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UNIT – 2
THE END OF BIPOLARITY
VERY SHORT ANSWER (1 Mark)
1. When did USSR come into being?
Ans. USSR comes into being in 1917.
2. When did the bipolar structure of world politics come to an end?
Ans. The bipolar structure of world politics comes to an end in 1991.
3. Who was Mikhail Gorbachev?
Ans. Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of Communist Party of USSR. He initiated two economic reforms in USSR namely Perestroika and Glasnost as economic liberalization policies.
4. Which state is the successor of the Soviet Union?
Ans. Russia was the successor of the Soviet Union.
5. Correct the statement:
Stalin introduced reforms in the Soviet Union.
Ans. Gorbachev introduced reforms in the Soviet Union.
6. Which party ruled the USSR?
Ans. Communist Party ruled the USSR.
7. What was the final and most immediate cause for the disintegration of the USSR?
Ans. The final and most immediate cause for the disintegration of the USSR was the rise of nationalism and the desire for sovereignty within various republics including Russia and the Baltic Republics, Ukraine, Georgia and others.
8. Who became the sole superpower after the disintegration of the Soviet Union?
Ans. US became the role super power after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
9. Write the full form of CIS?
Ans. The full form of CIS is Commonwealth of Independent State.
10. On what ideology Soviet Union was based?
Ans. Soviet Union was based on the ideology of socialism.
11. In which year Warsaw Pact was disbanded?
Ans. In 1991
12. The Collapse of which country is known as collapse of ‘Second World’?
Ans. United States of Soviet Russia
13. With the Collapse of which country cold war came to an end?
Ans. With the collapse of USSR, cold war came to an end.
14. In which year Russia took over the USSR seat in the UN?
Ans. In 1991 Russia took over USSR seat in UN.
15. How many Union Republics wee there is USSR?
Ans. There are 15 union republics in USSR.
16. Who was the founder of Bolshevik Communist Party?
Ans. Vladimir Lenin was the founder of Bolshevik Communist Party.
17. Who was the first elected President of Russia?
Ans. Boris Yeltsin was the first elected President of Russia.
18. What is the shock therapy?
Ans. Shock therapy was a model of aid to Soviet Union for economic development helped by World Bank and IMF.
19. When Soviet Union became a great power?
Ans. After the 2nd World War Soviet Union become a great power.
20. Who started political and economic reforms in USSR?
Ans. Mikhail Gorbachev started political and economic reforms in USSR.
VERY SHORT ANSWER (2 Marks)
1. What is meant by ‘Second World’?
Ans. The socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the nations which were part of Warsaw Pact was known as Second World.
2. Mention two reforms which Gorbachev initiated in the USSR?
Ans. The two reforms which Gorbachev initiated in the USSR are:
- He reforms the economy, catch up with the west and loosen the administrative system.
- Gorbachev initiated the policies of economic and political reform and democratization within the country.
3. Who made the declaration on the disintegration of USSR and when?
Ans. In December 1991, Boris Yeltsin made the declaration on the disintegration of the USSR.
4. Mention any two features that distinguish the Soviet Economy from that of a capitalist country.
Ans. Soviet economy was basically different from American economy in the following ways:
The Soviet economy was opposed to capitalism because the essence of capitalism is the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few and the consequent exploitation of the rest. But American economy is based on capitalism. U.S.A is the biggest capitalist country in the world. Soviet economy was fully controlled by the state. In U.S.S.R. all means of production were owned and controlled by the state. Soviet system of Economy was based on planned economy. The economy was managed on the basis of state plans for economic and social development. There was integrated panning for the whole of the country. Industries, Banks, financial institutions, trade and commerce and even farming was controlled by the state. In U.S.S.R there were no private industries. But in U.S.A. means of production are mostly in private hands. There is free economy and economy of U.S.A is controlled and guided by market forces. In Soviet economy there was no existence of private property and no multimillionaire. However, in U.S.S.R. the citizens were allowed to own small houses for living and small shops for earnings. But in U.S.A private ownership and private property is the basic element of American economy.
5. Write the names of two countries which emerged after Soviet disintegration.
Ans. Russia and Kazakhistan had emerged after Soviet disintegration.
6. What is meant by shock therapy in post communist regime? 
Ans. The collapse of communism in the most of Second World countries was followed by a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system.
The model transition in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe that was influenced by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, came to be known as Shock Therapy.
