Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev – The Soviet Leader of Glasnost and Perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev is a former Soviet politician who served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991. He is best known for his policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), which aimed to reform the Soviet Union’s political and economic system.

Early Life

Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931, in Privolnoye, Russia. His family were poor farmers, and Gorbachev grew up during the Stalinist era. He studied law at Moscow State University and joined the Communist Party in 1952.

Political Career

Gorbachev rose through the ranks of the Communist Party, becoming the General Secretary in 1985. He was the first Soviet leader to be born after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and he brought a new energy and openness to the party. He introduced policies of glasnost, which allowed for greater freedom of speech and press, and perestroika, which aimed to modernize and revitalize the Soviet economy.

Reforms and End of the Soviet Union: Gorbachev’s reforms were met with both support and opposition. Some embraced the new openness and reforms, while others saw them as a threat to the Communist Party’s power. Gorbachev’s policies eventually led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of Soviet control in Eastern Europe. In 1991, a group of hardliners attempted a coup to overthrow Gorbachev, but it failed. However, the coup weakened Gorbachev’s power, and he resigned as General Secretary later that year.


Mikhail Gorbachev is remembered for his efforts to reform the Soviet Union and bring greater openness and freedom to the country. While some of his policies were controversial, they paved the way for a more democratic and market-oriented Russia. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his efforts to end the Cold War and reduce nuclear arms.

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