Mikhail gorbachev.-mikhail gorbachev was a new leader of the soviet union that came to power in 1985. the economy was already in bad shape from the war going on in afghanistan. to avoid cold war confrontations, he signed an arms control treaty with the soviet union and took his troops out of afghanistan. soon, he called for a glasnost, which is letting people share their feelings, without the communist government getting in the way. he also called for perestroika, which is restructuring the government and economy. he allowed farmers to sell their produce and his reforms made factory managers, rather than central planners.however, his reforms were not very successful. shortages became worse and the prices of goods soared. factories started closing and people lost their jobs.