Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born March 2, 1931, the village of Privolnoye, Medvezhensky District, Stavropol District, North Caucasus region, RSFSR, USSR) – Soviet and Russian state, political, party and public figure.
Last General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee (1985-1991). Last Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (1988-1989), then the first Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet (1989-1990). First and only President of the USSR (1990-1991).
He has a considerable number of awards and honorary titles. The most famous award is the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize.
During Gorbachev”s tenure as head of state and leader of the CPSU, the Soviet Union underwent major changes that affected the whole world and were the consequence of the following historical events:
Since 2020, he has been the longest-serving ruler in Russian history, surpassing Alexander Kerensky and the nominal leader of the USSR, Vasily Kuznetsov (89 years each).
He was born on March 2, 1931 in the village of Privolnoye, Medvezhensky District of Stavropol Krai (then North Caucasus Krai), in a peasant family. His father was Sergey Andreyevich Gorbachev (08.10.1909-22.02.1976), Russian. Mother – Maria Panteleyevna Gorbacheva (virgin Gopkalo) (02.04.1911-14.04.1995), Ukrainian.
Both of Gorbachev”s grandfathers were repressed in the 1930s.
My paternal grandfather, Andrei Moiseevich Gorbachev (sent into exile in Irkutsk Oblast in 1934 for not fulfilling the sowing plan, released two years later, returned home and joined the collective farm, where he worked for the rest of his life.
My maternal grandfather, Pantelei Yefimovich Gopkalo (1894-1953), came from the peasants of Chernigov Province, was the eldest of five children, lost his father at 13, later moved to Stavropol. He was a veteran of the First World War, land was obtained under the Soviets, in the 1920s, he participated in the creation of a partnership for the cultivation of the land, in 1928 joined the CPSU (b) and became chairman of the collective farm “Khleborob” in Privolnoye, in the 1930s he was chairman of the collective farm “Red October” in a neighboring village 20 kilometers from Privolnoye, until Michael went to school, lived with his grandparents, in 1937 grandfather was arrested on charges of Trotskyism. Being under investigation, he spent 14 months in prison, enduring torture and abuse. Pantelei Yefimovich was saved from execution by change of “party line”, the February plenum of 1938 devoted to “struggle against deviations”. As a result, in September 1938, the head of the NKVD of the Krasnogvardeysk district shot himself, but Pantelei Efimovich was acquitted and in December 1938 he was released. In 1939 my grandfather again became chairman of the collective farm, and later he was head of the district land department.
During the war, when Mikhail Gorbachev was more than 10 years old, his father went to the front. After some time German troops entered the village, the family spent more than five months under occupation. On January 21-22, 1943 these areas were liberated by Soviet troops from Ordzhonikidze. After liberation the notice came that the father was lost. And in several days we got a letter from my father, it turned out that he was alive, the notification had been sent by mistake. Sergey Andreevich Gorbachev was awarded two Orders of the Red Star and a medal “For Valor”. More than once his father supported Gorbachev in difficult moments.
From the age of 13, he combined his studies at school with occasional work on the collective farm and at the MTS.
From the age of 15, he worked as an assistant combine harvester for the MTS.
In 1949, schoolboy Gorbachev was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor for his hard work in the grain harvest.
In tenth grade, at the age of 19, he became a candidate for the CPSU, a recommendation given by the principal and teachers of the school.
In 1950, he graduated from high school with a silver medal and entered without examination the Lomonosov Moscow State University, such an opportunity provided by the government award.
In 1952 he was accepted into the CPSU.
After graduating with honors from the Law Faculty of Moscow State University in 1955 he was sent to Stavropol regional prosecutor”s office, where he worked for 10 days – from August 5 to August 15, 1955. On his own initiative he was invited to join exempted Komsomol work, became deputy head of the department of agitation and propaganda of the Stavropol Territorial Committee of Komsomol, from 1956 – first secretary of the Stavropol City Komsomol Committee, then from 1958 – second and in 1961-1962 – first secretary of the regional committee of VLKSM.
While studying at MSU, he met and married Raisa Maksimovna Titarenko (1932-1999), a student of the Philosophy Faculty, on September 25, 1953. The wedding took place in the dining hall of the student dormitory on Stromynka.
Since March 1962 he was a party member of the Stavropol Territorial Committee of the CPSU Territorial Committee of the Collective Farm Management. In October 1961 he was a delegate of the XXII Congress of the CPSU. Since 1963 was head of the department of party bodies of the Stavropol Territorial Committee of the CPSU. In 1964 F. D. Kulakov, who left the Stavropol Territory as the First Secretary of the CPSU Regional Committee, called M. S. Gorbachev one of the most promising party workers to his successor in this position L. N. Efremov. Although Efremov did not like him, there were strong recommendations from Moscow for his promotion. On September 26, 1966 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected first secretary of the Stavropol City Committee of the CPSU. In the same year he went abroad for the first time, to the GDR. In 1967 he graduated by correspondence from the Faculty of Economics of the Stavropol Agricultural Institute as an agronomist-economist.
Gorbachev was twice considered for a job with the KGB. In 1966 he was offered the post of the head of the KGB of the Stavropol Territory, but his candidacy was rejected by Vladimir Semichastny. In 1969, Yuri Andropov considered Gorbachev as a possible candidate for the post of Deputy Chairman of the KGB.
