In Galeotti's view, Andropov was "the godfather of the Gorbachev revolution", because—as a former head of the KGB—he was able to put forward the case for reform without having his loyalty to the Soviet cause questioned, an approach that Gorbachev was able to build on and follow through with. , In February 1984, Andropov died; on his deathbed he indicated his desire that Gorbachev succeed him.  After his December 1938 release, Gorbachev's maternal grandfather discussed having been tortured by the secret police, an account that influenced the young boy. Who Is Mikhail Gorbachev?  In 2008, there was some press speculation that he was a practicing Christian after he visited the tomb of St Francis of Assisi, to which he publicly clarified that he was an atheist.  He believed that democratic elections would not lead Eastern European countries into abandoning their commitment to socialism.  En route home, he traveled to France where he stayed with Mitterrand at the latter's home near Bayonne..  Domestically, Gorbachev's critics accused him of betraying the national interest; more broadly, they were angry that Gorbachev had allowed the Eastern Bloc to move away from direct Soviet influence.  At the same Congress meeting, he presented the idea of repealing Article 6 of the Soviet constitution, which had ratified the Communist Party as the "ruling party" of the Soviet Union.  In it, he announced, "I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." , Gorbachev's university friend, Mlynář, described him as "loyal and personally honest".  He and Ceaușescu disliked each other, and argued over Gorbachev's reforms.  Gorbachev continued to defend perestroika but acknowledged that he had made tactical errors as Soviet leader.  In 1977, the Supreme Soviet appointed Gorbachev to chair the Standing Commission on Youth Affairs due to his experience with mobilizing young people in Komsomol.  He made the historian Yuri Afanasiev dean of the State Historical Archive Faculty, from where Afansiev could press for the opening of secret archives and the reassessment of Soviet history.  To the West, Gorbachev was seen as a more moderate and less threatening Soviet leader; some Western commentators however believed this an act to lull Western governments into a false sense of security.  Similarly, under Gorbachev, the Soviet Union broke apart without falling into civil war, as happened during the breakup of Yugoslavia at the same time. While pursuing domestic reforms, he did not publicly support reformers elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc.  In April 1986, he introduced an agrarian reform which linked salaries to output and allowed collective farms to sell 30% of their produce directly to shops or co-operatives rather than giving it all to the state for distribution.  He helped spread Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist message in Stavropol, but encountered many who continued to regard Stalin as a hero or who praised the Stalinist purges as just.  Gorbachev and his family were kept under house arrest in their dacha.  Ideologically, he initially adhered to Marxism–Leninism although by the early 1990s had moved toward social democracy.  He and his wife socialized little, but liked to visit Moscow's theaters and museums.  Of the 2,250 legislators to be elected, one hundred — termed the "Red Hundred" by the press — were directly chosen by the Communist Party, with Gorbachev ensuring many were reformists.  On 10 December, he issued a statement calling the CIS agreement "illegal and dangerous".  He claimed that "the essence of Lenin" was a desire to develop "the living creative activity of the masses". Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931 in Stavropol, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, into a mixed Russian-Ukrainian family of migrants from Voronezh and Chernigov Governorates.  Gorbachev meanwhile told the Politburo that Reagan was "extraordinarily primitive, troglodyte, and intellectually feeble".  After this, Gorbachev also criticized Yeltsin, claiming that he only cared for himself and was "politically illiterate".  Gorbachev also developed good relationships with senior figures like the Soviet Prime Minister, Alexei Kosygin, and the longstanding senior party member Mikhail Suslov.  McCauley suggested that by at least June 1991 Gorbachev was a "post-Leninist", having "liberated himself" from Marxism-Leninism. He was also the country's head of state from 1988 until 1991, serving as the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and president of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991.  