Mikhail Gorbachev

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Person.png Mikhail Gorbachev   Spartacus Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, lawyer)
Gorbachev at 90.jpg
BornMikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
1931-03-02
Privolnoye, North Caucasus Krai, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
NationalityRussian
Alma materMoscow State University
ChildrenIrina Mikhailovna Virganskaya
SpouseRaisa Gorbachova
Founder ofGreen Cross International
Member ofClub de Madrid, Club of Rome
Interests • Green Cross International
• Climate Change Task Force
PartySoviet Communist Party, Independent Democratic Party of Russia, Social Democratic Party of Russia, Union of Social Democrats

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a former Soviet statesman. He was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party from 1985 until 1991 when the party was dissolved.

Mikhail Gorbachev served as the country's Head of State from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991 (titled as Chairman of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and as President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991). He was the only general secretary in the history of the Soviet Union to have been born after the 1917 October Revolution.

In 1993, Mikhail Gorbachev founded the environmental organisation Green Cross International (GCI) and, in 2009, the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF).[1]

Background

Mikhail Gorbachev was born in Stavropol Krai into a peasant Ukrainian–Russian family, and in his teens operated combine harvesters on collective farms. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law. While he was at the university, he joined the Communist Party, and soon became very active within it.

Career

In 1970, he was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee, First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet in 1974, and appointed a member of the Politburo in 1979. Within three years of the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, following the brief "interregna" of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo in 1985. Before he reached the post, he had occasionally been mentioned in Western newspapers as a likely next leader and a man of the younger generation at the top level.

Policies

Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of glasnost ("openness") and perestroika ("restructuring") as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, removed the constitutional role of the Communist Party in governing the state, and inadvertently led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992, as well as honorary doctorates from various universities.

In September 2008, Mikhail Gorbachev and business oligarch Alexander Lebedev announced they would form the Independent Democratic Party of Russia,[2] and in May 2009 Gorbachev announced that the launch was imminent.[3] This was Gorbachev's third attempt to establish a political party, having started the Social Democratic Party of Russia in 2001 and the Union of Social Democrats in 2007.[4]

Treason charges

In 2014 five lawmakers signed a letter which asked Russia's 'top prosecutor' to investigate "whether the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, should face treason charges over his role in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union."[5][6][7]

Colossal danger

In November 2019, Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the tension between Russia and the West was putting the world in "colossal danger" due to the threat from nuclear weapons.[8]

Opinions

On 7 January 2021, Mikhail Gorbachev told the Russian news agency Interfax that the riots in Washington last night had "called into question the future fate of the United States as a state."

“A little time will pass, and we will figure out why this was really done.”[9]

“The storming of the capitol was clearly planned in advance, and it's obvious by whom”
Mikhail Gorbachev (7 January 2021)  [10]


 

Related Quotation

PageQuoteAuthorDate
NATO“We had a moment in history, between 1988 and 1991, where we could have worked with Mikhail Gorbachev to make his vision of perestroika succeed. Instead, we allowed him to fail, without any real plan on how we would live with what emerged from the ruins of the Soviet Union. Save for a short period of time during the Second World War where we needed the Soviet Union to defeat Germany and Japan, we have been in a continual state of political conflict with the Soviet Union. Even after the Soviet Union collapsed, we viewed the Russian Federation more as a defeated enemy that we needed to keep down, than a friend in need of a helping hand up.”Scott Ritter2021


References

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