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How did perestroika and glasnost contribute to change in Eastern Europe?

Perestroika and gllasnost contributed to change in Eastern Europe by promoting economic restructuring and political openness.

Perestroika, which translates to 'restructuring', was a policy introduced by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. It aimed to reform the stagnant Soviet economy by introducing elements of the free market. This was a significant shift from the centrally planned economy that had been in place since the Bolshevik Revolution. The policy allowed for greater private ownership and encouraged foreign investment. This economic liberalisation had a profound impact on Eastern Europe. As the Soviet Union was the dominant power in the region, changes in its economic policy had a ripple effect. Eastern European countries, many of which were satellite states of the Soviet Union, began to adopt similar economic reforms. This led to a gradual transition from centrally planned economies to more market-oriented ones.

Glasnost, meaning 'openness', was another policy introduced by Gorbachev. It aimed to increase transparency and freedom of speech in the Soviet Union. This was a radical departure from the previous era of strict censorship and state control over media. The policy led to a more open discussion of political and social issues, and exposed the corruption and inefficiencies of the Soviet system. This increased political openness also spread to Eastern Europe. It led to a wave of democratic movements across the region, as people demanded more political freedoms and an end to communist rule.

The combined effect of perestroika and glasnost was to destabilise the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. The economic restructuring led to a period of economic instability, as the transition to a market economy was not smooth. At the same time, the increased political openness allowed for a surge in popular protests against the communist governments. These protests, combined with the economic instability, led to the fall of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. This marked the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era of democracy and capitalism in the region.

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