The history of the Soviet Union from 1982 through 1991 spans the period from the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's death until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Due to the years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, and complex systemic problems in the command economy, Soviet output stagnated. Failed attempts at reform, a standstill economy, and the success of the proxies of the United States against the Soviet Union's forces in the war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Soviet-occupied Baltic countries and Eastern Europe.
Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, created an atmosphere of open criticism of the communist regime, and also perestroika. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986 profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership.
Nikolai Tikhonov, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, was succeeded by Nikolai Ryzhkov, and Vasili K