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I think it was the fall in oil prices in the late 70s/early 80s - combined with a ruinous invasion of Afghanistan - that finally did in the Soviet Union economically. Putin should take note.

Otherwise - despite the appalling human cost of projects such as the White Sea Canal and farm collectivisation - the USSR did indeed become a global power if only for a short period. Red Plenty [1] is an excellent book on the subject.

[1] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Plenty-Francis-Spufford/dp/0571...




An interesting review of "Red Plenty" can be found at http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/24/book-review-red-plenty/




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