Gorbachev himself recalled that before he was elected first secretary of the regional committee, he “tried to go into science… I passed the minimum, wrote my dissertation.
On August 5, 1968 he became the second secretary of the Stavropol Region Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and on April 10, 1970 he became the first secretary of the Committee. His predecessor in that position, Leonid Yefremov, claimed that Gorbachev”s promotion came at the insistence of Moscow, although Yefremov found it possible to nominate him as his successor.
Deputy of the Union Council of the USSR Supreme Soviet of the 9-11 convocations (1974-1989) from the Stavropol Territory. Until 1974 he was a member of the Commission of the Council of the Union for Nature Protection, then from 1974 to 1979 – Chairman of the Commission for Youth Affairs of the Council of the Union of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
In 1973, candidate member of the Politburo, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Peter Demichev made him an offer to head the Propaganda Department of the CPSU Central Committee, where for several years Alexander Yakovlev had been acting head. After consulting with Mikhail Suslov, Gorbachev declined.
According to former Gosplan Chairman Nikolai Baibakov, he offered Gorbachev the post of his deputy for agriculture.
After Politburo member Dmitry Polyansky was removed as Minister of Agriculture of the USSR (1976), Gorbachev”s mentor Fyodor Kulakov started talking about the post of Minister of Agriculture of the USSR, but Valentin Mesyats was appointed Minister.
The Administrative Department of the CPSU Central Committee proposed Gorbachev for the post of Prosecutor General of the USSR instead of Roman Rudenko, but his candidacy was rejected by a member of the Politburo, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Andrei Kirilenko.
In 1971-1991 he was a member of the CPSU Central Committee. According to Gorbachev himself, he was patronized by Yuri Andropov, who facilitated his transfer to Moscow; according to independent estimates, Gorbachev was more sympathetic to Mikhail Suslov and Andrei Gromyko.
On September 17, 1978, at the Mineralnye Vody station of the North Caucasus Railway, the so-called “meeting of the four General Secretaries”, which later became somewhat famous, met with Leonid Brezhnev and Konstantin Chernenko who was traveling to Baku and Mikhail Gorbachev as the “boss” of Stavropol, and Yuri Andropov who was on vacation there at the same time. Historians emphasize that 47-year-old Mikhail Gorbachev was the youngest party member, whose candidacy was approved by Brezhnev as Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee; Gorbachev himself mentioned several of his meetings with Brezhnev before he moved to Moscow.
As Yevgeny Chazov testified, in a conversation with him after Kulakov”s death in 1978, Brezhnev “started going through the possible candidates for the vacated place of Secretary of the Central Committee and first named Gorbachev.
On November 27, 1978, at the Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee he was elected Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. On December 6, 1978 he moved with his family to Moscow. From November 27, 1979 through October 21, 1980 – candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee. Chairman of the Commission of Legislative Assumptions of the Union Council of the USSR Supreme Soviet in 1979-1984.
From October 21, 1980 to November 1991 – member of the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee, from December 9, 1989 to June 19, 1990 – Chairman of the Russian Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee, from March 11, 1985 to August 24, 1991 – General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. After K. Chernenko”s death, Gorbachev was nominated to the post of Secretary General at the meeting of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee on March 11, 1985 by Soviet Foreign Minister A. Gromyko, and Andrei Andreyevich attributed it to his personal initiative. In the memoirs of the former first deputy chairman of the KGB F. D. Bobkov mentions that in early 1985, due to Chernenko”s illness, Gorbachev chaired the Politburo, from which the author concludes that Mikhail Sergeyevich was already then the second person in the state and the successor to the post of Secretary General.
On October 1, 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev took over the presidency of the USSR Supreme Soviet, that is, he combined the highest positions in the party and state hierarchy.
He was elected delegate of the XXII (1961), XXIV (1971) and all subsequent (1976, 1981, 1986, 1990) Congresses of the CPSU. From 1970 to 1989 – Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Member of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet from July 2, 1985 through October 1, 1988. Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (October 1, 1988 – May 25, 1989). Chairman of the Commission for Youth Affairs of the USSR Supreme Soviet Union Council (Chairman of the Commission for Legislative Assumptions of the USSR Supreme Soviet Union Council (Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet (Deputy of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet (1980-1990).
On March 15, 1990 at the third extraordinary Congress of People”s Deputies of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev was elected President of the USSR. At the same time, until December 1991 he was the Chairman of the USSR Council of Defense, the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR. Colonel in the reserve.
During the events of August 19-22, 1991, Gennady Yanayev, head of the GKChP, vice president of the USSR, signed a decree to assume the office of acting president, citing the illness of Gorbachev. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR declared this decision a de facto removal of Gorbachev from power and demanded to cancel it. According to Gorbachev and those who were with him, he was isolated in Foros (according to some former members of the State Committee on the State of Emergency, their supporters and lawyers, there was no isolation). After the self-dissolution of the GKChP and the arrest of its former members, Gorbachev returned from Foros to Moscow; upon his return he said of his “confinement.” “Keep in mind, no one will know the real truth.” On August 24, 1991, he announced his resignation from the office of Secretary General of the Central Committee. After these events, the union government, represented by President Gorbachev, began to lose influence in the country. In November 1991 Gorbachev left the CPSU, but kept his party ticket.
