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Mikhail Gorbachev

1

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman.

Mikhail Gorbachev: America needs a Perestroika by RT

2

He was the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, having been General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, when the party was dissolved.

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, abbreviated to USSR, was a socialist state on the Eurasian continent that existed from 1922 to 1991.

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, abbreviated in English as CPSU, was the founding and ruling political party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

General Secretary or First Secretary is the official title of leaders of most Communist political parties.

Biography: Mikhail Gorbachev A Man Who Changed the World ... by EurasianUnion

3

He was the country's head of state from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991.

4

Gorbachev was born in Stavropol Krai into a peasant Ukrainian–Russian family, and in his teens, operated combine harvesters on collective farms.

Collective farming and communal farming are various types of agricultural production in which multiple farmers run their holdings as a joint enterprise.

Stavropol Krai is a federal subject of Russia in the North Caucasian Federal District.

The combine harvester, or simply combine, is a machine that harvests grain crops.

5

He graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law.

Lomonosov Moscow State University is a coeducational and public research university located in Moscow, Russia.

6

While he was at the university, he joined the Communist Party, and soon became very active within it.

7

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.

The Supreme Soviet was the common name for the legislative bodies of the Soviet socialist republics in the Soviet Union.

A politburo or political bureau is the executive committee for a number of political parties.

8

Within three years of the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, following the brief "interregna" of Andropov and Chernenko, Gorbachev was elected general secretary by the Politburo in 1985.

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982.

9

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.

10

Gorbachev's policies of glasnost and perestroika and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War.

Perestroika was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s, widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost policy reform.

The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc.

In the Russian language the word glasnost has several general and specific meanings.

11

Under this program, the role of the Communist Party in governing the state was removed from the constitution, which inadvertently led to crisis-level political instability with a surge of regional nationalist and anti-communist activism culminating in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

12

Gorbachev later expressed regret for his failure to save the USSR, though he has insisted that his policies were not failures but rather were vitally necessary reforms which were sabotaged and exploited by opportunists.

13

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.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes created by the Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature.

The Harvey Prize is an Israeli scientific distinction awarded annually for breakthroughs in science and technology, as well as contributions to Peace in the Middle East, by Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

The Otto Hahn Peace Medal in Gold is named after the German nuclear chemist and 1944 Nobel Laureate Otto Hahn, an honorary citizen of Berlin.

14

In September 2008, Gorbachev and business oligarch Alexander Lebedev announced they would form the Independent Democratic Party of Russia, and in May 2009 Gorbachev announced that the launch was imminent.

The Independent Democratic Party of Russia was the proposed name of a liberal party that was announced in late September 2008 to be founded by the former General Secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and State Duma deputy of Fair Russia, Alexander Lebedev.

15

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.

Union of Social Democrats is an all-Russian non-governmental organization founded on October 20, 2007 by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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