In 1985, Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. His new policies had an impact on eastern Europe and on the attitude of the USSR towards the socialist bloc. He had a different outlook on the communism and the Soviet state. Gorbachev had realised that the Soviet system itself was performing badly. Gorbachev made an attempt to re-build the Soviet Union economy through the use of his two new policies which he launched in 1986 – Glasnost and Perestroika.
Glasnost: It was a policy of openness that encouraged the population to put forward new ideas and show initiative and it was also the name for the social and political reforms to put forward more rights and freedom upon the Soviet People. Also it meant that the state censorship of the media was eased and reception of foreign broadcasts was allowed.
Perestroika: A reconstruction of the political and economic system established by the Communist Party of the economy, which involved a measure of private enterprise to promote production, efficiency and higher-quality good.
Gorbachev’s new policies led to a more critical approach towards communism and encouraged the people in the Soviet Union to push for further liberalisation. This led to the Soviet Union adopting the political and economic ideas of the West.