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The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a
revolutionary wave A revolutionary wave or revolutionary decade is one series of revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of pol ...
in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communist
rule in
Central and Eastern Europe Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe, the Baltic states, Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Europe (also called the Balkans), usually meaning former communist states from the Eastern Bloc and War ...
and beyond. The period is often also called the Fall of Communism, and sometimes the Fall of Nations or the Autumn of Nations, a play on the term
Spring of Nations The Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Springtime of the Peoples or the Springtime of Nations, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landma ...
that is sometimes used to describe the
Revolutions of 1848 The Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Springtime of the Peoples or the Springtime of Nations, were a series of political upheaval A political revolution, in the Trotskyist Trotskyism is the political ideology and branch o ...
. These
revolutions In political science, a revolution (Latin: ''revolutio'', "a turn around") is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due ...
started in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
in 1988, with the Polish workers' mass strike movement on 21 April 1988, continued in
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
,
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...
,
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...
and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...
, and ended when Cambodia enacted a new Constitution, in which Communism was abandoned, on 24 September 1993. One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of
campaigns
campaigns
of
civil resistance Civil resistance is political action that relies on the use of nonviolent resistance by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and coercion: it can ...
, demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of
one-party rule A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. Unitary st ...
and contributing to the pressure for change. Romania and Afghanistan were the only countries whose
citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizens
and opposition forces used
violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Na ...

violence
to overthrow their Communist
regimes In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social sc ...

regimes
. Protests in Tiananmen Square (April–June 1989) failed to stimulate major political changes in
Mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies ...

Mainland China
, but influential images of courageous defiance during that protest helped to precipitate events in other parts of the globe. On 4 June 1989, the trade union
Solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes, which rejects the class conflict Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class ...
won an overwhelming victory in a partially free election in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
, leading to the peaceful fall of Communism in that country in the summer of 1989. Also in June 1989,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
began dismantling its section of the physical
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continenta ...
. The opening of a border gate between
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
and
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
at the
Pan-European Picnic The Pan-European Picnic (german: Paneuropäisches Picknick; hu, páneurópai piknik; sk, Paneurópsky piknik) was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungary, Hungarian border near Sopron, Sopron, Hungary on 19 August 1989. The opening of ...
on 19 August 1989, then set in motion a peaceful chain reaction, in which the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
had disintegrated. Due to the inconsistent action of the Eastern European rulers at the Pan-European Picnic, the bracket of the Eastern Bloc was broken. Now the
media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications deliv ...
-informed Eastern Bloc citizens knew that the Iron Curtain was no longer tight and that the power of the authorities was increasingly broken. This led to mass demonstrations in the cities such as
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
and subsequently to the
fall of the Berlin Wall The fall of the Berlin Wall (german: Mauerfall) on 9 November 1989 was a pivotal event in world history which marked the falling of the Iron Curtain and the start of the fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe. The fall of the inner Ger ...
in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to the
German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, peop ...
in 1990. The Soviet Union became a multi-party semi-presidential republic from March 1990 until its
dissolution Dissolution may refer to: Arts and entertainment Books * Dissolution (Forgotten Realms novel), ''Dissolution'' (''Forgotten Realms'' novel), a 2002 fantasy novel by Richard Lee Byers * Dissolution (Sansom novel), ''Dissolution'' (Sansom novel), a 2 ...
in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries (
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
,
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan ( az, Azərbaycan Respublikası ), is a country in the Transcaucasia, Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it is boun ...

Azerbaijan
,
Belarus , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Minsk Minsk ( be, Мінск , russian: link=no, Минск) is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach (Berezina), Svislach and the now subterranean Nyamiha, Niam ...

Belarus
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
,
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
,
Kyrgyzstan russian: Киргизская Республика, Kirgizskaya Respublika , image_flag = Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg , image_coat = Emblem of Kyrgyzstan.svg , symbol_type = Emblem , motto = " ...

Kyrgyzstan
,
Moldova Moldova (, ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...

Moldova
,
Tajikistan ) , image_map = Tajikistan (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , capital = Dushanbe Dushanbe ( tg, Душанбе, ; ; russian: Душанбе) is the Capital city, capital and largest ...

Tajikistan
,
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan ( or ; tk, Türkmenistan, ), also known as Turkmenia, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basin, endorheic basins. There ar ...

Turkmenistan
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
and
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, ), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi), is a landlocked country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land ...

Uzbekistan
), which had declared their
independence Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independe ...

independence
from the Soviet Union in the course of the year, while the
Baltic states The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid, Baltimaad; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės), also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations, or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, typically used to group the ...

Baltic states
(
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
and
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
) regained their independence in September 1991. The rest of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, which constituted the bulk of the
area Area is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in ...

area
, continued with the establishment of the
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russian Federation
in December 1991.
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a par ...
and
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...
abandoned
Communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

Communism
between 1990 and 1992. By 1992, Yugoslavia had
split into five new countries
split into five new countries
, namely
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Republic of Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Yugoslavia ...
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
and the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
, which was later renamed
Serbia and Montenegro The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, known as FR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a country in the Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent ...

Serbia and Montenegro
in 2003 and eventually split in 2006 into two states,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
and
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (fro ...

Montenegro
. Serbia was then further split with the breakaway of the partially recognized state of
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
in 2008.
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
dissolved three years after the end of Communist rule, splitting peacefully into the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
and
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
on 1 January 1993. The impact of these events was felt in the many
socialist states Several past and present states have declared themselves socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which ca ...
.
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
was abandoned in the countries including
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
(1991),
South Yemen South Yemen ( ar, اليمن الجنوبي, al-Yaman al-Janubiyy), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ( ar, جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية, Jumhūriyat al-Yaman al-Dīmuqrāṭīyah al-Sha'b ...

South Yemen
(1990, unified with North Yemen),
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante "Angola Avante" (, ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...
(1991),
Benin Benin ( , ; french: Bénin ), officially the Republic of Benin (french: République du Bénin) (formerly known as Dahomey The Kingdom of Dahomey () was a West African kingdom located within present-day Benin Benin ( , ; french: ...
(1990),
Congo-Brazzaville The Republic of the Congo ( french: République du Congo, mkw, Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa ...

Congo-Brazzaville
(1991),
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...
(1990),
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...
(1991),
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...
(1992),
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante "Angola Avante" (, ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...
(1992),
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...
(1992) and
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...
(1993). The
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

political
reforms Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill#The Yorkshire Associatio ...
varied, but in only four
countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

countries
were
Communist parties A communist party is a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equal ...
able to retain a monopoly on
power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the watt, equal to one joule per second. In older works, p ...
, namely
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
,
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
,
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, and
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
. However, these countries, except Cuba, would later make economic reforms in the coming years to adopt some forms of
market economy A market economy is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The ide ...
under
market socialism Market socialism is a type of economic system involving the Public ownership, public, Cooperative ownership, cooperative, or social ownership of the means of production in the framework of a market economy. Market socialism differs from Economi ...
.
North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It borders China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Yalu (Amnok) and Tu ...

North Korea
changed to
Juche ''Juche'' ( ), officially the ''Juche'' idea and also translated as ''Juche'' thought and Jucheism, is the state ideology of North Korea, described by the country's government as "Kim Il-sung's original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution ...

Juche
from 2009. Many communist and socialist
organisations An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has ...
in the
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...

West
turned their guiding principles over to
social democracy Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognit ...
and
democratic socialism Democratic socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ab ...
. The Communist parties in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
and
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( la, Serenissima Respublica) is a title attached to a number of European states through hist ...

San Marino
suffered and the reformation of the Italian political class took place in the early 1990s. In contrast, and somewhat later, in
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
, a Pink tide began in
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
in 1999 and shaped
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

politics
in the other parts of the
continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

continent
through the early 2000s. The European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
, resulting in stronger
economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ...
and
social integration Social integration is the process during which newcomers or minorities are incorporated into the social structure of the host society. Social integration, together with economic integration and identity integration, are three main dimensions of ...
with the
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
.


Background


Emergence of Solidarity in Poland

Labour turmoil in Poland during 1980 led to the formation of the independent
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
Solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes, which rejects the class conflict Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class ...
, led by
Lech Wałęsa Lech Wałęsa (; ; born 29 September 1943) is a Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the first democratically elected president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. A shipyard electrician by trade, he became t ...
, which over time became a political force. On 13 December 1981, Polish Prime Minister
Wojciech Jaruzelski Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski (; 6 July 1923 – 25 May 2014) was a Polish military officer, politician and ''de facto'' dictator of the Polish People's Republic from 1981 until 1989. He was the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Part ...

Wojciech Jaruzelski
started a crackdown on Solidarity by declaring
martial law in Poland Martial law in Poland ( pl, Stan wojenny w Polsce) was declared in the period between 13 December 1981 and 22 July 1983. The government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state ...
, suspending the union, and temporarily imprisoning all of its leaders.


Mikhail Gorbachev

Although several Eastern Bloc countries had attempted some abortive, limited economic and political reform since the 1950s (e.g. the
Hungarian Revolution of 1956 The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (also the Hungarian Uprising, 23 October – 10 November 1956; hu, 1956-os forradalom), was a countrywide revolution against the Stalinist government of the (1949–1989) and the Hungarian domestic policies imp ...
and
Prague Spring#REDIRECT Prague Spring The Prague Spring ( cs, Pražské jaro, sk, Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ( Czech and sk, Česk ...
of 1968), the ascension of reform-minded Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
in 1985 signaled the trend toward greater liberalization. During the mid-1980s, a younger generation of Soviet
apparatchiks __NOTOC__ An apparatchik (; russian: аппара́тчик ) was a full-time, professional functionary An official is someone who holds an office (function or Mandate (politics), mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual Office, workin ...
, led by Gorbachev, began advocating fundamental reform in order to reverse years of Brezhnev stagnation. After decades of growth, the Soviet Union was now facing a period of severe economic decline and needed Western technology and credits to make up for its increasing backwardness. The costs of maintaining its military, the KGB, and subsidies to foreign client states further strained the moribund Soviet economy. The first signs of major reform came in 1986 when Gorbachev launched a policy of ''glasnost'' (openness) in the Soviet Union, and emphasized the need for ''perestroika'' (economic restructuring). By the spring of 1989, the Soviet Union had not only experienced lively media debate but had also held its first multi-candidate elections in the newly established Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union, Congress of People's Deputies. While glasnost ostensibly advocated openness and political criticism, these were only permitted within a narrow spectrum dictated by the state. The general public in the Eastern Bloc was still subject to secret police and political repression. Gorbachev urged his Central and Southeast European counterparts to imitate ''perestroika'' and ''glasnost'' in their own countries. However, while reformists in Hungary and Poland were emboldened by the force of liberalization spreading from the east, other Eastern Bloc countries remained openly skeptical and demonstrated aversion to reform. Believing Gorbachev's reform initiatives would be short-lived, hardline communist rulers like
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
's Erich Honecker, Communist Bulgaria, Bulgaria's Todor Zhivkov, Communist Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia's Gustáv Husák and Communist Romania, Romania's Nicolae Ceauşescu obstinately ignored the calls for change. "When your neighbor puts up new wallpaper, it doesn't mean you have to too," declared one East German politburo member..


