• 1986: President Reagan and Gorbachev reslve to remove all intermediate nuclear missles from Europe.
  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) is a 1987 agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • The treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges.
  • In the mid-1970s the Soviet Union achieved rough strategic parity with the United States. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union began replacing older intermediate-range SS-4 and SS-5 missiles with a new intermediate-range missile, the SS-20, bringing about what was perceived as a qualitative and quantitative change in the European security situation. The SS-20 was mobile, accurate, and capable of being concealed and rapidly redeployed. It carried three independently targetable warheads, as distinguished from the single warheads carried by its predecessors. The SS-20s 5,000 kilometer range permitted it to cover targets in Western Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and, from bases in the eastern Soviet Union, most of Asia, Southeast Asia, and Alaska.


 1989: East Germany allowed unrestricted migration to West Germany

  • Border guards at Bornholmer Strasse crossing, Checkpoint Charlie and several other crossings abandoned all efforts to check credentials, even though the new regulations said East Germans would still need passports and permission to get across. Some guards smiled and took snapshots, assuring passers-by that they were just recording a historic event.
  • The mass crossing began about two hours after Gunter Schabowski, a member of the Politburo, had announced at a press conference that permission to travel or emigrate would be granted quickly and without preconditions, and that East Germans would be allowed to cross at any crossing into West Germany or West Berlin.

  • The extraordinary breach of what had been the most infamous stretch of the Iron Curtain marked the culmination of an extraordinary month that has seen the virtual transformation of East Germany under the dual pressures of unceasing flight and continuing demonstrations.


1989: The Decline of the Soviet Empire

  •  Its collapse was hailed by the west as a victory for freedom, a triumph of democracy over totalitarianism, and evidence of the superiority of capitalism over socialism.
  • The Soviet Union was built on approximately the same territory as the Russian Empire which it succeeded. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the newly-formed government developed a philosophy of socialism with the eventual and gradual transition to Communism. The state which the Bolsheviks created was intended to overcome national differences, and rather to create one monolithic state based on a centralized economical and political system.
  • The breakup of the Soviet Union transformed the entire world political situation, leading to a complete reformulation of political, economic and military alliances all over the globe.

1983: Soviet Spy Dieter Gerhardt is arrested in NY

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