Q. 9. Examine any six consequences of disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Ans. Consequences of disintegration of the Soviet Union :
(i) End of Cold War confrontations.
(ii) End to arms race and a possible new peace.
(iii) Power relations changed in the world.
(iv) US became the sole power. Capitalism became the dominant philosophy.
(v) Emergence of many new countries.
(vi) The international system saw many new players emerge, each with its own identity, interests and economic and political difficulties.
Detailed Answer: The collapse of the Second World of the USSR and the socialist system in Eastern Europe had profound consequences for the world politics. Following were some consequences of the disintegration of the USSR:
(a) The disintegration of the USSR meant the end of the Cold War. The ideological dispute over whether the socialist system would beat the capitalist system, was not an issue any more.
(b) The Cold War had engaged the military of the two blocs and had triggered a massive arms race and accumulation of nuclear weapons. The end of the Cold War brought an end to this arms race and a possible new peace.
(c) Power relations in world politics changed and as a result, the relative influence of ideas and institutions also changed.
(d) The end of the Cold War left only two possibilities. It was either the remaining superpower would dominate and create a unipolar system or different countries or groups of countries could become important players in the international system, thereby bringing in a multipolar system where no power could dominate and in due course, the US became the sole superpower.
(e) The capitalist economy became the dominant economic system internationally which was backed by the power of the US.
(f) Institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund became powerful advisors to all countries which adopted capitalism as they gave them loans for their transitions to capitalism.
(g) The notion of liberal democracy emerged as the best way to organise political life.
(h) The end of the Soviet bloc meant the emergence of many new countries.
(i) The international system saw many new players emerge, each with its own identity, interests and economic and political difficulties.
Q. 10. What were the factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR?
Ans. Following factors forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR:
(i) The Soviet System became very bureaucratic and authoritarian, making life very difficult for its citizens.
(ii) Lack of democracy and the absence of freedom of speech hushed people who often expressed their dissent in jokes and cartoons.
(iii) Most of the institutions of the Soviet state needed reform, the one party system represented by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had tight control over all institutions and was unaccountable to the people.
(iv) The Party was not willing to recognise the urge of people in the fifteen different republics that formed the Soviet Union to manage their own affairs including their cultural affairs.
(v) Russia dominated everything and people from other regions felt neglected and often suppressed.
(vi) The Soviet Union lagged behind the West in technology, infrastructure and most importantly, in fulfilling the political or economic aspirations of citizens.
(vii) The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 weakened the system even further.
(viii) Shortage in consumer goods appeared.
(ix) The Soviet economy was faltering in the late 1970s and became stagnant.
Q. 11. What were the major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India?
Ans. The disintegration of the Soviet Union did not bring any major consequence for countries like India. India has maintained good relations with all the post-communist countries. But the strongest relations are still those between Russia, the successor of the Soviet Union, and India. India’s relations with Russia are important aspects of India’s foreign policy. Indo-Russian relations are based on history of trust and common interests are matched by popular perceptions. Indian film personalities like Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan are household names in Russia and many postSoviet countries. Hindi songs are heard all over the region. Russia and India share a vision of a multipolar world order. India stands to benefit from its relations with Russia on issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on international terrorism, access to Central Asia and balancing its relations with China. Russia has also been beneficial from this relationship because India is the second largest arms market for Russia. The Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia. Russia and India have collaborated on many scientific projects.
Q. 12. The value of the Russian currency declined dramatically. The rate of inflation was so high that people lost all their savings. The collective farm system disintegrated leaving people without food security, and Russia started to import food. The real GDP of Russia in 1999, was below what it was in 1989. The old trading structure broke down with no alternative in its place. The old system of social welfare was systematically destroyed. The withdrawal of government subsidies pushed large sections of the people into poverty. The middle classes were pushed to the periphery of society and the academic and intellectual manpower disintegrated or migrated. A mafia emerged in most of these countries and started controlling many economic activities. Privatisation led to new disparities. Post-Soviet states, especially Russia, were divided between rich and poor regions. Unlike the earlier system, there was now great economic inequality between people. Read the passage given above carefully and answer the questions that follow:
(i) Name the Russian currency.
(ii) What is meant by collective farming?
(iii) How did disintegration of collective farming adversely affect the Russian people?
(iv) Give full form of GDP.
(v) What does the withdrawal of subsidy mean?
(vi) What does ‘the earlier system’ referred to in the passage mean?
Ans. (i) Ruble is the Russian currency.
(ii) In collective farming, the land belonged to the government and people ploughed the field not as individual.
