The fall of the Soviet Union began to happen when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. It happened shortly before midnight on March 11, 1985. The Central Committee announced that Mikhail Gorbachev would succeed Konstantin Chernenko, who had been dead for four hours. Gorbachev quickly moved to set him apart from potential rivals, he created a platform.
This new regime named the platform glasnost ("openness," "candor") and perestroika ("restructuring of society and economy"). Shortly afterwards, these words had embodied no more ideological value than soviet ("council") had in 1905.
At a Central Committee meeting in April of 1985, Gorbachev and his allies called for "revolutionary changes". In a July of '86 speech the new leader said of the term perestroika, "I would equate it with the word 'revolution.'"
From this point on the USSR did make reforms, and signed treaties to disarm both of the superpowers. Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The Cold War finally came to an end with a coup, and Boris Yeltsin was elected to power. Since this time in 1991, Russia and the United States have grown closer, and the world safer.