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Wednesday, 15 August, 2001, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Dachas and glasnost in Evil Empire
The Soviet era left the world with many new words in its vocabulary. BBC News Online's Sheila Barter takes a look at some of them.

Dacha Country villa, the feature of Soviet life which most proved that some citizens were more equal than others. Yeltsin once declined a glitzy dacha to demonstrate his squeaky-clean image during a crackdown on sleaze in Moscow. Luckily, by the time of the coup he had one. It meant he was out of the way of the coup leaders when their tanks rolled in.

Glasnost Openness. Or actually telling people what was going on. For years, much of the Soviet Union's terrible record was hidden from its own people, from World War II massacres to the millions of deaths under Stalin. All the official news was of happy, productive workers and a glorious Motherland.

Perestroika Restructuring. Gorbachev's attempt at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on moribund Soviet institutions, factories and the party itself. In many cases it simply hastened their demise.

Ronald Reagan
Reagan: "Evil Empire"

Evil Empire Ronald Reagan's description of the old Soviet Empire in a speech delivered in Florida in March, 1983. He went on to work closely with Gorbachev in some of the key years of his power.

A Man I Can Do Business With Margaret Thatcher also liked him. Their personal chemistry was much remarked on. One photograph shows her looking at him with an expression little short of adoration. She made her famous assessment of the man even before he became leader, when he came to London in 1984. Her actual words were: "I like Mr Gorbachev. We can do business together."

New World Order Gorbachev first picked up and used the phrase in December 1988 and it was later used to great effect by US President George Bush to celebrate, well, the New World Order.

Cold War Preceded the New World Order. The deep-freeze in relations between the Soviet Union and the outside world persisted for decades until it thawed in the Gorbachev years. The Cold War brought the world to the brink of actual war in 1962 in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Winston Churchill
Churchill: "Iron Curtain has descended"

Iron Curtain Preceded the Cold War. It was Winston Churchill's way of the describing the barrier which sliced Europe in two after World War II. He first used the phrase in a speech delivered in Fulton, Missouri on 5 March 1946.

Soviet Originally, a council made up of workers and peasants. The original Soviet Union (or USSR - Union of Socialist Soviet Republics) was formed in 1922. Despite communism's arguably lofty ideals, the real power shifted to the apparatchiks.

Apparatchiks Technically, members of the Communist Party hierarchy, or apparat. But the phrase came to be used pejoratively, to describe faceless bureaucrats, sticklers for rules and other hide-bound officials around the world.

Warsaw Pact The military alliance comprising the USSR and most Eastern European countries. During the Cold War, Warsaw Pact countries were pitted against Nato forces of the West. Today, many ex-Warsaw Pact countries are negotiating Nato membership. Russia is not amused.
Josef Stalin
Stalin: General Secretary when USSR was born

Politburo The Communist Party's main policy-making committee. It literally means "political bureau" - a shortened form of the Russian politicheskoye buro.

Central Committee Big-wigs of the Communist Party - ministers, top officials, armed forces chiefs, ambassadors, academics and so on. All got elected by the Communist Party Congress and acted in its name between sessions.

Bolshevik A member of the radical faction of the pre-revolutionary Russian Socialist Democrat party, which became the Communist Party. It gave the world the word "Bolshie" - meaning bad-tempered or awkward - which may turn out to be a more enduring legacy than the party itself.

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