The Politburo ordered additional troops into the city, but in contrast to those like Ligachev who wanted a massive display of force, Gorbachev urged restraint. This brought criticism from many in the Soviet state apparatus, who saw Hussein as a key ally in the Persian Gulf and feared for the safety of the 9,000 Soviet citizens in Iraq, although Gorbachev argued that the Iraqis were the clear aggressors in the situation.  At the summit, Reagan told reporters that he no longer considered the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and the duo revealed that they considered themselves friends. , Gorbachev and his wife initially rented a small room in Stavropol, taking daily evening walks around the city and on weekends hiking in the countryside. Mikhail Gorbachev's zodiac sign is Pisces.  Several members of the coup committed suicide; others were fired. , In February 1990, both liberalisers and Marxist-Leninist hardliners intensified their attacks on Gorbachev.  Gorbachev later related that he was "deeply affected" by the incident; "my conscience tormented me" for overseeing Sadykov's persecution.  Gorbachev's father had joined the Red Army and fought on the frontlines; he was wrongly declared dead during the conflict and fought in the Battle of Kursk before returning to his family, injured. About.  He also began writing a monthly syndicated column for The New York Times.  From April to the end of the year, Gorbachev became increasingly open in his criticism of the Soviet system, including food production, state bureaucracy, the military draft, and the large size of the prison population.  Hoping instead to lead by example, he later related that he did not want to interfere in their internal affairs, but he may have feared that pushing reform in Central and Eastern Europe would have angered his own hardliners too much. , In 2002, Gorbachev was awarded the Charles V Prize by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation.  He was a skilled manager, and had a good memory.  The first stage of Gorbachev's perestroika was uskoreniye ("acceleration"), a term he used regularly in the first two years of his leadership.  In September 1971 he was part of a delegation who traveled to Italy, where they met with representatives of the Italian Communist Party; Gorbachev loved Italian culture but was struck by the poverty and inequality he saw in the country.  He considered putting a proposal to allow multi-party elections into his speech, but decided against doing so.  From this point, tensions between the two men developed into a mutual hatred. Never in his worst nightmare could he have imagined that perestroika would lead to the destruction of the Soviet Union".  At the Twenty-Seventh Party Congress in February, Yeltsin called for more far-reaching reforms than Gorbachev was initiating and criticized the party leadership, although did not cite Gorbachev by name, claiming that a new cult of personality was forming.  In October 1990, Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; he was flattered but acknowledged "mixed feelings" about the accolade.  Over the course of the war, the Soviet Army took heavy casualties and there was much opposition to Soviet involvement among both the public and military.  Its sessions were televised live, and its members elected the new Supreme Soviet.  There, he continued to call for financial assistance; Mitterrand and Kohl backed him, while Thatcher—no longer in office— also urged Western leaders to agree. Popularity .  Mikhail Gorbachev Rank.  With an ability to outmanoeuvre rivals, some colleagues resented his success.  In September, Yeltsin presented the plan to the Russian Supreme Soviet, which backed it.  In 1969 he was elected as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union and made a member of its Standing Commission for the Protection of the Environment.  McCauley thought that in allowing the Soviet Union to move away from Marxism-Leninism, Gorbachev gave the Soviet people "something precious, the right to think and manage their lives for themselves", with all the uncertainty and risk that that entailed. , In June 1955, Gorbachev graduated with a distinction; his final paper had been on the advantages of "socialist democracy" (the Soviet political system) over "bourgeois democracy" (liberal democracy).  Gorbachev described the plan as "modern socialism" rather than a return to capitalism but had many doubts about it.  He had been personally vetted for the position by senior Kremlin leaders and was informed of their decision by the Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev.  