December 8 in Russian history

The last meeting of Soviet leaders and elimination of intermediate-range nuclear forces are in the spotlight of tonight’s Historama.

­USSR becomes history

The Soviet Union was officially dissolved today in 1991.

President Boris Yeltsin met with the acting leaders of Ukraine and Belarus at a state dacha in Belavezha.

Read more about Boris Yeltsin on Russipedia

There they signed an agreement establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

All 15 former Soviet republics were recognized as independent, sovereign nations in the existing administrative borders.

Read more on this event in Russian history

­Nuclear disarmament takes off

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed between the US and the Soviet Union on this day in 1987.

Ronald Reagan met with Mikhail Gorbachev in Washington.

The treaty eliminated nuclear and ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges.

Anything with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers was prohibited.

By the treaty’s deadline, more than 2,500 such weapons had been destroyed – 846 by the US and 1,846 by the Soviet Union.

Lucky swindler grabs attention of Soviet spectators

On this day in 1968, thousands of television viewers in the USSR saw the first screen adaptation of “The Little Golden Calf.”

A satirical novel written by Ilya Ilf and Evgeni Petrov, it became famous among Soviet people.

It tells of the adventures of swindler Ostap Bender, the main character of the authors’ previous book, “The Twelve Chairs.”

Starring prominent actors of the epoch, the film proved a complete success.

“The Little Golden Calf” and “The Twelve Chairs” were both adapted for the screen many more times.

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