If the United States won the Cold War, as I think it did, then the Soviet Union, or rather Russia, lost it, and lost it big. The main reason this happened was that its political leaders, in the Communist Party, did not give its own population a political, economic, or social system that was fit for purpose. The Soviet peoples had sacrificed immensely during the 20th century in an attempt at building a state and society of which they could be proud. The vast majority of citizens had believed that their hard work and defense of their achievements had created both a Superpower with a global reach and a better future for themselves. The ability to believe in improvement under Soviet rule, which would also be the pinnacle of Russian achievement, kept doubts away for the majority, even for those who ought to have known better. The crimes of the Soviet state were ignored by rulers and ruled alike, in a mutual conspiracy of silence.