Throughout the 1980s, the Soviet Union fought a brutal and gruesome war in Afghanistan. Through 1989-91, the Soviet Union started in a downward spiral. The Berlin Wall was ripped down, borders opened up, and free elections started and by 1991, the Soviet Union became nothing but memories. In 1985, when Gorbachev comes to power, the United States knows that the Cold War is eventually going to end. In 1987, while Reagan's campaign was in full swing, Gorbachev and Reagan sign the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF) in Washington, D.C. This removed more than 2,500 nuclear missiles in Europe. From 1989 to 1991, many countries such as Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and many other Eastern European countries' communist regimes fell to the hands of the voters. In November of 1989 in East Berlin, soldiers opened some of the gates on the Berlin Wall. This took many years and deaths to happen. In people's reactions to this, the Wall was ripped down with great relief and people could finally come and go from place to place as they pleased.
In August of 1991, Gorbachev is placed under house arrest by the USSR's police and they take over the government to try and save the Communist regime. By December of 1991, the Republican governments of the Soviet Union disbanded and many new free countries were created.
When Gorbachev was elected in 1985, he brought two new policies which at first, people thought would help the Soviet Union but eventually, it brought an end to the empire. Glasnost and Perestroika were the two policies. Glasnost ended the censorship and soviets were allowed to speak freely about the government and problems in the society. It also stopped the jamming of radio broadcast from the West. Perestroika was not a policy to end communism but it was a policy that would bring an end to poverty and other social problems. Local factories had more power and were allowed to regulate their prices with the demand of their product.

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