(iii) The disintegration of collective farming left the people without food security and Russia started to import food.
(iv) Gross Domestic Product.
(v) The withdrawal of subsidy means the withdrawal of support by the government to reduce the costs of producing goods so that prices can be kept low.
(vi) The earlier system refers to the socialist system of Russia which was based on the ideals of socialism.
Q.13. What is meant by ‘Shock Therapy ’? Explain any four consequences of Shock Therapy.
Ans. (i) Shock Therapy : means a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe that was influenced by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
(ii) Consequences of Shock Therapy:
(a) Collapse of the state controlled large Industrial complex.
(b) 90 per cent industries were put up for sale at throwaway prices.
(c) Value of Ruble declined.
(d) Inflation was high.
(e) Gross Domestic Product of Russia declined.
(f) Withdrawal of government subsidies pushed people into poverty.
(g) Academic and intellectual manpower disintegrated or migrated.
(h) Mafia emerged and started controlling economic activities.
Q. 14. Describe the factors that make most of the former Soviet Republics prone to conflicts and threats.
Ans. Factors that make most of the former Soviet Republics prone to conflicts and threats : (i) There were internal weaknesses of Soviet political and economic institutions which failed to meet the aspirations of the people.
(ii) Economic stagnation for many years led to severe shortage of consumer items and a large section of Soviet society began to doubt and question the system and do so openly. (iii) The Soviet economy used much of its resources in maintaining a nuclear and military arsenal.
(iv) The development of its satellite states in Eastern Europe and within the Soviet System (the five Central Asian Republics in particular). This led to a huge economic burden that the system could not cope up with.
(v) They could see the disparities between their system and the systems of the West. After years of being told that the Soviet System was better than Western capitalism, the reality of its backwardness came as a political and psychological shock.
(vi) The Soviet Union had become stagnant in an administrative and political sense as well.
(vii) The rise of nationalism and the desire for sovereignty within various republics including Russia and the Baltic Republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Ukraine and Gerogia.
(viii) Nationalist urges and feelings were very much at work throughout the history of the Soviet Union given the size and diversity and its growing internal problems.
Q. 15. Give any three examples to show that most of the former Soviet Republics were prone to conflicts and tensions.
Ans. Most of the former Soviet Republics, were prone to conflicts. e.g.-In Russia, two republics, Chechnya and Dagestan, have violent secessionist movements. The Russian government used force that has lead to many human rights violations.
(i) In Central Asia, Tajikistan witnessed a civil war for 10 years.
(ii) Separatist movements in Azerbaizan.
(iii) Demand of independence from two provinces of Georgia.
(iv) Fight over river waters leading to instability.
(v) Movements against existing regimes in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.
Detailed Answer: Most of the former Soviet Republics were prone to conflicts e.g. In Russia, two republics, Chechnya and Dagestan, have violent secessionist movements. The Russian government used force that has lead to many human rights violations.
(a) The Soviet economy used much of its resources in maintaining a nuclear and military arsenal.
(b) The development of its satellite states in Eastern Europe and within the Soviet System (the five Central Asian Republics in particular). This led to a huge economic burden that the system could not cope up with.
(c) They could see the disparities between their system and the systems of the West. After years of being told that the Soviet System was better than Western capitalism, the reality of its backwardness came as a political and psychological shock.
Q. 16. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the following questions: India stands to benefit from its relationship with Russia on issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on internal terrorism, access to Central Asia and balancing its relations with China. Russia stands to benefit from this relationship because India is the second largest arms market for Russia. The Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia. Since, India is an oil importing nation, India is important to Russia and has repeatedly come to the assistance of India during its oil crisis. India is seeking to increase its energy imports from Russia and the republics of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Co-operation with these republics includes partnership and investment in oilfields. Russia is important for India’s nuclear energy plans and assisted India’s space industry also.
(i) How did Russia help India on Kashmir issue?
(ii) How do good relations with Russia help India to balance its relations with China?
(iii) In what way did Russia help the space industry of India?
(iv) How did India and Russia get benefitted from each other? Give one example from each side.
Ans. (i) In the United Nations Security Council, Russia came to India’s rescue and used Veto Power many times.
(ii) Supply of arms and hardware to Indian army, assistance in space industry and nuclear energy plans have strengthened India’s position and enabled India to have balanced relationship with China.
(iii) Russia helped space industry of India by giving cryogenic rocket.
(iv) (a) India is a large market for Russian arms, military hardware, crude oil, etc.
(b) India has benefitted from Russian Veto Power in UN Security Council on the issue of Kashmir.