225 Facts About Mikhail Gorbachev


Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was a Soviet and Russian politician who served as the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to the country's dissolution in 1991.


Mikhail Gorbachev served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 and additionally as head of state beginning in 1988, as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990 and the only President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991.


Mikhail Gorbachev was born in Privolnoye, Russian SFSR, to a poor peasant family of Russian and Ukrainian heritage.


Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee in 1970, overseeing the construction of the Great Stavropol Canal.


Mikhail Gorbachev is considered one of the most significant figures of the second half of the 20th century.


Mikhail Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931 in the village of Privolnoye, then in the North Caucasus Krai of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Soviet Union.


The Soviet Union was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, and during Mikhail Gorbachev's childhood was under the leadership of Joseph Stalin.


Mikhail 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.


Mikhail Gorbachev did not want to return but when he did he excelled academically.


In June 1950, Mikhail Gorbachev became a candidate member of the Communist Party.


Mikhail Gorbachev applied to study at the law school of Moscow State University, then the most prestigious university in the country.


In Moscow, Mikhail Gorbachev resided with fellow MSU students at a dormitory in the Sokolniki District.


Mikhail Gorbachev gained a reputation as a mediator during disputes, and was known for being outspoken in class, although he would reveal some of his views only privately; for instance, he confided in some students his opposition to the Soviet jurisprudential norm that a confession proved guilt, noting that confessions could have been forced.


At MSU, Mikhail Gorbachev became the Komsomol head of his entering class, and then Komsomol's deputy secretary for agitation and propaganda at the law school.


One of his first Komsomol assignments in Moscow was to monitor the election polling in Presnensky District to ensure the government's desire for near-total turnout; Mikhail Gorbachev found that most of those who voted did so "out of fear".


Mikhail Gorbachev became close friends with Zdenek Mlynar, a Czechoslovak student who later became a primary ideologist of the 1968 Prague Spring.


At MSU, Mikhail Gorbachev met Raisa Titarenko, who was studying in the university's philosophy department.


Mikhail Gorbachev was engaged to another man but after that engagement fell apart, she began a relationship with Gorbachev; together they went to bookstores, museums, and art exhibits.


In June 1955, Mikhail Gorbachev graduated with a distinction; his final paper had been on the advantages of "socialist democracy" over "bourgeois democracy".


Mikhail Gorbachev was assigned to the Soviet Procurator's office, which was then focusing on the rehabilitation of the innocent victims of Stalin's purges, but found that they had no work for him.


Mikhail Gorbachev was then offered a place on an MSU graduate course specializing in kolkhoz law, but declined.


Mikhail Gorbachev had wanted to remain in Moscow, where Raisa was enrolled in a PhD program, but instead gained employment in Stavropol; Raisa abandoned her studies to join him there.


In 1961, Mikhail Gorbachev pursued a second degree, in agricultural production; he took a correspondence course from the local Stavropol Agricultural Institute, receiving his diploma in 1967.


Mikhail Gorbachev's wife had pursued a second degree, attaining a PhD in sociology in 1967 from the Moscow State Pedagogical University; while in Stavropol she too joined the Communist Party.


Later biographer William Taubman suggested that Mikhail Gorbachev "embodied" the "reformist spirit" of the Khrushchev era.


Mikhail Gorbachev was among those who saw themselves as "genuine Marxists" or "genuine Leninists" in contrast to what they regarded as the perversions of Stalin.


Mikhail Gorbachev 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.


Mikhail Gorbachev rose steadily through the ranks of the local administration.


In March 1961, Mikhail Gorbachev became First Secretary of the regional Komsomol, in which position he went out of his way to appoint women as city and district leaders.


In 1961, Mikhail Gorbachev played host to the Italian delegation for the World Youth Festival in Moscow; that October, he attended the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


In January 1963, Mikhail Gorbachev was promoted to personnel chief for the regional party's agricultural committee, and in September 1966 became First Secretary of the Stavropol City Party Organization.


That year, the Soviet authorities ordered him to punish Fagim B Sadykov, a philosophy professor of the Stavropol agricultural institute whose ideas were regarded as critical of Soviet agricultural policy; Gorbachev ensured that Sadykov was fired from teaching but ignored calls for him to face tougher punishment.


