December 25, 1991 – Gorbachev resigns as president of the USSR

December 25, 1991 – Gorbachev resigns as president of the USSR

In truth, there was not much of a Soviet Union from which to resign–just four days earlier, 11 of the former Soviet republics had established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), effectively dismembering the USSR.

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December 24, 1979 – Soviet tanks roll into Afghanistan

Resistance fighters, called mujahidin, saw the Christian or atheist Soviets controlling Afghanistan as a defilement of Islam as well as of their traditional culture. Proclaiming a “jihad” (holy war), they gained the support of the Islamic world.

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