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Alternative View: Could USSR Have Avoided Dissolution, Overcome Crisis?

Alternative View: Could USSR Have Avoided Dissolution, Overcome Crisis?

Alternative View: Could USSR Have Avoided Dissolution, Overcome Crisis?
August 17
20:04 2015

What was the role of the West and the Soviet elite in the dissolution of the USSR, dubbed by President Vladimir Putin as the “biggest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century?

US political scientist and geo-strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski noted in 1990, a year before the fall of the USSR: “In my view, this deepening crisis [in the USSR] is not a transitional crisis; it is a historic crisis… The crisis of the Soviet Union is a historic crisis like the crisis of the Ottoman Empire, for example. It is a crisis of stagnation, of attrition, of demoralization, of fragmentation, and of intensified potential for violence.”

So, was the old hawk right and the Soviet Union was destined to lose? Was the Soviet system crumbling and falling apart at the seams?

Interestingly enough, some archival documents released by Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission in a commemorative brochure dedicated to the 25th anniversary of 1989, “the year that changed the map of Europe,” draw a slightly different picture.

Mikhail Gorbachev and the Trilateral Commission

The Commission was established in 1973 and brought together experienced leaders of the Western political establishment to “discuss issues of global concern.”

In January 1989, the Commission’s task force authors on East-West relations — Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Henry Kissinger and Yasuhiro Nakasone — undertook a mission to Moscow in order to meet Soviet leaders, notably Mikhail Gorbachev.

The group and Gorbachev were discussing the issue of coexistence as well as a roadmap of the USSR’s integration into the world economy. Due to the 1986 conspiracy between Saudi Arabia and the US, the Soviet economy faced a temporary recession caused by sharp fall in oil prices.

However, the USSR was not in a “dire state.” The transcript of Gorbachev’s meeting with the Commission group on January 18, 1989 indicates that the Soviet leader had no doubts the USSR and the West were “on par” in that period of time.

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Anastasia Promskaya

Anastasia Promskaya

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