The 1980s saw a surge of centrally sponsored reform in the Soviet Union. Initiated by Yuri Andropov even before he became General Secretary, this reformist urge could not be halted by his short-term successor Konstantin Chernenko, and took off with a vengeance under Mikhail Gorbachev. The Gorbachev period witnessed a process of radicalisation of reform culminating in the escape of that reform from central control and the resultant collapse of the USSR. Initially the reform publicly sponsored by Gorbachev was strictly limited in scope, encompassing change in the economic sphere with only limited attention being given to political matters. However, under the influence of various pressures, this focus soon widened, until by late in the 1980s many in the leadership acknowledged the need for wholesale change in the Soviet system.
KeywordsCommon Region Official Position Party Leader Party Organ Party Committee
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