Soviet republics

By the late 1980s, people in the Caucasus and
Baltic states The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid, Baltimaad; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės), also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations, or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, typically used to group the ...

Baltic states
were demanding more autonomy from Moscow, and the Kremlin was losing some of its control over certain regions and elements in the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
. In November 1988, the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic issued a Estonian Sovereignty Declaration, declaration of sovereignty, which would eventually lead to other states making similar declarations of autonomy. The Chernobyl disaster in April 1986 had major political and social effects that catalyzed or at least partially caused the revolutions of 1989. One political result of the disaster was the greatly increased significance of the new Soviet policy of glasnost. It is difficult to establish the total economic cost of the disaster. According to Gorbachev, the Soviet Union spent 18 billion rubles (the equivalent of US$18 billion at that time) on containment and decontamination, virtually bankrupting itself.Gorbachev, Mikhail (1996), interview in Johnson, Thomas, ', [film], Discovery Channel, retrieved 19 February 2014.


Impact of Solidarity grows

Throughout the mid-1980s,
Solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes, which rejects the class conflict Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class ...
persisted solely as an underground organization, supported by the Catholic Church. However, by the late 1980s, Solidarity became sufficiently strong to frustrate Wojciech Jaruzelski, Jaruzelski's attempts at reform, and 1988 Polish strikes, nationwide strikes in 1988 forced the government to open dialogue with Solidarity. On 9 March 1989, both sides agreed to a bicameral legislature called the National Assembly (Poland), National Assembly. The already existing Sejm would become the lower house. The Senate would be elected by the people. Traditionally a ceremonial office, the presidency was given more powers (Polish Round Table Agreement). On 7 July 1989, President Mikhail Gorbachev implicitly renounced the use of force against other Soviet-bloc nations. Speaking to members of the 23-nation Council of Europe, Mr. Gorbachev made no direct reference to the so-called Brezhnev Doctrine, under which Moscow had asserted the right to use force to prevent a Warsaw Pact member from leaving the Communist fold. He stated, "Any interference in domestic affairs and any attempts to restrict the sovereignty of states—friends, allies or any others—are inadmissible". The policy was termed the Sinatra Doctrine, in a joking reference to the Frank Sinatra song "My Way (song), My Way". Poland became the first Warsaw Pact country to break free of Soviet domination.


Fall of dictatorial regimes

In February 1986, in one of the first peaceful, mass-Political movement, movement revolutions against a dictatorship, the People Power Revolution in the Philippines peacefully overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos and inaugurated Cory Aquino as the President (government title), President. The domino effect of the revolutions of 1989 affected other regimes as well. The South African apartheid regime and Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–1990), Pinochet's military dictatorship in Chile were gradually dismantled during the 1990s as the West withdrew their funding and diplomatic support. Ghana, Indonesia, Nicaragua, South Korea, Suriname, Republic of China and Yemen Arab Republic, North-
South Yemen South Yemen ( ar, اليمن الجنوبي, al-Yaman al-Janubiyy), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ( ar, جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية, Jumhūriyat al-Yaman al-Dīmuqrāṭīyah al-Sha'b ...

South Yemen
, among many others, elected democratic governments. Exact tallies of the number of democracies vary depending on the criteria used for assessment, but by some measures by the late 1990s there were well over 100 democracies in the world, a marked increase in just a few decades.


National political movements


Poland

A 1988 Polish strikes, wave of strikes hit Poland from 21 April then this continued in May 1988. A second wave began on 15 August, when a strike broke out at the July Manifesto coal mine in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, with the workers demanding the re-legalisation of the Solidarity trade union. Over the next few days, sixteen other mines went on strike followed by a number of shipyards, including on 22 August the Gdansk Shipyard, famous as the epicentre of the History of Solidarity, 1980 industrial unrest that spawned Solidarity. On 31 August 1988
Lech Wałęsa Lech Wałęsa (; ; born 29 September 1943) is a Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the first democratically elected president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. A shipyard electrician by trade, he became t ...
, the leader of Solidarity, was invited to Warsaw by the Communist authorities, who had finally agreed to talks. On 18 January 1989 at a stormy session of the Tenth Plenary Session of the ruling Polish United Workers' Party, United Workers' Party, General
Wojciech Jaruzelski Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski (; 6 July 1923 – 25 May 2014) was a Polish military officer, politician and ''de facto'' dictator of the Polish People's Republic from 1981 until 1989. He was the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Part ...

Wojciech Jaruzelski
, the First Secretary, managed to get party backing for formal negotiations with Solidarity leading to its future legalisation, although this was achieved only by threatening the resignation of the entire party leadership if thwarted. On 6 February 1989 formal Round Table discussions began in the Hall of Columns in Warsaw. On 4 April 1989 the historic Polish Round Table Agreement, Round Table Agreement was signed legalising Solidarity and setting up partly free 1989 Polish legislative election, parliamentary elections to be held on 4 June 1989 (incidentally, the day following the midnight crackdown on Chinese protesters in Tiananmen Square). A political earthquake followed as the victory of Solidarity surpassed all predictions. Solidarity candidates captured all the seats they were allowed to compete for in the Sejm, while in the Senate of Poland, Senate they captured 99 out of the 100 available seats (with the one remaining seat taken by an independent candidate). At the same time, many prominent Communist candidates failed to gain even the minimum number of votes required to capture the seats that were reserved for them. On 15 August 1989, the Communists' two longtime coalition partners, the United People's Party (Poland), United People's Party (ZSL) and the Democratic Party (Poland), Democratic Party (SD), broke their alliance with the PZPR and announced their support for Solidarity. The last Communist Prime Minister of Poland, General Czesław Kiszczak, said he would resign to allow a non-Communist to form an administration. As Solidarity was the only other political grouping that could possibly form a government, it was virtually assured that a Solidarity member would become prime minister. On 19 August 1989, in a stunning watershed moment, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, an anti-Communist editor, Solidarity supporter, and devout Catholic, was nominated as Prime Minister of Poland and the Soviet Union voiced no protest. Five days later, on 24 August 1989, Poland's Parliament ended more than 40 years of one-party rule by making Mazowiecki the country's first non-Communist Prime Minister since the early postwar years. In a tense Parliament, Mazowiecki received 378 votes, with 4 against and 41 abstentions. On 13 September 1989, a new non-Communist government was approved by parliament, the first of its kind in the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
. On 17 November 1989 the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, Polish founder of the Cheka and symbol of Communist oppression, was torn down in Bank Square, Warsaw. On 29 December 1989 the Sejm amended the constitution to change the official name of the country from the People's Republic of Poland to the Republic of Poland. The communist Polish United Workers' Party dissolved itself on 29 January 1990 and transformed itself into the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland. In 1990, Jaruzelski resigned as Poland's president and was succeeded by Wałęsa, who won the 1990 Polish presidential election, 1990 presidential elections. held in two rounds on 25 November and 9 December. Wałęsa's inauguration as president on 21 December 1990 is considered by many as the formal end of the Communist People's Republic of Poland and the beginning of the modern Poland, Republic of Poland. The Warsaw Pact was dissolved on 1 July 1991. On 27 October 1991 the 1991 Polish parliamentary election, first entirely free Polish parliamentary elections since 1945 took place. This completed Poland's transition from Communist Party rule to a Western-style liberal democratic political system. The last Russian troops left Poland on 18 September 1993.


Hungary

Following Poland's lead, Hungary was next to switch to a non-Communist government. Although Hungary had achieved some lasting economic reforms and limited political liberalization during the 1980s, major reforms only occurred following the replacement of János Kádár as General Secretary of the Communist Party on 23 May 1988 with Károly Grósz. On 24 November 1988 Miklós Németh was appointed Prime Minister. On 12 January 1989, the Parliament adopted a "democracy package", which included trade union pluralism; freedom of association, assembly, and the press; a new electoral law; and a radical revision of the constitution, among other provisions. On 29 January 1989, contradicting the official view of history held for more than 30 years, a member of the ruling Politburo, Imre Pozsgay, declared that Hungary's 1956 rebellion was a popular uprising rather than a foreign-instigated attempt at counterrevolution. Mass demonstrations on 15 March, the National Day, persuaded the regime to begin negotiations with the emergent non-Communist political forces. Hungarian Round Table Talks, Round Table talks began on 22 April and continued until the Round Table agreement was signed on 18 September. The talks involved the Communists (MSzMP) and the newly emerging independent political forces Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union, Fidesz, the Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz), the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), the Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party, Independent Smallholders' Party, the National Peasant Party (Hungary), Hungarian People's Party, the Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Society, and the Democratic Trade Union of Scientific Workers. At a later stage the Democratic Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the Christian Democratic People's Party (Hungary), Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) were invited. At these talks a number of Hungary's future political leaders emerged, including László Sólyom, József Antall, György Szabad, Péter Tölgyessy and Viktor Orbán. On 2 May 1989, the first visible cracks in the
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continenta ...
appeared when
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
began Removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria, dismantling its long border fence with Austria. This increasingly destabilized
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
and
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
over the summer and autumn, as thousands of their citizens illegally crossed over to the West through the Hungarian-Austrian border. On 1 June 1989 the Communist Party admitted that former Prime Minister Imre Nagy, hanged for treason for his role in the 1956 Hungarian uprising, was executed illegally after a show trial. On 16 June 1989 Nagy was given a solemn funeral on Budapest's largest square in front of crowds of at least 100,000, followed by a hero's burial. The initially inconspicuous opening of a border gate of the
Iron Curtain The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continenta ...
between Austria and Hungary in August 1989 then triggered a chain reaction, at the end of which the GDR no longer existed and the Eastern Bloc had disintegrated. It was the largest escape movement from East Germany since the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. The idea of opening the border came from Otto von Habsburg and was brought up by him to Miklós Németh, who promoted the idea.Miklós Németh in Interview, Austrian TV - ORF "Report", 25 June 2019. The local organization in Sopron took over the Hungarian Democratic Forum, the other contacts were made via Habsburg and Imre Pozsgay. Extensive advertising for the planned picnic was made by posters and flyers among the GDR holidaymakers in Hungary. The Austrian branch of the Paneuropean Union, which was then headed by Karl von Habsburg, distributed thousands of brochures inviting them to a picnic near the border at Sopron. After the pan-European picnic, Erich Honecker dictated the ''Daily Mirror'' of 19 August 1989: "Habsburg distributed leaflets far into Poland, on which the East German holidaymakers were invited to a picnic. When they came to the picnic, they were given gifts, food and Deutsche Mark, and then they were persuaded to come to the West." But with the mass exodus at the Pan-European Picnic, the subsequent hesitant behavior of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany and the non-intervention of the Soviet Union broke the dams. Now tens of thousands of the media-informed East Germans made their way to Hungary, which was no longer ready to keep its borders completely closed or to oblige its border troops to use force of arms. In particular, the leadership of the GDR in East Berlin no longer dared to completely block the borders of their own country.Andreas Rödder, Deutschland einig Vaterland – Die Geschichte der Wiedervereinigung (2009). The Hungarian Round Table Talks, Round Table agreement of 18 September encompassed six draft laws that covered an overhaul of the Constitution of Hungary, Constitution, establishment of a Constitutional Court of Hungary, Constitutional Court, the functioning and management of political parties, multiparty elections for National Assembly deputies, the penal code and the law on penal procedures (the last two changes represented an additional separation of the Party from the state apparatus). The electoral system was a compromise: about half of the deputies would be elected proportionally and half by the majoritarian system. A weak presidency was also agreed upon, but no consensus was attained on who should elect the president (parliament or the people) and when this election should occur (before or after parliamentary elections). On 7 October 1989, the Communist Party at its last congress re-established itself as the Hungarian Socialist Party. In a historic session from 16 to 20 October, the parliament adopted legislation providing for 1990 Hungarian parliamentary election, a multi-party parliamentary election and a direct presidential election, which took place on 24 March 1990. The legislation transformed Hungary from a People's Republic into the Republic of Hungary, guaranteed human and civil rights, and created an institutional structure that ensured separation of powers among the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. On 23 October 1989, on the 33rd anniversary of the 1956 Revolution, the Communist regime in Hungary was formally abolished. The Soviet occupation of Hungary, Soviet military occupation of Hungary, which had persisted since World War II, ended on 19 June 1991.


