The Soviet Union 's Bureaucracy

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Former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the disintegration of a country based on an uncompromising ideological dogma, the unlikely inheritor of Marxist/Leninist communist philosophy. The Soviet Union’s unwieldy economic superstructure left it vulnerable to Ronald Reagan’s aggressive economic/military policy, an approach based on the belief that a military build-up would force the Soviets to spend to keep pace, an effective strategy because it pushed the Soviet economy over the edge into ruin. The subsequent implosion ended communist domination in Eastern Europe and opened the way for democratic elements that radically altered the political landscape in Moscow. When the Soviet Union officially came to an end in 1993, it briefly recalled the end of tsarist rule in 1917, with the potential for the kind of chaos and violence that turned the Russian Revolution into a bloodbath. President Boris Yeltsin used the military to disband parliament but his call for new elections moved the country toward a more open, democratic form of government. Lacking any real background in representative government, Russia ultimately proved incapable of fulfilling the promise of democratic government and descended into a form of anarchy riddled by increasingly strong criminal elements. In recent years, the rise of Boris Putin, a new strongman in Moscow, helped restore a sense of order and allowed the resurgence of communist elements. The government that now holds power, and which
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