Mikhail Gorbachev: the last of the USSR

2 March Mikhail Gorbachev, the rst and only President of the USSR, turns 85 years old.

Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) 11 March 1985. In this position, he was replaced by Konstantin Chernenko, who died March 10. At that time Gorbachev was the youngest member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee.

Immediately after the election of Gorbachev declared his political program: to accelerate socio-economic development of the country, growing attention to social policy, the development of democracy. Emphasized the need for transparency in the work of party, Soviet, state and public organizations. With regard to foreign policy, was the rate stated on the cessation of the arms race. Gorbachev himself called his speech a “Declaration of intent”. More information on this program was delivered at the April Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee and received the unofficial name “April theses”.


Gorbachev on his election as Secretary General

From the book of Mikhail Gorbachev, “Life and reforms”

It was a time of expectation. In less than three years, one after another, went from three General secretaries and a few of the most prominent members of the Politburo. According to Gorbachev, “died the system, its stagnant, senile blood no longer had vitality”. The new Secretary General knew that the USSR is increasingly lagging behind the developed countries, the slowing down of growth seriously complicates the situation in the economy. The situation was aggravated by the arms race and the war in Afghanistan. Remembers Gorbachev, military spending was 40 percent of the state budget, products MIC — 20% of the gross social product. Of the 25 billion total spending — $ 20 billion went to the military technical research and development.

In 1981-1985 the oil provided about 20% of all revenues and 70-75% of all foreign exchange earnings of the country. It was during this period because of stagnation of private agriculture of the USSR became the largest importer of food.

What are your memories of the era of Gorbachev, what its decision on the position of General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and President of the USSR influenced the life of the country and around the world – in material:

Table of contents:

Acceleration, glasnost, perestroika

The return of Sakharov and the release of political prisoners

Constitutional change and free elections

The presidency and the multiparty system

The end of the cold war: “no more enemies”

The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan

Anti-alcohol campaign: found the distortions

Cooperation and “Pavlov” reform: the calculation was illusory

The end of the USSR