Why Did Gorbachev's Reforms Fail and How Did Yeltsin Rise to Power?

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Submitted By mico
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Why did Gorbachev's reforms fail and how did Yeltsin rise to power?
In typical political terms, Gorbachev unsuccessful, and did thus catastrophically: the "democratic reformation" he tried to enact within the Soviet Union led to the breakup of his state and country. However that's not the total story of his six and a half years as leader, throughout that Gorbachev had two unprecedented achievements. He led Russia (then Soviet Russia) nearer to real democracy than it had ever been in its centuries-long history. And, with the partners he found in American presidents Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush, he came nearer to ending the decades-long cold war than had anyone before him.
Nor is it reasonable to assume that Gorbachev should have completed those undertakings. Few transformational leaders, even "event-making" and "historically fateful" ones, are able to see their missions to completion. This is especially true of leaders of great reformations, whose nature and period generate additional opposition and problems than their initiators (unless they are a Stalin) have power or time to overcome. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, to require a well-known example, a perestroika of American capitalism, continued to unfold and undergo setbacks long after his death. Most such leaders can solely open political doors; leave behind alternative ways that did not exist before, and hope, as Gorbachev usually did publically, that what they began would be "irreversible."
How is this historical state of mind to be explained? In post-Soviet Russia, the primary cause was political expediency. Fearing a backlash at home against their role within the Soviet breakup and worried regarding Gorbachev’s continuing popularity abroad, Yeltsin and his inner circle insisted that the new Russian president was the "undoubted father of Russian democracy" and Gorbachev merely a half-hearted…...

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