Mikhail Gorbachev later related that he was "deeply affected" by the incident; "my conscience tormented me" for overseeing Sadykov's persecution.


Mikhail Gorbachev had been personally vetted for the position by senior Kremlin leaders and was informed of their decision by the Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev.


Mikhail Gorbachev began reading translations of restricted texts by Western Marxist authors such as Antonio Gramsci, Louis Aragon, Roger Garaudy, and Giuseppe Boffa, and came under their influence.


Mikhail Gorbachev oversaw the expansion of irrigation systems through construction of the Great Stavropol Canal.


Mikhail Gorbachev always sought to maintain Brezhnev's trust; as regional leader, he repeatedly praised Brezhnev in his speeches, for instance referring to him as "the outstanding statesman of our time".


In September 1971 he was part of a delegation that traveled to Italy, where they met with representatives of the Italian Communist Party; Mikhail Gorbachev loved Italian culture but was struck by the poverty and inequality he saw in the country.


Mikhail Gorbachev was surprised by how openly West Europeans offered their opinions and criticized their political leaders, something absent from the Soviet Union, where most people did not feel safe speaking so openly.


Mikhail Gorbachev later related that for him and his wife, these visits "shook our a priori belief in the superiority of socialist over bourgeois democracy".


Mikhail Gorbachev had remained close to his parents; after his father became terminally ill in 1974, Mikhail Gorbachev traveled to be with him in Privolnoe shortly before his death.


In November 1978, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed a Secretary of the Central Committee.


Mikhail Gorbachev's appointment had been approved unanimously by the Central Committee's members.


Mikhail Gorbachev was given an apartment inside the city, but gave that to his daughter and son-in-law; Irina had begun work at Moscow's Second Medical Institute.


In 1978, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed to the Central Committee's Secretariat for Agriculture, replacing his old friend Kulakov, who had died of a heart attack.


Mikhail Gorbachev concentrated his attentions on agriculture: the harvests of 1979,1980, and 1981 were all poor, due largely to weather conditions, and the country had to import increasing quantities of grain.


Mikhail Gorbachev had growing concerns about the country's agricultural management system, coming to regard it as overly centralized and requiring more bottom-up decision making; he raised these points at his first speech at a Central Committee Plenum, given in July 1978.


Mikhail Gorbachev began to have concerns about other policies too.


In December 1979, the Soviets sent the armed forces into neighbouring Afghanistan to support its Soviet-aligned government against Islamist insurgents; Mikhail Gorbachev privately thought it a mistake.


However, although Mikhail Gorbachev hoped that Andropov would introduce liberalizing reforms, the latter carried out only personnel shifts rather than structural change.


Mikhail Gorbachev became Andropov's closest ally in the Politburo; with Andropov's encouragement, Mikhail Gorbachev sometimes chaired Politburo meetings.


Andropov encouraged Mikhail Gorbachev to expand into policy areas other than agriculture, preparing him for future higher office.


In May 1983, Mikhail Gorbachev was sent to Canada, where he met Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and spoke to the Canadian Parliament.


Many in the Central Committee nevertheless thought the 53-year-old Mikhail Gorbachev was too young and inexperienced.


Chernenko was often too sick to chair Politburo meetings, with Mikhail Gorbachev stepping in last minute.


Mikhail Gorbachev continued to cultivate allies both in the Kremlin and beyond, and gave the main speech at a conference on Soviet ideology, where he angered party hardliners by implying that the country required reform.


Mikhail Gorbachev 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-US relations.


Mikhail Gorbachev expected much opposition to his nomination as general secretary, but ultimately the rest of the Politburo supported him.


Mikhail Gorbachev thus became the eighth leader of the Soviet Union.


Mikhail Gorbachev would stop to talk to civilians on the street, forbade the display of his portrait at the 1985 Red Square holiday celebrations, and encouraged frank and open discussions at Politburo meetings.


Mikhail Gorbachev's wife was his closest adviser, and took on the unofficial role of a "first lady" by appearing with him on foreign trips; her public visibility was a breach of standard practice and generated resentment.


