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. Last Updated: 07/24/2014

Mikhail Gorbachev

Government

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev (Михаил Сергеевич Горбачёв) was born on March 2, 1931, in Privolnoye, Stavropol region, to collective farm workers.

Education: Law, Moscow State University, 1955. Agronomy-Economics, Stavropol Agriculture Institute, 1967.

1952: Joined the Communist Party after having been a member of Komsomol youth organization

1955-58: Rises through the Komsomol hierarchy to become the organization's top official in Stavropol

1961: Delegate from Stavropol to the 22nd Communist Party Congress in Moscow, at which Nikita Khrushchev announced a plan to surpass the United States in per capita production within 20 years

1970: Appointed First Secretary for Stavropol territory, governing an area of 2.4 million people

1970-1990: Deputy to the Supreme Soviet

1971: Appointed to the Communist Party Central Committee

1974: Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Standing Commission on Youth Affairs

1978-1985: Secretary of Agriculture in the Central Committee

1980: Becomes youngest full member of the Politburo

1984-1985: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

1985-Aug. 24, 1991: General Secretary of Communist Party by the Central Committee. His two signature policies, perestroika and glasnost, covered a broad range of reforms that included economic liberalization and relaxed restrictions on civil rights.

1989: Elected by the new parliament as executive president of Soviet Union. Ends the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan.

March 1990: Elected the first president of the Soviet Union with 59 percent of deputies' votes. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

August 1991: Survived a coup attempt by Communist Party hard-liners that nonetheless severely weakened his grip on power

Dec. 25, 1991: Resigns as president of the Soviet Union. The country was formally dissolved the following day.

1992-present: President of the Gorbachev Foundation, which researches the Perestroika era and current issues of Russian history and politics, and the International Green Cross, an ecological organization.

June-July 1996: Runs for president, placing seventh with a meager 0.5 percent of the vote

2001-2004: Head of the Social Democratic Party. SDPR failed to either collect the required 200,000 signatures for the December 2003 elections or pay the 37.5 million ruble fee to get on the party list ballot.

2006: Bought a 49 percent stake in Russia's leading opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, with businessman Alexander Lebedev

2008: Teamed up with Lebedev again to found the Independent Democratic Party of Russia

2011: Celebrated his 80th birthday with a star-studded fundraiser at the Royal Albert Hall in London

Mourners Bid Farewell to Shevardnadze, the Last Soviet Foreign Minister

More than 30 delegations from different countries attended the funeral on Sunday of Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union's last foreign minister, who later served as Georgian president.

From The Archive: Lukashenko Is Big Victor, Wants New U.S.S.R.

What was expected of the rule of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko when he first came to power twenty years ago? We dug into the Moscow Times archive to find out.

Soviet Myth Lures Russia Into Danger

After the passage of 20 years, the Soviet Union has become an almost mythological entity akin to Atlantis, writes columnist Ivan Sukhov.


Church Cynically Sidesteps Soviet's Brutal Past

Not much in modern Russia surprises me anymore, but last week I got a real shock: Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill warmly congratulated Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov on the occasion of his 70th birthday and presented him with the church's highest order.


Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze Dies at 86

Eduard Shevardnadze, an ex-president of Georgia and former Soviet foreign minister, died on Monday after a long struggle with illness, his personal assistant said.

Struggles of Treasured Factory Rouse Longing for Soviet Past

Viktor Livshits will never forget May 9, 1945, the day he first laid eyes on Uralmash, a giant factory making tanks and other heavy machinery that has for decades symbolized Russia's industrial might.

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