East Germany

On 2 May 1989, Hungarian People's Republic, Hungary Removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria, started dismantling its barbed-wire border with
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
. The border was still heavily guarded, but it was a
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

political
sign. The
Pan-European Picnic The Pan-European Picnic (german: Paneuropäisches Picknick; hu, páneurópai piknik; sk, Paneurópsky piknik) was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungary, Hungarian border near Sopron, Sopron, Hungary on 19 August 1989. The opening of ...
in August 1989 finally started a movement that could not be stopped by the rulers in the Eastern Bloc. It was the largest escape movement from East Germany since the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. The patrons of the picnic, Otto von Habsburg and the Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay saw the planned event as an opportunity to test the reaction of
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
and the Eastern Bloc countries to a large opening of the border including flight. After the pan-European picnic, Erich Honecker dictated the Daily Mirror of 19 August 1989: "Habsburg distributed leaflets far into Poland, on which the East German holidaymakers were invited to a picnic. When they came to the picnic, they were given gifts, food, and Deutsche Mark, and then they were persuaded to come to the West." But with the mass exodus at the Pan-European Picnic, the subsequent hesitant behavior of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany and the non-intervention of the Soviet Union broke the dams. Now tens of thousands of the media-informed East Germans made their way to Hungary, which was no longer ready to keep its borders completely closed or to oblige its border troops to use force of arms. By the end of September 1989, more than 30,000 East Germans had escaped to the West before the East Germany, GDR denied travel to Hungary, leaving
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
as the only neighboring state to which East Germans could escape. Thousands of East Germans tried to reach the West by occupying the West German diplomatic facilities in other Central and Eastern European capitals, notably the Prague Embassy and the Hungarian Embassy, where thousands camped in the muddy garden from August to November waiting for German political reform. The GDR closed the border to Czechoslovakia on 3 October, thereby isolating itself from all its neighbors. Having been shut off from their last chance for escape, an increasing number of East Germans participated in the Monday demonstrations in East Germany, Monday demonstrations in Leipzig on 4, 11, and 18 September, each attracting 1,200 to 1,500 demonstrators. Many were arrested and beaten, but the people refused to be intimidated. On 25 September, the protests attracted 8,000 demonstrators. After the fifth successive Monday demonstration in
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
on 2 October attracted 10,000 protesters, Socialist Unity Party of Germany, Socialist Unity Party (SED) leader Erich Honecker issued a ''shoot and kill'' order to the military. Communists prepared a huge police, militia, Stasi, and work-combat troop presence, and there were rumors a 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Tiananmen Square-style massacre was being planned for the following Monday's demonstration on 9 October. On 6 and 7 October,
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
visited East Germany to mark the 40th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic, and urged the East German leadership to accept reform. A famous quote of his is rendered in German as "Wer zu spät kommt, den bestraft das Leben" ("The one who comes too late is punished by life."). However, Honecker remained opposed to internal reform, with his regime even going so far as forbidding the circulation of Soviet publications that it viewed as subversive. In spite of rumors that the Communists were planning a massacre on 9 October, 70,000 citizens demonstrated in Leipzig that Monday and the authorities on the ground refused to open fire. The following Monday, 16 October 120,000 people demonstrated on the streets of Leipzig. Erich Honecker had hoped that the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, Soviet troops stationed in the GDR by the Warsaw Pact would restore the communist government and suppress the civilian protests. By 1989 the Soviet government deemed it impractical for the Soviet Union to Sinatra Doctrine, continue asserting its control over the Eastern Bloc, so it took a neutral stance regarding the events happening in East Germany. Soviet troops stationed in eastern Europe were under strict instructions from the Soviet leadership not to intervene in the political affairs of the Eastern Bloc nations and remained in their barracks. Faced with ongoing civil unrest, the SED deposed Honecker on 18 October and replaced him with the number-two-man in the regime, Egon Krenz. However, the demonstrations kept growing, and on Monday, 23 October, the Leipzig protesters numbered 300,000 and remained as large the following week. The border to Czechoslovakia was opened again on 1 November, and the Czechoslovak authorities soon let all East Germans travel directly to West Germany without further bureaucratic ado, thus lifting their part of the Iron Curtain on 3 November. On 4 November the authorities decided to authorize a demonstration in Berlin and were faced with the Alexanderplatz demonstration, where half a million citizens converged on the capital demanding freedom in the biggest protest the GDR ever witnessed. Unable to stem the ensuing flow of refugees to the West through Czechoslovakia, the East German authorities eventually caved in to public pressure by allowing East German citizens to enter West Berlin and West Germany directly, via existing border points, on 9 November 1989, without having properly briefed the border guards. Triggered by the erratic words of regime spokesman Günter Schabowski in a TV press conference, stating that the planned changes were in effect "immediately, without delay," hundreds of thousands of people took advantage of the opportunity. The guards were quickly overwhelmed by the growing crowds of people demanding to be let out into West Berlin. After receiving no feedback from their superiors, the guards, unwilling to use force, relented and Fall of the Berlin Wall, opened the gates to West Berlin. Soon new crossing points were forced open in the Berlin Wall by the people, and sections of the wall were literally torn down. The guards were unaware of what was happening and stood by as the East Germans took to the wall with hammers and chisels. On 7 November, the entire ''Ministerrat der DDR'' (State Council of East Germany), including its chairman Willi Stoph, resigned. A new government was formed under a considerably more liberal Communist, Hans Modrow. On 1 December, the Volkskammer removed the SED's leading role from the Constitution of East Germany#1968 constitution, constitution of the GDR. On 3 December Krenz resigned as leader of the SED; he resigned as head of state three days later. On 7 December, Round Table talks opened between the SED and other political parties. On 16 December 1989, the SED was dissolved and refounded as the Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany), SED-PDS, abandoning Marxism–Leninism and becoming a mainstream democratic socialist party. On 15 January 1990, the Stasi's headquarters was stormed by protesters. Modrow became the de facto leader of
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
until 1990 East German general election, free elections were held on 18 March 1990—the first November 1932 German federal election, since November 1932. The SED, renamed the Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany), Party of Democratic Socialism, was heavily defeated. Lothar de Maizière of the Christian Democratic Union (East Germany), East German Christian Democratic Union became Prime Minister on 4 April 1990 on a platform of speedy reunification with the West. The two Germanies were reunified into one nation on 3 October 1990 (for the first time after more 45 years since Potsdam Agreement on 1 August 1945). The Government of the Soviet Union, Kremlin's willingness to abandon such a strategically vital ally marked a dramatic change by the Soviet superpower and a fundamental paradigm shift in international relations, which until 1989 had been dominated by the East–West divide running through Berlin itself. The last Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, Russian troops left the territory of the former GDR, now part of a reunited Germany, Federal Republic of Germany, on 1 September 1994.


Czechoslovakia

The "Velvet Revolution" was a non-violent transition of power in Czechoslovakia from the Communist government to a parliamentary republic. On 17 November 1989, riot police suppressed a peaceful student demonstration in Prague, a day after a similar demonstration passed without incident in Bratislava. Although controversy continues over whether anyone died that night, that event sparked a series of popular demonstrations from 19 November to late December. By 20 November the number of peaceful protesters assembled in Prague had swelled from 200,000 the previous day to an estimated half-million. Five days later, the Letná Square protest held 800,000 people. On 24 November, the entire Communist Party leadership, including general secretary Miloš Jakeš, resigned. A two-hour general strike, involving all citizens of Czechoslovakia, was successfully held on 27 November. With the collapse of other Communist governments, and increasing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on 28 November 1989 that it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. On 10 December, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-Communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948 and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on 28 December and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on 29 December 1989. In June 1990 Czechoslovakia held its first democratic elections since 1946. On 27 June 1991 the last Soviet troops were withdrawn from Czechoslovakia.


Bulgaria

In October and November 1989, demonstrations on ecological issues were staged in Sofia, where demands for political reform were also voiced. The demonstrations were suppressed, but on 10 November 1989 (the day after the Berlin Wall was breached) Bulgaria's long-serving leader Todor Zhivkov was ousted by his Politburo. He was succeeded by a considerably more liberal Communist, former foreign minister Petar Mladenov. Moscow apparently approved the leadership change, as Zhivkov had been opposed to Gorbachev's policies. The new regime immediately repealed restrictions on free speech and assembly, which led to the first mass demonstration on 17 November, as well as the formation of anti-communist movements. Nine of them united as the Union of Democratic Forces (Bulgaria), Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) on 7 December. The UDF was not satisfied with Zhivkov's ouster, and demanded additional democratic reforms, most importantly the removal of the constitutionally mandated leading role of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Mladenov announced on 11 December 1989 that the Communist Party would abandon its monopoly on power, and that multiparty elections would be held the following year. In February 1990, the Bulgarian legislature deleted the portion of the constitution about the "leading role" of the Communist Party. Eventually, it was decided that a round table on the Polish model would be held in 1990 and elections held by June 1990. The round table took place from 3 January to 14 May 1990, at which an agreement was reached on the transition to democracy. The Communist Party abandoned Marxism–Leninism on 3 April 1990 and renamed itself as the Bulgarian Socialist Party. In June 1990 the first free elections since 1931 were held, won by the Bulgarian Socialist Party.