Mikhail Gorbachev was aware that the Politburo could remove him from office, and that he could not pursue more radical reform without a majority of supporters in the Politburo.


Mikhail Gorbachev sought to remove several older members from the Politburo, encouraging Grigory Romanov, Nikolai Tikhonov, and Viktor Grishin into retirement.


Mikhail Gorbachev promoted Gromyko to head of state, a largely ceremonial role with little influence, and moved his own ally, Eduard Shevardnadze, to Gromyko's former post in charge of foreign policy.


Mikhail Gorbachev recurrently employed the term perestroika, first used publicly in March 1984.


Mikhail Gorbachev saw perestroika as encompassing a complex series of reforms to restructure society and the economy.


Mikhail Gorbachev was concerned by the country's low productivity, poor work ethic, and inferior quality goods; like several economists, he feared this would lead to the country becoming a second-rate power.


The first stage of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika was uskoreniye, a term he used regularly in the first two years of his leadership.


The Soviet Union was behind the United States in many areas of production, but Mikhail Gorbachev claimed that it would accelerate industrial output to match that of the US by 2000.


Mikhail Gorbachev was of the view that once freed from the strong control of central planners, state-owned enterprises would act as market agents.


Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the concept of gospriyomka during his time as leader, which represented quality control.


Mikhail Gorbachev later considered the campaign to have been an error, and it was terminated in October 1988.


Mikhail Gorbachev made the historian Yury Afanasyev dean of the State Historical Archive Faculty, from where Afansiev could press for the opening of secret archives and the reassessment of Soviet history.


Mikhail Gorbachev saw glasnost as a necessary measure to ensure perestroika by alerting the Soviet populace to the nature of the country's problems in the hope that they would support his efforts to fix them.


Some in the party thought Mikhail Gorbachev was not going far enough in his reforms; a prominent liberal critic was Yeltsin.


Mikhail Gorbachev had risen rapidly since 1985, attaining the role of party secretary in Moscow.


Mikhail Gorbachev then opened the floor to responses, after which attendees publicly criticized Yeltsin for several hours.


Mikhail Gorbachev cited the disaster as evidence for what he regarded as widespread problems in Soviet society, such as shoddy workmanship and workplace inertia.


Mikhail Gorbachev later described the incident as one which made him appreciate the scale of incompetence and cover-ups in the Soviet Union.


On becoming leader, Mikhail Gorbachev saw withdrawal from the war as a key priority.


Mikhail Gorbachev had inherited a renewed period of high tension in the Cold War.


Mikhail Gorbachev believed strongly in the need to sharply improve relations with the United States; he was appalled at the prospect of nuclear war, was aware that the Soviet Union was unlikely to win the arms race, and thought that the continued focus on high military spending was detrimental to his desire for domestic reform.


In January 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev publicly proposed a three-stage programme for abolishing the world's nuclear weapons by the end of the 20th century.


Mikhail Gorbachev meanwhile told the Politburo that Reagan was "extraordinarily primitive, troglodyte, and intellectually feeble".


Mikhail Gorbachev sought improved relations with China, a country whose Marxist government had severed ties with the Soviets in the Sino-Soviet Split and had since undergone its own structural reform.


Mikhail Gorbachev made clear his desire for Soviet membership of the Asian Development Bank and for greater ties to Pacific countries, especially China and Japan.


In January 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev attended a Central Committee plenum where he talked about perestroika and democratization while criticizing widespread corruption.


Mikhail Gorbachev considered putting a proposal to allow multi-party elections into his speech, but decided against doing so.


Mikhail Gorbachev was broadly supportive, describing glasnost as "the crucial, irreplaceable weapon of perestroika".


Mikhail Gorbachev nevertheless insisted that people should use the newfound freedom responsibly, stating that journalists and writers should avoid "sensationalism" and be "completely objective" in their reporting.


Mikhail Gorbachev announced that Soviet Jews wishing to migrate to Israel would be allowed to do so, something previously prohibited.


On returning from Yugoslavia, Mikhail Gorbachev called a Politburo meeting to discuss the letter, at which he confronted those hardliners supporting its sentiment.