Fellow students recall him working especially hard, often late into the night. Discover the real story, facts, and details of Mikhail Gorbachev. Cite This Page  Economic problems remained: by the late 1980s there were still widespread shortages of basic goods, rising inflation, and declining living standards. In 1979 he became, at the age of forty-nine, the youngest member of the Politburo (Political Bureau of the Central Agency). , In August, Gorbachev and his family holidayed at their dacha, "Zarya" ('Dawn') in Foros, Crimea. He hoped that by allowing a broader range of people to attend than at previous conferences, he would gain additional support for his reforms. , In April 1970, Yefremov was promoted to a higher position in Moscow and Gorbachev succeeded him as the First Secretary of the Stavropol kraikom. , For much of the Communist Party nomenklatura, the Soviet Union's dissolution was disastrous as it resulted in their loss of power.  He saw perestroika as encompassing a complex series of reforms to restructure society and the economy. Of mixed Russian and Ukrainian heritage, Gorbachev was born in Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai, to a poor peasant family. Russia is ready for political competition, a real multiparty system, fair elections and regular rotation of government.  From there he went to Spain, where he attended the Expo '92 world fair in Seville and also met with Prime Minister Felipe González, who had become a friend of his. Speaking in late summer 1985 to the secretaries for economic affairs of the central committees of the East European communist parties, Gorbachev said: "Many of you see the solution to your problems in resorting to market mechanisms in place of direct planning. , In March 1988, the magazine Sovetskaya Rossiya published an open letter by the teacher Nina Andreyeva.  There was hostility to such compromises from the Soviet military, but following the May 1987 Mathias Rust incident—in which a West German teenager was able to fly undetected from Finland and land in Red Square—Gorbachev fired many senior military figures for incompetence. They then moved to another, at Sosnovka, before finally being allocated a newly built brick house.  Since studying at university, Gorbachev considered himself an intellectual; Doder and Branson thought that "his intellectualism was slightly self-conscious", noting that unlike most Russian intelligentsia, Gorbachev was not closely connected "to the world of science, culture, the arts, or education". Mikhail Gorbachev's height Unknown & weight Not Available right.  Party hardliners thought the speech went too far; liberalisers thought it did not go far enough. 89 .  In 1952, he was appointed a full member of the Communist Party. Gorbachev was enthusiastic about the appointment.  Two weeks into his holiday, a group of senior Communist Party figures—the "Gang of Eight"—calling themselves the State Committee on the State of Emergency launched a coup d'état to seize control of the Soviet Union. publishers. "  However, the coup's leaders realized that they lacked sufficient support and ended their efforts.  After securing the necessary one million signatures of nomination, he announced his candidacy in March. , At MSU, Gorbachev met Raisa Titarenko, a Ukrainian studying in the university's philosophy department.  According to Doder and Branston, this meant "greater openness and candour in government affairs and for an interplay of different and sometimes conflicting views in political debates, in the press, and in Soviet culture. , The village school had closed during much of the war but re-opened in autumn 1944. While studying at Moscow State University, he married fellow student Raisa Titarenko in 1953 prior to receiving his law degree in 1955.  In his new position, Gorbachev often worked twelve to sixteen hour days.  They agreed to hold a summit in Geneva, Switzerland in November 1985. On 30 October, Gorbachev attended a conference in Madrid trying to revive the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.  A new 18-member Presidential Council de facto replaced the Politburo.  He then met with Reagan and President-elect George H. W. Bush; he rushed home, skipping a planned visit to Cuba, to deal with the Armenian earthquake. And what are his/her social media accounts?  Fearing more civil disturbances, that month Gorbachev banned demonstrations and ordered troops to patrol Soviet cities alongside the police. He thus became the e… In December 1979, the Soviets sent the Red Army into neighbouring Afghanistan to support its Soviet-aligned government against Islamist insurgents; Gorbachev privately thought it a mistake.  As well as being a member of the school's drama society, he organized sporting and social activities and led the school's morning exercise class. Name: Mikhail Gorbachev ( Mikhail Gorbachev ) Born: March 02, 1931 Age: 89 years old , Cleared for travel to Eastern Bloc countries, in 1966 he was part of a delegation visiting East Germany, and in 1969 and 1974 visited Bulgaria.  