Margaret Thatcher on Sovietology and Gorbachev Reforms

Thatcher saw the two groups of Sovietologists:
1) stressing the Gorbachev reforms,
2) limiting as many changes as possible in the USSR.

Gorbachev’s intentions were limited but the consequences that his reforms would have across the USSR would cause erosion of discipline. Gorbachev had liberalized the election process for candidates in the Soviet body politic. Gorbachev called for restructuring (perestroika) and acceleration of their economy. He clearly wished to function in a socialist system. Thatcher consulted Reagan, Germany and France before heading to Russia. When she visited, Thatcher made a scathing speech about Russian failure and weakness just before her visit. When she was questioned about her harsh statements before coming to Russia, Thatcher fired back with even more vitriol. They had a very public debate of ideas. Thatcher attacked Gorbachev over Afghanistan and Jewish discrimination. Thatcher clearly saw the cracks in the Soviet system, which her rhetoric emphasized.

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