The Soviet Union
Krogh, Peter F. (Peter Frederic)
Examines the present political situation in the Soviet Union and the attempts by Mikhail Gorbachev to revitalize the economy and the unity of the republics. Discusses the risks and possible outcomes of Gorbachev's policies.
In the waning days of the Cold War, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began to implement Glasnost, the policy of openness, transparency, and freedom of speech throughout the declining Soviet Union. Glasnost was intended to foster loyalty to the Soviet system through reform, however the newfound political freedom revealed growing nationalist tensions among the non-Russian citizens in many Soviet Republics. With 15 republics and over 100 distinct nationalities, the Soviet Union was forced to balance the need for openness with the need for control over the unruly nationalist movements that had become increasingly vocal. Difficulties in implementing Glasnost also arose in the Eastern Bloc States, where Gorbachev’s policies were popular with the people, but disliked by governments wary of giving their citizens more freedom in an increasingly unstable political environment. Gorbachev was faced with the challenge of reconciling two seemingly contradictory objectives: the goal of modernizing Eastern Europe so it could contribute to the failing Soviet economy, while also retaining political control over the Eastern Bloc states. This episode discusses the feasibility of separating political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union, as well as the implications of Glasnost on stability within Russia’s sphere of influence.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union; Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States; United States -- Foreign relations -- 1981-1989; Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich, 1931-; Soviet Union -- Economic conditions -- 1985-1991; Perestroika; Cold War; Glasnost; Perestroika; End of Cold War; Mikhail Gorbachev; United States Foreign Relations;
Russia; Former Soviet Union;
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