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Mihail Gorbačëv

Михаил Сергеевич Горбачёв (Mihail Sergeevič Gorbačëv)

b. 2 Mar 1931, Privol'noe, Krasnogvardejsk region, Stavropol' territory, USSR
d. 22 Aug 2022, Moscow

Title: Председатель Президиума Верховного Совета СССР (Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR)
Term: 1 Oct 1988 - 25 May 1989
Chronology: 1 Oct 1988, elected, 10th session of the 11th USSR Supreme Soviet [1]
25 May 1989, office of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet ceased to exist according to amendments to the USSR Constitution passed 1 Dec 1988 [2]
Title: Председатель Верховного Совета СССР (Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR)
Term: 25 May 1989 - 15 Mar 1990
Chronology: 25 May 1989, elected, First Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR [3]
15 Mar 1990, relieved of duties, resolution of the Third Extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR following his election as President of the USSR [4, p. 212]
Title: Президент Союза Советских Социалистических Республик (President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
Term: 15 Mar 1990 - 25 Dec 1991
Chronology: 14 Mar 1990, elected, Third Extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR (election results announced 15 Mar 1990) [4, pp. 55, 211]
15 Mar 1990, sworn in, 3rd Extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR, Palace of Congresses, Kremlin, Moscow [4, p. 56]
18 Aug 1991, prevented from exercising the functions of President of the USSR by taking into custody, summer house, Foros, Crimea
21 Aug 1991, released from custody and returned to exercising the functions of President of the USSR
25 Dec 1991, resignation announced in a televised address to the nation
The son of Russian peasants, Mihail Gorbačëv joined the Komsomol (Young Communist League) in 1946. As a student of the Moscow State University he became a member of the Communist Party in 1952. After the graduation he went on to hold a number of posts in the Komsomol and regular party organizations in Stavropol. In 1962-1966 he worked in the Stavropol' territorial party committee, in Sep 1966 - Aug 1968 as first secretary of the Stavropol' municipal party organization and finally became first secretary (Aug 1968 - Apr 1970, second) of the territorial party committee in April 1970. Gorbačëv was named a full member (1971-1991) of the Central Committee by the 24th party congress in 1971, and he was appointed a secretary (27 Nov 1978 - 11 Mar 1985) of the Central Committee in 1978. The patronage of long-time party ideologue Mikhail Suslov provided Gorbačëv with the top leadership support and he was elected a candidate member (27 Nov 1979 - 21 Oct 1980) of the Politburo and attained full membership (21 Oct 1980 - 24 Aug 1991) in less than one year. Gorbačëv was very active in the Politburo and the Secretariat during the tenure of Yury Andropov and became a probable successor to Konstantin Černenko. On 11 Mar 1985, the Central Committee elected Mikhail Gorbačëv General Secretary (11 Mar 1985 - 24 Aug 1991) on place of the late Černenko. At first, Gorbačëv faced the challenge to change the stagnant Soviet economy, but very soon he realized that it would be impossible without changing the political and social structure of the Soviet Union. He proceeded with new policies of glasnost and perestroika to democratize the Soviet society and made steps to improve relationship with capitalist countries by signing disarmament treaties with the United States and withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. In 1988 Gorbačëv reshuffled the Politburo and insisted on resignation of many old party functionaries. He was elected chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on 1 Oct 1988, and became titular head of the Soviet state. Under changes made to the constitution, the 1st Congress of People's Deputies elected Gorbačëv chairman of the Supreme Soviet (25 May 1989). However, this political change was not sufficient to continue the reforms. The Communist Party was losing the power and the government in Moscow faced civil unrest in constituent republics. The political situation required serious changes and the new post of president of the USSR was created by the Congress of People's Deputies on 14 Mar 1990. The Congress elected Gorbačëv first President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on 14 Mar 1990. At the same time, the Congress abolished the Communist Party's constitutionally guaranteed monopoly of political power, but Gorbačëv's attempts to expand his powers as head of state returned no results and led to decline of his government's authority. While the Soviet economy was in a state of total collapse, the public outrage turned against the president. One by one, the constituent republics proclaimed their sovereignty and the Union was falling apart. In attempt to save the nation and party authority, the Communist hard-liners staged an ill-conceived coup and placed Gorbačëv under house arrest (18 Aug 1991 - 21 Aug 1991) at his dacha in Foros, Crimea. The coup failure allowed Gorbačëv to resume his presidential duties on 21 Aug 1991, but his position was significantly weakened. Gorbačëv resigned the post of General Secretary and quit the Communist Party on 24 Aug 1991, but the government of the Russian SFSR under Boris El'cin assumed the functions of the collapsing Soviet Union. The representatives of Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia on 8 Dec 1991, declared that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist and founded an association of sovereign states, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On 21 Dec 1991, 11 states signed a protocol formally establishing the CIS. Becoming a president without a country, Gorbačëv formally announced his resignation in his televised address to the nation on 25 Dec 1991. Biography source: [5, p. 269]
Date Candidate In favor Against Abstentions Votes cast Invalid
14/03/1990 Mihail Gorbačëv 1329 495 0 1878 54

[1] Ведомости Верховного Совета СССР, 1988, № 40, Ст. 626.
[2] Ведомости Верховного Совета СССР, 1988, № 49, Ст. 727.
[3] ВСНД и ВС СССР, 1989, 1989, № 1, Ст. 7.
[4] Внеочередной третий съезд народных депутатов СССР 12-15 марта 1990 г. Стенографический отчет. Том III. Москва, 1990.
[5] Государственная власть СССР. Высшие органы власти и управления и их руководители. 1923-1991 гг. Историко-биографический справочник / Сост. В.И.Ивкин. М.: РОССПЭН, 1999,