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Perestroika, which means "restructuring" in the Russian language, was a series of changes to the economy of the Soviet Union. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started it in 1986. This happened only a few years before the Soviet Union fell apart into 15 countries. Many historians argue that it was a major reason that the Soviet Union fell apart. It happened at about the same time as Gorbachev's "glasnost" reforms, which made what the government did not as much of a secret.
The Soviet Union was a communist country. The government controlled the economy. People did not own their own land or businesses. Under perestroika, some people could even start to own their own businesses. Gorbachev wanted perestroika to help out the Soviet economy, which had been having problems. However, in the end, it could not save the country's economy.
- "Perestroika". ibiblio.org. http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/soviet.exhibit/perest.html. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Russia-Unforeseen Results of Reform The Perestroika Program". mongabay.com. http://www.mongabay.com/history/russia/russia-unforeseen_results_of_reform_the_perestroika_program.html. Retrieved May 2, 2010.