On November 4, 1991 Viktor Ilyuhin, senior aide to the Prosecutor General of the USSR, head of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the USSR to supervise the execution of laws on state security, brought a criminal case against Gorbachev under Article 64 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (Treason) in connection with his signing resolutions of the USSR State Council of September 6, 1991, recognizing the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. As a result of these Resolutions the Law of the USSR of April 3, 1990 “On the Procedure for Resolving Questions Related to the Secession of Union Republics from the USSR” was violated, because no referenda had been held in these republics on secession from the USSR and no transitional period had been established for them to settle all disputed questions. Soviet Prosecutor General Nikolai Trubin closed the case on the grounds that the decision to recognize the independence of the Baltic republics was made not by the president personally, but by the State Council. Two days later Ilyukhin was dismissed from the prosecutor”s office.
On December 8, 1991, President of the RSFSR B. Yeltsin, President of Ukraine L. Kravchuk, and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Belorussian SSR S. Shushkevich signed the Belovezh Agreements to terminate the USSR and establish the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On the day of the signing of the Belovezh agreements, Gorbachev met with Russian Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, who persuaded the Soviet president to arrest Yeltsin, Shushkevich and Kravchuk. Gorbachev languidly objected to Rutskoi: “Don”t panic… The agreement has no legal basis… They will fly in, we will gather in Novo-Ogaryovo. There will be a Union Treaty by the New Year!” Gorbachev explained 25 years later why he did not arrest them: “I think it smelled like civil war. It was dangerous. It would look like I kind of went along with this in order to hold on to power, even though I should have pursued democratic paths.
The day after the signing of the agreement, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev made a statement stating that each Union republic had the right to secede from the Union, but the fate of a multinational state could not be determined by the will of the leaders of the three republics. In the case of the People”s Republic of China and the Soviet Union the issue should be resolved only through constitutional means with the participation of all the Union republics and taking into account the will of their peoples. It is also said that it is necessary to convene the Congress of People”s Deputies of the USSR.
On December 18, in his message to the participants of the meeting in Alma-Ata on the formation of the CIS, Gorbachev proposed that the CIS be called the “Commonwealth of European and Asian States” (CEAS). He also suggested that after the ratification of the agreement on the formation of the CIS by the remaining Soviet republics (except for the Baltic republics and Georgia, which did not sign the agreement), a final meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR would be held, which would adopt its resolution on the termination of the Soviet Union and the transfer of all its legal rights and obligations to the Commonwealth of European and Asian States.
On December 21, by decision of the Council of CIS Heads of State, the outgoing president of the USSR received benefits for life: a special pension, medical care for his entire family, personal protection, a state summer house, and a personal car assigned to him. The government of the RSFSR was entrusted with the solution of these issues. Also, the participants of the meeting in Alma-Ata actually deprived Gorbachev of the authority of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR, entrusting the command of the Armed Forces to Soviet Defense Minister Air Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov.
On December 24, Gorbachev”s last interview as president of the USSR appeared in the press. “The main thing of my life,” he declared, “has come true.
On December 25, 1991, in a televised address to the nation, Gorbachev announced his cessation as president of the USSR and signed a decree transferring control of strategic nuclear weapons to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Afterwards, the national flag of the USSR was lowered over the Kremlin. Immediately after his resignation, the former president of the USSR gave an interview to the American television company CNN. The day after the resignation Gorbachev held a farewell party at the hotel “Moscow”. As Gorbachev later recalled, “During the 17 days that followed the Belovezhskiy Agreements, I was waiting for a reaction from the intellectuals, from the people. Of course, the country was in shock. But nobody took to the streets. It seemed that the fate of the Soviet Union was only my problem. There was no decree on my resignation. I made this decision on my own.
While at the pinnacle of power, Gorbachev in January 1987 at the plenum of the CPSU Central Committee launched the policy of “perestroika”, which subsequently led to a market economy, free elections, the destruction of the monopoly power of the CPSU and the collapse of the USSR. Alexander Yakovlev noted that back in 1985 he proposed to Gorbachev a plan for changes in the country aimed at scrapping the Soviet system, but Gorbachev replied that “it is too early”, according to A. Yakovlev, Gorbachev did not think then that “it is time to end the Soviet system”.
A brief list of initiatives and events directly or indirectly associated with Gorbachev:
Since the early 1970s, Gorbachev (as first secretary of the Stavropol Krai Committee of the CPSU) and his wife repeatedly visited Western countries. In 1971, the Gorbachevs visited a capitalist country for the first time, making a multi-day trip to Italy. They stayed for vacation in Sicily, on the outskirts of Palermo, in the socialist cooperative hotel Città del Mare. In 1972 Gorbachev visited Belgium, in 1975 – Germany, in 1976 – France. In September 1977, at the invitation of the French Communist Party the Gorbachevs made a three-week tour through dozens of French cities in a passenger car with an interpreter. In none of these trips was Gorbachev received by the heads of state, but he interacted extensively with politicians and civil society representatives at the regional level, which influenced his outlook.