7. How did the power relations in world politics change after the Soviet disintegration?
Ans. After the collapse of the Soviet Union power relations in world politics changed and therefore the relative influence of ideas and institutions also changed. The end of the cold war left open only two possibilities. They are either the remaining superpower would dominate and create a Unipolar system or different countries or group of countries could become important players in the international system, thereby bringing in a multi polar system where no one power could dominate. The USA became the sole superpower. Backed by the power and prestige of the USA, the capitalist economy was now the dominant economic system internationally. Institutions like the World Bank and IMF became powerful advisors to all these countries since they gave them loans for their transition to capitalism. Politically, the nation of liberal democracy emerged as the best way to organize political life.
8. How did the Soviet disintegration lead to the end of cold war confrontation?
Ans. The ideological dispute over whether the socialist system would beat the capitalist system was not an issue anymore leading to the end of cold war confrontation since US emerged as the role super power after the Soviet disintegration.
9. What is the largest garbage sale in history?
Ans. Due to shock therapy, many industries were undervalued and sold to private players. It led to sale of industries at throw away prices, for which some analysts describe it as the “largest garbage” sale in history.
10. How did communist regime collapse one after another?
Ans. During the period of reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in USSR, the people of East European countries started to protest against their own government. They also protested against Soviet control. Thus the communist regimes collapsed one after another.
11. Mention the reasons for the suddenly collapse of the Soviet Union?
Ans. The political and economic reforms introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev were the foremost reason for the collapse of Soviet Union. Similarly the bureaucratic and authoritarian character of Soviet system was another reason for the collapse of Soviet Union.
12. Write two characteristics of Soviet Political System?
Ans. The two characteristics of Soviet Political System are –
- Soviet political system was very bureaucratic as well as authoritarian in character.
- Soviet system was represented by single party. Communist Party had a tight control over the administrative affairs of the country.
13. Write any two negative effects of shock thereby?
Ans. (i) Industrial sectors were down and it led to virtual disappearance of large industries.
(ii) It declined the value of Russian currency.
14. Explain the meaning of ‘Glasnost’?
And. Glasnost means openness.
15. What do you mean by ‘Near Abroad’?
Ans. It means Russia’s right to have major influence, political or economic, in regions which were under Soviet control, Near Abroad was a policy of Russia and it perceived the countries of East Europe as its backyard.
16. What is the ‘Great Game’?
Ans. The political, economic and military competition amongst Russia, China and the United States or America to control central Asia’s energy resources is in effect a new great game.
17. When Berlin wall was toppled?
Ans. The Berlin wall was toppled in 1990.
18. Examine the political consequences of shock therapy?
Ans. Democratic foundation of Russia become weak and the legislative institutions like parliament become very weak.
LONG ANSWER (4 Marks)
1. Briefly discuss about the conditions of Soviet Union after the Second World War?
Ans. After the Second World War the east European countries that the Soviet Army had liberated from the fascist forces came under the control of the USSR. The political and the economic systems of all these countries were modeled after the USSR. This group of countries was called the second world block or the ‘socialist’ block under the leadership of USSR.
The Soviet Union became a great power after the Second World War. The Soviet economy was them more developed than the rest of the world except for the US. It has a complex communications network, vast energy resources including oil, iron, and steel, machinery production and a transport sector that connected its remotest areas with efficiency. The Soviet State ensured a minimum standard of living for all citizens, and the government subsidized basic necessities including heath, education, childcare and other welfare schemes. There was no unemployment. State ownership was the dominant form of ownership: Land and productive assets were owned and controlled by the Soviet State.
2. Why the people of Soviet Union were not satisfied with Soviet System? Give four reasons.
Ans. The people of Soviet Union were not satisfied with the Soviet System. The reason behind this dissatisfaction is given below –
- The soviet system became very bureaucratic and authoritarian, making life very difficult for its citizens.
- Lack of democracy and the absence of freedom of speech stifled people who often expressed their dissent in jokes and cartoons.
- In the arms race, the Soviet Union managed to match the U.S. for time to time, but at great cost.
- The Soviet Union lagged behind the west in technology infrastructure like transport, power and most importantly, in fulfilling the political or economic aspirations of citizens.
3. Do you think that India and Russia have maintained good relations? Give four reasons.
Ans. India’s relations with Russia are an important aspect of its foreign policy. She had very cordial relation with the former USSR and even after the disintegration of USSR in 1991; relations between India and Russia remain one of considerable importance to both the countries.
