Post-Soviet Reforms

The 1985 election of Mikhail Gorbachev as a new leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (C.P.S.U.) ushered in a new era. The stagnation of the Brezhnev period had ended with his death in 1982. After two successors to Brezhnev died in rapid succession, the Communist elite wanted someone younger and healthier in the lead. Gorbachev was apparently chosen because of his relative youth and unassuming demeanor. He was a good compromise: A peasant boy from the grain-rich Stavropol region, he seemed provincial enough to present little danger of despotism. He was also well educated and was supported by some of the most forward-looking members of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.

Gorbachev's Perestroika

The End of the Soviet Union

Yeltsin: “Painful, but Quick” Reforms?

A New Political Structure: The Russian Federation

Privatization and the Rise of the Oligarchs

Hitting Bottom: The Default of 1998

Putin Rising: The Beginning of New Order

The Kremlin Corporation and Putin Forever?

Other FSU Republics