Gorbachev first gained notoriety in Western political circles with his May 1983 visit to Canada, where he went for a week with the permission of Secretary General Andropov. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, as recalled by Alexander Yakovlev, was the first major Western leader to personally receive Gorbachev and treat him sympathetically. Having also met other Canadian politicians, Gorbachev gained a reputation as an ambitious and energetic politician, in stark contrast to his senile colleagues in the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, with a keen interest in Western methods of economic management and Western moral values, including democracy. To a large extent Gorbachev”s success at the first international reviews and the formation of his positive image in the West were facilitated by the Soviet ambassador to Canada, a future associate of the general secretary Alexander Yakovlev.
Gorbachev”s next remarkable visit was in December 1984, when, after a period of cooling Soviet-British relations, he visited London. At the invitation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whom he had met in February of that year at Andropov”s funeral, Gorbachev arrived in Great Britain at the head of a small parliamentary delegation, as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Union Council of the USSR Supreme Soviet (a post he held in 1984-1985). According to the testimony of Leonid Zamyatin published in Gorby and Maggie (1995), during talks with Thatcher, held in an informal and confidential atmosphere at the country residence in Checkers, Gorbachev concentrated on the disarmament problem, and for persuasion showed his interlocutor a map of missile attacks on Britain, prepared in the USSR in case of war. Having reached a common conclusion about the inadmissibility of such developments, the negotiators agreed to continue the dialogue, laid the foundation for modern relations between East and West, and made a historic contribution to ending the Cold War. The negotiating memorandum was published in 2016.
As the economic situation in the country deteriorated, the Soviet leadership viewed arms reduction and military spending as a way to solve financial problems, so it did not demand guarantees and adequate steps from its partners, while losing its position in the international arena.
During the years of his rule Gorbachev put forward a number of peace initiatives and proclaimed a policy of “new thinking” in international affairs. The Soviet government unilaterally declared a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing. However, such initiatives of the Soviet leadership were sometimes regarded by Western partners as a manifestation of weakness and were not accompanied by reciprocal steps. For example, with the abolition of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, the opposing NATO bloc not only continued its activities, but also moved its borders far to the east, to the borders of Russia.
Gorbachev had four major bilateral meetings with U.S. President Ronald Reagan between 1985 and 1988, which marked a significant warming of relations between the USSR and the West. The first exchange of letters took place in March-April 1985. The first meeting and personal acquaintance of the two leaders, including a one-on-one walk, took place in Geneva on Nov. 19, 1985, when relations between the USSR and the United States were at a freezing point (the two heads of state had not met for six years because of the war in Afghanistan). The second summit was held in Iceland on October 11-12, 1986, to discuss, among other things, the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program. At the talks, held in the old wooden Hövdi mansion in downtown Reykjavik, Gorbachev and Reagan failed to reach consensus and sign a treaty, but made significant progress in the dialogue on the reduction of missile defense systems, and came close to an agreement on complete nuclear disarmament. On December 8, 1987, Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed in Washington an open-ended Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, which entered into force on June 1, 1988. The parties to the treaty pledged not to produce, test or deploy intermediate-range (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers) or shorter-range (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles. From May 29 to June 2, 1988, Reagan was a guest of Gorbachev in Moscow, making an official visit to the USSR, during which he announced on Red Square that he no longer viewed the Soviet Union as an evil empire.
On December 2-3, 1989, against the background of the collapse of communist regimes and the tumultuous changes in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachev met with the new American president, George H. W. Bush, in Malta. The negotiations were held for two days in stormy weather aboard the Maksim Gorky motor ship moored at the Valletta pier. No agreements were signed at the end of the meeting and not even a joint communiqué was issued, giving rise to many rumors of a new wave of cooling in Soviet-American relations. The leaders discussed frontline reductions of nuclear and chemical weapons, the situation in Central America – in Cuba, where the Castro regime lagged behind world change, in Panama, in Nicaragua, where there was a civil war and where the USSR supplied weapons to support the Sandinista regime, as well as in the Philippines and Eastern Europe. Gorbachev handed Bush a map of NATO military bases deployed along the perimeter of the borders of the USSR and the Eastern bloc drawn up by Soviet foreign intelligence. Having corrected his prepared speech, Gorbachev finished: “In the face of changes, the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union are simply doomed to dialogue, interaction and cooperation. There is no other way. But in order to achieve this, we should get rid of looking at each other as enemies. Many sources link the meeting between Gorbachev and Bush in Malta with the end of the Cold War.
On December 24, 1989, Secretary of State James Baker, following up on the confidence-building measures agreed upon in Malta, informed Gorbachev that the United States would not object if the USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies intervened in Romania to prevent a bloody breakdown of the Ceausescu regime crisis. Gorbachev responded by saying no.
Just six years in office, Gorbachev met 11 times with U.S. presidents: five times with Reagan, six times – with George H.W. Bush.
Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader to make a state visit to Italy and the Vatican. The first high-level talks were held in Rome on November 29-30, 1989, and they finally drew a line under a period of mistrust and strained relations related to Italy”s participation half a century earlier in the Hitler coalition. On December 1, 1989 Gorbachev was received by Pope John Paul II; the Soviet president visited the Vatican for the second time on November 18, 1990. These meetings influenced Gorbachev”s attitude to Christian values (despite the fact that he considers himself an atheist). A month and a half later, on January 7, 1991, Orthodox Christmas was declared a national holiday in the USSR. On March 15, 1990 under President Gorbachev, the Soviet Union and the Vatican established diplomatic relations for the first time and exchanged embassies.
In 1989-1990, Gorbachev played a key role in the unification of Germany, despite the fact that Margaret Thatcher and François Mitterrand tried to slow down the pace of the integration process and expressed fears of a new German “dominance” in Europe. The Moscow Treaty on the Final Settlement with Germany, which was agreed by Gorbachev and signed on behalf of the Soviet Union by Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze on September 12, 1990, stipulated that no new NATO military structures would be created in eastern Germany, on the territory of the former GDR, no additional troops would be deployed and weapons of mass destruction would not be used. These obligations are respected in the 21st century. The Moscow treaty of 1990 said nothing about NATO”s expansion to the east: the choice of the United States and its allies in favor of expanding the Alliance to the east was finally formed in 1993, two years after the end of the presidential term of Gorbachev.
On November 21, 1990, Gorbachev signed the Charter of Paris on behalf of the Soviet Union, along with the heads of 35 European states, the U.S. and Canada, which, as a form of progress toward a united Europe, envisioned the possibility of creating a Security Council for Europe. However, this idea was not implemented. In November 2014, in an interview with Rossiyskaya gazeta and during his visit to Berlin for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachev stated that because this promising idea was abandoned, “European development has become one-sided,” and by the fall of 2014, “there is a crisis of European security.
Gorbachev”s last visit abroad as head of state was on October 30, 1991, when the Soviet president, in the midst of working on the Union Treaty projects, flew to Madrid for a peace conference on the Middle East.
As Anatoly Chernyaev, an aide to the General Secretary and President of the USSR, recalled, Gorbachev used to have a “friendly dinner” for the numerous people accompanying him – scientists, journalists, experts and staff of all kinds: “As a rule, at such gatherings over wine, heated discussions on the most unexpected topics broke out. In particular, Gorbachev allowed free-spirited discussion of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Among his own shortcomings that made direct communication with Western leaders difficult, Mikhail Gorbachev referred to his lack of command of the English language. Raisa Maksimovna communicated with Margaret Thatcher in English, but “I could not,” Gorbachev self-critically remarked in September 2014. Of the generation of top party functionaries who worked under Gorbachev, apart from Gromyko, “almost no one knew foreign languages.
The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the elimination of large groupings of Soviet troops abroad (GSVG, TSGV, SUGV, SVG, GSVM) and the victory of democratic forces in Eastern Europe, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact – all this, according to some analysts, was a symbol of USSR”s loss in the Cold War.
On February 22, 1990, Valentin Falin, head of the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee, sent a note to Gorbachev, in which he reported new archival findings proving the connection between sending Poles out of the camps in the spring of 1940 and their execution. He pointed out that the publication of such materials would completely undermine the official position of the Soviet government (about “unprovenness” and “absence of documents”) and recommended to urgently decide on a new position. In this connection, it was proposed to inform Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski that no direct evidence (orders, instructions, etc.) allowing to name the exact time and specific perpetrators of the Katyn tragedy had been found, but “on the basis of the indicated indications one can conclude that the death of Polish officers in the Katyn area was the work of the NKVD and personally Beria and Merkulov.
On April 13, 1990, during Jaruzelski”s visit to Moscow, the TASS statement on the Katyn tragedy was published, stating:
The identified archival materials in their totality allow us to conclude that Beria, Merkulov and their subordinates were directly responsible for the atrocities in the Katyn Forest.
Gorbachev gave Jaruzelski the found NKVD transit lists from Kozelsk, Ostashkov, and Starobelsk.
On September 27, 1990, the USSR Chief Military Procurator”s Office launched a criminal investigation into the Katyn murders, which was given serial number 159. The investigation, launched by the USSR Chief Military Procuracy, was continued by the Chief Military Procuracy of the Russian Federation until the end of 2004, during which witnesses and participants in the massacre of Poles were questioned. On September 21, 2004, the MAG declared the Katyn case closed. One of the results of the investigation, begun under Gorbachev, was the creation of a memorial to the victims of the Katyn tragedy.
Interethnic Conflicts and Forceful Resolution of Problems
In August 1987, Karabakh Armenians send a petition signed by tens of thousands of citizens to Moscow with a request to transfer NKAO to the Armenian SSR. On November 18 of the same year, in an interview with the French newspaper “L”Humanité”, Gorbachev”s Advisor Abel Aganbegyan makes the following statement: “I would like to know about Karabakh becoming Armenian. As an economist, I believe that it has more to do with Armenia than with Azerbaijan”. Similar statements are made by other public and political figures. The Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrates calling for the transfer of the NKAO to the Armenian SSR. In response, the Azerbaijani minority of Daghlig Garabagh starts advocating for the NKAO to remain part of the Azerbaijani SSR. To maintain order, Gorbachev sends a motorized infantry battalion of the 160th Regiment of USSR Interior Ministry troops from Georgia to Nagorno-Karabakh.
