it was already headed in that direction when the door to freedom was cracked with glasnost and perestroika. I never said he was a saint, but compared to those before him, he was the closest resemblance to one that the USSR had. And then when he was held captive, the same old coup of red red communism in full uniform stepped up to take his seat and oust him. But even that didn't hold...the people tasted a little bit of freedom. Communism failed on its own...and if given a chance would still do so again. But Gorbachev listened, was willing to question, was the closest the US had in terms of joint cooperation. He was willing, more than partially...and that made all the difference.