Mikhail Gorbachev hoped that by allowing a broader range of people to attend than at previous conferences, he would gain additional support for his reforms.


Mikhail Gorbachev proposed the formation of a new institution, the Congress of People's Deputies, whose members were to be elected in a largely free vote.


Mikhail Gorbachev was happy with the result, describing it as "an enormous political victory under extraordinarily difficult circumstances".


Mikhail Gorbachev tried to improve relations with the UK, France, and West Germany; like previous Soviet leaders, he was interested in pulling Western Europe away from US influence.


In May 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev again visited France, and in November 1988 Mitterrand visited him in Moscow.


The West German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, initially offended Mikhail Gorbachev by comparing him to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, although he later informally apologized and in October 1988 visited Moscow.


In June 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev then visited Kohl in West Germany.


Mikhail Gorbachev continued to pursue good relations with China to heal the Sino-Soviet Split.


Pro-democracy students had massed in Tiananmen Square during Mikhail Gorbachev's visit but after he left were massacred by troops.


Mikhail Gorbachev did not condemn the massacre publicly but it reinforced his commitment not to use violent force in dealing with pro-democracy protests in the Eastern Bloc.


Aware that Reagan would not budge on SDI, Mikhail Gorbachev focused on reducing "Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces", to which Reagan was receptive.


In December 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev visited Washington DC, where he and Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.


On becoming US president, Bush appeared interested in continuing talks with Mikhail Gorbachev but wanted to appear tougher on the Soviets than Reagan had to allay criticism from the right wing of his Republican Party.


Mikhail Gorbachev urged Bush to normalize relations with Cuba and meet its president, Fidel Castro, although Bush refused to do so.


On taking power, Mikhail Gorbachev found some unrest among different national groups within the Soviet Union.


Mikhail Gorbachev ordered a commission, headed by Gromyko, to examine their situation.


Ultimately, Mikhail Gorbachev promised greater autonomy for Nagorno-Karabakh but refused the transfer, fearing that it would set off similar ethnic tensions and demands throughout the Soviet Union.


Mikhail Gorbachev believed that the situation could be resolved through a political solution, urging talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani Communist Parties.


That month, the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet ruled the 1940 Soviet annexation of their country to be illegal; in January 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev visited the republic to encourage it to remain part of the Soviet Union.


In May 1987 Mikhail Gorbachev visited Romania, where he was appalled by the state of the country, later telling the Politburo that there "human dignity has absolutely no value".


Mikhail Gorbachev was too preoccupied with domestic problems to pay much attention to these events.


Mikhail Gorbachev believed that democratic elections would not lead Eastern European countries into abandoning their commitment to socialism.


Mikhail Gorbachev wanted a gradual process of German integration but Kohl began calling for rapid reunification.


Mikhail Gorbachev was aware that the Central Committee could still oust him as general secretary, and so decided to reformulate the role of head of government to a presidency from which he could not be removed.


Mikhail Gorbachev decided that the presidential election should be held by the Congress of People's Deputies.


Mikhail Gorbachev chose this over a public vote because he thought the latter would escalate tensions and feared that he might lose it; a spring 1990 poll nevertheless still showed him as the most popular politician in the country.


Mikhail Gorbachev secured 1,329 in favor to 495 against; 313 votes were invalid or absent.


Mikhail Gorbachev therefore became the first executive President of the Soviet Union.


Yeltsin was elected the parliament's chair, something Mikhail Gorbachev was unhappy about.


Amid a growth in Russian nationalist sentiment, Mikhail Gorbachev had reluctantly allowed the formation of a Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic as a branch of the larger Soviet Communist Party.


In January 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev privately agreed to permit East German reunification with West Germany, but rejected the idea that a unified Germany could retain West Germany's NATO membership.


Scholars are puzzled why Mikhail Gorbachev never pursued a written pledge.


Mikhail Gorbachev himself has stated that he was only made such a promise regarding East Germany and that it was kept.


Domestically, Mikhail Gorbachev's critics accused him of betraying the national interest; more broadly, they were angry that Mikhail Gorbachev had allowed the Eastern Bloc to move away from direct Soviet influence.


