|Free elections were held in the Soviet Union for the first time in its history . The formation of the new Soviet Congress of Deputies brought many leading dissidents to elected postions in the Congress, including Andrei Sakharov. Boris Yeltsin was also elected. Yeltsin had been ousted from the Central Committee a year earlier.
Despite the fact that the majority of the seats in the Congress were held by members of the Communist party, the sessions of the Congress held after the election were televised live on Soviet TV, and were free and open. The resulting debates brought home to the Soviet people, for the first time, the potential meaning of democracy. The debates also brought forth many of the secrets held by the Communist regime to the public eye for the first time.