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Why Obasanjo, Gowon are nervously obsessed with Biafra

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I am using these 3 three former countries and Republics that split and divided to emerge into new prospering and peaceful countries from their former countries as case study. 

(1) Formers Soviet Union ended in 1991 and 12 countries emerged prospering in Peace. 

(2) Former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ended in 1991 and 6 countries emerged prospering today in peace.

(3) Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1991 and Eritrea were granted rights to its own government prospering and living in peace. .

I am using these 3 three former countries and Republics that split and divided to emerge into new prospering and peaceful countries from their former countries. Soviet Union split into 12 countries, Yugoslavia split into 6 countries and Ethiopia and Eritrea split and all  are  now peaceful and prospering countries that the world is looking up to as examples of people separating in peace  and  prosperity  instead of war, death, killing, hate, division , endemic corruption and decline living together.

Quote.

Collapse of the Soviet Union – 1989-1991

“The third and final act closed with the 1991 dissolution of the USSR. By 1989 Gorbachev’s domestic reforms had run into serious trouble, and the economy went into a tailspin. The centrifugal forces in the “outer empire” stimulated and accelerated those in the “inner empire”, as the Soviet republics sought sovereignty and then independence. As the center disintegrated and Gorbachev opened up the political process with glasnost (openness), the old communist “barons” in the republics saw the handwriting on the wall and became nationalists; they “first of all attacked the USSR government . . . and subsequently destroyed the USSR.” Asked when he decided to secede from the USSR, Ukrainian party boss Leonid Kravchuk replied: “1989” [he did so in mid-1990]. Each of the USSR’s republics, as they declared independence or sovereignty, also adopted statements by the republic leaderships on service in the armed forces, including the creation of their own military forces. – http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/soviet-collapse.htm

Among the many skills Nigerian leaders lack despite Nigeria being blessed by God with abundant natural and human resources, and  among the many ills and lack of common sense that is destroying Nigeria is their lack of ability to reason well, empty ego,  and their myopic arrogance. At any point good reasons and common sense is introduced into any discussion with all Nigeria leadership, they froze and became angry to defend their corrupt and myopic ways. Biafra is not about war and Biafra should not be realized by war. Igbos and Nigeria have fought war before and 6 to 10 million people died on both side with majority from Igbos Biafra areas.

Igbos and Biafrans  should always engage Nigeria on reasons, facts, research, accuracy and evidence to make every point, because Nigeria like the Former Soviet Union leaders until it breaks up, Nigeria today and its leadership are incapable of reasons and facts, because the country has been debased morally and the foundation of Nigeria is now built on weak sand of entrenched looting of the common wealth, entrenched corruption, entrenched tribalism, entrenched religious bigotry, entrenched nepotism, entrenched tribalism, entrenched dictatorship, entrenched military  corruption, entrenched hate and division, entrenched marginalization, entrenched inept brutal military and police ideology. These are end of discussion whenever Nigeria comes up for discussion across the world. So Biafrans and Igbos should base all discussion about Nigeria with facts and evidence from around the world, because Nigeria does not have a base for truth and moral within the spectrum of Nigeria. These facts Nigeria leadership do not know and Nigeria is going round in circles without any progress based on her expectations.

The is no week or day that goes by without former President Obasanjo, General Gowon and the old generation corrupt Nigerian leaders making statements that reinforces the need for  Biafra, the advantages and negatives of Biafra. If Nigerian leaders including former President  Obasanjo had done a selfless good Job of creating a great nation without entrenched corruption, entrenched tribalism, entrenched religious bigotry, entrenched nepotism, entrenched tribalism, entrenched dictatorship, entrenched military  corruption, entrenched military police ideology the demon of Biafra and division will not be occurring almost 50 years after they Obasanjo, Gowon, Buhari and the corrupt military mismanaged the nation and gave Nigerian these negative and suffocating gifts. 

