Members’ Lecture – Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire

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Victor SebestyenNobody who witnessed the joy on the streets of Berlin, Prague or Bucharest at the end of 1989 will ever forget those extraordinary scenes of celebration. The people’s will had triumphed over tyranny in a dizzying few months of revolutions which changed the world. Why did the Soviet Union surrender its European dominions without a fight and why at the end of the 1980s?

Victor Sebestyen was a reporter who covered most of the key events in 1989. Two decades later he drew on first hand experience, scores of interviews with participants and new material from archives to tell the story of the collapse of European Communism. He will examine the various roles played by the Soviets’ disastrous military campaign in Afghanistan; the crippling foreign debts incurred by its satellite states and the contributions of leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev, President George Bush (Senior) and Margaret Thatcher.

Victor Sebestyen was born in Budapest and was an infant when his family fled Hungary as refugees from ‘behind the Iron Curtain’. Victor Sebestyen has worked on numerous British newspapers. He covered the war in former Yugoslavia. At the London Evening Standard he was Foreign Editor, Media Editor and Chief Leader Writer. His highly acclaimed first book, Twelve Days (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2006), was an account of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

An optional £10 sandwich lunch shall be available from 1215.

The author will be on hand to sign copies of his new book, Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire, which will be on sale at a special price of £16.25.

This event is open to RUSI members only. To become a member, please click here.

To register for this event, please e-mail Sabrina Downey, Events Director:

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