Could the Soviet Union Have Survived?
We ask four historians whether the demise of one of the 20th century’s superpowers was as inevitable as it now seems.
‘No one has suggested a convincing alternative scenario’
Rodric Braithwaite, British Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1988-91) and author of Armageddon and Paranoia: the Nuclear Confrontation (Profile, 2017).
People still argue about the fall of the Roman Empire. They are not going to agree quickly on why the Soviet Union collapsed when it did. Some think it could have lasted for many years, others that the collapse was unforeseeable. Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet dissident scientist, foresaw it decades before it happened.