December 26 - 1991 - The Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The official dissolution of the Soviet Union is one of those historical events that stands as a sea change in the way the world operates. Once the USSR was ended, the very nature of international relations changed permanently. On the other hand, when the Soviet Union officially ended, the writing was on the wall. Communist government across Eastern Europe had lost power in 1989 and 1990, while the internal politics of the USSR under Mikhail Gorbachev had become constantly problematic. Soviet Republics were declaring independence left and right, while the actual power of the Soviet government was waning. After a coup attempt in August, the recently elected President of Russia Boris Yeltsin gained in popularity. On Christmas Day, Gorbachev gave his power to Yeltsin, while the Council of Republics would declare the Soviet Union dissolved on the next day.