More than four years have passed since M.S. Gorbachev's appointment to the office of Secretary General of the CPSU in March 1985 and since he initiated a program of economic and social changes in the Soviet Union. He lost no time in replacing party and state officials with his nominees, called on the Soviet people to work harder, and pushed through a decision on the reduction of sales of alcoholic drinks. A flow of new decrees and regulations on the individual sectors of the economy started to pour forth. Before I attempt to evaluate the impacts of the now famous Soviet term "perestroika," I shall very briefly recapitulate the most important reform steps undertaken during this time.