Historically, leaders of the Soviet Union have shown extraordinary faith in the power of bureaucratic reorganization to solve political problems. The 1985-1987 restaffing and restructuring of the foreign policy establishment indicate that Mikhail Gorbachev shares this faith. In the first sixteen months of his leadership, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs replaced its minister, two first deputy ministers, seven deputy ministers, a third of all Soviet ambassadors, and created four new departments. In addition, important changes were made in the central party apparat, affecting three of the CPSU Central Committee departments: The International Information Department was abolished. The Propaganda Department gained added prominence in international affairs with the appointment of a new chief, Aleksandr Iakovlev, who began playing a conspicuous role as Gorbachev's advisor at international conferences even before his elevation to the Politburo in January 1987. Of great significance for the Soviet foreign policy establishment as a whole, the International Department (ID) was given new leadership, a new arms control unit, and expanded missions.