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Of the last 4 leaders of USSR...


The most capable of the folowing USSR leaders was...

a) Leonid Brezhnev
b) Yuri Andropov
c) Konstantin Chernenko
No votes
d) Mikhail Gorbachev
Total votes : 44
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Aug 2011, 22:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 20 Aug 2011, 21:26
...who was the most capable and who the least? Can you rate them all (one after another) to see how you find them? Also, try to make some arguments for your choices.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Post 20 Aug 2011, 22:35
I think it's pretty difficult to judge the middle two, since they were only in power for a tiny slice of time, and with the remainders, it's like asking which of two turds is the most palatable, but I suppose Brezhnev wins on the grounds that his rule didn't directly lead to the complete collapse of his country.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2006, 04:49
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Post 21 Aug 2011, 01:27
...who was the most capable and who the least? Can you rate them all (one after another) to see how you find them?

1. Yuri Andropov.

I believe that he was the most capable out of all of them because he had intended to stem the bureaucratic rot that had taken shape since the 1950s.

2. Leonid Bhreznev

I believe that he is a somewhat average leader. He did nothing outstandingly good, but did nothing really bad, either.

3. Konstantin Chernenko

He only ruled for a very short time and was already on his last legs by the time he assumed power, I would be very reluctant to rate him in the first place.

4. Mikhail Gorbachev

He is by far the least competent. He was so revisionist that he wasn't even Communist. It was his revisionism that virtually handed the world to the U.S. and indirectly led to the deaths of thousands if not millions in Georgia, Abhkhazia, South Ossetia, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and the Former Yugoslavia.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jan 2010, 05:46
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
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Post 21 Aug 2011, 01:53
I pick Andropov because he did a lot to fight corruption in the party and government, and he admitted the invasion of Afghanistan was a mistake. I don't like Brezhnev very much, mostly because of the war in Afghanistan and the bureaucracy. But he's better then Gorbachev.

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
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Post 21 Aug 2011, 02:23
I voted Andropov because of his personality and sober approach to problems. However, I think Brezhnev also deserves a lot of respect. For all the flack he gets about allowing cadres to decompose in their chairs, it was under him that the USSR achieved strategic parity with the US, and began in a more serious and reasoned way to support liberation struggles throughout the world. It has to be remembered as well that living standards during his tenure rose in a major way. Though Suslov reduced the number of openings for anti-communist criticism, the country never reverted to a totalitarian society, and the 'genius age' of Soviet cinema occurred under Brezhnev. His personality and approach to foreign affairs also facilitated detente, and he was a smooth and charismatic negotiator. The signing of the Helsinki Final Act also ensured the maintenance of peace in Europe to this day (except in Yugoslavia, but that was after the USSR collapsed). It should also be remembered too that the lifeblood of the Russian economy in the form of oil and natural gas pipelines from Siberia were also laid mostly in Brezhnev's time. Nuclear icebreakers, space stations, quality heavy and light transport production, machine-building tools exported all around the world, the BAM railroad, construction of hundreds of thousands of modern apartments, a growing and more and more educated population, all of this was facilitated by Brezhnev's leadership. It's not for no reason that the Brezhnev era is known as the Soviet Union's 'golden' period -peace, more freedom, rising living standards. Overall, I think if he had retired in 1977 after the 60th anniversary of October and the signing of the constitution he would be remembered on par with Stalin among the masses among the 20th century's best Soviet/Russian vozhds, perhaps even better, because Brezhnev had no problem with any ethnic group, and didn't have so many people, innocent or not, killed. He did actually signal his wish to retire in 1976, writing a letter to the Politburo and asking to be relieved of his duties. He was convinced to stay however, the Politburo fearing that his leaving would begin a major political war among its circles...

Here's an example of Brezhnev's charisma: He's talking to a French journalist -about various issues, his cutting back on smoking, his grandchildren, etc.:

Note how he doesn't need an interpreter, because he knew a bit of French from his school days. Brezhnev wasn't a member of the intelligentsia, but he definitely wasn't a fool either, as some wish to portray him.


