5-speed listening (Level 4)

Ex-Soviet leader warns of new Cold War






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The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago. It represented the end of communism and the Cold War in Europe, and lowered the chances of nuclear conflict. Hope sprang up as the wall came down. Two-and-a-half decades later, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned the world is nearing a new Cold War. He said the West had not fulfilled promises made after 1989. He said: "The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say that it has already begun."

The Berlin Wall existed between 1961 and 1990. It isolated West Berlin. Western powers controlled West Berlin; East Germany controlled the rest. The wall had many guard towers. Border guards shot or arrested anyone trying to cross to the west. The wall symbolised the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc. In 1989, major political changes in the Eastern Bloc led to the Wall falling. Germany was reunited in October 1990.

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