Red Ladies in Waiting (Aircraft Specials 6065)
By Hans-Heiri Stapfer
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1994 64 Pages
PDF 34 MB
When Mikhail Sergeyevieh Gorbachev came as power as Secretary General of the Communis Party after the death of Chernevkov during early 1985. none of the politicians and observers on either side of the Iron Certain were aware that this man would radically change the Soviet Empire. The changes he put in place altered the structure of the Soviet Union more than any leader since the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917.
The catchwords. Perestroika (the restructuring of the Soviet economy and Communist Party) and Glasnost (openness) have now come to stand for total reform of the Communist system. This reform has led to a restructuring of most of the political systems in Europe.
The situation within the USSR that Gorbachev inherited was immensely depressing. The Soviet economy was in terrible shape, except for those areas involved in the production of defense material and space technology. In consumer goods, the Soviet Union resembled a Third World state rather than an industrial superpower.
This was the result of the Soviet policy that every Ruble should go into arms production in order to keep up with Western innovations in weapons technology. At the beginning of the Cold War. during the Stalin era, the East could keep up with the West: but as the arms race heated up. the cost of arms development and production slowly caused the subsequent economic collapse of the Soviet empire.