Andropov, by the way, had a lot of his own negative qualities. For one thing, in his battle for power, he virtually deprived Grigory Romanov of his chance for the number one spot, through a KGB orchestrated rumor about Romanov's daughter smashing Czarist-era crystal-ware at her wedding. Andropov also kept a large number of liberals close to him, to consult with them, even if he held different views. These liberals, having achieved status in many of the country's top academic institutes, later played a major destructive role in the period of perestroika, when they openly revealed the extent of their anti-communist feelings. In this way, Andropov was playing with fire, and although he had no idea that someone would one day open the Pandora's box, his actions facilitated its existence. It was Andropov of course who took Gorbachev under his wing when Fyodor Kulakov died, and facilitated his rise. It was during Andropov's tenure as well that Alexander Yakovlev was allowed to come back to Canada (although again, at that time, he had hidden his anti-communist views).
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Nov 2011, 06:40
Post 19 Nov 2011, 04:55
1) Andropov
2) Gorbechov
3) Chernenko
4) Brezhnev

Chernenko might have been #2 had he lived longer... As I understand, not much of anything got accomplished by Brezhnev. Although I think Andropov was probably the most capable and probably got the most done, he was ruthless and he hated the USA. For that reason, Gorbechov is my favorite of the four.

By the way, Chernenko was Brezhnev's aid, and was famous for whispering in Brezhnev's ear. Chernenko was short lived, and Brezhnev had a very long reign, so there was a very witty joke in the USSR that went something like this:

"Brezhnev is dead, but Chernenko hasn't informed him yet!"

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2012, 00:17
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Post 14 Feb 2012, 01:49
Gorbachev was the most capable as he was young (in comparison to all other Soviet leaders), also he was well educated, experienced and chosen by the party unlike other Soviet leaders which fought hard and went to tremendous lengths to become leader (i.e Andropov), and also: the last thing Gorbachev wanted was the demise of the Soviet Union.

The decision was in the hands of each socialist republic and state, they decided if they wanted to remain part of the union or form there own independent socialist government. After having meetings and conferences (1989-1990) with Mikhail Gorbachev almost every state wanted its independence

Unfortunately the traitor Yeltsin took upon this opportunity, while the USSR was undergoing reform, and destroyed it completely by creating an agreement that committed Belarus and Russia woud merge into a confederate state, whilst abandoning all other Soviet Republics, and left them to fall into the hands of western Imperialism and domination.

To this day Gorbachev still wishes that he was not as lenient as he was and should have had more authority in order for the unbreakable union not to be broken.

Gorbachev said about Russia in 2011, that, "68% of people wish that the Soviet Union had not been destroyed
but only 8% want the Soviet Union to return the way it was in the 80s today"
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Mar 2012, 02:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 13 Mar 2012, 02:15
Since the question is "the most capable" I voted for Andropov simply because of the incompetence of the others leaders. In my opinion he was the right man for the job due to his political profile and his great past as Chairman of KGB. He brought discipline, efficiency, organization and orientation to the KGB, making it an extremely well prepared machine to handle with the political questions of the time. Besides, he was the kind of leader that Soviet Union needed at the time, a strong and determined politician without any sort of doubts and confusion in his mind much unlike Gorbachev. Among the 4 leaders, 2 contributed decisively for the fall of the USSR, Brezhnev who led the way (the decline of USSR starts during his ruling) and Gorbachev who finished the job once for all with the final collapse. Although i believe that Brezhnev's truly believed in communism and his terrible governance was due to his incompetence as soviet leader, i'm not so sure about the intentions of Gorbachev. Chernenko it's the only one of the four who i don't know very well. It's true that Andropov's rule didn't last too long but nevertheless i consider him the most capable of the four manly due to the incompetence of the others. If Andropov had not died so soon USSR could have lasted much longer than it did.
"If I could control Hollywood, I could control the world." -Joseph Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2012, 16:12
Ideology: Left Communism
Post 14 Mar 2012, 03:28
Andropov was the real deal: A bonafide economic and political hardliner who was both honest and competent... And socially he wasn't particularly conservative: He'd been a remarkably open-minded leader of the KGB and he wasn't particularly restrictive. He was conservative-ish, but not in a bad way.

A long, stable Andropov premiership would probably have technological/planning improvements and a bit of social liberalization... Without the noxious and totally unneccessary defeatism and capitalist roadin' that came after his death. Had Yuri lived five years longer, into 1985-87, there'd still be an USSR.

Andropov's plan of moderate, limited, clearly socialist reforms was saner and more practical than Chernenko's immovilism... And he wasn't a traitor or a capitalist roader like Gorbachev, so Yuri's plans were infinitely less destructive than Gorby's.
Last edited by KlassWar on 14 Mar 2012, 12:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
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Post 14 Mar 2012, 07:05
Are there any good, accessible texts available online describing what reforms Andropov had in mind?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Post 14 Mar 2012, 19:14
Not many that I can think of online off the top of my head, but the German wikipedia article seems to be pretty comprehensive, even if it is unsourced.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
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Post 15 Mar 2012, 00:56
Andropov was most certainly the most capable of them. Brezhnev prevented the USSR from overtaking the West, Chernenko did nothing and Gorbachev was an anti-communist. Not a hard choice.
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