Reagan, Ronald Wilson

(1911–2004)
   American politician. The 40th president of the United States (1981–1989), Ronald Reagan began his administration by sending U.S.-Soviet relations into one of their coolest periods of the Cold War. During the short-lived premierships of Yury Andropov (1982–1984) and Konstantin Chernenko (1984–1985), Reagan maintained minimal diplomatic relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), while aiding Moscow’s adversaries—the mujahideen—in the Soviet-Afghan War.
   On 8 March 1983, Reagan referred to the USSR as an “evil empire,” reflecting his view of the country as a dangerous and imperialistic adversary that must be defeated. This coincided with his proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a space-based system to intercept Soviet nuclear missiles, thus preventing the threat of mutually assured destruction. While SDI never came to fruition, it was one of many defense programs that put pressure on the Soviet economy during a period of intense contraction related to flagging oil revenues. (During his tenure, Reagan increased military spending by 35 percent.)
   With the ascendency of Mikhail Gorbachev, Reagan—while continuing his “peace through strength” approach to bilateral relations, opened the door to negotiations, which resulted in a treaty that would ultimately eliminate medium-range nuclear weapons. Responding to Gorbachev’s “New Thinking” in Soviet foreign relations, Reagan worked closely with the Soviet premier to reduce tensions and promote international cooperation, while consistently urging him to expand his reform agenda at home.
   Famous for his 12 June 1987 declaration at the Brandenburg Gate, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” (referring to the Berlin Wall in East Germany), Reagan is often described as the “man who beat Communism,” though his contributions to the downfall of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are exaggerated, particularly in American and Western sources.
   See also Bush, George H. W.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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  • Reagan,Ronald Wilson — Reagan, Ronald Wilson. Born 1911. The 40th President of the United States (1981 1989). An actor turned politician, he was governor of California (1967 1975) and defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election. His… …   Universalium

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  • Reagan, Ronald W. — ▪ president of United States Introduction in full  Ronald Wilson Reagan  born February 6, 1911, Tampico, Illinois, U.S. died June 5, 2004, Los Angeles, California  40th president of the United States (1981–89), noted for his conservative… …   Universalium

  • Ronald Wilson Reagan — noun 40th President of the United States (1911 2004) • Syn: ↑Reagan, ↑Ronald Reagan, ↑President Reagan • Instance Hypernyms: ↑President of the United States, ↑United States President, ↑President, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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