The reasons behind it are –
- The Soviet Union assisted India’s public sector companies at a time when such assistance was difficult to get. It gave aid and technical assistance for steel plants like Bhili, Bakaro and machinery plants like Bharat Heavy Electronically Ltd. etc.
- The Soviet Union supported India’s positions on the Kashmir issue in the UN and during the war in Pakistan in 1971.
- India received most of its military hardware from the Soviet Union at a time when few other countries were willing to part with military technologies.
- Hindi films and Indian culture were popular in the Soviet Union. People like Raj Kapoor, Amitabh Bachan are popular names in every household. Frequent sport and cultural terms exchanges visits in each other’s nation.
4. List out in detail the areas of consequences of stock therapy.
Ans. The following are the consequences of Stock Therapy –
- Free Trade: Due to sudden transformation in polity and economy of the Russian Republics, there was also sudden switch over to free trade which was earlier absent in these republics. Initially, they kept their economies isolated from the western capitalist intervention.
- FDI: Foreign Direct Investment was another significant consequence of Shock Therapy. As free trade was envisaged the foreign investors were encouraged to invest in the Russian Republics. This step drove to economic prosperity in the newly transformed countries. Unemployment was reduced and there was economic boom.
- Break up of Trade alliances: The transition involved a breakup of the existing trade alliances among the countries of the Soviet Bloc. Each state from this bloc was now directly linked to the west and not to each other in the region as earlier.
- Economic development: The Shock Therapy experienced by the communist countries for transition also ushered economic development. Due to financial opening up of the market and economic deregulation there was economic improvement to a considerable extent.
5. Discuss India’s relations with the communist countries?
Ans. Both Soviet Union and India shared a cordial relationship during the cold war era. The multi-dimensional proximity can be proved from the following points.
- Political: Soviet Union always supported India’s stance on Kashmir in UNO. Likewise, it supported India in all major conflicts including the 1971 war with Pakistan when USA had threatened to send its seventh fleet in the Indian Ocean. India also has supported the Soviet Foreign policy in indirect ways.
- Economic: Soviet Union aided India’s public sector companies like the steel plants at Bakaro, Vishakhapatnam and Bhili and machinery plants like Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. It even accepted Indian currency when India was short of foreign exchange.
- Military: Soviet Union has been the principal supplier of military equipment and arms of India when very few states wanted to part with their military technology. It even launched several joint military ventures with India.
- Cultural: India culture and Hindi films were popular in USSR. A number of Indian artists went to Soviet Union.
VERY LONG ANSWER (6 Marks)
1. Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? 
Ans. The following points are analyzed by experts as the prime causes responsible for breakdown of Soviet Union.
- Defective Leadership: The most important cause for the disintegration of Soviet Union lies in the defective leadership. The leader of the party was considered to be the leader of the government and the state or country. The leaders were busy with their luxurious lifestyle and corruption. The poor leadership and effort to improve their rule became a cause for the disintegration of Soviet Union.
- Reformative policies of Gorbachev: the reformative policies of Mikhayl Gorbachev were also responsible for the disintegration of Soviet Union. He without preparing an environment of freedom, equality, nationality, economic self dependence and unity implemented the policies of Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (restructuring).
- Economic stagnation: The Soviet Union maintained a huge nuclear and military arsenal which was used to develop and maintain its satellite states in Eastern Europe and its Soviet Republics particularly the five Central Republics. It led to a huge burden on its economy and resources. People of Soviet Union could not advance as rapidly as their Western adversaries.
- Political and Administrative Stagnation: Soviet Union also suffered from political and administrative stagnation. The ruling Communist Party was unaccountable to the people. There was rampant corruption and the political elites did not try to rectify their mistakes by allowing openness in the government and decentralization of authority on a vast land.
- Rise nationalism: A major reason for collapse of Soviet Union was the rise of nationalism and desire for sovereignty within various Soviet Republics like Russia, Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia etc. This proved to be culminating point in the disintegration of Soviet Union.
- Desire to get rid of Backward Central Asian Republics: it is ironical that during the cold war years, it was always suggested that the nationalist urge would always be strong in Central Asian Republics, due to their economic backwardness and ethnic and religious differences. However, as events gained momentum nationalist urge emerged the strongest. People of this region felt isolated and felt that they were paying too heavy an economic price to keep depleted Central Asian Republics in Soviet Union. This led to the ultimate disintegration of Soviet Union.
2. What were the factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR?
Ans. The factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR are as follows –
- The Soviet economy used much of its resources in maintaining a nuclear am military arsenal and the development of its satellite states in Eastern Europe and within the Soviet system. This led to a huge economic burden that the system could not cope with.
