Global emotion over the death of M. Gorbachev
Condolence messages are being sent by leaders and politicians from around the world after the death of the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, yesterday, aged 91.
K. Sakellaropoulou: He learned in his country what reform and transparency means
Kat. Sakellaropoulou’s post about the loss of Mikhail Gorbachev
“The man who learned in his country what reform (perestroika) and transparency (glasnost) means has left us,” the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, said in a post on Twitter about the loss of the last leader of the USSR.
As PtD reports, “Mikhail Gorbachev associated his name with the demolition of the Wall and the democratization of the Soviet Union.”
Ursula von der Leyen: She paved the way for a free Europe
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paid tribute to Mikhail Gorbachev, who died on Tuesday, singling out a politician “worthy of trust and respect”.
UN Secretary General: Death of Mikhail Gorbachev: “Changed the course of history”
The Secretary-General of the United Nations has expressed his “deep sadness” at the death of the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, paying tribute to the “unparalleled leader” who “changed the course of history”.
“He did more than anyone to bring about a peaceful end to the cold war,” Antonio Guterres noted in a press release released by his services, saying that “the world has lost a tremendous world leader, committed to multilateral cooperation, tireless defender of peace”.
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis: “An emblematic figure of the 20th century”
“Mikhail Gorbachev was an iconic political figure of the 20th century,” Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said on Twitter, referring to the death of the last Soviet leader on Tuesday.
“He played a decisive role in the end of the Cold War, paving the way for a free Europe. He showed that History can be written not with wars but with acts of peace”.
Emmanuel Macron: A “man of peace” is gone
French President Emmanuel Macron today paid tribute to the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who died on Tuesday, thanking him for his “commitment to peace in Europe”.
Mr Macron praised on Twitter the memory of this “man of peace whose choices opened a path to freedom for Russians. His commitment to peace in Europe changed our shared history.”
Boris Johnson: ‘I’ve always admired his courage and integrity’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has praised the “courage and integrity” of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who died on Tuesday, saying his “tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society” remains an “example”, six months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I am saddened to learn of Gorbachev’s death. I have always admired the courage and integrity he showed in ending the cold war peacefully,” Mr Johnson said on Twitter. “At the time of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s attack on Ukraine, his tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all.”
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Who was the last leader of the Soviet Union?
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was a Russian politician and former leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991.
His reform efforts helped bring an end to the Cold War, but also ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In 1990 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Mikhail Gorbachev implemented economic reforms that he hoped would improve workers’ living standards and productivity as part of his Perestroika (restructuring) program.
Of mixed Russian and Ukrainian ancestry, Gorbachev was born in Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai, into a poor peasant family. Growing up in the era of Joseph Stalin, in his youth he worked on harvesters on a collective farm before joining the Communist Party, which then ruled the Soviet Union as a one-party state according to Marxist-Leninist theory.
While studying at Moscow State University, he married fellow student Raisa Titarenko in 1953, before graduating in 1955. He moved to Stavropol, where he worked for the local Komsomol and became a staunch supporter of de-Stalinization, promoted by Nikita Khrushchev. He was appointed Secretary of the Stavroupolis Regional Committee in 1970, where he oversaw the construction of the Stavroupolis Grand Canal. In 1974 he moved to Moscow to become the First Secretary of the Supreme Soviet and in 1979 he became a candidate member of the party’s politburo.
Within three years of the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and the brief regimes of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernyenko, the politburo elected Gorbachev as General Secretary, de facto head of government, in 1985. Although he promised to preserve the Soviet state and socialist ideology, Gorbachev believed in the need for major reform, particularly after the Chernobyl accident in April 1986. He withdrew from the Soviet-Afghan War and began summits with US President Ronald Reagan on limiting nuclear weapons and end of the cold war.
Domestically, the policy of Glasnost (“transparency”) allowed for improved freedom of speech and press, while “perestroika” (“restructuring”) sought to decentralize economic decision-making to improve efficiency. Democratization measures and the formation of the elected Congress of People’s Representatives undermined the one-party state. Gorbachev refused to intervene militarily when various Eastern countries abandoned Marxist-Leninist rule in 1989-90. Internally, growing nationalist sentiment threatened to bring about the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Some Marxist-Leninist hardliners staged the 1991 coup against Gorbachev. Four months later, the Soviet Union dissolved and Gorbachev resigned in December. In 1992 he founded the Gorbachev Foundation. He took a critical stance towards the later Russian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, while he is a central figure in the Russian social democratic movement.
The introduction of Glasnost (transparency, loosely translated) gave new freedoms to the citizens of the Soviet Union, such as greater freedom of speech and expression and better control over the actions of the administration. However, with these measures it became clear that the Soviet Union could not rely on such a socially and politically open and tolerant regime. He is widely regarded as one of the most important figures of the second half of the 20th century. Gorbachev remains a subject of controversy to this day. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.
He was widely praised for his instrumental role in ending the Cold War, expanding human rights in the Soviet Union, and the fall of the Eastern Bloc in eastern and central Europe. In contrast, in Russia he is often derided as he did not prevent the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which brought about a decline in Russia’s global influence and the financial crisis of the early 1990s. Gorbachev was the oldest general secretary of the Soviet Union.
In the seven years he led the E.S.S.D. tried to build a model of socialism, in which the laws of the market and free trade coexist, a communist regime with a pluralistic basis of operation.
His efforts, however, led to the disintegration of his country. He promoted cooperation and dialogue between the two superpowers, meeting US President Ronald Reagan in Washington, with the goal of nuclear disarmament. In Moscow he was particularly harsh in his criticism of the past. He restored relations with the Russian Orthodox Church and dissidents. Among the most critical moments during his tumultuous tenure at the leadership of the Soviet Union was dealing with the coup d’état of August 19, 1991. That year, and while he was at the summer presidential residence in Crimea, the opposition wing of the K.K.S. E., under then vice president Gennady Yanayev, demanded his resignation.
Gorbachev refused and returned to Moscow. The coup plotters failed, thanks to the parallel uprising of democratic elements in the capital and other major cities. But he lost control of the Soviet political system and was overthrown by Boris Yeltsin. In October 1991 at the Madrid conference on peace in the Middle East, his position was already weakened. The centrifugal tendencies in the polycentric and multinational USSR. were constantly reinforced.
In November of the same year, seven republics (including Russia) decided to establish the Union of Independent States, so Gorbachev’s role was limited to coordinating foreign and defense policy.
In December representatives of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine met to establish the Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 25, 1991 Gorbachev resigned and the following day (December 26) the Supreme Soviet officially declared the dissolution of the Soviet Union.