On December 7, 1990, a regiment of Soviet Interior Troops from the Tbilisi garrison was brought into Tskhinvali.
The 1989 pogroms of the Meskhetian Turks in Uzbekistan are better known as the Ferghana events. In early May 1990, there was a pogrom of Armenians and Jews in the Uzbek city of Andijan.
The events of January 1990 in the city of Baku (capital of the Azerbaijan SSR), which ended with the entry of Soviet troops, resulting in the deaths of over 130 people.
On May 27, 1990, there was an armed clash between Armenian armed groups and internal troops, which resulted in the death of two soldiers and 14 fighters.
In January 1991, events accompanied by the use of military force took place in Vilnius and Riga. During the events in Vilnius, Soviet army units stormed the television center and other public buildings (so-called “party property”) in Vilnius, Alytus, and Siauliai.
On December 25, 1991, after the heads of 11 Soviet republics signed the Belovezh Agreement on the dissolution of the USSR and the Alma-Ata Protocol to it (overcoming Gorbachev”s objections), Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president. From January 1992 to the present time he has been the president of the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (Gorbachev Foundation). In March 1993 he founded the environmental organization Green Cross International, from March 1993 to 1996 – President, and since 1996 – Chairman of the Board.
On April 6, 1992, the former president of the USSR was interrogated by Vladimir Karasyov, an investigator from the Prosecutor General”s Office of the RSFSR, in the CPSU finances case.
In September 1993, Gorbachev denounced the unconstitutional dissolution of the Congress of People”s Deputies and the Supreme Soviet of Russia, describing the actions of President Yeltsin as “stupid and undemocratic” and calling on him “while it is not too late” to cancel his decree on the dissolution of the Congress and the Supreme Soviet. He supported the idea of early election of the president and people”s deputies of Russia. Gorbachev said the true cause of the crisis was the failure of the economic policy pursued by the president and the Supreme Soviet of Russia since late 1991. The former president of the Soviet Union criticized the bias of the media, especially television, in the coverage of the confrontation between Yeltsin and the deputies.
On September 19, 1994, Boris Yeltsin set Gorbachev a lifetime monthly financial support of 40 minimum sizes of the state old-age pension.
After his resignation, he complained that he was “blocked in everything,” that his family was under constant “surveillance” by the FSB, that his phones were constantly tapped, that he could only publish his books in Russia “underground” and in small editions.
In 1994, Gorbachev was a guest of Vladislav Listyev in a live broadcast of “Rush Hour.
In 1997, the former leader of the USSR starred in an advertisement for the American pizza chain “Pizza Hut” and this commercial later had regular mentions in the media.
In 2000 he became the head of the Russian United Social Democratic Party, which merged with the Social Democratic Party of Russia in 2001 (from 2001 to 2004 he was the leader of the SDPR.
In 2001, he signed a letter in defense of the NTV channel.
On July 12, 2007, the SDPR was liquidated (deregistered) by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.
On October 20, 2007, he became the head of the All-Russian Public Movement “Union of Social Democrats.
In December 2008, in an interview with Vladimir Pozner on Channel One, Gorbachev said:
In a June 2009 interview with Vladimir Pozner on Channel One, Gorbachev refuted claims that in 1999, at the American University in Istanbul, he had allegedly said that the goal of his entire life was to destroy communism as a dictatorship over people: “This was started by my colleagues in the Communist Party. There was nothing like that.”
In a November 2009 interview with Euronews, Gorbachev reiterated his disagreement with opinions that his plan had “failed,” arguing instead that “democratic reforms” had begun and that perestroika had won.
On March 2, 2011, on his 80th birthday, Gorbachev was awarded the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle by a decree of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. On March 30th Mikhail celebrated his birthday in London with a charity concert “Gorby 80 Gala” at the Albert Hall with the participation of international stars including Sharon Stone, Kevin Spacey, Scorpions, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Andrei Makarevich, Paul Anka, Catherine Jenkins, Shirley Bassey, Brian Ferry, Milla Jovovich, Ted Turner, the London Symphony Orchestra and members of the Bolshoi Theater.
On August 17, 2011, at a big Interfax news conference on the 20th anniversary of the August 1991 events, Gorbachev admitted that he knew in advance about the plans of the GKChP, he was repeatedly warned, but he believed that it was more important to prevent bloodshed and, all the more so, a civil war:
In early November 2014, Gorbachev paid a visit to Germany, for which he had long been preparing and on the eve of which he gave a series of principle interviews. On November 7, 2014, the former president of the Soviet Union opened an exhibition in Berlin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On November 9, Gorbachev, Federal Chancellor Merkel and former Polish President Walesa, along with 200 human rights activists, symbolically crossed the border between the GDR and the FRG over the bridge near Bornholmer Straße, where 25 years ago the first barriers were opened and free movement between East and West Berlin began through the checkpoint. Mikhail Sergeyevich then took part in the New Politics Forum and held private talks with Merkel, during which he discussed the Ukrainian crisis. Upon returning from Germany, Gorbachev expressed the opinion that the West had already come to terms with Crimea”s annexation to Russia.
