Mikhail Gorbachev (1931)

Mikhail Gorbachev

1931 Mikhail Gorbachev was born in Privolnoie within a peasant family in the South-West of Russia, near Stravapol, on the 3rd of March. He was the last Soviet leader.

He joined Communist Party and led a harvester for a state farm for four years before leaving to Moscow, where he got his degree.

1955 He graduated law at State University in Moscow. He went up step by step in the party system in his native region, under the protection of two older members of politburo, Mikhail Suslov and Yuri Andropov.

1971 He was elected in Central Committee.

1978 He became party secretary on agricultural issues. He knew very well the ineffectiveness of cooperative system because of his personal and of his family’s experience and at that moment he was on the position to fight against it.

1980 Gorbachev became full member of politburo, the highest political body of Soviet Union and two years later, his mentor, Andropov, succeeded Leonid Brezhnev to the state’s leading. Andropov continued to support Gorbachev, who had created a reputation as a fighter against corruption and ineffectiveness.

1985 He became general secretary of Soviet Communist Party.

1987 The agreement with the United States through which it was given up to medium-range action nuclear missiles.

1988 President of Soviet Union (USSR). He strived to reform state economy that was very ineffective and stalled at that moment: glasnost (opening) and perestroika (reorganization) became key-words during his six years mandate. Gorbachev reintroduced a new parliament, partially elected, Congress of People’s Deputies.

1989 He was elected president of this body. But he has never dared to go to the end and to liberate the economy from the state control. Internally Gorbachev was almost out-of-control. His actions also unleashed nationalist forces in Baltic countries and in the other Soviet Republics, forces that would prove to be unstoppable.

1990 Berlin Wall fall. Gorbachev got Nobel Award for peace.

1991 This is the year when Conservators fought back and their supporters in the army organized a coup while Gorbachev was on holiday in Crimea. The coup failed especially because of the courage of Muscovites demonstrators and of Boris Yeltsin. He survived a coup against him.

Gorbachev was reinstated but he did not have any power. This belonged to leaders of different republics and especially to Yeltsin. On the 25th of December, Gorbachev resigned as president of former USSR, and Soviet Union ceased to exist. He had changed the world but he lost his own country.

1992 Gorbachev established a foundation that bears his name.

1993 He established International Green Cross, so becoming one of the three great sponsors of Earth Charter. He also became member of Club of Rome.

1995 Gorbachev got the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of Durham University for his contributions to “political tolerance cause and to the completion of confrontations like Cold War”.

1996 He participated to presidential elections in Russia but he got only 1% of the votes cast, maybe because of animosities related to Soviet Union dissolution. During electoral tour he got a punch in the face from an unknown person.

2001 On the 26th of November, Gorbachev established Social Democratic Party that is a union of different parties of social-democratic orientation in Russia.

2004 On May he resigned as party leader after a misunderstanding with the party leading regarding the adopted direction during the campaign for election in December 2003. On June, he represented Russia to state funeral of Ronald Reagan. On September, after the attacks of Chechen separatists in Russia, President Vladimir Putin launched the initiative to replace local governors’ elections with a system of their appointment directly at Moscow by commonwealth president, appointments that should have been approved after that by local legislative assemblies. Gorbachev and Yeltsin criticised Putin’s initiative that they considered – a step to dictatorship.

2005 Gorbachev received Pont Alpha Award for his help for Germany’s reunification. He also got the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of Munster University.

2008 On the 19th of March, during a surprise visit to pray to the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, from Assisi, Italy, Gorbachev said things that were interpreted so that he would have been a Christian. He said that “St. Francis is for me alter Hristus, another Chris. His story fascinates me and played an important role in my life”. He added: “By St. Francis I arrived to Church so that it was important to visit his tomb”.

     But few days later he would have said to Russian press agency Interfax, “Last days some media have spread fantasies – I cannot use another word – about the fact that I would be a secret Catholic, (...). To conclude and to avoid misunderstandings I want to say that I was and I am an atheist.” As a reply to this, a spokesman of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II declared for Russian media: “In Italy he (Gorbachev) spoke more in emotional terms than in those of belief. He is still on the way to Christianity. If he achieves this, we would welcome him.” [1]




    1. http://www.ro.biography.name/conducatori/95-rusia/302-mihail-gorbaciov-1931


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