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25 Years Ago – The last day of the Soviet Union (December 25, 1991)

25 Years Ago – The last day of the Soviet Union (December 25, 1991)

President George H.W. Bush in address to the nation: “Every American can take pride in this victory”

On December 25, 1991, Mikhail Gorbachov resigned as President of the Soviet Union.

The red flag was lowered at the Kremlin, and the next day, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

The BBC reported:

Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union for almost seven years and executive president for nearly two, has stepped down from office.

He announced his resignation in a 10 minute speech, broadcast live on television, as the Soviet Union passed into history.

It has been replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The 60-year-old appeared solemn but composed.

“Due to the situation which has evolved as a result of the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent states I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” he said.

He said he was resigning on a matter of principle, adding the decision to dismantle the state should have been made “on the basis of popular will”.

The NY Times reported:

Mr. Gorbachev’s moment of farewell was stark. Kremlin guards were preparing to lower the red union flag for the last time. In minutes, Mr. Gorbachev would sign over the nuclear missile launching codes for safeguarding to Mr. Yeltsin, his rival and successor as the dominant politician of this agonized land….

The flag was lowered from its floodlit perch at 7:32 tonight. A muted moment of awe was shared by the few pedestrians crossing Red Square.

‘Why are you laughing at Lenin?’ a man, obviously inebriated against the winter cold, suddenly shouted in the square. He reeled near Lenin’s tomb.

The mausoleum was dusky pink against the evergreen trees outside the Kremlin walls. Within, for all the sense of history wheeling in the night sky, the embalmed remains of the Communst patriarch still rested.

The drunk was instantly shushed by a passer-by who cautioned that ‘foreigners’ were watching and he should not embarrass the reborn Russia.

‘Foreigners?’ laughed another Muscovite. ‘Who cares? They’re the ones who are feeding us these days.’

President George H.W. Bush gave a televised speech that evening:

Good evening, and Merry Christmas to all Americans across our great country.

During these last few months, you and I have witnessed one of the greatest dramas of the twentieth century — the historic and revolutionary transformation of a totalitarian dictatorship, the Soviet Union, and the liberation of its peoples. As we celebrate Christmas — this day of peace and hope — I thought we should take just a few minutes to reflect on what these events mean for us, as Americans.

For over 40 years, the United States led the West in the struggle against Communism and the threat it posed to our most precious values. This struggle shaped the lives of all Americans. It forced all nations to live under the specter of nuclear destruction. From Union, a Commonwealth

That confrontation is now over. The nuclear threat — while far from gone — is receding. Eastern Europe is free. The Soviet Union itself is no more. This is a victory for democracy and freedom. It’s a victory for the moral force of our values. Every American can take pride in this victory, from the millions of men and women who have served our country in uniform, to millions of Americans who supported their country and a strong defense under nine presidents….

(I’ve been unable to find a video of President Bush’s televised address, if anyone finds it, please post a link in the comments and I’ll add it.)

That victory, of course, was several decades in the making, at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives fighting global communist expansionism. It also was a victory born of strength, not submission.

It was a victory opposed by Western leftists who sought to undermine the will to fight at every turn and in every place they could.

Leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were denigrated and mocked as warmongers and fools. Thankfully, they and other stood strong when weakness was the politically easier position.

There’s a lesson there, as we move forward to confront and defend against new and old foes.

(H/t to Prof. Donald Douglas for reminding me of this anniversary)


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“Every American can take pride in this victory”

– Except that weasel Obama and his “wife.”

What a significant anniversary, and not a peep from the media!

Thank you professors Jacobson & Douglas for reminding us.

    Chicklet in reply to donb. | December 26, 2016 at 3:42 am

    ‘Not a peep from the media’?!?!

    They ceased to exist 25 years ago too, what passes for media would make the old Pravda guys proud…

I have to give some credit to Gorbachev, because it was fairly obvious that the USSR was going to break up, but it was far from set in stone that the breakup was going to be without some sort of nuclear violence.

Bitterlyclinging | December 26, 2016 at 6:54 am

And then the United States elected Comrade Sheikh Buraq Hussein Obama in 2008, as stunning a reversal as the Brits driving Winston Churchill from office in 1945 after Churchill almost single handedly won WWII for them. But the seeds of the 2008 Obama victory might be gleaned from the scraps of Hillary’s 2016 defeat, 18,000 ballots cast in Detroit by persons who couldn’t or wouldn’t show ID, 306 in one precinct alone with only 50 paper ballots in the ballot box to show for it. then there is California’s illegal alien vote totals…..
And people are calling for doing away with the electoral college so America can be ruled by the thoughts and wishes of California’s felons, pervs, and illegal alien invaders.
The 630,000 dead from America’s last Civil war will seem like just a walk in the park after the next one.