In 1985 the SU got a new leader: Michael Gorbachev.
He realised that the SU could not survive without radical reforms.
he came with 2 new policies:
1. perestroika: (=rebuilding), turn the plan economy into a free market economy
2. glasnost: (= openness), more freedom of speech
Two other important changes Gorbachev introduced:
- better relationship with the USA
- no more Red Army interference in Eastern Bloc countries