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Latvian Group Wants Full Political Independence

This report describes the demands of the Latvian Popular Front, one of the coalition groups that emerged across the Soviet Union, but most aggressively in the Baltic states, during the last years of the Soviet regime.

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Communist Party's Role in Estonia's Fate Revealed

In this selection, a member of the Communist Party in Estonia articulates a new role for Communists as leaders of the movement for national self-determination within the existing structures of the Soviet Union.

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Gorbachev's TV Address on Interethnic Relations

This statement is an effort by Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to recognize, but also restrain and control, growing evidence of nationalist sentiments across the Soviet Union. In this televised broadcast, Gorbachev focused on the possible negative implications of such sentiments, including threats to social order, conflict between ethnic groups, and chauvinist behavior.

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Ukrainian Central Committee on Ethnic Issues

This statement by the Ukrainian Communist Party was an attempt to respond to growing expressions of nationalist sentiment within the Ukrainian population, while also seeking to maintain control over the expression of dissenting views and preventing inter-ethnic conflicts, especially between the majority Ukrainians and minority Russians and Jews.

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Soviet population table by nationality, 1970

This table provides a general overview of the Soviet population in 1970, with a breakdown for the most populous national groups. As the table indicates, Russian were by far the largest single ethnic group, yet they still made up less than one-half of the total population of approximately 240 million people.

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From the Conversation of Mikhail Gorbachev and Francois Mitterand

In the mid- to late 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on a new path for the Soviet Union by introducing significant changes to his country’s domestic and foreign policies, which eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the Cold War.

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Warsaw Embassy Cable, Poland Looks to President Bush

President George H. W. Bush visited Poland and Hungary in July 1989, following a series of speeches he had made that defined the direction his administration would take in its relations with the Soviet Union.

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Warsaw Embassy Cable, How to Elect Jaruzelski Without Voting for Him, and Will He Run?

This report analyzes the peculiar dilemma that Solidarity leaders faced in the aftermath of their landslide election victory in June. Their success had been based on opposition to the communist regime, but the framework that had allowed that success was based on a compromise with that regime.

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Third Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor H. Kohl

On June 12, 1989, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began a four-day visit to West Germany, just two weeks after a similar visit to West Germany by United States President George H. W. Bush. Gorbachev had by the summer of 1989 become a popular figure and expectations were running high in West German society over the summit.

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Second Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor H. Kohl

On June 12, 1989, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began a four-day visit to West Germany, just two weeks after a similar visit to West Germany by United States President George H. W. Bush. Gorbachev had by the summer of 1989 become a popular figure and expectations were running high in West German society over the summit.

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