Romania

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Czechoslovak President Gustáv Husák's resignation on 10 December 1989 amounted to the fall of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, leaving Ceaușescu's Romania as the only remaining hard-line Communist regime in the Warsaw Pact. After having suppressed the Braşov Rebellion in 1987, Nicolae Ceauşescu was re-elected for another five years as leader of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) in November 1989, signalling that he intended to ride out the anti-Communist uprisings sweeping the rest of Europe. As Ceauşescu prepared to go on a state visit to Iran, his Securitate ordered the arrest and exile of a local Hungarian Calvinism, Calvinist minister, László Tőkés, on 16 December, for sermons offending the regime. Tőkés was seized, but only after serious rioting erupted. Timișoara was the first city to react on 16 December and civil unrest continued for five days. Returning from Iran, Ceauşescu ordered a mass rally in his support outside Communist Party headquarters in Bucharest on 21 December. However, to his shock, the crowd booed and jeered him as he spoke. Years of repressed dissatisfaction boiled to the surface throughout the Romanian populace and even among elements in Ceauşescu's own government, and the demonstrations spread throughout the country. At first, the security forces obeyed Ceauşescu's orders to shoot protesters. However, on the morning of 22 December, the Romanian military suddenly changed sides. This came after it was announced that defense minister Vasile Milea had committed suicide after being unmasked as a traitor. Believing Milea had actually been murdered, the rank-and-file soldiers went over virtually ''en masse'' to the revolution. Army tanks began moving towards the Central Committee building with crowds swarming alongside them. The rioters forced open the doors of the Central Committee building in an attempt to capture Ceauşescu and his wife, Elena Ceauşescu, Elena, coming within a few meters of the couple. However, they managed to escape via a helicopter waiting for them on the roof of the building. Although elation followed the flight of the Ceauşescus, uncertainty surrounded their fate. On Christmas Day, Romanian television showed the Ceauşescus facing a hasty trial, and then being executed by firing squad. An interim National Salvation Front (Romania), National Salvation Front Council led by Ion Iliescu took over and announced elections for April 1990, the first free elections held in Romania since 1937. These were, however, postponed until 20 May 1990. The Romanian Revolution was the bloodiest of the revolutions of 1989: over 1,000 people died, one hundred of which were children, the youngest only one month old. Unlike its kindred parties in the Warsaw Pact, the PCR simply melted away; no present-day Romanian party claiming to be its successor has ever been elected to the legislature since the change of system. However, former PCR members have played significant roles in post-1989 Romanian politics; every Romanian President until the election of Klaus Iohannis in 2014 Romanian presidential election, 2014 was a former Communist Party member. The years following the disposal of Ceauşescu were not free of conflict, and a series of "Mineriads" organized by dissatisfied Jiu Valley miners occurred. The June 1990 Mineriad turned deadly after university students, the "Golaniads", held a months long protest against the participation of ex-PCR and Securitate members in the 1990 Romanian general election. President Ion Iliescu branded the protesters "hooligans" and called the miners to "defend Romanian democracy". Over 10,000 miners were transported to Bucharest and in the ensuing clashes, seven protesters died and hundreds more were injured, although media estimates on the casualty figures were much higher.


Yugoslavia

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was not a part of the Warsaw Pact but pursued Titoism, its own version of Communism under Josip Broz Tito. It was a multi-ethnic state which Tito was able to maintain through a Yugoslavism, Yugoslav patriotic doctrine of "Brotherhood and unity". Tensions between ethnicities began to escalate, however, with the Croatian Spring of 1970–71, a movement for greater Socialist Republic of Croatia, Croatian autonomy, which was suppressed. Constitutional changes were instituted in 1974, and the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution devolved some federal powers to the constituent republics and provinces. After Tito's death in 1980 ethnic tensions grew, first in Albanian-majority Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, SAP Kosovo with the 1981 protests in Kosovo. Parallel to the same process, Socialist Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia initiated a policy of gradual liberalization in 1984, somewhat similar to the Soviet Perestroika. This provoked tensions between the League of Communists of Slovenia and the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, central Yugoslav Party and Yugoslav People's Army, federal army. In 1984 the decade long ban to build the Church of Saint Sava, Saint Sava Cahedral in Belgrade was lifted, the backdown of the communist elite and a popular gathering of 100.000 believers on 12 May 1985 to celebrate liturgy inside the walls of the ruins marked the return of religion in postwar Yugoslavia. By the late 1980s, many civil society groups were pushing towards democratization, while widening the space for cultural plurality. In 1987 and 1988, a series of clashes between the emerging civil society and the Communist regime culminated with the so-called Slovene Spring, a mass movement for democratic reforms. The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights was established as the platform of all major non-Communist political movements. By early 1989, several anti-Communist political parties were already openly functioning, challenging the hegemony of the Slovenian Communists. Soon, the Slovenian Communists, pressured by their own civil society, came into conflict with the League of Communists of Serbia, Serbian Communist leadership. In January 1990, an extraordinary Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia was called in order to settle the disputes among its constituent parties. Faced with being completely outnumbered, the Slovenian and League of Communists of Croatia, Croatian Communists walked out of the Congress on 23 January 1990, thus effectively bringing to an end to Yugoslavia's communist party. Both parties of the two western republics negotiated free multi-party elections with their own opposition movements. On 8 April 1990, the democratic and anti-Yugoslav DEMOS coalition won the 1990 Slovenian parliamentary election, elections in Slovenia, while on 22 April 1990 the 1990 Croatian parliamentary election, Croatian elections resulted in a landslide victory for the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) led by Franjo Tuđman. The results were much more balanced in
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
and 1990 Macedonian parliamentary election, in Macedonia in November 1990, while the parliamentary and President (government title), presidential elections of December 1990 in Serbia and
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (fro ...

Montenegro
consolidated the power of Milošević and his supporters. Free elections on the level of the federation were never carried out. The Slovenian and Croatian leaderships started preparing plans for secession from the federation, while a part of the Serbs of Croatia started the so-called Log Revolution, an insurrection organized by Socialist Republic of Serbia, Serbia that would lead to the creation of the breakaway region of SAO Krajina. In the 1990 Slovenian independence referendum, Slovenian independence referendum on 23 December 1990, 88.5% of residents voted for independence. In the 1991 Croatian independence referendum, Croatian independence referendum on 19 May 1991, 93.24% voted for independence. The escalating ethnic and national tensions were exacerbated by the drive for independence and led to the following Yugoslav wars: * Ten-Day War, War in Slovenia (1991) * Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995) * Bosnian War (1992–1995) * Kosovo War (1998–1999), including the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. In addition, the insurgency in the Preševo Valley (1999–2001) and the insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia (2001) are also often discussed in the same context.


Albania

In the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, Enver Hoxha, who led Albania for four decades, died on 11 April 1985. His successor, Ramiz Alia, began to gradually open up the regime from above. In 1989, the first revolts started in Shkodra and spread in other cities. Eventually, the existing regime introduced some liberalization, including measures in 1990 providing for freedom to travel abroad. Efforts were begun to improve ties with the outside world. March 1991 elections—the first free elections in Albania since 1923, and only the third free elections in the country's history—left the former Communists in power, but a general strike and urban opposition led to the formation of a coalition cabinet including non-Communists. Albania's former Communists were routed in elections held in March 1992, amid Albanian Civil War, economic collapse and social unrest.


Mongolia

Mongolia declared independence in 1911 during the Xinhai Revolution, fall of the Qing dynasty. The Mongolian People's Party Outer Mongolian Revolution of 1921, took power in 1921, and the party renamed itself the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. During these years, Mongolia was closely aligned with the Soviet Union. After Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal left in 1984, the new leadership under Jambyn Batmönkh implemented economic reforms, but failed to appeal to those who, in late 1989, wanted broader changes. The "Mongolian Revolution of 1990, Mongolian Revolution" was a democratic, Nonviolent revolution, peaceful revolution that started with demonstrations and hunger strikes and ended 70-years of Marxism-Leninism and eventually moved towards democracy. It was spearheaded by mostly younger people demonstrating on Sükhbaatar Square in the capital Ulaanbaatar. It ended with the authoritarian government resigning without bloodshed. Some of the main organizers were Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Sanjaasürengiin Zorig, Erdeniin Bat-Üül, and Bat-Erdeniin Batbayar. During the morning of 10 December 1989, the first public demonstration occurred in front of the Youth Cultural Center in the capital of Ulaanbaatar. There, Elbegdorj announced the creation of the Mongolian Democratic Union, and the first pro-democracy movement in Mongolia began. The protesters called for Mongolia to adopt perestroika and glasnost. Dissident leaders demanded free elections and economic reform, but within the context of a "human democratic socialism". The protesters injected a Pan-Mongolism, nationalist element into the protests by using traditional Mongolian script—which most Mongolians could not read—as a symbolic repudiation of the political system which had imposed the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet. In late December 1989, demonstrations increased when news came of Garry Kasparov's interview in ''Playboy'', suggesting that the Soviet Union could improve its economic health by selling Mongolia to China. On 14 January 1990, the protesters, having grown from three hundred to some 1,000, met in a square in front of Lenin Museum in Ulaanbaatar, which has been named Freedom Square since then. A demonstration in Sükhbaatar Square on 21 January (in weather of -30 C) followed. Protesters carried banners alluding to Chinggis Khaan (also referred to Genghis Khan), rehabilitating a figure whom Soviet schooling neglected to praise. In subsequent months of 1990, activists continued to organize demonstrations, rallies, protests and hunger strikes, as well as teachers' and workers' strikes. Activists had growing support from Mongolians, both in the capital and the countryside and the union's activities led to other calls for democracy all over the country. After numerous demonstrations of many thousands of people in the capital city as well as provincial centers, on 4 March 1990, the MDU and three other reform organizations held a joint outdoor mass meeting, inviting the government to attend. The government sent no representative to what became a demonstration of over 100,000 people demanding democratic change. This culminated with Jambyn Batmönkh, chairman of Politburo of MPRP's Central Committee decided to dissolve the Politburo and to resign on 9 March 1990. Mongolia's first free, multi-party elections for a bicameral parliament took place on 29 July 1990. Parties ran for 430 seats in the Great Hural. Opposition parties were not able to nominate enough candidates. The opposition nominated 346 candidates for the 430 seats in the Great Hural (upper house). The Mongolian People's Party, Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won 357 seats in the Great Hural and 31 out of 53 seats in the Small Hural (which was later abolished) as well. The MPRP enjoyed a strong position in the countryside. The State Great Khural first met on 3 September 1990 and elected a president (MPRP), vice president (Mongolian Social Democratic Party, Social Democrat) who was also a chairman of the Baga Hural, prime minister (MPRP), and 50 members to the Baga Hural (lower house). In November 1991, the People's Great Hural began a discussion on a Constitution of Mongolia, new constitution, which entered into force on 12 February 1992. In addition, the new constitution restructured the legislative branch of government, creating a unicameral legislature, the State Great Hural (SGH). The MPRP retained its majority but lost the 1996 elections. The final Russian troops, which had stationed in Mongolia in 1966, fully withdrew in December 1992.


