The year is 1985 the Soviet Union is in Recession, Japan now has a bigger economy then the USSR and West Germany is less then 200 billion nominal GDP away from surpassing the USSRs economy.
2 presidents of the USSR have died in 2 years and a third president is ill and will die
The soviet army is in Afghanistan and struggling to take control of the region, Afghanistan is a pro soviet country flooded by US backed Islamic ter88ists. The US seeks to make Afghanistan a pro US state that floods Islamic ter88sts into the neighbouring USSR.
there are still a fair amount of pro soviet countries scattered around the world and the eastern block remains but the Soviet union is in decline as a world power
Soviet military strong
China has been restoring capitalism for 5-6 years and reformists in the CCP have taken power from conservative Maoists China began supporting the USA over the USSR in the later years of Mao and has territorial disputes with the USSR. it looks like China is betraying Marxism and will become a out right enemy of the USSR.
Capitalism is entering a bright period due to the new access of Chinas massive Labor force
Americans are voting in Conservatives that want to end the cold war by finishing off the weakening USSR Ronald Regan is in power
Romanov decided not to go to his residence during Chernenko sickness so Andrei Gromyko decided to not back Gorbachev and Victor Grishin decided to not put his hand up for leader so Romanov won by a small margin
Grigory Romanov was a moderate Stalinist and would probably mostly keep Brezhnevite (conservative faction) policy's but moving back towards Stalinism (Marxism Leninism)
this is very realistic Romanov probably would have won the leadership if he wasn't out of Moscow at his residence its odd that such a big reformer (Gorbachev) took power