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The factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR were as given below:

(i) The Soviet system had become very bureaucratic and authoritarian, making life Very difficult for the citizens.

(ii) There was lack of democracy. There was no freedom of speech. As a result of it, people often expressed their dissent in jokes and cartoons.

(iii) There was control of one party i.e., Communist Party of the Soviet Union over all institutions. It was not accountable to the people.

(iv) People in the fifteen republics had no right to manage their own affairs including their cultural affairs.

(v) Russia was one of the fifteen republics but in practice it dominated everything, and people from other regions felt neglected and often suppressed.

(vi) The Soviet Union lagged behind the West in technology, infrastructure and in fulfilling the political or economic aspirations of citizens.

(vii) Low productivity and technology resulted in shortages of all consumer goods. Thus, the Soviet economy had become stagnant.

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