Mikhail Gorbachev later called it a "watershed" in world politics, "the first time the superpowers acted together in a regional crisis".


However, when the US announced plans for a ground invasion, Mikhail Gorbachev opposed it, urging instead a peaceful solution.


In October 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; he was flattered but acknowledged "mixed feelings" about the accolade.


At the 28th Communist Party Congress in July 1990, hardliners criticized the reformists but Mikhail Gorbachev was re-elected party leader with the support of three-quarters of delegates and his choice of deputy general secretary, Vladimir Ivashko, was elected.


Mikhail Gorbachev described the plan as "modern socialism" rather than a return to capitalism but had many doubts about it.


Amid growing dissent in the Baltics, especially Lithuania, in January 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev demanded that the Lithuanian Supreme Council rescind its pro-independence reforms.


Mikhail Gorbachev was widely blamed by liberalizers, with Yeltsin calling for his resignation.


Mikhail Gorbachev denied sanctioning the military operation, although some in the military claimed that he had; the truth of the matter was never clearly established.


The coup leaders demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev formally declare a state of emergency in the country, but he refused.


The coup plotters publicly announced that Mikhail Gorbachev was ill and thus Vice President Yanayev would take charge of the country.


Mikhail Gorbachev feared that the coup plotters would order him killed, so had his guards barricade his dacha.


That evening, Mikhail Gorbachev returned to Moscow, where he thanked Yeltsin and the protesters for helping to undermine the coup.


Mikhail Gorbachev only learned of this development when Shushkevich phoned him; Mikhail Gorbachev was furious.


Mikhail Gorbachev desperately looked for an opportunity to preserve the Soviet Union, hoping in vain that the media and intelligentsia might rally against the idea of its dissolution.


Yakovlev, Chernyaev and Shevardnadze joined Mikhail Gorbachev to help him write a resignation speech.


Mikhail Gorbachev then gave his speech in the Kremlin in front of television cameras, allowing for international broadcast.


Mikhail Gorbachev was the third out of eight Soviet leaders, after Malenkov and Khrushchev, not to die in office.


Out of office, Mikhail Gorbachev had more time to spend with his wife and family.


Mikhail Gorbachev focused on establishing his International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, or "Gorbachev Foundation", launched in March 1992; Yakovlev and Revenko were its first vice presidents.


Mikhail Gorbachev further visited Israel and Germany, where he was received warmly by many politicians who praised his role in facilitating German reunification.


Mikhail Gorbachev began writing a monthly syndicated column for The New York Times.


In 1993, Mikhail Gorbachev launched Green Cross International, which focused on encouraging sustainable futures, and then the World Political Forum.


Mikhail Gorbachev had promised to refrain from criticizing Yeltsin while the latter pursued democratic reforms, but soon the two men were publicly criticizing each other again.


Mikhail Gorbachev continued to defend perestroika but acknowledged that he had made tactical errors as Soviet leader.


In 1997, she founded a sub-division of the Mikhail Gorbachev Foundation known as Raisa Maksimovna's Club to focus on improving women's welfare in Russia.


In 1999, Mikhail Gorbachev made his first visit to Australia, where he gave a speech to the country's parliament.


The Russian presidential elections were scheduled for June 1996, and although his wife and most of his friends urged him not to run, Mikhail Gorbachev decided to do so.


Mikhail Gorbachev hated the idea that the election would result in a run-off between Yeltsin and Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation candidate whom Yeltsin saw as a Stalinist hardliner.


Mikhail Gorbachev never expected to win outright but thought a centrist bloc could be formed around either himself or one of the other candidates with similar views, such as Grigory Yavlinsky, Svyatoslav Fyodorov, or Alexander Lebed.


Mikhail Gorbachev repeatedly faced anti-Gorbachev protesters, while some pro-Yeltsin local officials tried to hamper his campaign by banning local media from covering it or by refusing him access to venues.


Mikhail Gorbachev attended Putin's inauguration ceremony in May, the first time he had entered the Kremlin since 1991.


Mikhail Gorbachev initially welcomed Putin's rise, seeing him as an anti-Yeltsin figure.


