The demise of the USSR was provoked by a confluence of several factors. The major ones were:
- Exhausted sources for the economic growth. From the late 1970s onwards, the economic inputs in the Soviet Union started to surpass the economic outputs. With the drop in oil prices in the 1980s, we ran out of reserves to compensate for the inefficiencies inherent to our centrally-planned model (see the graph below).
- Sharp rise of ethnic nationalism, starting with the Jeltoqsan riots in 1986.
- Military setbacks amid the dramatic escalation of arms race: the Afghan war, Operation Mole Cricket 19, the impossibility to match the increasing technology gap in the latest military technologies.