Biafra agitation is not about war. Igbos don’t want to fight again. Igbos and Nigeria have fought once before and 6 to 10 million people mostly children, women and young people died. Igbos and Biafrans want a peaceful dissolution of Nigeria and all claims of assets, ownerships, properties and financials relationship within Nigeria and abroad will be resolved with applied international laws, United nations laws, African Union laws, Ecowas laws and the international laws of the sea, rivers, waterways, lakes and oceans territorial laws in existence today; as it was applied in former Soviet Union, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Sudan and Southern Sudan etc. and Former Yugoslavia.

Some great countries and old generation leaders in Africa, like South Africa Nelson Mandela, Kenya Arap Moi, Ghana Akufoo and Tanzania Nyerere have leadership that are in the same age bracket and category like Nigerian old generation leaders, but the leaderships in these Countries listed have passed leadership of their country to new young Generation leadership to a new modern people. It is only in Nigeria that Obasanjo, Gowon, Buhari, Maitama Sule etc. are still living in the corridors of power manipulating, confusing, destroying, castigating and everyday are in conferences, symposium, meetings, and events, book launching, wedding, birthdays trying so hard to recreate by mouth, retold old tired stories and deception their of good old days that never happened and never materialized. They are in every day lamenting and wailing about their so called good old days in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but it is all full of hot empty air, lies, fabrications and self-destructive innuendos that they participated in destroying a great nation. – http://www.icty.org/en/about/what-former-yugoslavia

“What is meant by the term former Yugoslavia is the territory that was up to 25 June 1991 known as The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Specifically, the six republics that made up the federation – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (including the regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina) and Slovenia. On 25 June 1991, the declarations of independence of Slovenia and Croatia effectively ended SFRY’s existence. By April 1992, the further declarations of independence by two other republics, Macedonia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, left only Serbia and Montenegro within the Federation. These two remaining republics declared the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on 27 April 1992. In 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was reconstituted and re-named as a State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. This union effectively ended following Montenegro’s formal declaration of independence on 3 June 2006 and Serbia’s on 5 June 2006.The Tribunal was given authority to prosecute persons responsible for specific crimes committed since January 1991 in the territory of what is referred to as the former Yugoslavia” unquote http://www.icty.org/en/about/what-former-yugoslavia.

For Example, former Soviet Union split and divided into 12 twelve countries without fighting and today these 12 Countries in  Former Soviet Union break apart and today you have peaceful, stable, great,  better prosperous  countries from Formers Soviet Union and they are living great lives and are at peace relatively with each other except Russia, Georgia and Ukraine that have had minor problems which have been resolved,  but relatively these Countries are prospering and living in peace 25 years after their breakup. These countries are:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In Africa we have two countries that have separated despite minor problems and are succeeding living in peace, prospering and harmony.  In fact today Ethiopia and Eritrea are the leading growth countries in Africa, and their economic expansion, peace and harmony is the toast of the world that President Obama of USA had to visit Ethiopia to see and experience example of the unprecedented growth of

 Ethiopia as wells as Eritrea, Kenya and East Africa is enjoying. In Africa for example again, Eritrea fought and died to get their freedom and independence from Ethiopia and they are succeeding and free today. Ethiopia and Eritrea separated peacefully without further wars and killing.

The Federation Era Ethiopia and Eritrea

http://www1.american.edu/TED/ice/eritrea-ethiopia.htm

“As evidenced by the vote in April 1993 for independence, however, 99.8% of Eritreans feel that they are a separate country and a different people who have a right to govern themselves. The Eritrean and Ethiopian cultures split into Semitic/Christian in Ethiopia and Muslim in Eritrea. These divisions should not be oversimplified and it must be understood that no two regions were then, or are now, exclusive in their religious composition. Broadly speaking, the highlands of Eritrea were occupied by the Christian elements while the lowlands where inhabited by the Muslim populations. Ethiopia, however, is one of the oldest Christian civilizations and to this day has one of the oldest Jewish communities. In order to understand the current conflicts and allegiances in the region today, the religious divide must be considered. 

