The Last Years of the Soviet Empire: Snapshots from 1985-1991

By Vladimir Shlapentokh; Neil F. O'Donnell | Go to book overview

Calendar of Events: 1985-1991

1985
March 10. Konstantin U. Chernenko, general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU and president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, dies.
March 11. Extraordinary Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU elects Mikhail Gorbachev as general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
April 23. At the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Gorbachev makes his first report as general secretary; discusses the tasks of the party.
April 30. Gorbachev increases Politburo membership from 10 to 13, declaring: "Revolutionary changes are needed. What is at issue is the retooling of all sectors of the national economy based on the latest scientific and technological advances."
May 7. The USSR's Council of Ministers passes a decree aimed at eliminating alcoholism and eradicating home distilleries.
June 11. The Central Committee discusses how to accelerate scientific-technological progress. Gorbachev presents a report entitled "The Main Questions of Party's Economic Policy."
July 1. Following the recommendations of the Supreme Soviet, the Central Committee strips G. V. Romanov of his duties as a Politburo member and elects Eduard Shevardnadze and Boris Yeltsin as members of the party leadership.
July 2-3. The Supreme Soviet elects Andrei Gromyko as chairman of the Supreme Soviet and Eduard Shevardnadze as minister of foreign affairs.
November 18-19. Leaders of the USSR and United States meet in Geneva for arms talks.

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