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 Mikhail Gorbachev

Born:   2 March 1931

the First and the Last President of the USSR


Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was born on the 2nd of March in 1931 in the village of Privolnoye to a rural family. In 1950 he finished school and was accepted for the faculty of law of Moscow State University. Later in 1952 he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

After his graduation in 1955 Gorbachev was sent to Stavropol to the local prosecutor’s office, where he worked till 1962 gradually passing from one post to another.

In 1962 Mikhail continued his political career in the bodies of the Soviet Communist Party and was appointed the head of the department of the Stavropol rural local committee.

Starting September 1966 Gorbachev worked as the first secretary of the Stavropol City Committee, then in August of 1968 he was elected the second secretary and in April of 1970 he got the position of the first secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee. In 1971 Gorbachev became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Thus, step by step Mikhail Sergeyevich was rising from low ranks and in 1985 he was appointed the General Secretary of the Communist Party.

The year of 1985 turned to be a landmark in the history of the country. It was the end of Brezhnev’s epoch, the time associated with considerably quiet period at the political arena. It was the beginning of great changes, attempts to reform the existent mode of the ruling organization. This period got the name of Perestroika and still raises different feelings in the souls of former Soviet citizens.

One of the first steps undertaken by Gorbachev as the head of the Soviet Union was the all-Russian anti-alcohol campaign. The government artificially increased the prices on alcohol products, the amount of which was limited in the shops. Besides, all the vineyards were destroyed. The results of the campaign were deplorable: the people replaced wine and vodka with home-brew and various substitutes.

In 1986-1987 Gorbachev laid a course for glasnost and democratization in all spheres of life. The resolution on Glasnost was passed in July, 1988 at the XIX Conference of the Communistic Party of the Soviet Union. In March 1990 a new Press Law making Mass Media Resources partially free of control came into force. In May 1989 Gorbachev was elected as the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. However, not all Mikhail Sergeyevich’s initiatives were met with approval. The people noticed some sort of inconsequence in reforms: laws on development of cooperation and fight against speculation were enacted almost simultaneously.

Starting 1985 the official meetings of Gorbachev and Presidents of the USA Ronald Reagan and George Bush, as well as presidents and prime ministers of other countries became frequent.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunion of Germany and withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan occurred during the reign of Mikhail Gorbachev. The agreement signed in Paris in 1990 by the head of the USSR and presidents and prime ministers of European countries as well as Canada and the USA put the end to the period known as the Cold War.

Growing crisis in internal affairs and economy speeded up the collapse of the Soviet Union and in the first part of 1990 almost all Soviet Republics announced sovereignty. 25 December of 1991 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev retired from his post of the president of the USSR.

In 1996 he was a candidate at the presidential elections.

In 2000 – he appeared as the leader of the Russian Social Democratic Party.

In 2003 Mikhail Gorbachev presented his book under the title “Grani Globalizatsii”.

Today Mikhail Sergeyevich is the president of the International Fund of Social Economical and Political Research. Link to Mikhail Gorbachev's Nobel Lecture:



Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian history Russian politicians Mikhail Gorbachev   

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