After Ethiopia adopted Eritrea as a federated unit in 1952 with the support of the United Nations, Eritreans could not help being concerned with their new situation. Ethiopia had a long history of enslaving and abusing the populace of Eritrea and people did not see the new federation as a benevolent arrangement. The Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia ensured his tight control of the new federation by appointing relatives as the first three governors.   A variety of oppression measures were taken in the federation. Eritrean political parties were banned, freedom of the press was disallowed, and teaching in indigenous languages was forbidden and replaced with the Amharic language of Ethiopia. In the face of protests and boycotts, the Ethiopian government dissolved the federation and annexed Eritrea, declaring it to be the 14th province of Ethiopia. With Ethiopian support against the waxing power of Soviet aggression, the United States took action to support Ethiopian interests in the UN commission entrusted with the Eritrean sovereignty decisions. 

The US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, put this succinctly in 1952: 

‘From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless the strategic interests of the United States in the Red Sea basin and considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country has to be linked with our ally, Ethiopia.

Ultimately, the US opinion won out and Eritrea became an autonomous federated unit of Ethiopia. Unfortunately for the region, the influence peddling of the west, as well as new inroads by the USSR, would continue in many ways throughout the remainder of the 20th century. 

It is important to understand that the Ethiopians see themselves and the Eritreans as the same people and felt they were a benevolent presence. An Ethiopian cab driver who had recently immigrated to Washington D.C. recently told me, “They are our brothers, they are family. They should be part of Ethiopia and are not a separate country.” As evidenced by the vote in April 1993 for independence, however, 99.8% of Eritreans feel that they are a separate country and a different people who have a right to govern themselves.

Insurgent Forces in Eritrea

Eritrea is a region that was affected greatly by colonial and other powers in the Red Sea region while Ethiopia was never directly ruled by colonial powers. The difference is key in the modern tension. After Ethiopia adopted Eritrea as a federated unit in 1952 with the support of the UN, Eritreans felt a perceived oppression immediately because Ethiopia had a long history of enslaving and abusing their populace. Ethiopia quickly asserted its powers by banning Eritrean political parties, censoring newspapers, and changing the accepted teaching languages. In 1962, Eritrea was annexed in its totality by Ethiopia.

In the early 60s the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was formed to start a guerrilla movement against Ethiopian hegemony in the region. Local and regional strength increased as mistreatment of Eritreans compounded but the most recognized and galvanizing event for the ELF was the hanging of 56 students in Asmara in January of 1975. Enrollment in the guerrilla movement accelerated and eventually they could number their membership in the 20,000s. The ELF was only the southern component of guerrilla factions however and the EPLF was created in the northern regions of Eritrea.

Though these forces were both opposed to Ethiopian rule, they fought for resources and engaged in a civil conflict during the early 1980s. Eventually the EPLF won the contest as they acquired a variety of heavy war materials such as tanks, vehicles and more advanced weaponry. Fortunately for Ethiopia, the Soviet forces were funding them by the late 1970s and support was used to prevent greater territorial losses to guerrilla factions. The Mengistu regime prevented badly needed food aid distribution to the Eritrean and Ethiopian border regions, contributing to massive migration into Sudan.

Due to the waning of the Soviet communist regime, the aid to Ethiopia evaporated as the Soviet bloc disintegrated. Eritrean fighters quickly took advantage of the declining Soviet support and gradually reoccupied strategic cities and regions of Eritrea.

Liberation of Eritrea

The Haile Mariam Mengistu regime was ousted by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in 1991 and Eritrea was granted rights to its own government. The long war between Ethiopia and Eritrea had exacted a high price in lives, health and infrastructure. It is estimated that Eritrea had about 60,000 deaths, 60,000 disabled and approximately 50,000 abandoned children during this conflict

The War – 1998 – 2001

The battles between Ethiopia and Eritrea were thought to be over for nearly a decade when things took a turn for the worse. In May of 1998 Ethiopians moved into the Badme region on the border and evicted thousands of Eritreans from their settled lands. Eritrea responded by sending a small contingent of military officers to the region, unarmed, in order to discuss the situation. These soldiers were summarily shot and the war had begun. This conflict was much more severe and deadly than any of the previous conflict. This was due to many factors. – http://www1.american.edu/TED/ice/eritrea-ethiopia.htm

