What happens with the USSR in the 1980s and beyond if Mikhail Gorbachev dies young?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,764
SoCal
What happens with the USSR in the 1980s and beyond if Mikhail Gorbachev dies young (or, alternatively, is born a girl--since women didn't have anywhere near as much chance of becoming the head honcho in the USSR in the late 20th century)? Gorbachev and his reforms were crucial to the collapse of the USSR in 1991 in real life (though they were significantly helped by the August 1991 coup attempt and its failure) and thus I was wondering who would have come to power in the USSR in 1985 had Gorbachev not been an option as well as what kinds of policies this new Soviet leader would have pushed for and implemented. In such a scenario, would the USSR have still collapsed? Also, what other effects would this have had?

Any thoughts on this?
 
Jan 2013
1,122
Toronto, Canada
If Gorbachev dies young. Andropov picks a new protege who also takes over after Chernenko dies.

Don't ask me who that might have been because Я не имею понятия.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,764
SoCal
If Gorbachev dies young. Andropov picks a new protege who also takes over after Chernenko dies.

Don't ask me who that might have been because Я не имею понятия.
The Russian part means "I have no clue."
 
Aug 2019
101
Livingston 62° 38′ 27″ S, 60° 22′ 0.98″ W
The state called the USSR would not break up, but there would be changes in the economy - these were inevitable. The Warsaw Pact and The Council for Mutual Economic Assistanc would not be broken
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
I believe it was inevitable despite "Gorby". The sight of many millions in the streets beginning in 1989 in the DDR and Czechoslovakia, and ending with 3 million in Moscow in 1991 during the attempted coup shows the underlying feelings of the ordinary people. Without "Gorby" the timeline and specific events would be different, and there may well have been blood, but given that we are talking only about a scenario with no "Gorby", then the other actors will be the same, and those men at the head of Warsaw Pact governments surrendered power when confronted with the shear amount of their own people out on the streets. I think that even with variables such as Günter Schabowski's error not occuring, events were moving to a dramatic conclusion anyway, as we saw during the summer, and the millions in Dresden and Leipzig would still have been on the streets.

After the events of 1989 and into 1990 it was only a matter of time before something snapped in the Soviet Union. Yeltsin was still there, and I think miners in Siberia would still have been sitting in the road and banging their helmets on the ground. Then in the Autumn 1991 coup we saw the putative hardliners attempt to reassert control, and fail miserably when the commander of Alpha told his superior to *off when told to fire on the people at the White House supporting Yeltsin, and General Grachev refuse to obey orders from the "hard liners" with their shaking hands. So I think that even without "Gorby", everything was moving in the direction it did, and that there was no stomach for any repression of the people. The tragedy is of the existence of Yeltsin and the way in which the Soviet Union was dissolved, the consequences continuing to this day, and will continue for decades.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,764
SoCal
The state called the USSR would not break up, but there would be changes in the economy - these were inevitable. The Warsaw Pact and The Council for Mutual Economic Assistanc would not be broken
So, the USSR would look like a giant Belarus today? In Belarus, there is still a semi-socialist economy even nowadays, almost 30 years after the USSR's collapse.

Boris Yelstein still would have been there.
But a harsher Soviet leader could have simply arrested and/or imprisoned him, no? Gorbachev was pretty soft on Yeltsin to my knowledge; another Soviet leader would not have necessarily been so.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,151
Bulgaria
After the death of Konstantin Chernenko, the question of the new leader of the CPSU was resolved with lightning speed. The historian Dmitri Volkogonov, having familiarized himself with the minutes of the Politburo meetings, cited the following data: Chernenko died in the evening of March 10, 1985, and the meeting of the Politburo dedicated to nominating his successor began less than a day later, at 2 p.m. on March 11. Moreover, consultations on this issue were held immediately after the mournful news was received by the highest party leaders. It is known that the most actively engaged in consultations was Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko, who persistently advocated the election of Mikhail Gorbachev as Secretary General. He announced his proposal immediately when the meeting of the Politburo opened.

Gorbachev's potential rivals were Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Grigory Romanov and First Secretary of the Moscow Party Committee Viktor Grishin. However, the competition on their part practically did not go beyond the scope of preliminary consultations. By the way, Grishin compiled his own list of members of the Politburo, in which Gorbachev did not even appear.

Nevertheless, both Grishin and Romanov at the meeting of the Politburo spoke in favor of Gorbachev's candidacy among the other eighteen speakers. This meant that at the upcoming Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee, it was possible to inform its participants of the unanimity of the highest party leadership on the issue of a new party leader.

EDIT: Regarding Yeltsin, Grishin was replaced by Boris Yeltsin as the First Secretary of the Moscow Party Committee/ Grishin later lost his position as a member of the Politburo and forced to retire. Thus Yeltsin became a member of the Politburo in 1986. Romanov was also forced to retire in 1985.
 
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At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
4,151
Bulgaria
You wrote March 10, 1984 here whereas it's called March 10, 1985.
Corrected. Thanks. 1984 is the year of Andropov's death.

The point is if Gorbachev is out of the picture we have either Romanov or Grishin as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin was literally nobody before Gorbachev's ascent to the ultimate power in the former second world.
 
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