Mikhail Gorbachev As The Leader Of The USSR

Good Essays
Mikhail Gorbachev was arguably the most important world statesman of the second half of the twentieth century as the leader of the USSR from 1985-91. Unlike his predecessors, he was an open-minded and forward-looking leader. In order to improve the Soviet economic and political system , he implemented the policies Perestroika and Glasnost which were still controversial up to now. Perestroika means more reformation and was mainly applied to the Politburo and Soviet society. Glasnost means to be open, was mainly used to grant freedom of press and public opinion. Although popular with the West, Gorbachev was far less so in his own country. While the Westerners regarded him as the ‘hope for change’ , the Soviets considered him as a national …show more content…
The patriots might disapprove the achievements of Gorbachev as the Soviet leader. Nevertheless, their judgement has in fact neglected the importance of him in constructing a peaceful world which had been undermined for the whole Cold War. Undeniably, Gorbachev did make unimaginable concessions in the resolution of regional conflicts and arms negotiations. His acts were often recognised as ruining the great country of the USSR. However, according to Nikolay Shmelev, the Russians would not have been able to persuade our main partners in the West without those concessions. The unbearable imperial burden insisted by the conservatives has brought the country nothing but strain and ruin. Gorbachev has helped developing a new image for the USSR. Gorbachev himself has made a response, ‘Critics at home have also charged that we lost our allies in Eastern Europe, that we surrendered these countries without compensation. But to whom did we surrender them? To their own people. The nations of Eastern Europe, in the course of a free expression of the will of the people, chose their own path of development based on their national needs. The system that existed in Eastern and Central Europe was condemned by history, as was the system in our own country. Any effort to preserve this system would have further weakened our country’s positions, discrediting the Soviet Union in the eyes of our own people and the whole world.’ Though the ‘freedom of choice’ given to the Soviet satellites virtually broke the USSR apart, it was completely reasonable and righteous for the government to release their strict control over the states in compliance with the principles of self-determination and respect to national sovereignty. In other words, Gorbachev was making a progress of democratisation. It is agreed by Olga Zdravomyslova. She thought that

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Sovietization of East Central Europe was partially allowed to occur due to the neglect of the Americans, who were less war torn than the ravaged nations of Europe. Had the United States focused on the happenings of the Soviet Union there could have been a chance that the countries of East Central Europe could have been spared of the Sovietization. However, the Americans were concerned about protecting their own borders against the perceived threat of Communism. Additionally, on the Soviet side, there was a need to show the world their power and might. Because of the many defeats the Soviets had faced before in World War I and the Finnish War, the Sovietization of East Central Europe was necessary as a power play to assert that the Soviet Union was just as powerful as the United States and Great Britain.…

    • 1794 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The loss in Afghanistan was embarrassing and costly for the USSR. Based on this, the USSR could not focus on the arms race with the United states, and in effect, the US pulled ahead. After a few unstable leaders came in and out of power, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union, and realized that the county…

    • 1125 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    However, many critics include myself believe that this event lead to a series of the new modern issues such as the Korean and Vietnam War, China turn to communist and the nuclear weapons issues. Kennan’s ideology was deliberately risky to the United States entering the war conflict with the Soviet. One of the problem was it gave the Soviet Union an advantage to pick the confrontation for the territories like Korea. In my opinion, Kennan’s ideology is less persuasive because in my opinion, the U.S government at the time was over exaggerated the upcoming power of the Soviet. In addition, Lippmann also points out that the containment policy did nothing but to scare their own American…

    • 851 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This is why it was so hard for Mikhail Gorbachev to let the Soviet Union go and surrender and lose the Cold War to Ronald Reagan and the United States. Mikhail Gorbachev three main issues that he wanted to fix in the Soviet Union, was to fix the struggling economic outlook on the society, help and support the terrible political system, and help turn around the religious views on the society. This is what makes Mikhail Gorbachev one of the most respected and world renowned…

    • 1462 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Not only did the wall cause protests and a peaceful revolution, it was a spark of the Cold War itself. It took the responsibility out of the hands of the Communist Party, and made the population of East Berlin make the final decision to break down the wall. The most effective way to keep a stable population under communist law is to make the population happy. The Berlin Wall was the complete wrong way to approach the situation. If instead of isolating the people when the population decrease was noticed, the Soviet Union focused on a less societally destructive solution, the same goal may have been possible to achieve without as many hardships.…

    • 1167 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This cast an "Iron Curtain" down the middle of Europe. Because of the continuous policy of rapprochement the Soviets were following, and the democratisation of Europe 's communism, the satellite states were able to separate themselves from the Warsaw Pact, which was an alliance made in retaliation against the USA 's NATO. Gorbachev allowed the states ' governments to make their own decisions without much influence from the Soviets. This earned him great respect from the satellite states, as described by a British reporter situated in Czechoslovakia, “When Gorbachev and the beautiful Raisa smile and wave, the Czech people go crazy… When we were reformers, the Soviets invaded. Now the Soviets are reformers, they have discovered a deep respect for Czechoslovakia’s right to govern itself”.…

    • 1539 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    break Soviet-American relations because they obviously have completely different beliefs. The opposing anti-democratic beliefs could have caused even worse outcomes if they did not break the relations. A great action was the creation of the Marshall Plan, which was designed to strengthen European economies devastated by WWII. This allowed Western Europe to become stable while adopting democratic beliefs. The Soviets responded by strengthening control over Eastern Europe.…

    • 764 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I believe his argument about colonialism is ironic and contradicting as he claims these two opposing statements. There can be many “what if” statements concerning the Cold War, but my belief is that America did ruin any trust that was held between Russia and the U.S. when they avoided telling the Soviets about the creating of an atomic bomb. I feel as though America did not have faith in Russia’s honesty, and wanted to avoid any attention towards the United States and the atomic bomb. Because the Soviet Union was in such ruins, why would they want to risk breaking forces when they needed it most? As expected, Russia went to large measures to protect themselves, and the United States saw this as a threat.…

    • 1112 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    One of these lessons is “Friends and allies matter.” (Edwards) Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States had many allies and were able to call on them in this time of need. The Soviet Union did not have this advantage because they were “not a true nation but a conglomeration of captive peoples and nationalities “united” by the Red Army.” (Edwards) Another lesson is “Leadership matters.” (Edwards) The Unites States had very forward-thinking and strong individuals, such as Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan, to lead them during the Cold War. Again, this was an advantage to the United States that the Soviet Union could not enjoy. With leaders such as Stalin and Gorbachev, they were weak and not as determined. For example, “Gorbachev helped end the Cold War by reluctantly abandoning the Brezhnev Doctrine that had propped up the communist regimes of Eastern Europe for decades.”(Edwards) The Cold War provided many things for the United States.…

    • 1196 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Stalin was pragmatic and always managed to back the most widely supported ideology however his opponents did not do the same. For example, he stopped supporting the NEP when it began to fail whereas Bukharin remained loyal to it. This was important in his success as it gained him support and demonstrated that he knew what he was doing. However, this may be considered an example of him manipulating the party machine as he did not stand for many real things but instead made it seem to those at the top that he did. Similarly, but of least importance were his contenders poor tactics and personalities.…

    • 1303 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays