Gorbachev Bound: The Emergence of the Ligachev Opposition

  • Anthony D’Agostino


The Central Committee plenum of January 1987 was the pivotal point in the rise of Gorbachev. Up to this point his reconstruction of the administrative and political leadership had pulled the whole Politburo along. There was a consensus that in order for progress to be made the superannuated Brezhnev coterie would have to have its ranks refreshed under a new leader. The Andropov appointees were swept along with the programme of ‘Acceleration’ because it was spiritually akin to the line of Andropov in 1982–83. So the sweeping changes of 1985–86 proceeded with an enthusiastic momentum. And Gorbachev clearly intended to go further still. He had inherited only the Brezhnev position as a mere first among equals; he strove, and had to strive, for something more.


Foreign Policy Union Republic Central Asian Republic Warsaw Pact Personnel Change 
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  1. 2.
    Yegor Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin (New York, Pantheon, 1993), 318, for the view that the January plenum was the key point at which discussion of economic reform went over into discussion of remaking the political structures.Google Scholar

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© Anthony D’Agostino 1998

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  • Anthony D’Agostino

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