Why the CIA believed Gorbachev's

History 07/02/20 Wikipediapage CIA believed Gorbachev’s “new Stalin”

Mikhail Gorbachev has remembered fellow citizens that his policies of perestroika eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, in the mid-1980s, American intelligence saw before him quite a different figure – a strong leader who is able to challenge US interests throughout the world.

“Potential Orthodox”

Declassified and made public the reports of the experts Sovietologists CIA often give Gorbachev the evaluation, far from the stereotypes. Gorbachev has come to the attention of the authors of the policy briefs in 1982, when it was included in the unofficial list of possible successors Leonid Brezhnev. Intelligence experts were based mainly on reports of the official seal of the USSR. They believed that the young generation of the Soviet elite, which was considered and Gorbachev, it is not necessary to expect the liberal course. With the same success, as warned “the Office of Soviet analysis” of President Reagan, it was possible to wait and return to the “neostalinism Orthodoxy”. The advantages of Gorbachev on the way to power was called young age and the actual scope of activity – agriculture. According to these criteria, Mikhail Gorbachev compared with Nikita Khrushchev. Already under Andropov in 1983, Gorbachev was considered by the CIA as a possible next Secretary General.

“a Follower of Andropov”

When in 1985 Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, his political credo of American intelligence were rather vague. Considering the results of the first months of the new leader, analysts noted that the personal qualities of Gorbachev is not like the predecessors. It was called “strong” and “uncompromising”.

“Gorbachev has demonstrated in his first hundred days that it is the most aggressive and active Soviet leader since Khrushchev. He is ready to take controversial and even unpopular decisions,” reads one of the reports (cited in the article, historian Alexander Zorin “Mikhail Gorbachev in the research reports of the CIA (1982-1987”).

Americans saw in Gorbachev a prudent policy, the successor of Andropov, the most notable of his decision believed deployed to combat alcoholism. At the same time, Sovietologists predicted that a few adventurous leadership style of Mikhail Gorbachev cause resistance to the officials of the “old school.”

“Reminiscent of Stalin”

When Gorbachev criticized the Brezhnev stagnation, it saw the similarity with Stalin. According to experts, the CIA, the point of view of Gorbachev was more similar to the approach of the “father of peoples”, rather than Brezhnev or Khrushchev. However, this similarity did not mean, in their opinion, a return to mass repression. Analysts noted the proximity of Gorbachev to Stalin in matters of discipline, the differentiation of wages and tolerance for bureaucratic local “potentates”. And after Gorbachev announced the beginning of perestroika, intelligence is considered a threat to U.S. interests.

“Mikhail Gorbachev is the most formidable Soviet leader that the United States has faced since the death of Stalin. He is firmly committed to the radical improvement of the efficiency and productive power of the Soviet Union and the increasing influence of the Soviet Union around the world. Although his chances of success were doubtful, his determination — no,” says the CIA document.

Events since 1987 have shown that the “doubt” of Americans in the success of the Soviet leader was well founded. History Gorbachev came not as a “new Stalin” and as the man finally destroyed Stalin’s legacy.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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