President Obasanjo, General Gowon, President Buhari,  Alhaji Maitama Sule and all the old Military and civilian leaders of Nigeria leadership  in the 1950s and 1960s who participated selfishly and in myopic forms to lay the foundation of entrenched corruption, entrenched tribalism, entrenched religious bigotry, entrenched nepotism, entrenched tribalism, entrenched dictatorship, entrenched military  corruption, entrenched military police ideology  should visit South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania countries that are enjoying togetherness and peace to learn how their old leaders created great countries by peacefully transferring leadership to new generation to build great countries. Even in the advanced world of USA, Great Britain, Russia, China, France, Europe, Asia and South America a new generation have taken over leadership. It is only in Nigeria and some parts of Africa and declining nations that old Generational people are still hallucinating in the corridors of power. Lamenting in the pages of Newspapers, social Media and Television will not help their cry and curse. They are not and have never been sincere about their crime against Nigerian people and Biafran people. Truth is the beginning of their salvation but their corrupt minds are incapable of telling the truth.

President Obasanjo, General Gowon, Alhaji Maitama Sule and President Buhari, etc., if they are sincere, should try and learn some honest leadership traits of countries

of Former  Yugoslavia,  Ethiopia and Eritrea and the Former Soviet Union Under President Gorbachev and President Yeltsin  of Former Soviet union whom after many years of entrenched  corruption, entrenched division, entrenched confusion and  continued decline of their countries decided to divide these countries in peace and harmony, and today Ethiopia and Eritrea divided are prospering in peace.

PEACEFULL DISSOLUTION OF SOVIET UNION

Former Soviet Union break apart and today you have peaceful, stable, great, better prosperous countries from Formers Soviet Union and they are:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. – http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/soviet-collapse.htm

“The third and final act closed with the 1991 dissolution of the USSR. By 1989 Gorbachev’s domestic reforms had run into serious trouble, and the economy went into a tailspin. The centrifugal forces in the “outer empire” stimulated and accelerated those in the “inner empire”, as the Soviet republics sought sovereignty and then independence. As the center disintegrated and Gorbachev opened up the political process with glasnost (openness), the old communist “barons” in the republics saw the handwriting on the wall and became nationalists; they “first of all attacked the USSR government . . . and subsequently destroyed the USSR.” Asked when he decided to secede from the USSR, Ukrainian party boss Leonid Kravchuk replied: “1989” [he did so in mid-1990]. Each of the USSR’s republics, as they declared independence or sovereignty, also adopted statements by the republic leaderships on service in the armed forces, including the creation of their own military forces.

Azerbaijan declared sovereignty on 23 September 1989.

Georgia declared sovereignty on 9 March 1990 and subsequently elected a nationalist government on 11 November 1990.

Lithuania declared independence on 11 March 1990. On 17 July 1990, the republic announced that it would create its own army units.

Estonia declared independence on 30 March 1990.

Latvia declared independence on 4 May 1990.

Russia declared sovereignty on 11 June 1990.

Uzbekistan declared sovereignty on 20 June 1990. An Uzbek Presidential decree in early September 1990 stipulated that future drafts of Uzbeks would be worked out through an agreement between the republic and union-level officials.

Moldova (Moldavia) declared sovereignty on 23 June 1990. In early September 1990, the Moldovan Supreme Soviet and President issued declarations that the draft was to be suspended for Moldovans, pending negotiations with the central leadership.

Ukraine declared sovereignty on 16 July 1990. On the same day, its Supreme Soviet also declared the republic’s right to have its own armed forces.

Belorussia declared sovereignty on 27 July 1990. The Belorussian Supreme Soviet declaration stated that the republic had a right to have its own armed forces.

Turkmenistan declared sovereignty on 22 August 1990. Similar to Kazakhstan’s sovereignty declaration, Turkmenistan’s declaration stated that the republic “determines the procedure for military service by citizens of the Turkmen SSR.”