At Putin's request, Mikhail Gorbachev became co-chair of the "Petersburg Dialogue" project between high-ranking Russians and Germans.


In 2000, Mikhail Gorbachev helped form the Russian United Social Democratic Party.


Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as party leader in May 2004 following a disagreement with the party's chairman over the direction taken in the 2003 election campaign.


Later that year, Mikhail Gorbachev founded a new movement, the Union of Social Democrats.


Mikhail Gorbachev was critical of US hostility to Putin, arguing that the US government "doesn't want Russia to rise" again as a global power and wants "to continue as the sole superpower in charge of the world".


Mikhail Gorbachev declared that since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US, rather than cooperating with Russia, had conspired to build a "new empire headed by themselves".


Mikhail Gorbachev was critical of how the US had expanded NATO right up to Russia's borders despite their initial assurances that they would not do so, citing this as evidence that the US government could not be trusted.


Mikhail Gorbachev spoke out against the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia because it lacked UN backing, as well as the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the US In June 2004, Gorbachev nevertheless attended Reagan's state funeral, and in 2007 visited New Orleans to see the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.


Mikhail Gorbachev nevertheless remained critical of Russia's government and criticized the 2011 parliamentary elections as being rigged in favor of the governing party, United Russia, and called for them to be re-held.


In 2009, Mikhail Gorbachev released Songs for Raisa, an album of Russian romantic ballads, sung by him and accompanied by musician Andrei Makarevich, to raise money for a charity devoted to his late wife.


Mikhail Gorbachev continued to speak out on issues affecting Russia and the world.


Mikhail Gorbachev's comments led to Ukraine banning him from entering the country for five years.


At a November 2014 event marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the ongoing war in Donbas had brought the world to the brink of a new Cold War, and he accused Western powers, particularly the US, of adopting an attitude of "triumphalism" towards Russia.


Mikhail Gorbachev added: "all agreements aimed at nuclear disarmament and the limitation of nuclear weapons must be preserved, for the sake of life on Earth".


Bush in 2018, a critical partner and friend of his time in office, Mikhail Gorbachev stated that the work they had both accomplished led directly to the end of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, and that he "deeply appreciated the attention, kindness and simplicity typical of George, Barbara and their large, friendly family".


Mikhail Gorbachev stated that the attack "called into question the future fate of the United States as a nation".


Mikhail Gorbachev made no personal comment publicly on the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Mlynar noted that unlike most other Soviet students, Mikhail Gorbachev did not view Marxism simply as "a collection of axioms to be committed to memory".


However, as Gooding noted, the changes that Mikhail Gorbachev proposed were "expressed wholly within the terms of Marxist-Leninist ideology".


However, Jonathan Steele argued that Mikhail Gorbachev failed to appreciate why the Baltic nations wanted independence and "at heart he was, and remains, a Russian imperialist".


Mikhail Gorbachev added that "until the end, Gorbachev reiterated his belief in socialism, insisting that it wasn't worthy of the name unless it was truly democratic".


Taubman noted that by 1989 or 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev had transformed into a social democrat.


Mikhail Gorbachev claimed that "the essence of Lenin" was a desire to develop "the living creative activity of the masses".


Taubman believed that Mikhail Gorbachev identified with Lenin on a psychological level.


Mikhail Gorbachev spoke in a southern Russian accent, and was known to sing both folk and pop songs.


Mikhail Gorbachev was protective of his private life and avoided inviting people to his home.


Mikhail Gorbachev cherished his wife, who in turn was protective of him.


Mikhail Gorbachev sent his daughter, his only child, to a local school in Stavropol rather than to a school set aside for the children of party elites.


Mikhail Gorbachev was baptized Russian Orthodox and when he was growing up, his grandparents had been practicing Christians.


Since studying at university, Mikhail Gorbachev considered himself an intellectual; Doder and Branson thought that "his intellectualism was slightly self-conscious", noting that unlike most Russian intelligentsia, Mikhail Gorbachev was not closely connected "to the world of science, culture, the arts, or education".


Mikhail Gorbachev enjoyed going for walks, having a love of natural environments, and was a fan of association football.


