69 Facts About Mikhail Gorbachev

1. Mikhail Gorbachev added: "It was through St Francis that I arrived at the Church, so it was important that I came to visit his tomb".

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

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

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4. Mikhail Gorbachev was a hard worker; as General Secretary, he would rise at 7 or 8 in the morning and not go to bed until 1 or 2.

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

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6. Mikhail Gorbachev enjoyed walking as a hobby, and had a love of natural environments.

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7. Mikhail Gorbachev is a member of the Club of Madrid, a group of more than 80 former leaders of democratic countries, which works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership.

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8. In October 2018, Mikhail Gorbachev criticized President Donald Trump's threat to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, saying the move "is not the work of a great mind.

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9. In July 2016, Mikhail Gorbachev criticized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization amid escalating tensions between the military alliance and the Russian Federation.

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10. Mikhail Gorbachev reiterated his support of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea in May 2016, which led him being banned from entering Ukraine for five years.

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11. Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the conflict in Ukraine had brought the world to the brink of a new cold war, and he charged western powers, particularly the United States, with adopting an attitude of "triumphalism" towards Russia.

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12. On 8 November 2014, Mikhail Gorbachev attended an event near the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin to mark 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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13. On 10 October 2014, it was reported that Mikhail Gorbachev was in hospital and in deteriorating health.

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14. Mikhail Gorbachev would not be coaxed to talk about Raisa, except fleetingly in the context of the charity.

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15. Mikhail Gorbachev lives in Moscow, has not remarried and finds solace with his daughter and granddaughters.

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16. On 7 June 2010, Mikhail Gorbachev gave an interview before "almost an annual pilgrimage" to London for a summer gala to raise money for the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation, which funds cancer care for children.

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17. On 27 March 2009, Mikhail Gorbachev visited Eureka College, Illinois, which is the alma mater of former US President Ronald Reagan with whom he had negotiated historic nuclear arms reduction treaties.

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18. On 20 March 2009, Mikhail Gorbachev met with United States President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in efforts to "reset" strained relations between Russia and the United States.

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19. Mikhail Gorbachev said that revolutionary action should be a last resort.

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20. Mikhail Gorbachev became a member of the Club of Rome and the Club of Madrid, an independent non-profit organization composed of 81 democratic former presidents and Prime Ministers from 57 different countries.

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21. Mikhail Gorbachev founded the Gorbachev Foundation in 1992, headquartered in Moscow.

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22. In 1997, Mikhail Gorbachev appeared with his granddaughter Anastasia in an internationally screened television commercial for Pizza Hut.

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23. Mikhail Gorbachev appeared in numerous media channels after his resignation from office.

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24. Mikhail Gorbachev had aimed to maintain the CPSU as a united party but move it in the direction of Scandinavian-style social democracy.

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25. Two days after Mikhail Gorbachev left office, on 27 December 1991, Yeltsin moved into Gorbachev's old office.

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26. Mikhail Gorbachev ordered the Russian flag raised alongside the Soviet flag at the Kremlin.

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27. Mikhail Gorbachev spent three days under house arrest at his dacha in the Crimea before being freed and restored to power.

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28. Under the pretense that Mikhail Gorbachev was ill, his vice president, Yanayev, took over as president.

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29. Mikhail Gorbachev continued to work on drafting a new treaty of union which would have created a truly voluntary federation in an increasingly democratised Soviet Union.

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30. On 10 January 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev issued an ultimatum-like request addressing the Lithuanian Supreme Council demanding the restoration of the validity of the constitution of the Soviet Union in Lithuania and revocation of all anti-constitutional laws.

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31. Mikhail Gorbachev would publish the draft of a new union treaty in November, which envisioned a continued union called the Union of Sovereign Soviet Republics, but, going into 1991, Gorbachev's actions were steadily overpowered by secessionism.

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32. Mikhail Gorbachev was essentially creating his own political support base independent of CPSU conservatives and radical reformers.

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33. Mikhail Gorbachev was forced to break off his trip to the United States and cancel planned travel to Cuba and the UK.

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34. Mikhail Gorbachev understood the link between achieving international detente and domestic reform and thus began extending "New Thinking" abroad immediately.

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35. Mikhail Gorbachev chose a vice president; but when first Shevardnadze, then Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, turned it down, Gorbachev chose Gennady Yanayev, the head of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions and a known hardliner.

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36. Mikhail Gorbachev became Chairman of the Supreme Soviet on 25 May 1989.

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37. Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a new executive in the form of a presidential system, as well as a new legislative element, to be called the Congress of People's Deputies.

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38. Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged that his liberalising policies of glasnost and perestroika owed a great deal to Alexander Dubcek's "Socialism with a human face".

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39. Mikhail Gorbachev initiated his new policy of perestroika and its attendant radical reforms in 1986; they were sketched, but not fully spelled out, at the XXVIIth Party Congress in February–March 1986.

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40. Mikhail Gorbachev replaced Gromyko's former role with his ally, Eduard Shevardnadze.

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41. Mikhail Gorbachev sought to remove several older members from the Politburo, encouraging Grigory Romanov, Nikolai Tikhonov, and Viktor Grishin into retirement and moving Gromyko from his role in foreign policy to that of head of state.

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42. 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.

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43. Mikhail Gorbachev expected much opposition to his nomination as Chernenko's successor, but ultimately the rest of the Politburo supported him.

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44. Mikhail Gorbachev felt that the visit helped to erode Gromyko's dominance of Soviet foreign policy while at the same time sending a signal to the US government that he wanted to improve Soviet-US relations.

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45. Mikhail Gorbachev continued to cultivate allies both in the Kremlin and beyond.

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

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47. Mikhail Gorbachev began to have concerns about other policies too.

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48. Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed to the Central Committee's Secretariat for Agriculture in 1978, replacing Fyodor Kulakov who had died of a heart attack.

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49. 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.

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50. In November 1974, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed Secretary of the Central Committee; he was the youngest man to ever hold the position.

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

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52. 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".

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

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54. In January 1963, Mikhail Gorbachev was promoted to personnel chief for the regional party's agricultural committee.

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55. In 1961, Mikhail Gorbachev played host to the Italian delegation for the World Youth Festival in Moscow.

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56. Mikhail Gorbachev went out of his way to appoint women as city and district leaders.

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57. 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.

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58. 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.

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59. In 1961, Mikhail Gorbachev pursued a second degree, on agricultural production, at a local agricultural college, receiving it in 1967.

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60. Mikhail Gorbachev became deputy director of Komosomol's agitation and propaganda department for the region.

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

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

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

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

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65. Mikhail Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931 in the village of Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai.

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66. Mikhail Gorbachev was widely praised in the West for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War, curtailing the human rights abuses that occurred in the Soviet Union, and tolerating the fall of Marxist–Leninist administrations in eastern and central Europe.

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67. Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, and the Harvey Prize in 1992, as well as honorary doctorates from various universities.

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68. Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee in 1970, in which position he oversaw construction of the Great Stavropol Canal.

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69. Mikhail Gorbachev was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, having been General Secretary of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991.

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