Mikhail Gorbachev is a former Soviet politician and the last leader of the Soviet Union. He played a key role in the fall of the Berlin Wall and in re-unifying East and West Germany. He is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the co- founder of the Gorbachev Foundation, and Green Cross International.
Mikhail Gorbachev was born March 2 1931, in Russia. His father, Sergey Andreyevich Gorbachev, was a World War II veteran and his mother, Maria Panteleyevna Gorbachev, was a Kolkhoz (a collective farm) worker from a young age, Gorbachev was interested in operating machines. In 1948, he contributed to the house income heftily by harvesting a record crop, making Gorbachev the youngest person to win the Oder of the Red Banner of Labour.
After completing high school with a silver medal, Gorbachev enrolled at Moscow State University in 1950. He earned his degree in law in 1955. He pursued a correspondence course and received a master’s diploma from Stavropol Institute of Agriculture in 1967. Soon, he became a trained agriculture economist.
He became Communist Party member when he was studying in High School and was granted complete membership in 1952. He slowly rose up the ranks within the Communist Party in the 1950s and 60s, and in 1970, Gorbachev became the Party secretary of the Stavropol Kraikom.
He improved the living standards of the working class and helped them expand private plots and organize collective farms. In 1985, the Politburo elected him as general secretary after the death of Andropov and his successor Konstantin Cherenko.
As the secretary, Gorbachev reformed the party introducing restructuring, democratization and openness.
Not only his, but Gorbachev also brought about many technological developments for reducing waste and enhancing productivity. He led anti- alcohol campaign and established a socially-oriented market economy.
Gorbachev, on his part, helped end the Cold War by reaching a compromise with Roland Reagan, who was the president of the United States. Gorbachev signed a treaty with Reagan in 1987, in intending to bring peace between the two countries by destroying their respective stocks of nuclear- tipped missiles.
He was also behind the formation of the Congress of People’s Deputies, a new bicameral parliament, to restructure the government. His reformative policies gained him a real standing with the Supreme Soviet hence elected, which made him its chairman, in 1989.
And in 1990, he was elected as he president by the Congress of People’s Deputies. Gorbachev had opted for an executive presidency modeled on the American and French systems. It gave him board powers.
As the president of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev mainly focused on making peaceful international relations. He contributed to the reunification of Germany and end of the Cold War.
He also advanced economic reforms and various domestic matters. While he was dealing with issues within his country, the opposition leader Boris Yeltsin became strong completion for him. Yeltsin wanted to bring a radical change in the economy. Soon, Yeltsin gained the position of the president of the Russian Federation by vote.
In a series of events, Yeltsin gained the support of the committee and the people, which led to Gorbachev stepping down as president. Soon after he handed over the position to Yeltsin, the Soviet Union dissolved.
After the end of his presidency, Gorbachev formed the Social Democratic Party of Russia. He resigned from the party in 2004 and went on to form another party named the Union of Social Democrats.
Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990 for his “excellent leadership skills and outstanding contributions to the advancement of the world’.
He received the Order of St Andrew, Russia highest state decoration, in 2011. He also received a number of other honors and award, including three Orders of Lenin, the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development and the Roland Regan Freedom Award.
Mikhail Gorbachev is married to a college friend from Moscow State University, Raisa Titarenko. They tied the knot in 1953. Four years later, they were blessed with a daughter.