Korean leader factors in soviet decline leadership were included.
Soviet leadership became conservative after Stalin and Khrushchev.
Party bureaucrats, eager to protect the status quo, often advanced mediocre people to top posts, men who were unwilling to rock the boat.
Many of the leaders continued to hold power when their own abilities declined.
Despite continued pressure from the superpowers, some parts of the world surrounding the Soviet Union have reasserted their initiative.
The Soviet Union's large Muslim minority was created by the rise of Islamic fervor in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
The Soviets invaded Afghani stan in order to set up a puppet regime that would protect Russian interests.
The move drew a lot of disapproval.
The war was difficult as Afghan guerril held their ground with some support from the United States.
The first formal action of the Soviets since World War II proved unpopular at home.
The success of western Europe's economy pushed communism into a defensive posture throughout eastern Europe.
Western institutions and consumer standards gained ground.
There was a free trade union movement in Poland that was linked to the Catholic Church and it was repressed through martial law in 1981 but the stress of keeping the lid on was likely to increase.
There were changes in Chinese policy.
China separated from the Soviets in the 1960s.
A democratic movement was quashed in 1989 because of political controls.
Changes in the Chinese economy were rewarded with international investment and rapid growth.
The Soviets had to contend with China's superior economic performance.
The U.S. diplomatic policy was tightened.
Jimmy Carter was a human rights advocate who was eager to point out Soviet deficiencies.
Conservatives increased their opposition to the Soviet Union.
The new strategic arms limitation agreement (SALT II) encountered resistance in the U.S. Senate.
The Soviets moved into Afghanistan.
The American participation in the Moscow Olympics was called off.
Ronald Reagan, who had denounced the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," announced a huge increase in U.S. defense spending in 1980.
These moves put new pressure on the Soviets, already stretched to the limit to maintain military and global competition with the United States and beset with an unpopular war and new regional pressures as well.
The events that were initially promoted for different reasons undid the cold war.
The explosion of the 1980s and 1990s was preceded by a period of reform in the Soviet Union, which resulted in the downfall of the Soviet empire.
The Soviet economic performance deteriorated as a result of military rivalry with the United States.
There were reasons for pride in the Soviet system, and many observers believed that public attitudes by the 1980s were shaped less by terror than by satisfaction with the Soviet Union's world prestige and the improvements the communist regime had fostered in education and welfare.
The economy was grinding to a halt outside of the Soviet Union.
Eastern Europe was affected by forced industrialization.
By the late 1980s, half of all agricultural land was in danger, and more than 20 percent of Soviet citizens lived in regions of ecological disaster.
The rates and severity of respiratory and other diseases increased.
Infant mortality rates rose in several regions, sometimes reaching the highest levels in the world.
Industrial production began to decline as a result of rigid central planning, health problems, and poor worker morale.
Lower motivation was caused by the growing inadequacy of housing and consumer goods.
The percentage of resources allocated to military production increased as economic growth stopped.
This reduced funds can be used for other investments or for consumer needs.
Younger leaders began to realize that the system was close to collapse.
The Soviet system was not changeless despite its heavy bureaucracy.
There could be problems and dissatisfactions that could cause a response.
He wore a new, more Western style, dressing in fashionable clothes, holding press conferences, and even having the Soviet media engage in active policies of glasnost and perestroika.
The two men worked closely to ease tensions between the two great powers after the accession of Mikhail gorbachev.
In 1987 he negotiated a new agreement with the United States that limited medium-range missiles in Europe.
The war in Afghanistan was ended by him.
There is a policy of openness.
He pressed for a reduction in bureaucratic inefficiency and political liberation in Soviet union productive labor in the Soviet economy, encouraging moredecentralization decision making and the use of some market incentives to stimulate greater output.
It was unclear if Gorbachev could cut through the centralized planning apparatus that controlled the main lines of the Soviet economy.
The new leader had to balance reform and stability.