Tajikistan declared sovereignty on 25 August 1990.

Armenia declared independence on 23 August 1990. Even before this, on 3 May 1990, at an extraordinary session of the Armenian Supreme Soviet, a resolution was passed that stopped the draft for active duty military.

Kazakhstan declared sovereignty on 25 October 1990. This sovereignty declaration contained the qualification that the republic claims the right “to define the procedure and the conditions for its citizens’ military service” in cooperation with the central authorities.

Kirgizia declared sovereignty on 12 December 1990.

Gorbachev’s struggle with the old imperial elite in the communist party, the armed forces, and the military-industrial complex culminated in the August 1991 coup. When they failed, it finished off the USSR — and Gorbachev himself. Russia was one of the main initiators of the break-up of the Soviet Union. Because the former Soviet republics receiving independence was something that Russia wanted itself. On Christmas Day 1991, at 7:35 p.m., the Soviet flag flying over the Kremlin was lowered and replaced by the new Russian banner. The USSR officially ceased to exist on 31 December. The Cold War was over. – http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/soviet-collapse.htm

God has always proven Nigerian leaders wrong and dumb over the ages in Nigeria historical events. For their tribal corrupt selfishness Nigerian leaders played God before in their actions and Nigeria is still suffering for their myopic way of looking at events playing God.

(1) In 1965/1966 Biafra declaration, when the crisis started General Gowon and Nigerian leaders called it small police action needed to stop the rebellion and crisis. Well it lasted for 5 years war and 10 years recovery and false reconstruction lasted with 10 million Igbos and Nigerians Killed, massacred and genocide committed the first since ww2.

(2) When Niger Delta militant struggle started with General Abacha and Ogoni leaders. General Abacha called it small irresponsible activists leaders from Ogoni, and he rounded them up and killed Sara Wiwa and many of their leaders and jailed many.  To the surprise of Nigeria, The international community suspended Nigeria in its mist and sanction was placed on Nigeria globally. Since then the militants disrupted Nigeria oil production and constant militant activities including many killings,

Massacre at Odi by President Obasanjo etc: Today Nigeria has paid more than 10 Billion dollars to the Militants communities and Nigeria is still paying billions of dollars to buy a fragile peace with all Niger Delta communities and all the Militants and there is no peace and harmony. 

(3) When Boko Haram started 7 to years ago, President Yaradua called  it the police action needed  to stop it and their leaders and many of their followers were killed in military and police brutality like what is happening to the Shiites in Zaria Kaduna State since last month,  but till today the Boko Haram insurgency is powerful and  have occupied once or another time 30% of Nigerian territory and more than  (30,000) thirty thousand Nigerians, Northerners, Cameroonians, Nigeriens, Chadians etc. have been killed  and Nigeria and west Africa have more than five million refugees and displaced persons all over west Africa. We now have Nigerian refugees in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, and in Southern Nigeria refugees from Northern Nigeria.

 Let Nigeria myopic leaders continue wishing and dreaming in Nigeria corrupted failed state of mind. Nigeria has always done everything wrong and good analysis and respect have always evaded Nigeria leadership. Nigeria should Continue dreaming and hallucinating in their lies, self-deceit, disrespect, oppression  and brutality of people desire to be free but time and events have ran out of steam to be a great

Collapse of the Soviet Union – 1989-1991

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/soviet-collapse.htm

The USSR officially ceased to exist on 31 December 1991. The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 changed the world’s geopolitical balance. When the Soviet Union fell, it ended the tenure of a superpower with the resources of more than a dozen countries. The fall left its largest component, Russia, unable to wield anything like the global clout that the Soviet Union had for decades. The concluding drama of the Cold War — the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the end of the four-decade-old East-West conflict — unfolded in three acts between 1989 and 1991.

Since then, debates have raged over just what brought the end of the arms race, the seemingly sudden collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War. Some have argued that Reagan’s SDI and his hard-line approach to communism turned the tide, but SDI was confined to the drawing board and Reagan moderated his approach considerably after 1983.

