.

In the late 20th century, the internal disintegration within the Union of Soviet Socialist

Republics (USSR) took place.

Factors: Many factors played crucial roles in the demise of the USSR, like Gorbachev’s reforms and his abandonment of the Brezhnev Doctrine, severe economic fallout, faulty military policy, nuclear explosion, and some social factors.

Reason: The reason behind the aftershock of the economic and political crisis was inherent in

the causes of the USSR’s downfall.

  • In 1985, when Gorbachev took office, the stagnant economic condition of the USSR was badly in need of reforms. GNP breakdown from 5.8% to 2.6%, demand for food, dependency on foreign trade, the Asian financial crisis, massive tax evasion reinforced that idea.
  • The collapse not only targeted the economic systems, but it also created political Anarchy.
  • Corruption within the Russian government provided the impetus to the evaporation of Government infrastructure starting from the basic public needs to the police services.
  • The emergence of dominant external powers like China, the US suppressed Russia’s influence over global affairs.

Consequence: The collapse of the USSR was followed by the emergence of Russia in 1991.

Present scenario: In recent times, it has been seen, Moscow took a stronger position in world

affairs. Once again it managed to elevate itself to the pinnacle of global power by taking

advantage of global oil price hike, focusing on the domestic industry, practicing several

bilateral ties with other counterparts, and diplomacy.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Explain why the collapse of the USSR was followed by serious economic and political problems.

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:August 15, 2020

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