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Uskoreniye (Russian: ускоре́ние, IPA: [ʊskɐˈrʲenʲɪjə]; literally meaning acceleration) was a slogan and a policy announced by Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on 20 April 20, 1985 at a Soviet Party Plenum, aimed at the acceleration of social and economic development of the Soviet Union. It was the first slogan of a set of reforms that also included perestroika (restructuring), glasnost (transparency), and democratisation.
In May 1985, Gorbachev gave a speech in Leningrad, during which he admitted the slowing down of the economic development and inadequacy of living standards. This was the first time in history that a Soviet leader had done so.
The program was furthered at the 27th Congress of the Communist Party in Gorbachev's report to the congress, in which he spoke about "perestroika", "uskoreniye", "human factor", "glasnost", and "expansion of the khozraschyot" (commercialization). The acceleration was planned to be based on technical and scientific progress, revamping of heavy industry (in accordance with the Marxian economics postulate about the primacy in development of heavy industry over light industry), taking the "human factor" into account, and increasing the labour discipline and responsibility of apparatchiks. In practice it was implemented with the help of massive monetary emission infused into heavy industry, which further destabilised the economy and in particular brought an enormous disparity between cash money and virtual "paper" money used in cashless clearings (безналичный расчёт) between enterprises and state and among enterprises.
The politics of mere "acceleration" eventually failed, which was de facto admitted in June 1987 at a Party Plenum, and the "uskoreniye" slogan was phased out in favor of the more ambitious "Perestroika" (restructuring of the whole economy).
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