Mikhail Gorbachev was a pivotal figure in the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.
Throughout his tenure as General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev implemented a variety of innovative policies and initiatives designed to bring change to the nation.
He believed in reform, decentralization, and openness. Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika, allowed for greater freedom, re-energised political discussion, and led to the democratization of the Soviet Union.
Analytically speaking, Gorbachev’s reforms diverted from the traditional Stalinist and Leninist ideologies of economic planning and the centralized Soviet government.
Glasnost and perestroika made Moscow more accountable to its citizens, brought attention to the plight of areas suffering from economic and social woes, and allowed for greater access to information through press and media freedoms.
Merchants, industry leaders, and intelligentsia supported policy shifts as they saw an opening within the rigid structure of Soviet rule. As a result, Gorbachev’s foreign policy reshaped the face of international affairs and ended the Cold War without military confrontation.
He embraced reforms and opened diplomatic relations with Western countries, lowered the threat of nuclear weapons, and provided assistance in 1989 in ending decades of civil war in Afghanistan.
Gorbachev was also responsible for launching crucial environmental reforms and ending the war with neighboring Afghanistan.
His efforts not only affected the Soviet Union but also the entire world.
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the break-up of the Soviet Union can be attributed to the changes Gorbachev initiated.
His influence and leadership left an indelible mark on the world stage, and his reform policies have shaped the democratic economic society of today.