China

While China did not undergo a revolution resulting in a new form of government in 1989, a popular national movement led to large demonstrations in favor of democratic reforms. Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had developed the concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics and enacted local Socialist market economy, market economy reforms around 1984, but the policy had stalled. The first Chinese student demonstrations, which eventually led to the Beijing protests of 1989, took place in December 1986 in Hefei. The students called for campus elections, the chance to study abroad, and greater availability of Western pop culture. Their protests took advantage of the loosening political atmosphere and included rallies against the slow pace of reform. Hu Yaobang, a protégé of Deng Xiaoping and a leading advocate of reform, was blamed for the protests and forced to resign as the CCP general secretary in January 1987. In the "Anti Bourgeois Liberalization Campaign", Hu would be further denounced. The Tiananmen Square protests were sparked by the death of Hu Yaobang on 15 April 1989. By the eve of Hu's state funeral, some 100,000 students had gathered at Tiananmen Square to observe it; however, no leaders emerged from the Great Hall of the People, Great Hall. The movement lasted for seven weeks.. Mikhail Gorbachev visited China on 15 May during the protests, bringing many foreign news agencies to Beijing, and their sympathetic portrayals of the protesters helped galvanize a spirit of liberation among the Central, South-East and Eastern Europeans who were watching. The Chinese leadership, particularly Communist Party general secretary Zhao Ziyang, who had begun to radically reform the economy earlier than the Soviets, was open to political reform, but not at the cost of a potential return to the disorder of the Cultural Revolution. The movement lasted from Hu's death on 15 April until tanks and troops rolled into the Tiananmen Square protests of 4 June 1989. In Beijing, the Tiananmen Square massacre, military response to the protest by the PRC government left many civilians in charge of clearing the square of the dead and severely injured. The exact number of casualties is not known and many different estimates exist. The event, however, did make some political change; the most notable being that
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
started to open up its economy. This allowed for the country to bring in large sums of money and also started the wave of mass migration from rural Western China to urban Eastern China. The problem with the mass migration is that it has now started a deepening divide between the rural poor and the rich urban people.


Malta summit

The Malta Summit took place between U.S. President George H. W. Bush and U.S.S.R. leader Mikhail Gorbachev on 2–3 December 1989, just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a meeting which contributed to the end of the Cold War partially as a result of the broader pro-democracy movement. It was their second meeting following a meeting that included then President Ronald Reagan, in New York in December 1988. News reports of the time referred to the Malta Summit as the most important since 1945, when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed on a post-war plan for Europe at the Yalta Conference.


Election chronology in Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Between June 1989 and April 1991, every Communist or former Communist country in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia—and in the case of the USSR and Yugoslavia, every constituent republic—held competitive parliamentary elections for the first time in many decades. Some elections were only partly free, while others were fully democratic. The chronology below gives the details of these historic elections, and the dates are the first day of voting as several elections were split over several days for run-off contests: * – 1989 Polish legislative election, 4 June 1989 * – 1990 Turkmen Supreme Soviet election, 7 January 1990 * – 1990 Uzbek Supreme Soviet election, 18 February 1990 * – 1990 Lithuanian Supreme Soviet election, 24 February 1990 * – 1990 Moldavian Supreme Soviet election, 25 February 1990 * – 1990 Kirghiz Supreme Soviet election, 25 February 1990 * – 1990 Tajik Supreme Soviet election, 25 February 1990 * – 1990 Belarusian Supreme Soviet election, 4 March 1990 * – 1990 Russian Supreme Soviet election, 4 March 1990 * – 1990 Ukrainian Supreme Soviet election, 4 March 1990 * – 1990 East German general election, 18 March 1990 * – 1990 Estonian Supreme Soviet election, 18 March 1990 * – 1990 Latvian Supreme Soviet election, 18 March 1990 * – 1990 Hungarian parliamentary election, 25 March 1990 * – 1990 Kazakh Supreme Soviet election, 25 March 1990 * – 1990 Slovenian parliamentary election, 8 April 1990 * – 1990 Croatian parliamentary election, 22 April 1990 * – 1990 Romanian general election, 20 May 1990 * – 1990 Armenian Supreme Soviet election, 20 May 1990 * Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, Czechoslovakia – 1990 Czechoslovak parliamentary election, 8 June 1990 * – 1990 Bulgarian Constitutional Assembly election, 10 June 1990 * – 1990 Mongolian legislative election, 22 June 1990 * – 1990 Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet election, 30 September 1990 * – 1990 Georgian Supreme Soviet election, 28 October 1990 * – 1990 Macedonian parliamentary election, 11 November 1990 * – 1990 Bosnian general election, 18 November 1990 * – 1990 Serbian general election, 9 December 1990 * – 1990 Montenegrin general election, 9 December 1990 * – 1991 Albanian Constitutional Assembly election, 31 March 1991


Dissolution of the Soviet Union

On 1 July 1991, the Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved at a meeting in Prague. At a summit later that same month, Gorbachev and Bush declared a US–Soviet strategic partnership, decisively marking the end of the Cold War. President Bush declared that US–Soviet cooperation during the 1990–1991 Gulf War had laid the groundwork for a partnership in resolving bilateral and world problems. As the Soviet Union rapidly withdrew its forces from Central and Southeast Europe, the spillover from the 1989 upheavals began reverberating throughout the Soviet Union itself. Agitation for self-determination led to first Lithuania, and then Estonia, Latvia, and Armenia declaring independence. However, the Soviet central government demanded the revocation of the declarations and threatened military action and economic sanctions. The government even went as far as controversially sending Soviet Army troops to the streets of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to January Events (Lithuania), suppress the separatist movements in January 1991, causing the deaths of 14 people. Disaffection in other Soviet republics, such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, was countered by promises of greater decentralization. More open elections led to the election of candidates opposed to Communist Party rule. ''Glasnost'' had inadvertently released the long-suppressed national sentiments of all peoples within the borders of the multinational Soviet state. These nationalist movements were further strengthened by the rapid deterioration of the Soviet economy, whose foundations were exposed with the removal of Communist discipline. Gorbachev's reforms had failed to improve the economy, with the old Soviet planned economy, command structure completely breaking down. One by one, the constituent republics created their own economic systems and voted to subordinate Soviet laws to local laws. In 1990, the Communist Party was forced to surrender its seven-decade monopoly of political power when the Supreme Soviet rescinded the clause in the Soviet Constitution that guaranteed its sole authority to rule. Gorbachev's policies caused the Communist Party to lose its control over the media. Details of the Soviet Union's past were quickly being declassified. This caused many to distrust the 'old system' and push for greater autonomy and independence. After the 1991 Soviet Union referendum, March 1991 referendum confirmed the preservation of the Soviet Union but in a looser form, a group of Soviet hard-liners represented by Vice-President Gennadi Yanayev launched 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, a coup attempting to overthrow Gorbachev in August 1991. Boris Yeltsin, then president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russian SFSR, rallied the people and much of the army against the coup and the effort collapsed. Although restored to power, Gorbachev's authority had been irreparably undermined. Gorbachev resigned as General Secretary of the Communist Party following the coup, and the Supreme Soviet dissolved the Party and banned all Communist activity on Soviet soil. Just a few weeks later, the government granted the Baltic states their independence on 6 September. Over the next three months, one republic after another declared independence, mostly out of fear of another coup. Also during this time, the Soviet government was rendered useless as the new Russian government began taking over what remained of it, including the Kremlin. The penultimate step came on 1 December, when voters in the second most powerful republic, Ukraine, overwhelmingly voted to secede from the Soviet Union in a referendum. This ended any realistic chance of keeping the Soviet Union together. On 8 December, Yeltsin met with his counterparts from Ukraine and Belarus and signed the Belavezha Accords, declaring that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Gorbachev denounced this as illegal, but he had long since lost any ability to influence events outside of Moscow. Two weeks later, 11 of the remaining 12 republics—all except Georgia—signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the Soviet Union had been effectively dissolved and replaced by a new voluntary association, the Commonwealth of Independent States. Bowing to the inevitable, Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president on 25 December, and the Supreme Soviet ratified the Belavezha Accords the next day, legally dissolving itself and the Soviet Union as a political entity. By the end of 1991, the few Soviet institutions that hadn't been taken over by Russia had dissolved. Gorbachev resigned from his post of President of the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991 and the Soviet Union was officially disbanded on the following day by the Soviet of the Republics, breaking up into fifteen constituent parts, thereby ending the world's largest and most influential Socialist state, and leaving to China that position. In 1993, a 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, constitutional crisis dissolved into violence in Moscow as the Russian Armed Forces were called in to reestablish order.


Baltic states

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania implemented democratic reforms and achieved independence from the Soviet Union. The Singing Revolution is a commonly used name for events between 1987 and 1991 that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, Estonia, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Latvia and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, Lithuania. The term was coined by an Estonian activist and artist, Heinz Valk, in an article published a week after 10–11 June 1988 spontaneous mass night-singing demonstrations at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. Estonia Estonian Sovereignty Declaration, declared its sovereignty from the Soviet Union on 16 November 1988. Lithuania followed on 18 May 1989 and Latvia on 28 July 1989. Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, Lithuania declared full independence on 11 March 1990 and on 30 March, Estonia announced the start of a transitional period to independence, On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, followed by Latvia on 4 May. These declarations were met with force from the Soviet Union in early 1991, in confrontations known as the January Events (Lithuania), "January Events" in Lithuania and "The Barricades" in Latvia. The Baltic states contended that their incorporation into the Soviet Union had been illegal under both international law and their own law, and they were reasserting an independence that still legally existed. Soon after the launching of the August coup, Estonia and Latvia declared full independence. By the time the coup failed, the USSR was no longer unified enough to mount a forceful resistance, and it recognized the independence of the Baltic states on 6 September 1991.


Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova

* declared full independence from the USSR on 25 August 1991. The main political changes of the early 1990s were driven by the Belarusian Popular Front and its fraction in the Supreme Soviet of Belarus. A few years later, a new post-communist leader, Alexander Lukashenko, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, obtained power. After a short period, he increased his power as a result of two controversial referendums (1995–96) and has been criticized for Human rights in Belarus, repressing political opposition ever since. * participated in the War of Transnistria between Moldova and Russian-connected forces in the separatist region of Transnistria. Communists came back to power in a 2001 election under Vladimir Voronin, but faced 2009 Moldova civil unrest, civil unrest in 2009 over accusations of rigged elections. * Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, declared its independence in August 1991. Presidencies of former Communists Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma were followed by the Orange Revolution in 2004, in which Ukrainians elected Viktor Yushchenko (also a former member of CPSU).


