January 01, 2008

Six Years That Shook the World

20 years ago, Russia began to walk down the path of reform. 

It was a short walk. Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika lasted just six years. Still, it was enough to turn the world upside down.  

Gorbachev’s reform plan was not constructed about a neatly formulated ideology, but around the desire to fix a country that had a stagnating, isolated economy. The energetic new General Secretary of the Communist Party (CPSU) attacked many (but far from all) of the sacred cows of communism. He shoved the country toward a market economy, renounced the dictates of hard-liners by allowing demonstrations and lifting censorship, withdrew Soviet troops from Europe and Asia, buried the Bolsheviks’ dream of World Revolution and ended the decades-long Cold War.

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See Also

A Short History of the USSR

A Short History of the USSR

In Russian: a very short overview of the USSR by Alexander Kabakov, for students and those who did not live through it.

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