In this excerpt from the Mikhail Gorbachev's remarks to the Soviet Union's Defense Council, his chief foreign policy advisor Anatoly Chernyaev lays out the argument by Gorbachev that the Soviet Union can no longer sustain the arms race with the west that had raged as a part of the Cold War since the 1940s. Despite this rational observation that the Soviet Union can no longer compete with the….
Following the state visit of Mikhail Gorbachev during East Germany's 40th anniversary (October 6 and 7, 1989), it was clear to many observers that East German leader Erich Honecker was on his way out. Demonstrations in Berlin, Leipzig, and elsewhere continued to grow. During Gorbachev's visit, crowds cheered "Gorbi, Gorbi!" and called for perestroika and glasnost for the GDR. During the week….
Anatoly Chernyaev was Mikhail Gorbachev's chief foreign policy advisor during the dramatic events of 1989. In this excerpt from his personal diary, Chernyaev speaks about preparing Gorbachev for his official state visit to East Germany on the occasion of the GDR's 40th anniversary in October 1989.
There are several interesting elements that can be seen in this short excerpt. The first….
This personal account offers insight into the private sentiments of Anatoly Chernyaev, Mikhail Gorbachev's top foreign policy adviser in the 1980s. In this diary entry from May 2, 1989, Chernyaev showed deep concern about the instability and unpredictability of the direction in which Gorbachev was leading the Soviet Union. The document indicates that Soviet leaders were not united, at least in….
At a March 10, 1988, Politburo meeting, Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) delineated his concerns about the growing influence of Western goods on Eastern bloc countries. He recognized that there existed minimal economic trade within Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and indicated the importance of rebuilding trade within COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) to ensure….
In the midst of a chaotic year of economic and political reforms, Communist Party General Secretary (and head of state) Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the politburo on the delicate issue of the Soviet military presence throughout Europe. Conventional Soviet military thinking was that any troop buildup by NATO countries must be met by tit-for-tat by the Warsaw Pact countries; to act otherwise was….
During the significant changes that were brewing in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) met with members of the Trilateral Commission, a nongovernmental organization founded in 1973 by private citizens of Japan, North America, and Europe to foster mutual understanding and cooperation. In these notes from a Politburo meeting in January….