However, the period of normalisation of the relationship did not last long. In 1979, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan began (which lasted until 1989). The Americans did not remain passive in supporting the Mujahedin, Afghanistan's partisans fighting the Soviet Army. Meanwhile, the USA lost influence in Iran (Iran's Islamic Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini's seizure of power) and Nicaragua (to the benefit of Marxists from the Sandinistic National Liberation Front). In 1978, a Pole became the head of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła of Kraków (who assumed the name of John Paul II). The new Pope renewed the spirit of resistance among the citizens of the Eastern Bloc countries. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became British Prime Minister and in 1980, Ronald Reagan became US President. All of them considered communism to be a criminal ideology, which must be overcome without fail. In the USA, the so-called Reagan doctrine came into force. Among other things, support for the state fighting against communism. The USSR was called the “evil empire”,
strategic arms programme was implemented, and thanks to cooperation with Saudi Arabia, oil prices were lowered, which hit the Soviet economy. In 1980, some countries (including the USA, Canada, Norway and Germany) boycotted the Olympic Games in Moscow. In the same year, the Independent Self-Government Trade Union “Solidarity” was established in Poland as a result of powerful social protests. The Polish communists initially made concessions and tolerated the opposition organisation of almost 10 million for 16 months, but finally, in December 1981, they decided to dissolve the organisation by force, introducing martial law and breaking up the Solidarity movement, at least for a certain period of time.
The 1980 Olympics in Moscow were to become the catalyst for opening the USSR to the west.
Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan.