How exactly could one pilot help end a struggle that lasted decades? His name is Mathias Rust and he was a German aviator made famous by his illegal landing in the Red Square in 1987. Rust landed in Moscow, departing from Finland, all while being tracked by Soviet air defense. He was able to successfully evade their air force and precautions and land near the Kremlin in the capital of the Soviet Union.
Why exactly was this monumental in ending the Cold War? The Soviets were said to have a completely impregnable defense system set up, and when Rust evaded them he in effect uncovered just how weak the Soviet military was.
After the incident many senior military officials were fired, including the Defense Minister Marshal of the entire Soviet Union and the head of Soviet Air Defense. It also aided Mikhail Gorbachev in his rise because he was able to implement his reforms after the countless officials who opposed him were removed from the military!