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The Glossary of Soviet Perestroika terms

During the years of perestroika, many specific terms and phrases appeared in newspaper articles and even in everyday speech. Such phrases are presented in this perestroika dictionary. Many terms are given in transliteration (from russian),so in such case you will see that word in quotes and English translation will be in brackets. That's is useful because in texts about perestroika, you can see these words written in transliteration. The word "Perestroika" itself is a transliteration of the Russian word.

Aggressively obedient majority is a phrase used in Yuri Afanasyev's speech at the First Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR on May 27, 1989. to the pro-communist majority of the Congress.

Buyer's card - the document which gave the right to buy goods in soviet stores on a certain territory, as a rule, it was the region of residence of a Soviet citizen. The amount of goods was limited not only by the quantity (number of tallons), but also geographically. It was impossible to come to another area of the city and make purchases with coupons. Such cards were in use during the time of an shortage of goods at the very end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s.

"Voyna zakonov" (The War of Laws) - period 1990-1991 the period when the laws of the USSR contradicted the laws of soviet republics, which also have their own constitutions and laws. In previous years, the laws of the Soviet Republics were fully subordinated to the Suprime Soviet laws.

"Vzglyadovec" - an anchorman of the cult Soviet TV program "Vzglyad" ("The View"). (see perestroika television )

"The Eighties" is a generation whose minds were formed during the Perestroika period. By analogy with the well-known term "sixties"

"Glasnost" (Openness) is a policy of openness and transparency in Soviet institutions. The word came into wide use in 1987.

"Housing - 2000" - the Soviet state program of housing construction, announced in 1986. The idea of that program was to give each Soviet family an own home until 2000 year. The program has not been completed.

"Inofirma" (Foreign company) a non-soviet company which was given a right to do a business in the USSR. In the 1980s, non-soviet companies received a limited opportunity to work in the USSR. An example of such a "foreign company" in the USSR is the well-known McDonald's, which opened its first restaurant in January 1990 in Moscow.

The coupon-based goods distribution system - a system that obliges the buyer not only to pay the money for goods but also to show special document (coupon), which allows you to buy a certain amount of goods. This system was introduced in conditions of a shortage of goods.

Sausage train is an informal term for trains traveling to regional centers such as Moscow. Large Soviet cities were supplied better than provincial ones. For example, the range of goods in Moscow was more than in neighboring cities. Accordingly, people from neighboring citie went to buy goods in Moscow, on the electric trains which were called "sausage trains", because sausages were extremely rare product.

Cooperative - a form of business activity that became legal in the USSR after February 5, 1987, when the Soviet authorities adopted the resolution called "On the creation of cooperatives for the production of consumer goods" Cooperatives were supposed to overcome the shortage of goods.

The Interregional Deputy Group is a parliamentary fraction within the Congresses of People's Deputies (renewed soviet parliament), which united democratic Deputiesin 1989. The leadership of the MDG included Andrei Sakharov, Boris Yeltsin, Anatoly Sobchak, Gavriil Popov and others.

"Moskovskaya tribuna" (Moscow Tribune) is a public organization organized on October 12, 1988 to hold discussions on the problems of economics, human rights, international politics, culture, etc. Among the founders of the club were Andrey Sakharov, Yuri Afanasyev and Ales Adamovich. Sessions of the Moscow tribune were usually held in the House of Scientists.

Nevada - Semipalatinsk is a social movement that opposes nuclear tests. Established in 1989, it still exists today.

"New political thinking" is the main foreign policy concept of the Perestroika. The idea of "New political thinking" was to reduce the tension between the socialist countries and western countries. The are several famous steps of the of the "New political thinking": personal meetings of Reagan and Gorbachev, the signing of arms limitation treaties, etc

"Ogonyok" people the journalists of the Soviet "Ogonyok" magazine, well-known during the perestroika years.

"Prorab Perestroiki" (The foreman of the Perestroika) is a supporter and active participant of perestroika. Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev was often called as a foremen of the Perestroika.

"Tormoz Perestroiki" (The brake on the perestroika) is a person or a phenomenon that that hindered the idea of the Perestroika. For example, in 1988 a brochure "Bureaucracy - is a brake on the Perestroika" was published.

"Uskorenie" (Acceleration) is one of the most famous slogans of the Perestroika. Unlike Glasnost, the term "Uskorenie" was proclaimed in 1985. The term "Uskorenie" meant the development of the USSR economy through the technological modernization. The main purpose of the "Uskorenie" was to increase the efficiency of the Soviet economy.

The fourth wave of emigration - emigration from the USSR in the late 1980s - first half of the 1990s. This wave is named by analogy with the previous waves. This wave was the result of the simplification of crossing the Soviet border

Economic "vseobuch" (universal education) the system of studying the economic policy of the CPSU at enterprises. The official goal of this practice was "to improve mass economic education." In other words, the meaning of the Economic Education was to explain the Perestroika innovations introduced at Soviet enterprises.