Mikhail Gorbachev Biography

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Privólnoe, Stavropol, Soviet Union, 2 March 1931). Better known as Majaíl Gorbachev, he is a Russian lawyer and political leader, who became the first president elected by The Deputies of the Soviet Union in 1989.


It is also historically recognized for being one of the protagonists of the dissolution of the USSR and Russia’s transition from the communist economic and political system to the democratic one. In 1990, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his active participation in the cessation of the international conflict dubbed the Cold War.

Early Life

Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931, in the town of Privolnoe, located in the Stavovpol Region of the Soviet Union, into a family of peasant origin. At school he proved to be a brilliant student.

In 1946 he became part of the Communist Youth Union, working for four years as an operator of a cereal harvester. His dedication and performance during the excellent harvest of 1948, made him deserving at the seventeenth year of the Order of the Red Flag.

Two years later, in 1950, he graduated from High School, where he was also awarded a Silver Medal.

He was soon accepted by the University of Moscow. In 1952, he formally joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (PCUS). In 1955 he graduated cum laude as a lawyer. That same year, he married Raísa Maksímovna Titarenko, who had studied with him at the university, and with whom he would have a daughter, whom they named Irina.

He then moved to his hometown, where he got a job at the Territorial Prosecutor’s Office. However, within a few days he resigned to take up the post of Deputy Director of Propaganda of the Territorial Committee of the Federation of Communist Youth.

Political beginnings

From there, he began to grow within the communist ranks. Between 1956 and 1958 he was appointed as First Secretary of the Komsomol Urban Committee. In 1962, he was appointed as Head of the Department of the Territorial Committee of the PCUS. In 1966, he was promoted to the post of First Secretary of the Urban Committee of the Stavpovpol PCUS.

In 1971 he became part of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In 1978 he was elected Secretary of Agriculture of the Central Committee of the PCUS. In 1979 he became, at the age of forty-nine, the youngest member of the Politburo (Political Bureau of the Central Agency). A year later as a full member of this Institution.

Secretary General of the PCUS

In 1985, Gorbachev was elected Secretary General of the Communist Party, in the midst of a major economic crisis. His management was characterized by measures aimed at providing more freedom for the Soviets. He also worked with Ronald Regan to end the Cold War.

He also had to deal with the Warbyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine on 26 April that year in 1986, which cost him points in international popularity, which he had maintained so far.

In 1987, Gorbachev signed with Regan the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that came to free the USSR from the terrible expense of keeping pace with the Space Race.

In 1989, he called elections, where they had the opportunity to participate both Party and external members, in order to elect members of the Congress of the People’s Duties of the USSR, to which the state was handed over, revoking the constitutional mandate, which assigned such control only to the Communist Party.

USSR Presidency

On 15 March 1990 he was elected, by that same Congress, as the First President of the Soviet Union. His presidency was characterized by the formation of peaceful international relations. He withdrew Russian troops from Afghanistan and sealed with Regan the end of the Cold War.

He also had an important role in the process that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. Facts that made him worthy in 1989 of the Prince of Asturias Award for his cooperation in international conflicts, and in 1990 of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1991, he called a referendum to decide whether or not to continue the Soviet Union, even though 78% of the population voted in the affirmative, the Treaty of Belovesh ended the Soviet Union, separating Russia from Ukraine and Belarus.

Internally, his government was characterized by a series of economic experiments undertaken in order to advance the Soviet economy, among which distinguish Perestroika (reconstruction) and Glasnot (liberalization and openness).

Gorbachev promoted greater freedom of enterprise and market, which did not work in principle, accelerating the crisis. Politically, a process of openness was also initiated, aimed at building a multi-party democracy.

Despite the tensions between reformers and conservatives, as well as the confrontation of racial factions, they kept the nation undergoing a severe social crisis, which resulted in the formation of independence movements that would lead to the dissolution USSR.

Resignation and current life

In 1991, he faced an attempted coup by conservative members of the PCUS. The uprising was controlled by the opposition movement, led by Boris Yeltsin, who had been elected that year as President of Russia.

Yeltsin managed to reduce the coup forces, and went into a situation of illegality to the PCUS. On 25 December of that year after the dissolution of the USSR, Gorbachev resigned from his post, in the face of the refusal of the Presidents of the Republics of the Commonwealth of Independent States to recognize the Central Power.

Since then he has remained active within Russian politics, where he is currently leader of the Social Democratic Union party.

Image source: biografiasyvidas.com

Mikhail Gorbachev Biography
Source: Education  
July 31, 2019


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