Brezhnev was the successor to Nikita Khrushchev and presided over the boom and bust periods of the Soviet Union. He was selected as a compromise between the Stalinizers and Stalinists.

At the beginning of his reign, the Russian economy experienced a great boom in the production of consumer goods. However, toward the end of his reign, the Soviet economy went from dynamic growth to steep decline in the 1970s and into crisis in the 1980s. Brezhnev did nothing to alleviate the slide of the Eastern European economies.

His reign was marked with periods of Stalinist-style repression. His sometimes ruthless measures can be marked as “neo-Stalinist.”

His death in 1982 led the Politburo to replace him with two men in quick succession.