Mikhail Gorbachev favored small gatherings where the assembled discussed topics like art and philosophy rather than the large, alcohol-fueled parties common among Soviet officials.


Mikhail Gorbachev was self-confident, polite, and tactful; he had a happy and optimistic temperament.


Mikhail Gorbachev used self-deprecating humor, and sometimes profanities, and often referred to himself in the third person.


Mikhail Gorbachev was a skilled manager, and had a good memory.


Mikhail Gorbachev commuted from the western suburbs between 9 and 10 in the morning and returned home around 8 in the evening.


Taubman called him "a remarkably decent man"; he thought Mikhail Gorbachev to have "high moral standards".


Zhores Medvedev thought him a talented orator, in 1986 stating that "Mikhail Gorbachev is probably the best speaker there has been in the top Party echelons" since Leon Trotsky.


Mikhail Gorbachev was sensitive to personal criticism and easily took offense.


Biographers Doder and Branson thought that Mikhail Gorbachev was "a puritan" with "a proclivity for order in his personal life".


Mikhail Gorbachev thought that by 1990, when his domestic popularity was waning, Gorbachev had become "psychologically dependent on being lionized abroad", a trait for which he was criticized in the Soviet Union.


Mikhail Gorbachev died at the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow on 30 August 2022, at the age of 91.


Mikhail Gorbachev died after a "severe and prolonged illness," according to the hospital.


On 11 June 2013, it was reported that Mikhail Gorbachev was hospitalized for a routine examination.


On 22 October 2013, it became known that Mikhail Gorbachev was undergoing another examination in a German clinic.


Mikhail Gorbachev was hospitalized in the Central Clinical Hospital on 9 October 2014.


In November 2016, Mikhail Gorbachev had a pacemaker installed at the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital.


The length of his hospital visits increased in 2019, with Mikhail Gorbachev hospitalized in December with pneumonia.


At the beginning of 2020, Mikhail Gorbachev was placed under the continuous supervision of doctors.


Mikhail Gorbachev's condition deteriorated even further in July 2022 as he developed kidney problems, which led to him being transferred for hemodialysis.


Shortly before his death, Mikhail Gorbachev underwent four more operations, lost 40 kilograms of weight, and could no longer walk.


In interviews given shortly before his death, Mikhail Gorbachev had complained about health and appetite problems.


Mikhail Gorbachev was receiving palliative care, but was allowed to leave the hospital for short periods of time.


Mikhail Gorbachev was buried on the same day at Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery, in the same grave as his wife Raisa, as requested by his will.


Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences on the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, and paid tribute to him at the Moscow hospital where the ex-president had died but, according to spokesman Dmitry Peskov, had no time to attend his funeral due to a busy work schedule.


Putin sent a telegram to Mikhail Gorbachev's family, calling him "a politician and statesman who had a huge impact on the course of world history".


Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin called Gorbachev an "outstanding statesman".


Naina Yeltsina, widow of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, said that Mikhail Gorbachev "sincerely wanted to change the Soviet system" and transform the USSR into a "free and peaceful state".


Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau stated that Mikhail Gorbachev had "increased the scope of freedom of the enslaved peoples of the Soviet Union in an unprecedented way, giving them hope for a more dignified life".


Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that Lithuanians would not glorify Mikhail Gorbachev or forget about the 1991 January Events.


Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Mikhail Gorbachev had "left behind great [accomplishments] as a world leader supporting the abolishment of nuclear weapons".


Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded in destroying what was left of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union; he brought freedom of speech, of assembly, and of conscience to people who had never known it, except perhaps for a few chaotic months in 1917.


McCauley noted that in facilitating the merger of East and West Germany, Mikhail Gorbachev was "a co-father of German unification", assuring him long-term popularity among the German people.


In little more than six tumultuous years, Mr Mikhail Gorbachev lifted the Iron Curtain, decisively altering the political climate of the world.


In 2002, Mikhail Gorbachev received the Freedom of the City of Dublin from Dublin City Council.


In 2002, Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Charles V Prize by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation.


In 2005, Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Point Alpha Prize for his role in supporting German reunification.