BBC Homepage BBC World Services BBC Sport BBC Education MY BBC
bbc.co.uk
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
Front Page | World | Europe | In depth
Photo file Special features How life has changed Countdown to collapse Introduction Russian Version
Collapse of the USSR Countdown to collapse How life has changed Gorbachev webcast Photo file
Intro Mar
1985
Dec
1985
1987 1988 Mar
1989
Jul
1989
Nov
1989
Jan
1990
Jul
1990
Jun
1991
19Aug
1991
22Aug
1991
Late
1991
July 1989 - Soviet bloc crumbles

Gorbachev announces that countries in the Warsaw Pact are free to decide on their own futures. Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement has already trounced the communists in Poland in June elections. Walesa takes office in August.

Across Eastern Europe, people want change and are risking making their feelings known. Last time it was tried - in Hungary in 1956 and in Prague in 1968 - Soviet forces ruthlessly crushed the protests. This time, the will of the people prevails.

In September, Hungary stuns the world by opening its borders with the West - a previously unthinkable move, which in another era would have brought a crushing Soviet response.

Thousands of East Europeans climb into their communist-built Trabant cars to join a jubilant exodus to Austria. Perestroika overflows into the West.

Solidarity banners in Poland
Chip off the old bloc: Poland's voters ousted the communists
^^ Back to Top
 © MMV | News Sources | Privacy