On November 17, 2015. Mikhail Gorbachev approached UNESCO with the idea of creating a non-governmental organization “World Forum” as a platform for dialogue between the authorities and society on global problems. This idea was supported by UNESCO
In April 2016, at a meeting with students at Moscow State University”s Moscow School of Economics, Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged his responsibility for the collapse of the Soviet Union: “I tried to save it, but I failed to do so. <…> No, I believe that I am responsible for this. No one took me off the job, I left because I could not cope with them.
In July 2016, the former president of the USSR wrote to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and IOC members urging them to prevent Russian athletes who had not used banned drugs from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
In February 2017, Gorbachev put his family”s 600-square-meter house and a 2,600-square-meter plot of land in Oberach near Lake Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps up for sale. The three-storey house with 17 rooms built in 1908 was purchased in 2006 by his daughter Irina Virganskaya. Gorbachev lived at the villa occasionally, mostly alone. Locals often met the former Soviet president on the streets and in restaurants. Gorbachev last came to Lake Tegernsee in 2014, accompanied by his daughter and granddaughters. The approximate cost of the villa is about 7 million euros.
In April 2017, Mikhail Gorbachev saw signs of the beginning of a new Cold War, expressed in a new arms race, NATO troops near Russia, and belligerent speech from politicians and dignitaries.
In the fall of 2018, it was mentioned in the press that Gorbachev lived in Rottach-Egern, Bavaria, where he bought a property known as “Schloss Hubertus. He published a book of current political reflections entitled Gorbachev in a Changing World.
Gorbachev”s pension in 2018 was just over 700,000 rubles.
The Crimean crisis and events in Ukraine
On March 13, 2014, in the midst of the Crimean events, an open letter to Gorbachev was written by political scientist Vitaly Tretyakov, Dean of the Graduate School of Television at Moscow State University, suggesting that the former Soviet president, who had worked hard to unify Germany, address Chancellor Angela Merkel, all German politicians and the German people with a request and advice not to hinder the “peaceful reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia. Gorbachev replied that the proposed role of beggar did not suit him, that he did not intend to hinder President Putin”s diplomatic efforts, and recommended that Tretyakov himself reflect on the root cause of the events in Ukraine, which Mikhail Sergeevich sees in the disruption of perestroika, in the “thoughtless, adventurist ”dissolution” of the Union.”
On March 17, 2014, Gorbachev welcomed the results of the referendum in Crimea on joining Russia, called the will of the people of Crimea the correction of a historical mistake and condemned U.S. and EU sanctions against Russian and Crimean politicians.
On August 30, 2014, in an interview with the Russian News Service, Gorbachev supported Russia”s policy toward the events in Ukraine.
In an interview with Der Spiegel in January 2015, Gorbachev warned that tensions between Russia and European countries over the Ukrainian crisis could lead to a major conflict and even a nuclear war.
On May 26, 2016, the Security Service of Ukraine banned Gorbachev from entering the country for five years. In response, Gorbachev explained that he had not been to Ukraine for a long time and had no plans to visit it.
Events in Belarus
In 2011, at a press conference on the 20th anniversary of the GKChP putsch, Gorbachev shared his vision of Belarus. He noted that Lukashenko was the only deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR who was against the Belovezh Agreements and the collapse of the USSR, but reproached him that he “somehow changed”, became self-confident, is preparing a replacement in the face of his younger son Lukashenko and is turning the country into a kingdom.
Relationship with Putin
In the early years of Vladimir Putin”s presidency, Gorbachev supported him; they met one-on-one in the Kremlin on September 26, 2000 and June 17, 2002, with the latter, according to the Gorbachev Foundation press center, “in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. Over time, Gorbachev became increasingly critical of Putin”s policies, pointing to their authoritarian tendencies. In January 2008, in an interview with The New York Times, Gorbachev severely criticized Russia”s electoral system. He called for radical reform of the system, in which all power is in the hands of President Putin”s entourage. “There is nothing wrong with our elections, and our electoral system needs serious adjustments,” the former Soviet president said. In February 2011, in an interview with Radio Liberty, Gorbachev again laid out his main complaints to the “tandem”: the rollback of democracy, corruption and the domination of the Chekists. Gorbachev was also unhappy that he was not allowed to register his Social-Democratic Party. Putin himself avoided harsh responses to criticism of Gorbachev, but his press secretary Dmitry Peskov did so at least twice: in 2011 Peskov said that “the former Soviet leader essentially ruined the country” and in 2013 expressed confidence that nothing like Gorbachev”s “perestroika” would ever happen in Russia again.
On December 24, 2011, after a mass protest rally against fraudulent elections to the sixth Duma, Gorbachev called for Putin not to run in the next presidential election: “I would advise Vladimir Vladimirovich to quit now. Three terms turned out: two as president, one as prime minister – three terms, well, that”s enough.”
On March 2, 2013, in a congratulatory telegram on the occasion of the 82nd anniversary of the former Soviet leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted Gorbachev”s significant initiatives in the field of international cooperation and his desire to strengthen Russia”s authority in the world.
