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The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was one of the biggest historic events of XX century. Much like the Roman Empire, the USSR breakdown was due to an aggregate of factors, some internal, and some foreign. Unlike, the Roman Empire, the Soviet Empire collapsed suddenly. Among the reasons for the fall of the Union, the invasion of Afghanistan was one of the poorest decisions that was made by the Soviet government. What factors did this event contribute to the fall of the USSR?

The Russian invasion of Afghanistan had big impact on the attitude of the developing countries and third world against Russia. And for years the Soviets were preaching that they were supporting the developing countries to maintain their freedom. However, when the USSR invaded Afghanistan, people found that Russia was not a reliable ally. The same way Soviets invaded Afghanistan they could invade any country as well. The occupation of Afghanistan caused irreversible internal conflicts between the Soviet republics and the Soviet government. By the time Mikhail Gorbachev took position of general secretary in Community Party and ordered the Red Army to withdraw from Afghanistan, the economic and military resources for the invasion were drained.

Four following categories were identified as the effects of the war: domestic conflict, economic crisis, political situation, and military confrontation. The analysis exposed a number of issues and controversies relevant to the topic at hand, and the further study is required in order to figure out whether it could have been achieved to save the USSR.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Biomedical Engineering


USSR, collapse, Afghanistan War, Soviet Union


Economic History | Political Economy | Political Science

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Faye O. Prichard


© The Author(s)

The Role of Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in the Breakdown of the USSR