The Last Empire Plokhy Analysis

Powerful Essays
Serhii Plohky’s The Last Empire is a text with a strong argument, seeking to debunk myths surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most prominently, Plohky attacks the misconception that the United States somehow won a victory against the USSR when Gorbachev resigned and the Union dissolved. In his 26 December 1991 speech, President H.W. Bush famously stated “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…” Clearly, President Bush felt no reason to hold back in using the collapse as a source of national pride, but Plokhy argues that Bush’s claims are simply hot air. Further, Plohky shows that Bush attempted to keep the union intact rather that speed its dissolution. So, what does Plokhy point to as the cause for the Soviet Union’s Collapse? His thesis argues…show more content…
Kravchuk is the epitome of a pragmatist as shown by Plokhy, who’s policies could accurately be described as the essence of realpolitik. He was the chairman of the Ukrainian Soviet parliament when Ukraine declares independence, making him the de facto leader. Plokhy wisely points out the Kravchuk was indeed a communist, but shows him as a political chameleon when power shifts. Following the failure of the August Coup, “Kravchuk immediately did what the opposition deputies had been demanding for days: he jumped on Yeltsin’s bandwagon.” Kravchuk’s pragmatism is what kept Ukraine out of a new union, and at arms length in the new Commonwealth of Independent States. Finally, Yeltsin becomes a rebel figure for Plohky, attempting to lead the strongest Russia possible out of the ashes of the union. He is shown as the archenemy of Gorbachev for his anti-unionist politices and strong opposition to the
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