The Bolshevik Revolution triumphed on 07 November 1917 (October 25 old calendar), when the Bolsheviks dispersed the Provisional Government from the Winter Palace in Petrograd. On 03 March 1918, Soviet government officials signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, relinquishing Poland, the Baltic lands, Finland, and Ukraine to German control and giving up a portion of the Caucasus region to Turkey. And the monarchical cause was effectively killed when Communists shot the imperial family in July 1918.

But by the spring of 1918, elements dissatisfied with the Communists established centers of resistance in southern and Siberian Russia against the Communist-controlled area. These anti-Communist White armies enjoyed, to varying degrees, the support of the Allied Powers. Desiring to defeat Germany in any way possible, Britain, France, and the United States landed troops in Russia and provided logistical support to the Whites, whom the Allies trusted to resume Russia’s struggle against Germany after overthrowing the Communist regime. After the Allies defeated Germany in November 1918, they opted to continue their intervention in the Russian Civil War against the Communists in the interests of averting world socialist revolution.

By 1919 Soviet Russia had shrunk to the size of sixteenth-century Muscovy, but the Red Army had the advantage of defending the heartland with Moscow at its center. The White armies divided geographically and without a clearly defined cause, went down in defeat one by one. During the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks had to deal with struggles for independence in regions that it had given up under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (which the regime immediately repudiated after Germany’s defeat by the Allies in November 1918). By force of arms, the Communists established Soviet republics in Belorussia (January 1919), Ukraine (March 1919), Azerbaijan (April 1920), Armenia (November 1920), and Georgia (March 1921), but they were unable to win back the Baltic region, where the independent states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had been founded shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution. In December 1917, during a civil war between Finnish Reds and Whites, the Soviet government recognized the independence of Finland. Poland, reborn after World War I, fought a successful war with Soviet Russia from April 1920 to March 1921 over the location of the frontier between the two states.

During its struggle for survival, the Soviet state placed great hopes on revolution’s breaking out in the industrialized countries. To coordinate the socialist movement under Soviet auspices, Lenin founded the Communist International (Comintern) in March 1919. Although no successful socialist revolutions occurred elsewhere immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution, the Comintern provided the Communist leadership with the means through which they later controlled foreign communist parties. By the end of 1920, the Communists had clearly triumphed in the Civil War. The Allied governments, lacking support for intervention from their war-weary citizenry, withdrew most of their forces by 1920. The last foreign troops departed Siberia in 1922, leaving the Soviet state unchallenged from abroad.

The end of World War II saw the Soviet Union emerge as one of the world’s two great military powers. Its battle-tested forces occupied most of postwar Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union won island holdings from Japan and further concessions from Finland (which had joined in the German invasion in 1941) in addition to the territories the Soviet Union had seized as a consequence of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. But these achievements had been bought at a high cost. An estimated 20 million Soviet soldiers and civilians perished in the war, the heaviest loss of life of any of the combatant countries.

Between November 1945 and December 1946, a number of the coalition governments established in the Eastern European countries occupied by Soviet troops during the war transformed into Communist “People’s Republics” with strong ties to the Soviet Union. These included Yugoslavia (November 1945); Albania (January 1946); and Bulgaria (December 1946). The United States and Britain considered this an abrogation of agreements made at the Yalta Conference. During a speech at Fulton, Missouri, on March 5, 1946, visiting British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proclaimed that Europe was divided by an “Iron Curtain” as the nations of Eastern Europe fell increasingly under Soviet control. Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia all fell under Communist control by early 1948.

Anti-Soviet popular uprisings began in Budapest and spread throughout Hungary in the autumn of 1956. On November 2, Hungarian Premier Imre Nagy, who had already promised the Hungarians free elections, denounced the Warsaw Pact and asked for United Nations support. On November 4, Soviet forces moved into Hungary and suppressed the revolt. Soviet, Polish, East German, Bulgarian, and Hungarian troops invaded Czechoslovakia on 20 August 1968, and deposed the reformist government of Alexander Dubcek, who had begun a program of economic and political liberalization (the “Prague spring”).

