Is Mikhail Gorbachev responsible for the collapse of communism?
By the 1980s the Communist regimes were all coming close to economic stagnation, in part caused by enormous defence expenditures. The Star Wars initiative proposed by the United States president Ronald Reagan in 1983 threatened to provoke an arms race that would impose even greater burdens on people who had experienced improvements in their standard of living and wanted more.
There had been earlier attempts in Eastern Europe at reforming the Communist system from within (1956 in Hungary (see Hungarian Revolution) and 1968 in Czechoslovakia (see Prague Spring), but these had been repressed by Soviet leaders who feared losing the buffer zone b ...more
Gorbachev a communist reformer was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. His appointment followed the death of three previous Soviet leaders in three years. Leonid Brezhnev was first to go followed by Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko. Not being able to afford another short term leader the old guard appointed the youthful 56 year old Mikhial Gorbachev as General Secretary.
From the outside it seemed as if this gre ...more
it was just that he was presiding when the events turned worse for USSR