How did the break up of the Soviet Union affect world affairs?

There were many positive and negative effects after the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991. Some of these effects were

National and some were international. This essay will explore all the different effects and consequences which have occurred after the soviet unions break-up. It will also compare the states of the former USSR to what it was like during the reign of its predecessors (i.e. Stalin, Kruschnev and Gorbechev). At the end of the essay I will also know the importance of these consequences in how they have affected world affairs.

The first national consequence was the rise of the Russia Mafia. As businesses were now to be privately owned, the Mafia forced them to pay a protection racket in return for protection of their company. This was a negative affect, because before communism was abolished protection rackets were not needed, as all companies were publicly owned.

The next national consequence is that the city of Prague and Berlin are now very popular tourist destinations. This is a contrast of Stalin’s and Gorbechev’s era when no westerners were allowed to enter any of the Soviets states. This is a very positive affect as the Russian economy has benefited greatly from tourism.

When the soviet states became capitalist countries many of them suffered in poverty. This is because under communism all countries got an equal share of wealth, but when the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991 countries with little or no natural resources and businesses became very poor and could not pick up their economy. This is therefore a negative consequence.

Latvia and Estonia are now doing very well through tourism and foreign investment, their economy has greatly improved through joining the global market, and because of the positive affect they are even considering joining NATO.

However after the Soviet Union collapsed and communism was abolished Russia became politically unstable and there became an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, therefore a lot of the poor people turned to the theft, extortion and drug dealing as a way of making money. Murder, alcohol became more common in Russia due to the political instability. This is a negative factor as Russia went from a strict and heavily controlled country in Stalin’s era to, poor and crime driven in the present day.

Countries, which split off from the Soviet Union had the opportunity to take part in the Olympics. Many did so in order to gain world-wide recognition for their achievements. This meant the world new more about their country, which would increase their tourism, which would in turn would increase their economy. This is a positive affect as some of the countries of the former Soviet Union were able to survive on their own without the need for communism.

The last national negative affect is one, which can be described as an international affect as well. It was in the year 2000 when the Kursk submarine became stuck on the bottom of an ocean, although the west were willing to help save the men on board, Russia refused. This showed that Russia still did not completely trust the west and relations between Russia and the west were not completely resolved. This showed a similarity between the present day and the time in Gorbechev’s era, when the Soviet Union still existed, as it made the west suspicious in thinking about what the Russians had to hide on that submarine.

The first international consequence was, what was Russia to do with all its nuclear weapons. When the Soviet Union disbanded all the nuclear weapons, which were made in the arms race, were not needed anymore. The government began to destroy its weapons, but a few could not be tracked down. There are fears that people like the Russian Mafia got hold of some of these weapons, and sold them to countries like Iraq and Libya. This is a negative affect as these nuclear weapons can be used by terrorist organisations.

Another consequence is that there is no longer a superpower to contend with America, this has led to a joining of power between other countries to try and match Americas strength. Europe is one of these new superpowers and Asia is another. This has also led to an increase in terrorism towards America and the west as some countries feel they are becoming too powerful. One of the obvious examples is Al Qu’Ida and their terrorism against America. They have committed many crimes and caused great tragedies as they feel that America are becoming too powerful and need to be stopped. The World Trade Centre Bomb, the bombing of the US embassies in Africa and September the 11th are just some off the terrorist attacks that they have carried out. This is because after the break-up of the Soviet Union there was no country that could contend with America’s might and people felt the only way to act up against America was to commit acts of terrorism. This is a negative consequence as now that the Soviet Union does not exist world terrorism is on the increase.

When the Soviet Union broke up the role of the NATO changed, originally it was set up to protect the rest of the world from the Soviet Union but when it disbanded Nato’s role became that of a peace keeping force. This was a positive affect as there was no longer an aggressive force but a peace keeping force instead.

There is also still suspicion between the USA and Russia as American diplomats are still being expelled from Russia for spying, this shows there is still no complete trust between Russia and the west and so is a negative cause.

Although the break-up of the Soviet Union did dramatically affect world affairs not everything in Russia has changed, Russia still expels diplomats for spying and still has suspicions about the west as is evident in the Kursk submarine accident. The west also do not completely trust the Russians either, and until trust is established there will never be a good relationship between the two. The break up has also had a negative and positive affect in both national and international affair. As a nation the USSR has benefited, by all the countries being given the right to govern themselves, but in Russia itself the break up has led to an increase in crime and the rise of the Russian Mafia. Internationally the break up has given the UN a more power in how to set guidelines for all nations, and has changed Nato’s role for the better. However the break up has also led to an increase in terrorism and an increase in the nuclear weapons black market. Over all, the break up of the Soviet Union has changed the world dramatically, some of the changes were positive and some were negative.