Soviet Union Beyond Perestroika

Gorbachev hails a radical economic plan that could turn the Soviet Union into a nation of shopkeepers, but then suggests a few ways to dilute it

For angry Soviet consumers, Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov has come to personify just about everything that is wrong with perestroika. Twice in the past nine months he has tried to come up with an economic plan to save the floundering Soviet economy -- without success. As lines for basic staples, including bread, grow ever longer, confidence in his government has dipped so precipitously that even President Mikhail Gorbachev decided last month to join forces with longtime rival Boris Yeltsin, leader of the Russian Republic, in drafting an alternative plan. Thus when Ryzhkov stepped to the podium of the Supreme Soviet last...

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