Consider the view that if Gorbachev had followed different policies, the USSR could have survived, in the same way that communism survived in China.

In the late 20th century, the internal disintegration within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) took place.

Factors: Many factors played crucial roles in the demise of the USSR. One of the most significant factors was Gorbachev’s reforms and his abandonment of the Brezhnev Doctrine.

The leadership of Gorbachev: In 1985, Gorbachev was elected as the General Secretary. His initial desire was to revivify the Soviet economy. Soon he realized that it requires reforming of the political and social structures. He then tried to introduce technological modernization to increase worker productivity. After it failed to give the desired result, he tried to initiate deeper reforms.

In the case of foreign trade, he set up trading relationships with developed nations. He introduced market mechanisms, in the hope of revitalization and promotion of joint ventures. He extended multi-candidate elections by opening up the political platform for the groups and individuals outside the Communist Party.

The break-up: Mikhail Gorbachev was sworn in as President on 15th March 1990. Later after less than a year, in 1991, the world witnessed the dissolution of the Soviet Union or USSR.

Consequence: The collapse of the USSR was followed by the emergence of Russia in 1991.

Present scenario: In recent times, it has been seen, Moscow took a stronger position in world affairs. Once again it managed to elevate itself to the pinnacle of global power by taking advantage of global oil price hike, focusing on the domestic industry, practicing several bilateral ties with other counterparts, and diplomacy.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Consider the view that if Gorbachev had followed different policies, the USSR could  have survived, in the same way that communism survived in China.

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:August 18, 2020

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