In 1985, Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee of the CPSU. In January 1985, the chairman of the regional executive committee, Anatoly Mekhrentsev, died. One of the closest associates of Boris Yeltsin, Oleg Ivanovich Lobov, was elected the new chairman of the regional executive committee, who until that moment was the second secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU.
The region built foreign economic relations mainly with friendly socialist countries: the GDR, Hungary, the Czech Republic. In addition, close economic ties have been established with Finland. Equipment, which had no analogues in the countries of the Soviet camp, was supplied from Germany, Italy and Switzerland. These were mainly automated production lines. Foreign electronics specialists were invited to install them.
Information technology has become increasingly important in the economy. In the International Center for Scientific and Technical Information (CMEA countries) a system of tele-access to databases was developed, which can be considered an attempt to create the Soviet Internet. In Sverdlovsk, a trial tele-access was carried out in January 1985 from the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Ural Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences. At the union level, it was decided to introduce a new subject "Fundamentals of Informatics and Computer Engineering" in secondary educational institutions.
On the one hand, in the Sverdlovsk region there was a relatively strong scientific school in the field of information technology - the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Ural Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The Sverdlovsk academician Nikolai Nikolaevich Krasovsky was considered a recognized all-Union authority in this area. His student Yuri Sergeevich Osipov later became the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On the other hand, the provision of the Sverdlovsk region with specialists in robotization of production significantly lagged behind the provision of, for example, the Leningrad region, which was comparable to the Sverdlovsk region in many economic parameters. In fact, there was no technical basis for teaching computer science in schools.
The KGB administration for the Sverdlovsk region was headed by Yuri Ivanovich Kornilov, who, before joining the KGB, was the first secretary of the Kirovsky district committee of the CPSU in Sverdlovsk. A significant part of the organizations that were responsible for informatization of the region were concentrated in the Kirovsky district of Sverdlovsk: the Ural Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Ural Polytechnic Institute, the Uralsystem Research and Production Association.
In February 1985, elections were held to the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and local councils. Along with the political and economic elite, ordinary workers were elected as deputies of the regional council of people's deputies, which, apparently, was supposed to demonstrate the democratism of the Soviet system. Considering that the candidates for deputies were determined by the decision of the party organizations, and the lower party organizations were rigidly subordinated to the higher ones, "democracy" was only a semblance.
In March 1985, General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Konstantin Chernenko died. Instead, Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, whose candidacy was proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR A.A. Gromyko.
In April 1985, Boris Yeltsin was approved as the head of the construction department of the Central Committee of the CPSU, in connection with which he was relieved of his duties as first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU and moved to Moscow for permanent residence. Instead, one of Yeltsin's associates,Yuri Vladimirovich Petrov, who had previously worked in Moscow in the Central Committee of the CPSU, was elected as the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee.
At the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU on April 23, Gorbachev made a report on the need for a radical restructuring of the country's economy on the basis of socialist principles of management, the unification of science and production. The Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in response came out with duty promises of fulfillment and overfulfillment of the production plan.
In May 1985, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union adopted a resolution to reduce the production of vodka and alcoholic beverages since 1986 in order to combat drunkenness. The Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU with renewed vigor reported on the successful fight against drunkenness in the region.
At a meeting of the CPSU Central Committee on June 11, 1985, Gorbachev made a report "The fundamental issue of the party's economic policy", where he stated that mechanical engineering plays a key role in the implementation of the scientific and technological revolution, and microelectronics, computer technology and instrument making, the entire informatics industry should be the catalyst for progress. The essence of perestroika was the increase in the efficiency of the centralized principle in management and planning, the expansion of the independence and responsibility of enterprises, the active use of more flexible forms and methods of management, cost accounting and commodity-money relations, the broad development of the initiative of the masses.
In July 1985, Boris Yeltsin was elected Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. By the press, he begins to be mentioned along with the highest members of the party elite
In September 1985, the first secretary of the Leninsky district committee of the CPSU of Sverdlovsk V.V. Ilyushin was approved as an instructor of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Nikolai Ivanovich Ryzhkov, a native of the Sverdlovsk Region, was appointed Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
The plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU on October 15, 1985 discussed and submitted for national consideration a new version of the Program and Charter of the CPSU. It was proposed to expand transparency, strengthen control from below, deepen democratic principles in the activities of all state and public organizations. In November, the new Charter of the CPSU was published. It confirmed the leading role of party organizations in relation to the councils of people's deputies, as well as the unconditional subordination of lower party organizations to higher ones. But at the same time, the younger ones were asked to criticize their older comrades. Thus, behind the loud statements, only the semblance of democracy was again offered.
In October 1985, the bureau of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU noted that, following the results of 9 months, the plans and socialist commitments of 1985 were in danger of being disrupted. However, at the end of the year, the region nevertheless reported on the implementation of the annual plan for the sale of goods and the production of most of the most important types of products. A decline in production was outlined not only in the Sverdlovsk region, but also in the USSR as a whole. Different authors give different explanations for the reasons for this. The authors of this site are of the opinion that the reason for the economic problems of the 1980s was that the USSR was unable to join the global scientific and technological revolution of the 1970s, which was based on the use of new information technologies based on computers. The reason for this was, firstly, the dominance of the command-administrative system, which held back the creative initiative of the intelligentsia, which became the fundamental class of the new economic order. And the second reason was the isolation of the USSR from the process of technological exchange with the leading Western countries. Moreover, this isolation was probably not due to differences in the political and economic system (communism versus capitalism), since these differences did not prevent technological donation from the West during the formation of Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. Alternatively, the foreign policy isolation of the USSR by economically developed Western countries and the subsequent catastrophic technological backwardness could be due to the weakening of Jewish influence on the formation of the political and economic elite of the USSR after World War II. This issue is covered in more detail in the Background section.
In the north of the Sverdlovsk region there was a network of correctional labor institutions. The prisoners released from them often remained to live in the Sverdlovsk region, as a result of which the country's criminal elite received a strong representation in the region. According to the researchers of the criminal world, in 1985 in the prisons of the Sverdlovsk region there was an increased concentration of "thieves in law", who at that time constituted the top of the criminal pyramid.
The authorities preferred not to mention the existence of organized crime in the country, but sometimes they reported on the fight against it. So, for example, in 1985, ac-cording to the Department of Internal Affairs of the regional executive committee, the BHSS department of the Sverdloblispolkom exposed a group of criminals, from which emeralds, precious metals and jewelry were confiscated in the amount of 1 million 260 thousand rubles.
For some reason, the regional press paid increased attention to the Italian mafia. Based on the printed publications of the time, it seemed that no other organized crime in the world simply existed.