Geography

47. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, what are some of the major problems faced by many of the new countries.

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47. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, there were some major problems faced by many of the new countries. It is obvious that many of the decisions made by the Soviet central planners were wasteful and inefficient. Their extreme attempt to industrialize used up a lot of resources and hurt the environment. Siberia, which used to have a rich storehouse of natural resources, was hit pretty hard. Everyone figured it was time for some change, so in the late 1980s, a new leader named Mikhail Gorbachev began a series of radical reforms. Glasnost was a policy of his that allowed Soviet citizens to say what they wished without fear of persecution. The government also eased censorship, and newspapers and television programs began to report openly on issues such as crime. The new leader also offered a plan for perestroika, which is economic restructuring. This plan called for a gradual change from a command system to private ownership. Under this plan, the government allowed factory managers to decide what to produce and how much to charge for goods. Once all of this had started, change came really quickly.

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