Transcaucasia

* and the North Caucasus have been marred by ethnic and sectarian violence since the collapse of the USSR. In April 1989 the Soviet Army April 9 tragedy, massacred demonstrators in Tbilisi; in November 1989, the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Georgian SSR officially condemned the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Democracy activist Zviad Gamsakhurdia served as president from 1991 to 1992. Russia aided break-away republics in wars in 1991-1992 South Ossetia War, South Ossetia and War in Abkhazia (1992-1993), Abkhazia during the early 1990s, conflicts that have periodically reemerged, and Russia has accused Georgia of supporting Chechen rebels during the First Chechen War, Chechen wars. A coup d'état installed former Communist leader Eduard Shevardnadze as President of Georgia until the Rose Revolution in 2003. * 's independence struggle included violence as the First Nagorno-Karabakh War was fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia became increasingly militarized (with the ascendancy of Kocharian, a former president of Nagorno-Karabakh, often viewed as a milestone), while elections have since been increasingly controversial, and government corruption became rifer. After Kocharyan, notably, Serzh Sargsyan ascended to power. Sargsyan is often noted as the "founder of the Armenian and Karabakh militaries" and was, in the past, defense minister and national security minister. * 's Azerbaijani Popular Front Party, Popular Front Party won the first elections with the self-described pro-Western, populist nationalist Elchibey. However, Elchibey planned to end Moscow's advantage in the harvesting of Azeri oil and build much stronger links with Turkey and Europe, and as a result was overthrown by former Communists in a coup backed by Russia and Iran (which viewed the new country as a compelling threat, with territorial ambitions within Iranian borders and also being a strong economic rival). Mutallibov rose to power, but he was soon destabilized and eventually ousted due to popular frustration with his perceived incompetence, corruption and improper handling of the war with Armenia. Azerbaijani KGB and Azerbaijani SSR leader Heydar Aliyev captured power and remained president until he transferred the presidency to his son in 2003. The First Nagorno-Karabakh War was fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and has largely defined the fates of both countries. However, unlike Armenia, which remains a strong Russian ally, Azerbaijan has begun, since Russia's 2008 war with Georgia, to foster better relations with Turkey and other Western nations, while lessening ties with Russia.


Chechnya

In Chechnya (an Autonomous republics of the Soviet Union, autonomous republic within Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russian SFSR that had a strong desire for independence), using tactics partly copied from the Baltics, anti-Communist coalition forces led by former Soviet general Dzhokhar Dudayev staged a largely bloodless revolution, and ended up forcing the resignation of the Communist republican president. Dudayev was elected in a landslide in the following election and in November 1991 he proclaimed Checheno-Ingushetia's independence as the Republic of Ichkeria. Ingushetia voted to leave the union with Chechnya, and was allowed to do so (thus it became the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria). Due to Dudayev's desire to exclude Moscow from all oil deals, Yeltsin backed a failed coup against him in 1993. In 1994, Chechnya, with only marginal recognition (one country: Georgia, which was revoked soon after the coup landing Shevardnadze in power), was invaded by Russia, spurring the First Chechen War. The Chechens, with considerable assistance from the populations of both former-Soviet countries and from Sunni Muslim countries repelled this invasion and a peace treaty was signed in 1997. However, Chechnya became increasingly anarchic, largely due to both the political and physical destruction of the state during the invasion, and general Shamil Basaev, having evaded all control by the central government, conducted raids into neighboring Dagestan, which Russia used as a pretext for reinvading Ichkeria. Ichkeria was then reincorporated into Russia as Chechnya again, though insurgency continues.


Central Asia

* 's independence struggle began with the Jeltoqsan uprising in 1986. Former Communist leader Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in power from 1990 when he started serving as Kazakh SSR, President of Kazakh SSR until his retirement from his position in 2019. * 's Askar Akayev retained power until the Tulip Revolution in 2005. * 's Rahmon Nabiyev retained power, which led to the civil war in Tajikistan. Emomali Rahmon has succeeded Nabiyev and has retained power since 1992. * 's Saparmurat Niyazov retained power until his death in 2006 and was criticized as one of the world's most totalitarian and repressive leaders, maintaining his own cult of personality. Niyazov's successor Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov initially eased changes made by Niyazov before starting his very own cult of personality. * 's Islam Karimov retained power until his death in 2016 and was widely criticized for repressing the political opposition throughout his tenure.


Post-Soviet conflicts

Some of the more notable post-Soviet conflicts include the Tajikistani Civil War, the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, the War of Transnistria, the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War, the First Chechen War, the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993), War in Abkhazia, the Ossetian–Ingush conflict, and the 2014 Crimean Crisis, Crimea and War in Donbass, Donbass conflicts in Ukraine.


Other events


Communist and Socialist countries

Reforms in the Soviet Union and its allied countries also led to dramatic changes to Communist and Socialist states outside of Europe. Countries that retained socialist-styled economies and government structures beyond 1991: * – China remained under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, whilst continuing far-reaching economic reforms. * – Cuba remained under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba and retained a socialist planned economy. * – Economic liberalisation in India, Indian economic reforms were launched in 1991. * – Laos remained under the leadership of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and retained many socialist economic policies. * History of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi#Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1977-2011), Libya – Libya remained governed according to Muammar Gaddafi's socialist Third International Theory, and retained a socialist planned economy. * – Syria remained under the leadership of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party - Syria Region, Syrian Ba'ath Party and retained a socialist (Ba'athism, Ba'athist) planned economy. * – Vietnam remained under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and pursued economic reforms that were much less far-reaching than China's and many socialist economic policies were retained.


Africa

* – 1988 October Riots, democratization through the 1989 Algerian constitutional referendum, 1989 constitutional referendum, victory of, an Islamist party, the FIS in the 1990 Algerian local elections, 1990 local elections and in the 1991 Algerian legislative election, 1991 legislative elections, leading to a military coup in January 1992, sparking the Algerian Civil War, until 2002. *
Angola , national_anthem = "Angola Avante "Angola Avante" (, ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...
– The ruling MPLA government abandoned Marxism–Leninism in 1991 and agreed to the Bicesse Accords in the same year, however the Angolan Civil War between the MPLA and the conservative UNITA continued for another decade. * People's Republic of Benin, Benin – Mathieu Kérékou's regime was pressured to abandon Marxism–Leninism in 1989. * – Thomas Sankara was overthrown and assassinated in the 1987 Burkinabé coup d'état, during which power was taken by Blaise Compaoré, who reversed many of Sankara's social policies. Military rule was ended in 1989, with the establishment of the Organization for Popular Democracy – Labour Movement, ODP-MT and the Popular Front (Burkina Faso), Popular Front coalition, beginning a process of democratization that started in 1991 Burkinabé presidential election, 1991 and finished when Compaoré was finally forced to resign by the 2014 Burkinabé uprising. * – 1996 Burundian coup d'état * – The ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde party cut down its Socialist ideology and foreign donors pressured the government to allow multiparty elections in 1991. * – democratization in 1992. * People's Republic of the Congo, Congo-Brazzaville – Denis Sassou Nguesso's regime was pressured to abandon Marxism–Leninism in 1991. The nation had elections in 1992 and First Republic of the Congo Civil War in 1993. * – Djiboutian Civil War in 1991 and democratization in 1992. *
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
– A 1987 Constitution of Ethiopia, new constitution was implemented in 1987 and, following the withdrawal of Soviet and Cuban assistance, the Communist military junta Derg led by Mengistu Haile Mariam was defeated by the rebel Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF in the Ethiopian Civil War and fled in 1991. * – The Third Republic of Ghana and the Provisional National Defence Council, military government of Jerry Rawlings are dissolved following 1992 Ghanaian presidential election, democratization in 1992, leading to the establishment a democratically-elected Rawlings government, government under the National Democratic Congress (Ghana), National Democratic Congress. * – A process of democratization begins with the introduction of multi-party politics in May 1991 and the 1994 Guinea-Bissau general election, first democratic elections being held in 1994. * – 1984 Guinean coup d'état * Democratic Republic of Madagascar, Madagascar – Socialist President Didier Ratsiraka was ousted in 1991. * – Moussa Traoré was ousted, Mali adopted a new constitution; held multi-party elections. Tuareg rebellion (1990–95), Rebellion in 1990 and 1991 Malian coup d'état, coup d'état in 1991. *
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...
– The Mozambican Civil War between the socialist FRELIMO and the RENAMO conservatives was Rome General Peace Accords, ended via treaty in 1992. FRELIMO subsequently abandoned Marxism–Leninism in favor of democratic socialism with the support of the United Nations Operation in Mozambique, UN, held multiparty elections. * – The ruling Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe/Social Democratic Party cut down its Socialist ideology and foreign donors pressured the government to allow multiparty elections in 1991. * – Socialist Party of Senegal formed a national unity government with the Senegalese Democratic Party in 1991. * – democratization in 1991. * – The beginning of the Sierra Leone Civil War in March 1991, followed by a 1991 Sierra Leonean constitutional referendum, constitutional referendum restoring multi-party system, multi-party politics in August 1991 and a 1992 Sierra Leonean coup d'état, coup d'état finally overthrowing the First Republic of Sierra Leone in April 1992. *
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...
– Rebelling Somalis overthrew Siad Barre's Communist military junta during the Somali Revolution. Somalia has been in a constant Somali Civil War, state of civil war ever since. * History of Sudan (1986–2011), Sudan – The 1985 Sudanese coup d'état overthrows the Democratic Republic of the Sudan. After a brief period of parliamentary democracy during the late 1980s, the 1989 Sudanese coup d'état establishes a right-wing dictatorship under Omar al-Bashir. * – The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party cut down its Socialist ideology and foreign donors pressured the government to allow multiparty elections in 1995. * – Habib Bourguiba removed from power by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the 1987 Tunisian coup d'état, reforming the Socialist Destourian Party into the Democratic Constitutional Rally in 1988 and holding the 1989 Tunisian general election, first multi-party election in 1989. The Tunisian Communist Party abandoned communism and reformed itself as the Ettajdid Movement in 1993. * – The government of Milton Obote is overthrown by a coup in 1985, followed by the end of the Ugandan Bush War in 1986. With the rise of Yoweri Museveni to power, the National Resistance Movement cut down its Socialist ideology. * Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Western Sahara – cut down its Socialist ideology and the End of the Western Sahara War in 1991. * – The ruling United National Independence Party cut down its Socialist ideology and foreign donors pressured the government to allow 1991 Zambian general election, multiparty elections in 1991.


Middle East

* Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq – 1991 uprisings in Iraq, Uprisings in 1991, leading to Kurdistan becoming an autonomous region. The rest of Iraq remained under Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime until 2003 with 2003 invasion of Iraq, American invasion overthrowing his regime. * Republic of Kuwait, Kuwait – Annexed by Iraq in 1990. Then liberated during the Gulf War. * Palestinian Territories – The Palestine Liberation Organization lost one of its most important diplomatic patrons, due to the deterioration of the Soviet Union, Arafat's failing relationship with Moscow and loss of a one-party government, and Suspension PFLP-GC of the PLO in 1984. First Intifada occurred from 1987 to 1991, leading to the PLO recognition of Israel. * – South Yemen Civil War in 1986; Abandoned Marxism–Leninism in 1990; it Yemenite reunification, reunified with the more capitalist North Yemen that year, though this later led to a 1994 civil war in Yemen, civil war. * – The Syrian Communist Party was divided to two parties in 1986. Syria participated in the Madrid Conference of 1991 and met its Cold War enemy Israel in peace negotiations. The Syrian Democratic People's Party changed from Left-wing to center-left.


