On 30th December 1922, the world’s largest nation was established and governed by its first leader, Vladimir Lenin. It grew to become a world superpower, with one of the best military forces and economies in the world. Unexpectedly, on the 26th of December, 1991, this great and mighty nation fell after the resignation of its last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Many historians have been coming up with various theories regarding the reason why this great nation fell, but I think that the Chernobyl incident was the main reason which led to the fall of the USSR. Although it may not be the most obvious reason, it was the tipping point which triggered a domino effect of successive economic and ...view middle of the document...
This involved expensive resources which had to be brought from other countries as the USSR had little natural resources due to its permafrost terrain and cold climate which makes growing natural resources difficult. Therefore, the USSR had to divert a lot of its economic resources to protect the natural environment and the people around Chernobyl.
For communism in the USSR to work more effectively, Mikhail Gorbachev wanted to improve publicity, transparency and promote openness. Hence, in the 1980s, Gorbachev introduced Glasnost. Glasnost translated into English meant more transparency, openness and maximal publicity. This meant that policies were more open to debate and opinion, meaning more effective development in the USSR. However, Glasnost was proved to be false after the Chernobyl Incident of 26th of April 1986. This nuclear crisis caused great losses in the USSR, and even posed dangers to other countries. However, the Politburo of USSR decided to disclose the incident towards everybody, which meant that Glasnost was not happening. Only until May 1986, which was one month after the disaster, did Gorbachev actually reveal the reasons and details about the disaster. But according to survivor Sergey Nasirof who lived in Kiev during the disaster, the information revealed to the Kiev population were significantly below the real figures, in order to minimize public concern. Of course, the Ukrainian people later found out the real astonishing figures which were revealed by Swedish scientists who also traced radioactive material in their country.
Source 1: Source 2:
My first source was a government propaganda poster used to promote Glasnost after the cover up of the Chernobyl incident. The Soviet government needed to gain the trust from the people and show them that Glasnost was really going to happen, so they had to produce posters like source 1 to let the public know about Glasnost. The content of the poster translated into English means: “Be bold, comrade! Openness – Our strength!” As the poster shows, the small man is hesitating to go into the small microphone hole, but the other man walking out from the more open side of the microphone is moving boldly forward. This is a primary source as it was produced in the time of the Soviet era (specifically late 1980s) and during the same Chernobyl era, which means it should be very accurate. However, the weakness of this source is that it is somewhat biased as it was produced by the Agitprop (Department for Agitation and Propaganda) of the USSR government. This meant that it was pro – government and only talks about how the government Is really imposing Glasnost and not covering anything, when in fact; there were many figures and important details from the Chernobyl incident still covered up.
The second main source I used was a secondary source as it is a book retelling the events which led to the dissolution of...