The ten-year decline of the Soviet Empire preceding 1985 was succeeded by an increasingly precipitous fall, which effected first the decolonisation of the outer empire of eastern Europe and then the disintegration of the inner empire of the Soviet Union. As so often with empires in supreme crisis, the final downfall of the Soviet Bloc was the product of both a push-out of colonial liberation and a pull-out of imperial withdrawal, a complex blend of self-serving, even mutually advantageous colonial and imperial self-emancipation.
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