In Stavropol, he formed a discussion club for youths, and helped mobilize local young people to take part in Khrushchev's agricultural and development campaigns.  Wanting to preserve the Union, in April Gorbachev and the leaders of nine Soviet republics jointly pledged to prepare a treaty that would renew the federation under a new constitution; six of the republics—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia—did not endorse this. , In August 1990, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government invaded Kuwait; Gorbachev endorsed President Bush's condemnation of it.  The duo's wives also met and spent time together at the summit.  The political scientist John Gooding suggested that had the perestroika reforms succeeded, the Soviet Union would have "exchanged totalitarian controls for milder authoritarian ones" although not become "democratic in the Western sense".  Hardliners were urging Gorbachev to disband the presidential council and arrest vocal liberals in the media.  In 1972 he visited Belgium and the Netherlands and in 1973 West Germany. Most Popular #18188. Briefly suspended from 19 to 21 August 1991 during the, United Social Democratic Party of Russia (2000–2001), 1970–1978: First Secretary, Stavropol Regional Committee, McHugh, James T. "Last of the enlightened despots: A comparison of President Mikhail Gorbachev and Emperor Joseph II. But, comrades, you should not think about lifesavers but about the ship, and the ship is socialism.  Liberals thought he lacked the radicalism to really break from Marxism-Leninism and establish a free market liberal democracy.  Gorbachev became Andropov's closest ally in the Politburo; with Andropov's encouragement, Gorbachev sometimes chaired Politburo meetings.  After it ended, it took several years for production to return to previous levels, after which alcohol consumption soared in Russia between 1990 and 1993.  Taubman called it "one of the highest points of Gorbachev's career".  He felt that the visit helped to erode Andrei Gromyko's dominance of Soviet foreign policy while at the same time sending a signal to the United States government that he wanted to improve Soviet-U.S.  In November, he addressed the Supreme Soviet where he announced an eight-point program, which included governmental reforms, among them the abolition of the presidential council. In June 1985 he signed a US$14 billion five-year trade agreement with the country and in July 1986, he proposed troop reductions along the Soviet-Chinese border, hailing China as "a great socialist country".  For instance, he thought that rhetoric about global revolution and overthrowing the bourgeoisie—which had been integral to Leninist politics—had become too dangerous in an era where nuclear warfare could obliterate humanity.  The Five Year Plan of 1985–90 was targeted to expand machine building by 50 to 100%.  Colleagues were often frustrated that he would leave tasks unfinished, and sometimes also felt underappreciated and discarded by him.  Prominent dissidents like Andrei Sakharov were freed from internal exile or prison. The recipient of a wide range of awards—including the Nobel Peace Prize—he was widely praised for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War, curtailing human rights abuses in the Soviet Union, and tolerating both the fall of Marxist–Leninist administrations in eastern and central Europe and the reunification of Germany.  In the immediate aftermath, officials fed Gorbachev incorrect information to downplay the incident.  In 1961, Gorbachev played host to the Italian delegation for the World Youth Festival in Moscow; that October, he also attended the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  In November the Soviets endorsed a UN Resolution permitting force to be used in expelling the Iraqi Army from Kuwait. On 10 March 1985, Chernenko died. In 2014, he defended the Crimean status referendum that led to Russia's annexation of Crimea.  He was then offered a place on an MSU graduate course specializing in kolkhoz law, but declined.  His appointment had been approved unanimously by the Central Committee's members. , In November 1978, Gorbachev was appointed a Secretary of the Central Committee.  On returning from Yugoslavia, Gorbachev called a Politburo meeting to discuss the letter, at which he confronted those hardliners supporting its sentiment.  At the Congress, Sakharov spoke repeatedly, exasperating Gorbachev with his calls for greater liberalization and the introduction of private property.  A major issue facing his leadership was Soviet involvement in the Afghan Civil War, which had then been going on for over five years.  Gorbachev's maternal grandfather joined the Communist Party and helped form the village's first kolkhoz (collective farm) in 1929, becoming its chair.  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