The question of the disintegration of the USSR: an optimistic tragedy or a tragedy without optimism?

Feldman M.A.


The article, based on the study of the array of publications of domestic researchers in scientific journals between 2021 and the first half of 2022, is devoted to the problem of disintegration of the USSR. Historiographical analysis allows us to acknowledge the high level of development of the Soviet civilization and, despite its large-scale contradictions, its movement towards a post-industrial society. The issue of the degree of implementation of humanitarian and social projects remains debatable. The study of the factors that led to the disintegration of the USSR enables us to conclude that there existed potential possibilities of preserving a single state. The material examined refutes the thesis about the «backwardness» and «doom» of the Soviet civilization. The article attempts to introduce a systematization of publications based on the significance of the factors that caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. First of all, it mentions the studies devoted to the foreign policy factor ‒ the monstrous arms race associated with a de-facto opposition to capitalism worldwide, which by the beginning of the 1980 s had exhausted the resources of the USSR. In the conditions of the growing technological lag of the USSR compared to the advanced countries of the West, the militarization of the economy blocked the incremental development of civilian production. The article concludes that the imperial ideology of the Soviet leadership, disguised under the «struggle between socialism and capitalism», when confronted with the imperial ideology of the United States and its allies, led to a prolonged balancing on the brink of nuclear war; the number of small wars in which soldiers and officers of the Soviet army took part in the 1970 s – 1980 s rapidly increased. The imbalance of foreign and domestic policy clearly devalued the efforts of the state in the social sphere. The aforementioned factors all refute the significance of the «conspiracy theory» as the root cause of the collapse of the USSR.


USSR; disintegration; civilization; publications; development; state; reform.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2023.02.12

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