The Brezhnev Doctrine was the Soviet Union’s declared policy to intervene in the internal affairs of another socialist state if the leading role of that state’s communist party was threatened. It was formulated as justification for the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

Faced with a deteriorating security situation, on 24 December 1979, large numbers of Soviet airborne forces, joining thousands of Soviet troops already on the ground, began to land in Kabul under the pretext of a field exercise. On 26 December 1979, these invasion forces installed Babrak Karmal as Prime Minister. The Karmal regime, although backed by an expeditionary force that grew as large as 120,000 Soviet troops, was unable to establish authority outside Kabul. As much as 80% of the countryside eluded effective government control. Afghan freedom fighters (mujahidin) made it almost impossible for the regime to maintain a system of local government outside major urban centers. Poorly armed at first, by 1984 the mujahidin began receiving substantial assistance in the form of weapons and training from the US and other outside powers.

Mikhail S. Gorbachev entered office in March 1985 determined to scrap old assumptions about Soviet foreign policy. He had drawn lessons from the return of Cold War tensions in the early 1980s — and they scared him. The “old thinking” believed that the USSR would emerge victorious in the Cold War if it continued building up its arsenal and fostering “progressive” regimes in the Third World in places like Angola, Ethiopia, and especially Afghanistan. Gorbachev’s “new thinking” sought to reorganize and revitalize the Soviet system; but to do so required a favorable international situation to relieve the material burden of arms competition with the West.

The first step in the end of the Cold War came when Mikhail S. Gorbachev implicitly abandoned the Brezhnev Doctrine. On 14 April 1988, the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the United States and Soviet Union serving as guarantors, signed an agreement known as the Geneva accords. This included five major documents, which, among other things, established a timetable that ensured full Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan by 15 February 1989. Gorbachev demanded that the retreat be orderly and dignified — he didn’t want television images reminiscent of the chaotic 1975 US pullout from Vietnam. “We must not appear before the world in our underwear or even without any,” he told the Politburo inner circle. “A defeatist position is not possible.” The withdrawal was intended as a sign of conciliation toward the West and reassurance to the East Europeans, but it encouraged others to challenge Soviet power.

The second act of the drama began in the fall of 1989 with peaceful revolutions in Eastern and Central Europe (except Romania) and the fall of the Soviet “outer empire.” Shortly after Poland’s electorate voted the Communists out of government in June 1989, Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union would not interfere with the internal affairs of the Eastern European countries. By October, Hungary and Czechoslovakia followed Poland’s example.

On 09 November 1989, the East German Government opened the Berlin Wall. East Germany, the center of contention throughout the Cold War, was united with West Germany and integrated into NATO. As one historian noted, in Poland communism took ten years, in Hungary ten months, in East Germany ten weeks, and in Czechoslovakia ten days to disappear. In Romania — the bloody exception to the rule of peaceful transition — the end came with the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife on Christmas Day. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact a year later plus the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe [that substantially reduced Soviet superiority in conventional forces in Europe] resulted in a stronger Western alliance — so strong that the US could redeploy forces from Europe to the Persian Gulf for use against Iraq.

The third and final act closed with the 1991 dissolution of the USSR. By 1989 Gorbachev’s domestic reforms had run into serious trouble, and the economy went into a tailspin. The centrifugal forces in the “outer empire” stimulated and accelerated those in the “inner empire”, as the Soviet republics sought sovereignty and then independence. As the center disintegrated and Gorbachev opened up the political process with glasnost (openness), the old communist “barons” in the republics saw the handwriting on the wall and became nationalists; they “first of all attacked the USSR government . . . and subsequently destroyed the USSR.” Asked when he decided to secede from the USSR, Ukrainian party boss Leonid Kravchuk replied: “1989” [he did so in mid-1990]. Each of the USSR’s republics, as they declared independence or sovereignty, also adopted statements by the republic leaderships on service in the armed forces, including the creation of their own military forces.

Azerbaijan declared sovereignty on 23 September 1989.

Georgia declared sovereignty on 9 March 1990 and subsequently elected a nationalist government on 11 November 1990.