Asia

*
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...
– The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, People's Democratic Party underwent National Reconciliation reforms from 1987, renaming the country to Republic of Afghanistan (from "Democratic Republic") and removing the red star of communism from the coat of arms. The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Soviet occupation ended in 1989, and in 1990 the ruling party renamed itself, removing all references to Marxism–Leninism in the process. The Soviet-supporting government Afghan Civil War (1989–1992), fell in 1992 and the party was dissolved; a new Afghan Civil War (1992-96), Civil War followed. * – In 1990, a 1990 Mass Uprising in Bangladesh, mass uprising leads to the end of the country's military dictatorship and a restoration of democracy. The Communist Party of Bangladesh experiences a split between an orthodox Marxist-Leninist faction and a more democratic and libertarian faction. The country experiences an Internal conflict in Bangladesh, internal conflict, driven by the rise of Islamism since 1989. * Burmese Way to Socialism, Burma – The 8888 Uprising in 1988 saw the demise of the Burma Socialist Programme Party, but failed to bring democracy, although Marxism was abandoned. The country was led by a military government under the State Peace and Development Council until 2011, following 2010 Burmese general election, 2010 elections viewed by many Western countries as fraudulent. End of the Communist insurgency in Myanmar, Communist insurgency in 1989. * People's Republic of Kampuchea, Cambodia – The Vietnam-supported government, which had been in power since the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, fall of the Khmer Rouge, lost power following UN-sponsored United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, elections in 1993, the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea, CGDK and the Party of Democratic Kampuchea were dissolved in 1993. * – The Communist Party of China began implementing Chinese economic reform, liberalizing economic reforms during the late 1970s under Deng Xiaoping. However, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, pro-democracy protests of 1989 were crushed by the People's Liberation Army, military. 1987–89 Tibetan unrest, Unrest in Tibet in 1987. The United Revolutionary Front of East Turkestan, URFET and the East Turkestan People's Revolutionary Party, ETPRP was dissolved. * – Defeat of the Indian National Congress in the 1989 Indian general election. The Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress was dissolved in 1989, Tripura National Volunteers was dissolved in 1988 and Hmar People's Convention was dissolved in 1986. Begin of the Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989. The Naxalite–Maoist insurgency continued into the 21st century, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) remain a major political force in the state of Kerala. * – Remained Communist under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party. Laos was forced to ask France and Japan for emergency assistance, and also to ask the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for aid. Finally, in 1989, Kaisôn visited Beijing to confirm the restoration of friendly relations, and to secure Chinese aid. The red star and the hammer and sickle was taken out from the crest in 1991. * – Kim Il-sung died in 1994, passing power to his son Kim Jong-il. Unprecedented floods and the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to the North Korean famine, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2.5 million to 3 million North Koreans. All references to Marxism–Leninism were absolutely replaced by
Juche ''Juche'' ( ), officially the ''Juche'' idea and also translated as ''Juche'' thought and Jucheism, is the state ideology of North Korea, described by the country's government as "Kim Il-sung's original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution ...

Juche
in 2009, thus signifying an apparent downplaying of the role of Communism in North Korea. North Korea is still a single-party Communist state. * – End of the second 1987–89 JVP insurrection, communist insurgrency by the communist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the death of its leaders. * – The Communist Party of Vietnam has undertaken Doi Moi reforms since 1986, liberalizing certain sectors of the economy in a manner similar to China. Vietnam is still a single-party Communist state.


Latin America

* – The end of Soviet subsidies led to the Special Period. An August 1994 protest in Cuba, unsuccessful protest was held in 1994. Cuba is still a single-party Communist state. * – After the death of Forbes Burnham in 1985, his successor Desmond Hoyte oversaw a period of democratization and the first free elections were 1992 Guyanese general election, held in 1992, during which the People's Progressive Party (Guyana), People's Progressive Party of Cheddi Jagan was elected. * – End of the Contra War, Daniel Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front, Sandinista lost the multi-party elections in 1990, and the National Opposition Union won. * – democratization in 1987 and Suriname Guerrilla War 1986–1992.


Oceania

* – Vanua'aku Pati lost the multi-party elections in 1991, and the Union of Moderate Parties won.


Other countries

Many Soviet-supported political parties and militant groups around the world suffered from demoralization and loss of financing. * – The Communist Party of Australia was dissolved in 1991. * – The Communist Party of Austria lost its East German financing and 250 million euros in assets. * – The Communist Party of Belgium was divided to two parties in 1989. * – The Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin was dissolved in 1991. * - In 1990 the Communist Party of Canada was de-registered and had its assets seized, forcing it to begin an ultimately successful thirteen-year political and legal battle to maintain registration of small political parties in Canada known as ''Figueroa v. Canada'', thus changing the legal definition of a political party in Canada in 2003 and now operates without any elected political representation. * – 1993 Equatorial Guinean legislative election, first multi-party elections in 1993. * – The Finnish People's Democratic League was dissolved in 1990 and the bankrupt Communist Party of Finland collapsed in 1992, and absorbed to the Left Alliance (Finland), Left Alliance. * – The collapse of the Eastern Bloc came as a shock to the French Communist Party. The crisis is called ''la mutation''. Fusion of the Unified Socialist Party (France), Unified Socialist Party with the New Left for Socialism, Ecology and Self-management for Red and Green Alternatives in 1989. * – 1994 Gambian coup d'état * – The German Communist Party lost its East German financing and declined significantly and the Communist League (West Germany), Communist League was dissolved. The Red Army Faction lost its long-term supporter, the Stasi, after the
fall of the Berlin Wall The fall of the Berlin Wall (german: Mauerfall) on 9 November 1989 was a pivotal event in world history which marked the falling of the Iron Curtain and the start of the fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe. The fall of the inner Ger ...
. * – The Organisation of Marxist-Leninist Communists of Greece was dissolved in 1993 and merged into the Movement for a United Communist Party of Greece. Greek Left was dissolved in 1992. * – democratization in 1990. * – The Communist Party of Ireland declined significantly. Democratic Socialist Party (Ireland), Democratic Socialist Party was dissolved. * – The collapse caused the Italian Communist Party to reform itself, creating two new groups, the larger Democratic Party of the Left and the smaller Communist Refoundation Party. The disappearance of the Communist party in part led to profound changes within the Italian political party system in 1992–1994 and collapse of the Radical Party (Italy), Radical Party in 1989 and the Italian Socialist Party in 1994. Disintegration of the Red Brigades in 1988. * – The Japanese Communist Party became gradually influenced by Eurocommunism and issued a statement titled "We welcome the end of a great historical evil of imperialism and hegemonism". As a result, the JCP survived the post-Cold War decline of communist parties in the Western Bloc, and remain one of the largest non-governing communist parties in the world. * – End of the Lebanese Civil War, Civil War * – First Liberian Civil War * – The Communist Party of Luxembourg declined significantly. * – The Malayan Communist Party laid down its arms in 1989, ending an Communist insurgency in Malaysia (1968–89), insurgency that had lasted decades. * – the failed 1988 Maldives coup d'état * – The Mexican Communist Party and a number of other Communist parties were dissolved in 1989 and absorbed first into the Mexican Socialist Party and then into the Party of the Democratic Revolution. And collapse of the Socialist Mexican Party in 1989. * Kingdom of Nepal, Nepal – The Communist Party of Nepal (Janamukhi) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Fourth Convention) was dissolved in 1990. * – The Communist Party of the Netherlands was dissolved in 1991 and absorbed to the GreenLeft. League of Communists in the Netherlands was dissolved in 1992. * – democratization in 1991, but 1996 Nigerien coup d'état, Coup d'état in 1996. * – 1985 Nigerian coup d'état, Coup d'état in 1985. * – The Communist Party of Norway changed their pro-Soviet line. * – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman was dissolved in 1992. * – The Communist Party of the Philippines experienced criticism and the debates that ensued between the leading party cadres resulted to the expulsion of advocates of "left and right opportunism" notably forming the so-called "rejectionists" and "reaffirmist" factions. Those who affirmed the Maoist orthodoxy were called the "Reaffirmists", or RA, while those who rejected the document were called "Rejectionists" or RJ. In July 1993, the Komiteng Rehiyon ng Manila-Rizal (KRMR), one of the Rejectionists, declared its autonomy from the central leadership. Within a few months, several of the Party's regional formations and bureaus followed suit, permanently formalizing and deepening the schism. * – The Sammarinese Communist Party was dissolved in 1990. * – The Barisan Sosialis was dissolved in 1988. * – The Workers' Party of Spain–Communist Unity was dissolved in 1991. Alternative Left (Spain), Alternative Left was dissolved in 1993. Communist Party of Spain (Marxist–Leninist) (historical) was dissolved in 1992. The Communist Party of Galicia (Revolutionary Marxist) was dissolved in 1989. * – The Communist Association of Norrköping was dissolved in 1990 and Kommunistiska Förbundet Marxist-Leninisterna ceased to function as nationwide party. The pro-Albanian Kommunistiska Partiet i Sverige and the Maoist Communist Workers' Party of Sweden were dissolved in 1993. The main leftist party, Vänsterpartiet kommunisterna, VPK (Left Party – Communists), abandoned the Communist part of its name, and became simply Vänsterpartiet (Left Party). * – The Communist Labour Party of Turkey was split. * – The Communist Party of Great Britain was dissolved. * – 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts Concurrently, many anti-Communist authoritarian states, formerly supported by the US, gradually saw a transition to democracy. * – Held the 1989 Brazilian presidential election, first democratic presidential election since 1960 due to reforms started a few years earlier. * – democratization in 1991. * – 1990 Chadian coup d'état, Coup d'état in 1990. * – The Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–1990), military junta under Augusto Pinochet was pressured to implement 1989 Chilean general election, democratic elections, which saw Chilean transition to democracy, Chile's democratization in 1990. The Broad Party of Socialist Left Merged into Socialist Party of Chile. * – The Colombian Constitution of 1886, conservative constitution of 1886 was Colombian Constitution of 1991, repealed in 1991. The 19th of April Movement, the Movimiento Armado Quintin Lame, Quintin Lame Armed Movement and most of the Popular Liberation Army gave up their weapons and began to participate in politics. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC continued its role in the Colombian conflict into the 21th century. * – The Salvadoran Civil War ended in 1992 following the Chapultepec Peace Accords. The rebel Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, FMLN movement became a legal political party and participated in subsequent elections. * – democratization in 1991. * – The Guatemalan Civil War ended in 1996 and the rebel Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity became a legal party. * – Haitian Revolution of 1986 * - The Suharto regime received great international criticism for its role in the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre and continued occupation of East Timor, leading to US sanctions. Fall of Suharto, Suharto resigned in 1998 following mass protests, and East Timor gained independence following the 1999 East Timorese independence referendum, 1999 referendum. * – democratization in 1990. * – Restoration of multi-party democracy in 1991 * – democratization in 1993. * – 1984 Mauritanian coup d'état; democratization in 1992. * – democratization in 1988. * – The Manuel Noriega regime was overthrown by the United States invasion of Panama, US invasion in 1989 as a result of his suppression of elections, drug-trafficking activities and the killing of a US serviceman. * – The dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner came to an end when he was deposed in a military coup d'état. In 1992, the country's new constitution established a democratic system of government. * - The internal conflict in Peru intensified under Alberto Fujimori, who was criticized for his increased authoritarian rule and human rights abuses until his downfall in 2000. The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement ended its role in the internal conflict in Peru in 1997. The Shining Path, responsible for killing tens of thousands people, shrunk in the 1990s, but continued into the 21th century. * History of the Philippines (1965–86), Philippines – People Power Revolution in 1986 led to the downfall of Ferdinand Marcos. Communist rebellion in the Philippines continued into the 21th century. * – Rwandan Civil War in 1990. * – Following the Soviet-Afghan War, Osama bin Laden, the founder of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, proposed to the Saudi monarchy not to rely on the United States after the Invasion of Kuwait, fall of Kuwait. Bin Laden later denounced the Saudi invitation of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division and was eventually expelled from the country in 1992 due to the criticism. His citizenship was revoked in 1994. * – The June Democracy Movement's June Struggle, nationwide protests led to the downfall of the Chun Doo-hwan government in 1987, and the country's 1987 South Korean presidential election, first democratic elections. In 2000, North and South Korea agreed in principle to work towards Korean reunification, peaceful reunification in the future. * – Negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa, Negotiations were started in 1990 to end the South Africa under apartheid, Apartheid system. Nelson Mandela was 1994 South African general election, elected as the President of South Africa in 1994. * – In 1987 the ruling Kuomintang party ended its Martial law in Taiwan, strict martial law introduced at the end of the Chinese Civil War. Gradual Taiwan#Democratic reforms, democratic reforms led to the 1996 Taiwanese presidential election, first direct presidential election in 1996. * – democratization in 1993. * - The Northern Ireland peace process led to an end of The Troubles in 1998, with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. * – Following the end of the Cold War, the United States became the world's sole superpower. It ceased to support many of the military dictatorships it had during the Cold War, pressing more nations to adopt democracy. * – Yemeni unification, unified with the communist
South Yemen South Yemen ( ar, اليمن الجنوبي, al-Yaman al-Janubiyy), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ( ar, جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية, Jumhūriyat al-Yaman al-Dīmuqrāṭīyah al-Sha'b ...

