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. Last Updated: 01/26/2015

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

Russia Must Stop Glorifying War in Ukraine

The ruble's rapid collapse at the end of 2014 — and the resulting rush to buy foreign currency, the mobs of shoppers snatching up consumer goods and the panic on the financial markets — somewhat overshadowed the main event of the outgoing political season: the fact that Russia is once again at war.

Gorbachev Warns Tensions Over Ukraine Could Spiral Into Nuclear War

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warns that tensions between Russia and European powers over the Ukraine crisis could result in a major conflict or even nuclear war.

Russian Center Honoring Victims of Soviet Regime Branded 'Foreign Agent'

Russia's Justice Ministry has slapped the menacing "foreign agent" label on the Andrei Sakharov Center, a group dedicated to defending human rights and preserving the legacy of victims of Soviet repressions.

Russia's Ruble Crisis Could Shake Putin's Grip on Power

Russia failed to halt the collapse of the ruble on Tuesday, leaving President Vladimir Putin facing a full-blown currency crisis that could weaken his iron grip on power.

Russia and Germany Are Just Not Compatible

German Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly told U.S. President Barack Obama recently that President Vladimir Putin is living "in another world." This is indeed how it looks, from a German perspective.

Putin Named 2nd Runner-Up to Time's 2014 Person of the Year

Time Magazine said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was its second runner-up to be 2014's "Person of the Year," with Ebola fighters and Ferguson protesters occupying the top two slots, respectively.

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