We live under the body of a dead cow, and it stinks, said Lithuanian politician aljimantas sekuolis.
There are two electrodes on the body, and it twitching every once in a while.
The Cowboy's name is bolsheviism.
Cekuolis smiled as if he had just emptied his old beer into the sink.
It was 1990, just a few months before the body twitched, and one of the largest and most powerful empires in history died in a whimper.
When the Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Evo's glass policy, I accepted the assignment of National Geographic in the Baltic States (free speech)
First open the bottle, then put thousands of elves.
Words, anger and opinions roll in like steam. (
View Nat Geo pictures of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. )
Technically, the Soviet Union, based on the ideals of mutual assistance and human friendship, did not blossom on Russian land as planned.
Those who rule the Soviet Union do not trust their citizens and fear their citizens;
These citizens, in turn, do not trust their government and are afraid of their government.
However, the fragile empire ruled for nearly 70 years and three generations in the 20 th century. (
Also see "why many young Russians see Putin's heroes. ")
Union of the Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union (U. S. S. R. )
It was forged by a team of left-wing people.
On February 1917, the Bolshevik militants led an armed attack on the Russian government, attacking the czar Winter Palace now known as St. Peter's grad. Petersburg.
Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan became full members in 1922.
In 1940 it forcibly annexed the independent Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
I was born in Estonia during the Nazi occupation of the Baltic Sea.
In the summer of 1944, I fled the upcoming Red Army with my family and thousands of other Baltic people.
Many of us are crowded on German hospital ships and aircraft carriers heading west. Soviet dive-
The bomber sank a ship called Moero, killing more than 1,500 people.
When the Allied invasion of Europe arrived in Germany in 1945, we waited with 20 Hungarians in the attic of a kind German farmer.
In Estonia, which we left behind, the returning Soviets treated the population cruelly through comprehensive reports of artists, teachers, intellectuals and suspected successful farmers, eventually sending more than 10,000 people to the Siberian labor camp.
In Ukraine, Soviet policy has left millions hungry.
In the next 50 years, citizens of the Soviet Republic found themselves under pressure --
Unite for the benefit of an experimental country led by Moscow.
At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union consolidated another defense buffer zone, taking control of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, East Germany, Romania and Bulgaria, the last part of the Soviet bloc.
My five geography missions in the Soviet Union are exciting but often controversial.
Novosti, the Soviet agency assigned to assist foreign journalists, is the source of misinformation.
Reason does not object to dogma;
Black is often treated as white.
And, over 70-
In a year's effort to reshape human behavior, breeders in the United StatesS. S. R.
If communism is a superior economic philosophy, why are so many people trying to escape from the communist country and no one trying to get into the communist country?
Most of the people in the Soviet bloc, though very patriotic, found that socialist life was frustrating and ultimately meaningless.
To ensure loyalty, the government flooded the people with alternative versions of history, a fake news of their time.
However, the contradiction between the actual policy and the Soviet Constitution is rarely hidden, and the Soviet Constitution promises rich freedom.
Lies are blatant.
Hypocrisy is part of bureaucracy.
Neighbors reported to their neighbors.
In the Baltic states, border police shoot sand along the coastline every night so they can follow will-be defectors.
The most powerful symbol of Soviet distrust of its citizens was the Berlin Wall built by the Soviet Union in 1961.
Eastern Germany (
Officially known as the Democratic Republic of Germany (GDR).
The purpose of this wall is clear: to keep the GDR people together with the influence of the West.
The Soviets called it ""
Fascist Protective barrier
In the coming decades, nearly a hundred East Germans who tried to break the wall and fled to the West were shot dead by their own border police.
At its apex at 1970, the United StatesS. S. R.
Composed of nearly 0. 3 billion people and 100 different races, spanning 11 time zones on the largest land on Earth.
It developed nuclear weapons, sent astronauts into space, generating strength, pride and fear.
As life in the Soviet Union softened in 1980s and 1970, as well as advances in communication technology, it was more difficult for the state to hide its own flaws, Prime Minister Mikhail gorbacev tried to pass the grant of granoster (free speech)
And reform (restructuring).
Cook in a pot.
National Geographic veteran writer Priit Vesilind reported the fall of the Berlin Wall in a magazine in April 1990.
Mike Edwards, a senior National Geographic writer, was assigned to interview Moscow in late 1980.
Edwards told a geographic archivist that even five years ago, you could not have a casual, frank conversation with an ordinary person.
This will not happen.
He will be scared to see him talk to a foreigner.
Now that you're in Moscow, people can't stop talking to you.
They want to tell you how bad life is.
The frustration accumulated in people and the anger of queuing up to buy ten eggs.
So you will find people screaming at each other.
Fist fights sometimes.
On November 9, 1989, a colleague from the National Geographic headquarters in Washington rushed down the hall and news came that the West Germans were dancing on the Berlin wall next to the Brandenburg Gate.
Twelve hours later, I came to Germany, and on the wall of invalden Street, a small bridge across the river Spree.
What went to me in the dark was the family with children, the mother who pushed the stroller, wearing the pre-
Washed jeans, businessmen in worn-out suits.
All men flow through the open doors.
Reality almost knocked me down and I sat down and cried.
Yes, they are East Germans, but in my opinion they are also Estonian, Ukrainian, Russian and Armenian.
The jubilant West Germans applauded and clasped flowers to their brothers and sisters.
Geo-photographers David Harvey, Jim natchville, and Anthony Soho record one of the most dramatic moments in history.
The tide spread rapidly.
On 1991, in a coup attempt by hardline Communist lawmakers to bring the Soviet Union together, Russian President Yeltsin boarded a military tank in Moscow's Red Square, condemned the coup and expelled the Russian republic from the Federation.
Within a few days, the other 12 constituent republics of the Empire, from Estonia in the north to Moldova in the south, followed Russia's defected and declared independence.
With the decline of the Empire, a primitive period of pleasant, optimistic, chaotic, corrupt and unregulated capitalism.
The oligarchs and swindlers built their own castles, and the vendors were covered in black.
Consumer goods in the market have blocked the streets of Moscow.
Freedom is celebrated by dissidents and intellectuals, but most in Russia see free-market capitalism as a gift without an operating manual.
Now, we commemorate the 25 years since the end of the United States. S.
In 1984, President Reagan called the "evil empire" the "evil empire ".
But 20 years later, when the current KGB agent Vladimir Putin consolidated power in Russia, he lamented that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the most disastrous event in the 20 th century.
The Russian people are humiliated by their failure from a world-renowned position, and they once again tend to authoritarian governance and nostalgic rituals of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Some people say the wind of post-change
The Russian Empire poured oil under the rule of Western countries eager for economic and social stability.
Others lament that the world is turning to stingy isolationism, building new walls and lifting potential strongmen to higher positions.
The rise and fall of the Empire, few people can maintain their brilliance.
But the demise of the Soviet Union, while now lamenting in some respects, has ended a painful and wrong chapter in human efforts.
The author visited his family near Tallinn, Estonia.
The house was returned to the Vesilind family after the Soviet occupation ended in 1991.