It was 25 years ago this month, March 1983, that the Soviet Union went into hysterics, both realizing and arguably beginning the terminal phase in its deadly life cycle. The Kremlin had been deeply troubled ever since the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in January 1981, a total turnabout from its confident surge in the latter 1970 s, when it looked like Moscow was winning the Cold War.
The Soviet leadership was taken aback by Reagan’s bravado in his very first press conference, where the new president calmly explained to a stunned Washington press corps that the Soviet leadership had “openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat.” Reagan had left no doubt that Jimmy Carter was out of the White House...
Paul Kengor, professor at Grove City College and the author of (among other books) God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life and The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, has a riveting account of the Kremlin's really bad month.
By the way, if you're interested in learning more about Kengor's interest in Reagan, give a listen to this 10-minute Vital Signs interview.