However, for another four days, there was a shrinking Soviet federal government and Gorbachev still had control of the Kremlin. This ended in the early hours of 25 December 1991, when Gorbachev resigned and ceded control of the Kremlin and the remaining powers of his post to the presidency of the Russian Federation, Yeltsin. On 7 April 1989, Soviet troops and armoured personnel were sent to Tbilisi after more than 100,000 people protested outside the Communist Party headquarters with banners calling for Georgia`s secession from the Soviet Union and the full integration of Abkhazia in Georgia.  On 9 April 1989, troops attacked the demonstrators; About 20 people were killed and more than 200 injured.   This event radicalized Georgian politics and led many to conclude that independence was preferable to the pursuit of the Soviet regime. On 14 April, Gorbachev designed Jumber Patiashvili as first secretary of the Georgian Communist Party and replaced him with former Georgian leader Givi Gumbaridze. Most Americans found it difficult to get used to the idea of a Cold War. Since 1945, Americans have been born into a Cold War culture that included McCarthyist witch hunts, backyard bomb shelters, a space race, a missile crisis, a détente, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Star Wars defense proposal. The enemy was defeated, but the world remained uncertain. In many ways, it was easier to confront a superpower than to challenge dozens of rogue states and rebel groups that sponsor global terrorism. On 8 December, a newly free Gorbachev travelled to Minsk, where he met with leaders of the Republic of Belarus and Ukraine and signed an agreement that cut the two countries from the U.S.S.R. to create the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The agreement said in part: “The Soviet Union as a theme of international and geopolitical reality no longer exists.” A few weeks later, Belarus and Ukraine followed eight of the nine remaining republics which, after a meeting in Alma-Ata, in present-day Kazakhstan, declared independence from the USSR. (Georgia joined two years later) The Soviet Union was supposed to be “a society of true democracy,” but in many ways it was no less repressive than the tsarist autocracy that preceded it. It was led by a single party, the Communist Party, which demanded the loyalty of every Russian citizen.