South Yemen
after the Yemeni unification, separation period (1918-1990) and also democratize, democratized in 1990, then Yemeni Civil War (1994), suppressed communist secessionist movement in the South in 1994. * – First Congo War, Civil War in 1996.


Countries that emerged into socialist-styled governments beyond 1991

* – Evo Morales led the Movement for Socialism (Bolivia), Movement for Socialism which led to the establishment of the socialistic Plurinational State in 2009 and ruled the country until 2019 Bolivian political crisis, his ouster in a coup * – Kingdom of Nepal, Monarchy was overthrown in 2008 and the republic has been ruled by Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), Communist Party since then. * – Hugo Chavez led the Fifth Republic Movement which led to the establishment of the Bolivarian Republic in 1999 and ruled the country until his death in 2013.


Other impacts

* – In 1990, the Soviet Union finally permitted free emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. Prior to this, 1970s Soviet Union aliyah, Jews trying to leave the USSR faced persecution; those who succeeded arrived as refugees. Over the next few years, some one million Soviet citizens migrated to Israel. Although there was a concern that some of the new immigrants had only a very tenuous connection to Judaism, and many were accompanied by non-Jewish relatives, this massive wave of migration brought large numbers of highly educated Soviet Jews and slowly changed the demographic nature of Israel. In addition, thousands of Beta Israel, Ethiopian Jews were Operation Solomon, rescued by the Israel Defense Forces in 1991.


Political reforms

Decommunization is a process of overcoming the legacies of the Communist state establishments, culture, and psychology in the post-Communist states. Decommunization was largely limited or non-existent. Communist parties were not outlawed and their members were not brought to trial. Just a few places even attempted to exclude members of communist secret services from decision-making. In a number of countries the Communist party simply changed its name and continued to function. In several European countries, however, endorsing or attempting to justify crimes committed by Nazi or Communist regimes became punishable by up to 3 years of imprisonment.


Economic reforms

State run enterprises in socialist countries had little or no interest in producing what customers wanted, which resulted in shortages of goods and services. In the early 1990s, the general view was that there was no precedent for moving from socialism to capitalism", and only some elderly people remembered how a market economy worked. As a result, the view that Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe would stay poor for decades was common. The collapse of the Soviet Union, and the breakdown of economic ties which followed led to a severe economic crisis and catastrophic fall in the Standard of living, standards of living in the 1990s in post-Soviet states and the former Eastern bloc. Even before Russia's 1998 Russian financial crisis, financial crisis of 1998, Russia's GDP was half of what it had been in the early 1990s. There was a temporary fall of output in the official economy and an increase in black market economic activity. Countries implemented different reform programs. One example, generally regarded as successful was the "shock therapy" Balcerowicz Plan in Poland. Eventually the official economy began to grow. In a 2007 paper, Oleh Havrylyshyn categorized the speed of reforms in the former communist countries of Europe: * ''Sustained Big-Bang'' (fastest): Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia * ''Advance Start/Steady Progress'': Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia * ''Aborted Big-Bang'': Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia * ''Gradual Reforms'': Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Romania * ''Limited Reforms'' (slowest): Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan The 2004 enlargement of the European Union included the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The 2007 enlargement of the European Union included Romania and Bulgaria, and Croatia 2013 enlargement of the European Union, joined the EU in 2013. The same countries have also Enlargement of NATO, become NATO members. In Mongolia, however, the economy was reformed in a similar fashion to the Eastern European counterparts. The Caucasian Tiger - Armenia, had declared its decision to join the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, as well as to participate in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union. Effective from 2015, Armenia joined the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. Chinese economic reform, Chinese economic liberalization began in 1978 and has helped lift millions of people out of poverty, bringing the poverty rate down from 53% of the population in the Mao era to 12% in 1981. Deng's economic reforms are still being followed by the Communist Party of China, CPC today, and by 2001 the poverty rate became only 6% of the population. Doi Moi, Economic liberalization in Vietnam was initiated in 1986, following the Chinese example. Economic liberalisation in India, Economic liberalization in India was initiated in 1991. Harvard University Professor Richard B. Freeman has called the effect of reforms "The Great Doubling". He calculated that the size of the global workforce doubled from 1.46 billion workers to 2.93 billion workers. An immediate effect was a reduced ratio of capital to labor. In the long-term China, India, and the former Soviet bloc will save and invest and contribute to the expansion of the world capital stock.


Ideological continuation of Communism

As of 2008, nearly half of Russians viewed Stalin positively, and many supported restoration of his previously dismantled monuments. In 1992, President Yeltsin's government invited Vladimir Bukovsky to serve as an expert to testify at the CPSU trial by Constitutional Court of Russia, where the Communists were suing Yeltsin for banning their party. The respondent's case was that the CPSU itself had been an unconstitutional organization. To prepare for his testimony, Bukovsky requested and was granted access to a large number of documents from Soviet archives (then reorganized into TsKhSD). Using a small handheld scanner and a laptop computer, he managed to secretly scan many documents (some with high security clearance), including KGB reports to the Central Committee, and smuggle the files to the West.


Interpretations

The events caught many people by surprise. Before 1991, many thought that the collapse of the Soviet Union Predictions of Soviet collapse, was impossible. Bartlomiej Kaminski's book ''The Collapse of State Socialism'' argued that the state Socialist system has a lethal paradox, saying that "policy actions designed to improve performance only accelerate its decay". By the end of 1989, revolts had spread from one capital to another, ousting the regimes imposed on Central, South-East and Eastern Europe after World War II. Even the isolationist Stalinist regime in Albania was unable to stem the tide. Gorbachev's abrogation of the Brezhnev Doctrine was perhaps the key factor that enabled the popular uprisings to succeed. Once it became evident that the feared Soviet Army would not intervene to crush dissent, the Central, South-East and Eastern European regimes were exposed as vulnerable in the face of popular uprisings against the one-party system and power of secret police. Coit D. Blacker wrote in 1990 that the Soviet leadership "appeared to have believed that whatever loss of authority the Soviet Union might suffer in Central and South-East Europe would be more than offset by a net increase in its influence in western Europe.". Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Gorbachev ever intended for the complete dismantling of Communism and the Warsaw Pact. Rather, Gorbachev assumed that the Communist parties of Central and South-East Europe could be reformed in a similar way to the reforms he hoped to achieve in the CPSU. Just as ''perestroika'' was aimed at making the Soviet Union more efficient economically and politically, Gorbachev believed that the Comecon and Warsaw Pact could be reformed into more effective entities. However, Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, Alexander Yakovlev, a close advisor to Gorbachev, would later state that it would have been "absurd to keep the system" in Central and South-East Europe. Yakovlev had come to the conclusion that the Soviet-dominated Comecon could not work on non-market principles and that the Warsaw Pact had "no relevance to real life".


Remembrance


Organizations

*Memorial (society), Memorial, an international historical and civil rights society that operates in a number of post-Soviet states which focuses on recording and publicising the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
's totalitarian aspect of the past, but also monitors human rights in post-Soviet states at the present time, for example in Chechnya


Events

*German Unity Day in Germany, a national holiday commemorating the anniversary of
German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, peop ...
in 1990 *Statehood Day (Slovenia), Statehood Day in Slovenia commemorates the country's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 *Independence and Unity Day in Slovenia commemorates the country's independence referendum *Public holidays in Georgia, Day of National Unity in Georgia is a public holiday commemorating victims of the 9 April tragedy *National Day in Hungary *Constitution of Mongolia, Constitution Day in Mongolia commemorates the country's transition to democracy in 1992 *Constitution Day in Romania commemorates the 1991 Romanian Constitution that enshrined the return to democracy after the fall of the Communist regime *Public holidays in Slovakia, Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day in the Slovak Republic *Public holidays in the Czech Republic, Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day in the Czech Republic *Restoration of Independence Day in Latvia commemorates the On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, 1990 declaration restoring the country's independence


Places


Other

*''The Soviet Story'', an award-winning documentary film about the Soviet Union *''The Singing Revolution'', a documentary film about the Singing Revolution *''Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism'', a book and a documentary film based on the book *''Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire'', a Pulitzer Prize-awarded book *''A Political Tragedy in Six Acts'', biography of dissident Václav Havel *''Right Here, Right Now (Jesus Jones song), Right Here, Right Now'', an international hit written by Mike Edwards and performed by his rock band Jesus Jones and released in September 1990 *"Wind of Change (Scorpions song), Wind of Change", a hit song by the German heavy-metal band Scorpions (band), Scorpions that celebrates Perestroyka and the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe


See also


References


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * Contains chapters on the Soviet Union (Mark Kramer), Czechoslovakia (Kieran Williams), Poland (Alexander Smolar), Baltic States (Mark R. Beissinger), China (Merle Goldman), and East Germany (Charles Maier). * * * * *


External links

*. *. Some of aspects of state national economy evolution in the system of the international economic order. * * * + Ergänzender Anhang A – F. ;Video of the revolutions in 1989 * {{Authority control Revolutions of 1989, 1989 in Europe 1990 in Europe 1991 in Europe Capitalism Cold War rebellions Conflicts in 1989 Decommunization Eastern Bloc Foreign relations of the Soviet Union Global politics Revolutionary waves, 1989 Turn of the third millennium