The Economy of the USSR under Brezhnev 1964-85


1950-58: 7.1% growth per year, 1958-64: 5.3% growth per year, 1970s: 2% growth per year.

1. Reverse from Khrushchev

• Brezhnev was content to manage the system that Stalin had set up and reversed many of the changes introduced by Khrushchev e.g. the division of the Party into agricultural and industrial sectors, the Regional Economic Councils, the Virgin Lands Scheme.

• Seven year plans were abandoned and from 1966 the economy followed five year plans.

2. The Kosygin Reforms

• Kosygin was Brezhnev’s prime minister and a key reformer. He aimed to increase production by giving power over production to the factory managers.

• Success was to be measured by profit not by production levels – to make sure they made what consumers wanted.

• Little was achieved as he was opposed by conservatives in the politburo and he was transferred to foreign affairs.

3. ‘Developed Socialism’

• Brezhnev accepted that due to increased military spending there was no hope of building communism in the near future. However he was committed to the idea of developed…


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