Lithuania declared independence on 11 March 1990. On 17 July 1990, the republic announced that it would create its own army units.

Estonia declared independence on 30 March 1990.

Latvia declared independence on 4 May 1990.

Russia declared sovereignty on 11 June 1990.

Uzbekistan declared sovereignty on 20 June 1990. An Uzbek Presidential decree in early September 1990 stipulated that future drafts of Uzbeks would be worked out through an agreement between the republic and union-level officials.

Moldova (Moldavia) declared sovereignty on 23 June 1990. In early September 1990, the Moldovan Supreme Soviet and President issued declarations that the draft was to be suspended for Moldovans, pending negotiations with the central leadership.

Ukraine declared sovereignty on 16 July 1990. On the same day, its Supreme Soviet also declared the republic’s right to have its own armed forces.

Belorussia declared sovereignty on 27 July 1990. The Belorussian Supreme Soviet declaration stated that the republic had a right to have its own armed forces.

Turkmenistan declared sovereignty on 22 August 1990. Similar to Kazakhstan’s sovereignty declaration, Turkmenistan’s declaration stated that the republic “determines the procedure for military service by citizens of the Turkmen SSR.”

Tajikistan declared sovereignty on 25 August 1990.

Armenia declared independence on 23 August 1990. Even before this, on 3 May 1990, at an extraordinary session of the Armenian Supreme Soviet, a resolution was passed that stopped the draft for active duty military.

Kazakhstan declared sovereignty on 25 October 1990. This sovereignty declaration contained the qualification that the republic claims the right “to define the procedure and the conditions for its citizens’ military service” in cooperation with the central authorities.

Kirgizia declared sovereignty on 12 December 1990.

Gorbachev’s struggle with the old imperial elite in the communist party, the armed forces, and the military-industrial complex culminated in the August 1991 coup. When they failed, it finished off the USSR — and Gorbachev himself. Russia was one of the main initiators of the break-up of the Soviet Union. Because the former Soviet republics receiving independence was something that Russia wanted itself. On Christmas Day 1991, at 7:35 p.m., the Soviet flag flying over the Kremlin was lowered and replaced by the new Russian banner. The USSR officially ceased to exist on 31 December. The Cold War was over.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is frequently cited as calling the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.” But that is not how the Kremlin translates his words. In his annual address to the Federal Assembly on 25 April 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself. Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Oligarchic groups – possessing absolute control over information channels – served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere. Many thought or seemed to think at the time that our young democracy was not a continuation of Russian statehood, but its ultimate collapse, the prolonged agony of the Soviet system. But they were mistaken.”

When asked to evaluate this comment, Mikhail Gorbachev said: “I have said this on many occasions, and I will say it again: I agree.” [Putin also said, “The Second World War is the largest catastrophe in the history of mankind, and the greatest lesson for current and future generations.”] Putin said in his book “First Person”: “[My] mission, my historical mission – and this will sound lofty, but it’s true – consisted of resolving the situation in the Northern Caucasus  and Chechnya [which is] a continuation of the collapse of the Soviet Union. . If we don’t put an immediate end to this, Russia will cease to exist.”

Osama Bin Laden, in the video tape released in September 2007 talked about  “… what comes after the empire in regard to the United States of America. I also want to bring your attention that among the greatest reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union was their being afflicted with their leader Brezhnev, who was overtaken by pride and arrogance and refused to look at the facts on the ground. From the first year of the Afghanistan invasion, reports indicated that the Russians were losing the war, but he refused to acknowledge this, lest it go down in his personal history as a defeat, even though refusal to acknowledge defeat not only doesn’t do anything to change the facts for thinking people, but also exacerbates the problem and increases the losses. And how similar is your position today to their position approximately two decades ago. The mistakes of Brezhnev are being repeated by Bush, who – when asked about the date of his withdrawing of forces from Iraq – said in effect that the withdrawal will not be during his reign, but rather, during the reign of the one who succeeds him.” – http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/soviet-collapse.htm

Ugo Harris Ukandu


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