ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gorbachev and perestroika in the USSR. Year 1986-87

Updated on August 24, 2013

1986 in the History of the USSR

Beginning is in my previous hub Gorbachev and perestroika 1985.

In 1986 the foreign policy of Mikhail Gorbachev was known to the whole world. In 1985 and later in 1986 there were meetings of Gorbachev with Ronald Reagan. His attempts to reduce the number of nuclear war heads were welcomed both by the United States and by the Soviet Union. In this year Gorbachev declared that the policy of military counterfeit has no future. The relations with the United States certainly became warmer and some American films appeared on TV.

A new phenomenon appeared in USSR with Gorbachev – his wife Raisa Gorbacheva. Her appearance on TV caused lots of controversial rumors. She was the first wife of a soviet state leader who escorted openly her husband in all trips. More than that she had her own agenda and her visits abroad were discussed even more than those of Gorbachev. She tried to look European to wear modern closes and to act accordingly, but instead she caused irritation of people in the USSR and pretty soon we started to think that she, not Gorbachev, makes the policy and rules the country.

On the 26th of April 1986 Chernobyl exploded. That catastrophe was later called “a test for openness which was failed by the Soviet Union”. The first information about Chernobyl was published only next day; the first information about “2 people dead and some radiation outburst” was published only 3 days after it. People were evacuated only after several days and majority of people had no idea of what was happening. Panic has started after the radiation came to Kiev and was exceeding normal in 80 times. Statistic said that within first month died 28 people, 125000 died within next 10 years, 135000 were evacuated to other places while 3000000 stayed in the polluted areas in Ukraine, Byelorussia and Russia. The radiation cloud went over the Europe. You can see yourself how a dilapidated city Pripyat looks and make a virtual tour I was impressed even more than I wanted to.

People started to speak more openly about censorship in culture and a lot of films prohibited in the previous years appeared on the screens. New approaches in economy appeared as well. The government declared a war with illegal labor activities. If you had a greenhouse to grow up tomatoes for sale, it was considered an illegal labor activity. Greenhouses with heating were totally prohibited. People who made handmade items were accused in “receiving income which is significantly more than materials used and labor applied”. In some cases such a labor activity could bring to a sentence up to 5 years. Authorities wanted to implement a law to determine basics of self-employed business but at the same time to forbid a private property on the means of production.

In the year 1986 a program of building houses and apartments for population was adopted. This year and next couple of years became known for massive building of multistoried buildings. The Party wanted to provide each family with an own apartment in the term till 2000.

A first foreign TV soap opera was shown in the USSR. “Simply Maria” (“Simplemente Maria”) from Mexico possessed hearts of millions of peoples. An other film which shook the country was an action film “The Octopus” (La Piovra ) with Michele Placido starring. It described mafia in Italy and an honest commissar who tried to fight with it.

1987 in the Soviet history

In the previous years of Soviet history many cities and towns in the USSR were named after some significant soviet or party leaders. In 1987 they started to rename these cities returning their former names. So all cities like Brezhnev became back Naberezhnye Chelny, Stalinsk – Novokuznetsk etc.

In 1987 it was decided to legalize a self-employed business. Party committee said that a private business is “not our way” but in a sphere of service, public catering and goods production co-operatives were permitted. First joint ventures appeared but they were not numerous because of strict legislation demands. Just to create any JV one needed to get approval in a dozen of ministries including KGB. So the process of JV creation could take from 6 to 9 months. It was much easier to become a self-employed businessman. Lots of them appeared in building industry, transportation and trade. Those who started business in consumer goods production were on the wave of success. People who had a shortage of closes were ready to buy anything.

The new times required new fashions and population of the country surprisingly came to know that black, grey and white are not the only colors in the Universe.

First private cafes and restaurants appeared in Moscow. The number of produced goods grew up but their quality was still poor.

The words “Perestroika” and “glasnost” were probably known at this time to the whole world. Gorbachev became extremely popular. The basic idea which he is cherishing now is that the Socialism can not exist any longer like this, but the capitalism also has to be changed. Perestroika was supposed to create a new type of social system.

In 1987 the USSR was shocked by a small airplane that landed directly on a Red Square.

A young men from Germany Mathias Rust landed his small Cessna in the very heart of the capital of the USSR. The main reason of his successful flight was the fact that in 1983 Soviet air defense system shot Korean passenger liner over the Far East and 269 people were killed. Even now the situation around that liner is still not clear. So none wanted to take responsibility and to order to shoot Mathias. Mathias was lucky; he was not even sentenced to any term. He was sent back to Germany and still lives a normal life. He said he just wanted to talk with Gorbachev about perestroika.

Continued in hub Gorbachev and Perestroika. Year 1988.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)