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(from: Derrick Murphy/Terry Morris (eds.) 2008: International Relations 1879-2004. London (Collins), pp. 123-133.)

1 Nuclear weapons based in and aimed at other parts of Europe. In the USSR these took the form of the mobile SS20 missile. The USA countered by basing Pershing I and II and Lance missiles in Germany and Cruise missiles in Berlin.

2 Soviet President (1985-91); was a member of the Politbüro from 1980; as general secretary of the Communist Party (CPSU) 1985-1991 and president of the Supreme Soviet 1988-91, he introduced liberal reforms at home (perestroika & glasnost); proposed the introduction of multi-party democracy and attempted to halt the arms race; Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1990.

3 SDI = the US plan to develop satellite-based laser weapons which could destroy Soviet ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) in the outer atmosphere.

4 Western name given to the policy put forward by the Soviet leader in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev, claiming that the USSR had the right to intervene in any communist state (i.e. in any country in the Eastern bloc where socialism was under threat); this policy was abandoned by Gorbachev when he withdrew from Afghanistan.

5 Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007): Communist reformer and subsequently President of the Russian Federation; in 1985, he became communist mayor of Moscow as part of Gorbachev’s plans to liberalise Soviet politics. Yeltsin was expelled from the Politbüro (Cabinet) in October 1987 as part of a reaction against Gorbachev’s liberal reforms. In 1991, though, he was a major figure in stopping traditional communist take-over. He replaced Gorbachev as leader of the Russian state (December 1991). Twice elected President of the Russian Federation.

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