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Weird History

The Reasons Why The Soviet Union Collapsed So Suddenly

On December 25, 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev announced both his resignation as president of the Soviet Union and the communist state's dissolution after 79 years. The abrupt end of the regime was a shock to many at the time, but in the ensuing years, historians have identified several contributing factors both long- and short-term.

From the economic stagnation and ruinously high levels of military spending to the well-intentioned but highly destabilizing reforms Gorbachev introduced, this explainer looks at the real reasons the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. 

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