June 23, 1959 – Klaus Fuchs released

June 23, 1959 – Klaus Fuchs released

After only nine years in prison, Klaus Fuchs, the German-born Los Alamos scientist whose espionage helped the USSR build their first atomic and hydrogen bombs, is released from a British prison.

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May 17, 1990 – Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian prime minister

May 17, 1990 – Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian prime minister

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene in an effort to settle differences arising from Lithuania’s recent proclamation of independence from the Soviet Union.

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February 15, 1950 – USSR and PRC sign mutual defense treaty

February 15, 1950 – USSR and PRC sign mutual defense treaty

The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, the two largest communist nations in the world, announce the signing of a mutual defense and assistance treaty.

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January 22, 1980– Sakharov arrested in Moscow

January 22, 1980– Sakharov arrested in Moscow

In Moscow, Andrei Dmitriyevich Sakharov, the Soviet physicist who helped build the USSR’s first hydrogen bomb, is arrested after criticizing the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.

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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 5, 1978 – USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”

December 5, 1978 – USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”

In an effort to prop up an unpopular pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union signs a “friendship treaty” with the Afghan government agreeing to provide economic and military assistance.

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