Mikhail Gorbachev

WHERE is he now? Mikhail “Gorby” Gorbachev now lives in Moscow, Russia and remained active in current world affairs and Russian politics. He now has a foundation named the Gorbachev Foundation which founded in 1992, and headquartered in San Francisco, California. He also founded Green Cross International, with which he was one of three major sponsors of the Earth Charter. In addition, Gorbachev also appeared in numerous media channels for his social activities. On June 5, 2010, he attended the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation Party, at Stud House, Hampton Court Palace on June 5, 2010 in Richmond upon Thames, London, England. The night is in aid of the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation, an international fund fighting child cancer. On April 14, 2010, he gathered with some Romanian local political figures and take part at “Puterea” (The Power) newspaper launching ceremony. In April 2010, he was awarded the inaugural Dresden Prize in recognition of his role in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 2009, Gorbachev attended the celebration in Berlin together with former Polish leader Lech Wałęsa and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On June 16, 2009, Gorbachev announced that he had recorded an album of old Russian romantic ballads entitled “Songs for Raisa” to raise money for a charity dedicated to his late wife. In the album, he sings the songs himself accompanied by Russian musician Andrei Makarevich. On 20 March 2009, he met with US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in efforts to ‘reset’ strained relations between Russia and the United States. Later, the same month, he visited Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois which is the alma mater of former US president Ronald Reagan. He toured the campus and then traveled to Peoria, Illinois as the keynote speaker at the “Reagan Day Dinner”.

Gorbachev met Obama and Bidden on March 20, 2009
In September 2008, Gorbachev made a comeback to Russian politics along with a former KGB officer, Alexander Lebedev. Their party is known as the Independent Democratic Party of Russia. This was Gorbachev's third attempt to establish a political party, after having started the Social Democratic Party of Russia in 2001 and the Union of Social-Democrats in 2007. Gorbachev and Lebedev also founded the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Concerning the 2008 South Ossetia war, in a 12 August 2008 op-ed in The Washington Post, Gorbachev criticized the U.S. support for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and for moving to bring the Caucasus into the sphere of its "national interest." 

On 27 July 2007, Gorbachev criticized U.S. foreign policy for sowing world disorder.  That same year, he visited New Orleans, a city hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina, and promised he would return in 2011 to personally lead a local revolution if the U.S. government had not repaired the levees by that time. He said that revolutionary action should be a last resort.



Short Bio:
Mikhail Gorbachev is the former seventh and last General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), serving from 1985 until 1991, and the last head of state of the USSR, serving from 1988 until its collapse in 1991. In 1989, he became the first and only Soviet leader to visit China since the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s.

Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931 in Stavropol Krai into a peasant Ukrainian-Russian family, and in his teens operated combine harvesters on collective farms. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law. While at university, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and soon became very active within it. In 1970, he was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Kraikom, First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet in 1974, and appointed a member of the Politburo in 1979. Within three years of the deaths of Soviet Leaders Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko, Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo in 1985.

The Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR - the first parliament in Soviet history, made on the basis of free and contested election - elected Gorbachev President of the USSR on March 15, 1990. Prior to this, following Andrei Gromyko’s resignation in 1988, Gorbachev became Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and in summer 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Accordingly, he headed the nation’s Defense Council and was Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR.

The stated principles of Mikhail Gorbachev's administration were "glasnost" and "perestroika," or openness and restructuring, words which became known throughout the world. Gorbachev allowed a freedom of expression Russia and many other states of the Soviet Union had not known in their long history. Gorbachev's reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The rise of democracy in Russia and the end of the Cold War division of Europe are the direct result of Gorbachev's extraordinary term of office as leader of the Soviet Union.

In recognition of his outstanding services as a great reformer and world political leader, who greatly contributed in changing for the better the very nature of world development, Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990.

On December 25, 1991, Gorbachev stepped down as Head of State.

Since January 1992, he has been President of the International Nongovernmental Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (The Gorbachev Foundation). Since March 1993, he has also been President of Green Cross International - an international independent environmental organization with branches in more than twenty countries.


Did you know?
  • His birth name is Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
  • His wife, Raisa Gorbachev a.k.a Raisa Titarenko died of Leukemia in 1999. 
  • He has one child, daughter Irina Mihailovna Virganskaya, born in 1957. 
  • He is one of the most famous people in modern times with visible naevus flammeus. A birthmark located in his forehead in the form of archipelagos. Interestingly, in his official photos as a Politburo member the birthmark was removed.
  • He was the CPSU's first leader to have been born after the October Revolution of 1917.
  • He held first free election in the USSR since 1917.
  • He resigned as USSR President on Christmas Day, 1991.
  • He once baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church while a child.
  • He campaigned for establishment of freedom of religion laws in the USSR.
  • At the end of a November 1996 interview on CSPAN's Booknotes, Gorbachev described his plans for future books. He made the following reference to God: "I don't know how many years God will be giving me, [or] what His plans are."
  • He was only the second USSR leader (and the first in 27 years) to leave his post while still alive. Five of his predecessors, starting with Lenin, died while in office. Khruschev was the only exception: he was ousted in 1964 by Brezhhnev.
  • He received various honorary degrees from leading universities.
  • On 4 May 1992, he was awarded the first ever Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
  • In 1993, he appeared as himself in the Wim Wenders film, "Faraway, So Close!"
  • In 1997, he with his granddaughter Anastasia appeared in a commercial ad for Pizza Hut, making him the only Communist Party official to do advertising work. 
  • In June 2004, Gorbachev represented Russia at the funeral of Ronald Reagan.
  • Merited a place in Time magazine's Special Issue "Heroes of the Environment" (Leaders & Visionaries section) with a tribute penned by Alexei Yablokov, Chairman of the Green Russia political caucus (Issue October 29, 2007).
  • In 2007, he appeared in Louis Vuitton’s luggage ad.
  • He, together with Bill Clinton and Sophia Loren, were awarded the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for their recording of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.
  • In 2010, Gorbachev received the first ever Dresden award for nuclear disarmament.

Write to him:
Mikhail Gorbachev
The Gorbachev Foundation
39 Leningradsky Prospect
Building 14
Moscow 125167
Russia

More:
Wikipedia
The Gorbachev Foundation
Green Cross International
Gorbachev's Twitter page

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