Cold War End

  • Created by: faye
  • Created on: 30-03-15 14:33


  • 1972: SALT 1 signed. ICBMs (biggest missiles) limited. Submarines with nuclear missiles limited.
  • 1972: Helsinki Conference agreed on greater co-operation between superpowers in terms of trade and fighting international terrorism.
  • 1975: Apollo-Soyuz mission. An American Apollo and Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked in space.
1 of 6

Invasion of Afghanistan

  • April 1972: Afghan royal family overthrown and new communist president Taraki became ally of USSR.
  • Brezhnev saw communist revolution in Afghanistan as oppertunity to extend power in oil-rich Middle East.
  • Taraki attempted to assassinate Amin (head of army) but failed. Started civil war.
  • December 1979: Soviet invasion started because Amin had assassinated Taraki and was thought to be an American spy, the communists needed help to defeat Amin and Brezhnev though USA wouldn't intervene after Prague Spring.
  • Carter formed an alliance with China and Israel to support Afghan rebels. CIA provided weapons and funds.
  • Imposed economic sanctions stopping all trade with USSR.
  • Ended diplomatic relations with USSR.
  • Withdrew from SALT 2 agreements.
  • Boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
2 of 6


  • 1981: Reagan becomes President. Thought America should win the Cold War.
  • 1983: 'Evil Empire' speech said Cold War was a moral war and America had a moral duty to invest in new nuclear weapons to defend from the 'evil' Soviet Union.
  • SDI 'Star Wars' launch satellites with powerful lasers into space which could destroy Soviet missiles before they hit USA, a 'nuclear umbrella'.
  • Broke 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
  • Turned space race into arms race. Made Soviet nuclear missiles useless.
  • USSR could not keep up in arms race. Did not have many computors, thought they would undermine communism. America had already won moon race and developed space shuttle.
3 of 6

Gorbachev 'new thinking'

  • 1985-1991: Leader of Soviet Union.
  • Called Reagan 'primitive', a 'caveman' and 'mentally retarded'.
  • April 1986: Chernobyl disaster. Gorbachev authorised a cover story but was pressured by the West to tell the truth. Became a symbol of Soviet communism crisis.
  • Gorbachev recognised problems.
  • Perestroika (restructuring): Economic reforms to make Soviet economy more efficient.
  • Glasnost (openness): Censorship of press relaxed.
  • November 1985: Geneva summit. Reagan wanted to convince Gorbachev he wanted peace. Gorbachev wanted Reagan to drop SDI. They developed a personal relationship but no agreements were reached.
  • October 1986: Reykjavik summit. Reagan proposed scrapping all ballistic nuclear missiles but Gorbachev refused because Reagan would not drop SDI.
  • December 1987: Washington Summit. INF Treaty signed. Eliminated all missiles with a range of 500-5500 km. Gorbachev agreed because nuclear deveopment was too expensive.
4 of 6

End of Cold War

  • December 1988: Gorbachev announced ideology should play a smaller role in Soviet foreign affairs. USSR would no longer favour trade with communist countries over trade with capitalist countries.
  • Wanted perestroika and glasnost in Eastern Bloc.
  • Withdrew Soviet troops from Eastern Bloc to save money. Abandoned Brezhnev Doctrine.
  • Once reform started in Eastern Bloc he couldn't contain it.
  • Hungary - Summer 1989: Communist government promises new democratic consitution. October 1989: First free elections held.
  • Poland - September 1989: Communist government defeated in free elections.
  • Germany - October 1989: Berlin Wall falls. 1990: Communists defeated in elections.
  • Czech Republic/Slovakia - November 1989: Protests lead to overthrow of communist rule.
  • Eastern Bloc broke up so Warsaw Pact was useless. It was officially dissolved in July 1991.
5 of 6

Fall of Soviet Union

  • August 1991: 'Gang of Eight' organised coup to remove Gorbachev.
  • Gorbachev was prevented from returning to Moscow.
  • New government declared state of emergency which stopped new freedoms.
  • New government lasted 3 days.
  • Yeltsin (future Russian President) said new government was'illegal'. Told people to resist new regime.
  • 21 August: Gorbachev returned to Moscow. Announced he still wanted to save communism. 
  • Coup had made Yeltsin popular and damaged Gorbachev's authority.
  • 25 December 1991: Gorbachev announced dissolution of the Soviet Union and resigned.
  • America became world's only superpower so ended superpower conflict.
6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The Cold War resources »