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He has founded several political parties in Russia, penned opinion pieces for U. newspapers and even appeared in movies, television shows and advertisements for various products.

Gorbachev realized that he had inherited significant problems.

Even as the USSR vied with the United States for global political and military leadership, its economy was struggling, and its citizens were chafing under their relatively poor standard of living and lack of freedom.

Those difficulties were also keenly felt in the Communist nations of Eastern Europe that were aligned with and controlled by the Soviets.

Angry hard-line Communists attempted to remove Gorbachev from power in August 1991 by staging a coup.

The revolt failed due to the efforts of Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007), president of the Russian Republic, who emerged as the country’s most powerful political figure.

Hailing from a younger generation gave Gorbachev a new outlook on the challenges that faced his country.

R.), Russian Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik or Sovetsky Soyuz, former northern Eurasian empire (1917/22–1991) stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean and, in its final years, consisting of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (S. R.’s): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now Kyrgyzstan), Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia (now Moldova), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The government reacted with repressive measures that kept the revolutionaries at bay for the next two decades.

Gorbachev did not watch passively as these events unfolded.

To the contrary, he adopted more conservative policies in 1990–the same year he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gorbachev took a new approach toward addressing these problems: He introduced a reform program that embodied two overarching concepts.

Perestroika, his restructuring concept, started with an overhaul of the top members of the Communist Party.

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