Mikhail Gorbachev As The Leader Of The USSR

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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

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