There are 11 item(s) tagged with the keyword "reform".
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People often ask me what lies ahead for Russia. This question always surprises me. It suggests that people think historians are part prophet, as if knowing a lot about the past means you can predict the future.
On December 12, 1801, 23-year-old Tsar Alexander I issued an ukaz. This particular decree was not something historians have considered extremely significant in the scheme of Alexander’s reign, but it merits attention for a few reasons.
The rises and falls of the esteem in which Russians have held Mikhail Gorbachev over the years have been dizzying.
Here’s the thing about history: you can’t see everything that is going on when you are living it, and then, when you try to dredge up what really happened, all you’ve got is your frail memories.
On September 28, 1989 – just a few months after Boris Yeltsin's triumph at the Congress of People’s Deputies – the police found a muddied and wet Yeltsin near a dacha community outside Moscow.
In the spring of 1989, elections were held: “alternative elections.” This redundant phrase, which today provokes smirks, back then had everyone in a state of euphoria. We had a choice!
"A classical authoritarian power... does not pay that much attention to what the population thinks, and when it does, this attention is usually limited to a bunch of platitudes loudly proclaimed as the official ideology..."
Stepping through hundreds of years of history, we look back at signal events that have occurred in these fall months.
What do you have to do as Russian tsar to be remembered as "Great"? You can start by reforming the government, social structure, customs, language, and, well, everything else.
A look back at the heady Gorbachev era, a time of rationing and glasnost, perestroika and cooperatives, when everything seemed possible.
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