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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.[1] 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.[2] 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.

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