- Realization that the socialist economy was not better than the capitalist economy.
- The Soviet Union had become stagnant administratively and politically.
3. What were the major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India?
Ans. India’s relations with Russia are an important aspect of its foreign policy. She had very cordial relations with the former U.S.S.R and even after the disintegration of U.S.S.R. in 1991; relations between India and Russia remain one of considerable importance to both the countries. The decay of the second world of the East Soviet Union and the Socialist methods in Eastern Europe had profound consequences for world political systems. The important consequences or after mates of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India are –
- The end of the cold war left open only two factors – either the remaining super powers would dominate and create a uniocular system, or different countries or groups of countries could become significant players in the international level.
- The important end of the Soviet bloc means the growth of many new countries. Hence, all these countries had their own independent choices.
- The international system saw different players growth, each with its own interest, importance, identify and political and economy problems.
- It meant the end of cold war conflicts. The ideological problem over whether the socialist methods would beat the capitalist system was not an issue anymore.
- Power communications in World political scenario changed. Hence, the relative influence or effects of ideas and institutions also changed.
4. What is the role of communist party?
Ans. The Bolshevik revolution inspired the ideals of socialism and stress on the needs of an egalitarian society.
- As opposed to capitalism, the intuition of private property was abolished;
- State ownership of means of production became the norm in Soviet Union;
- Planned economy and the role of the state as the most dominant institution became the features of USSR;
- The Soviet political system revolved around the Communist Party and no other political party or opposition was allowed in USSR.
5. What are the drawbacks of Soviet System?
Ans. The main drawbacks are as follows –
- The Soviet system became very bureaucratic as well as authoritarian in character;
- The people of Soviet Union lack basic freedoms such as freedom of speech and association as well as freedom of press. Lack of democracy made the political institutions unaccountable to the people;
- The one party system represented by the Communist Party had a tight control over the administrative affairs of the country. In Soviet Union, reforms in political institutions had become a necessity.
- The communist party also refused to recognize the demand of the fifteen different republics that were part of the Soviet Union. In reality, Russia dominated the polity as well as the economy of the fifteen republics.
6. Explain the role of Mikhail Gorbachev.
Ans. Gorbachev played a key role in the ending of the Cold War. These are –
- When Gorbachev assumed the office of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985, the country was in midst of an economic crisis. Reforms were necessary to keep pace with the US as well as with changing times.
- As Gorbachev had weakened the system of internal political repression, the ability of the USSR’s central Moscow government to impose its will on the ‘Soviet bloc’ had been largely undermined. The people of East Europe started to protest against their own governments which were firmly under the control of the Soviet Union.
7. What are the roles of Soviet Disintegration?
Ans. The disintegration of the Soviet Union and socialist systems in Eastern Europe had a deep impact on world politics.
- End of Cold War Confrontations.
- Emergence of a Unipolar System.
- Emergence of New Countries.
8. What is Shock Therapy? What are its features?
Ans. Central Asian countries, East European Countries as well as Russia adopted new policies which were heavily influenced and directed by the World Bank and IMF. This transition came to be known as ‘shock therapy’.
The main features of shock therapy are –
- Shock therapy envisages a shift to capitalist economy from the Soviet model of development;
- Privatization of state assets and corporate ownership is one of the key features of such a policy;
- Privatization of agriculture sector has been stressed by this policy;
- Shock therapy also ruled out any possibility of a ‘third way’ or alternative to state controlled capitalism;
- Shock therapy focused on the issue of development through trade and foreign direct investment (FDI);
- Opening up of the financial sector to private players as well as deregulation of markets was stressed by this policy;
9. What are the results of shock therapy?
Ans. The results of shock therapy are –
- Collapse of Industrial Sectors and decline in value of the Russian Currency.
- Withdrawal of Government Subsidies.
- Weak Democratic Foundations.
10. State four conflict zone in former Soviet Republics.
Ans. The main conflict zones are –
- The civil war in Tajikistan began in May 1992, and by June 1997 fifty to one hundred thousand people had been killed in the conflict.
- Georgia too has seen difficult times. The Georgian Civil War consisted of inter-ethnic and intra-national conflicts in the regions of South Ossetia (1988 – 1992) and Abkhazia.
- In the Post-Soviet era, military action between Azerbaijan and Armenia was heavily influenced by the Russian military.
- Between 1991 and 1995, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in full international recognition of new sovereign territories, but with massive economic disruptions to the successor states.