After the Crimean crisis and the events in Ukraine in 2014, Gorbachev”s attitude toward Putin warmed again. On November 6, while on his way to Germany to participate in the “New Politics” forum and meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachev expressed his conviction that Putin was the best defender of Russian interests, and while his policies had plenty to cling to with criticism, Mikhail Gorbachev himself had no intention of clinging. In Germany, Gorbachev drew the attention of the Western public to Putin”s speech to the Valdai Club, in which he saw ways to reduce tensions between Russia and the West, and in the future – the foundation on which a new partnership can be built.
On November 20, 2014, Gorbachev lamented the fact that he has not been able to meet with Putin for a year and a half: despite Mikhail Gorbachev”s wishes, the head of state”s aides categorically objected that the president was busy. In Gorbachev”s opinion, Putin began to fall ill with the same disease that he himself once had – self-confidence: “He considers himself God”s deputy, I don”t know, really, for what reasons…”
On December 6, 2017, in an interview with RIA Novosti, Gorbachev said that “Putin today, indeed, is a leader who deservedly has the support of the people, and one should reckon with this and, I think, one should be guided by this – what the mood of the people is.”
Congratulating Gorbachev on his 88th birthday on March 2, 2019, Putin noted in a telegram that the former president is now “actively involved in expert discussions, making a significant contribution to the dialogue on the most important problems of our time.”
State of health
According to the list approved in 2011 by Margaret Thatcher, Gorbachev, among other major politicians, was personally invited to attend her funeral, but in April 2013 he refused to travel to London for the funeral ceremony due to his health and the need to undergo medical procedures.
In April 2011, Gorbachev underwent complex spinal surgery in Germany, at the Schön Klinik München Harlaching in Munich.
In June 2013, Gorbachev was hospitalized at the Central Clinical Hospital, as reported by the press service of the Gorbachev Foundation. For a number of years, Forbes points out, Gorbachev had been suffering from severe diabetes and had undergone several surgeries.
On October 22, 2013, it became known that Gorbachev was hospitalized in a German clinic. He was soon discharged and returned to Moscow.
On October 9, 2014, he was hospitalized at the Central Clinical Hospital. According to Gorbachev, “his condition had recently deteriorated. A few days later he was discharged from the hospital and continued preparations for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 2014).
In May 2015 Gorbachev was hospitalized in Moscow and was soon discharged.
In November 2016, Gorbachev had a pacemaker installed in a Moscow clinic; the operation was performed by Evgeny Blokhin, a surgeon at the Central Clinical Hospital. Also in 2016, he underwent surgery to replace his lens because of cataracts.
In 2019 I was in the hospital often and for a long time, in December with pneumonia.
His wife, Raisa Maksimovna Gorbacheva (née Titarenko), died at the age of 67 in 1999 of leukemia. For more than 30 years she lived and worked in Moscow. As Gorbachev told in a September 2014 press interview, Raisa Maksimovna”s first pregnancy back in Moscow in 1954 had to be artificially terminated by doctors with his consent due to heart complications after suffering from rheumatism; the student couple lost a boy whom Gorbachev wanted to name Sergei. In 1955, the Gorbachevs, having completed their studies, moved to Stavropol Territory, where with a change of climate Raisa felt better, and soon the couple had a daughter.
Daughter – Irina Mikhailovna Virganskaya (born January 6, 1957), works in Moscow, first husband Anatoly Olegovich Virgansky (born July 31, 1957) – vascular surgeon at Moscow First City Hospital (married April 15, 1978 to 1993), second husband Andrei Mikhailovich Trukhachev – businessman, is engaged in shipping (married September 26, 2006).
Great-grandchildren: Sasha and Nikita.
Brother – Alexander Sergeyevich Gorbachev (September 7, 1947 – December 15, 2001) was born when Mikhail Gorbachev was 16, he was in the army, graduated from a higher military school in Leningrad. He served in the Strategic Missile Forces, retired at the rank of colonel, according to other sources he served in the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, was a captain for a long time, many years later became a major, under his older brother-president he promoted to colonel, was married, two children.
“In recognition of his leading role in the peace process, which today characterizes an important component of international community life,” Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990. On December 10, 1990, Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Kovalyov received the Nobel Prize instead of Gorbachev at the Oslo ceremony.
On June 5, 1991, Gorbachev delivered his Nobel lecture in Oslo (according to the rules, a winner must give such a lecture within 6 months after receiving the prize), which stressed the desire of the Soviet peoples “to be an organic part of modern civilization, to live in harmony with universal values, according to international law”, but at the same time preserve their uniqueness and cultural diversity. While in Oslo, Gorbachev held talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, a prominent figure of the Socialist International, on the integration of the USSR into the world economy.
The reign of Gorbachev and the radical changes associated with his name evoke mixed reactions in society.
Many Soviet, post-Soviet and foreign politicians and journalists welcomed Gorbachev”s reforms, democracy and glasnost, the end of the Cold War, and German unification. The assessment of Gorbachev”s activities abroad of the former Soviet Union is more positive and less controversial than in the post-Soviet space.
Supporters of market economics criticized him for his amateurism, inconsistent reforms, and attempt to preserve the former centrally-planned economy and socialism. Conservative politicians criticized him for economic ruin, the collapse of the Union, and other negative consequences of perestroika. In their view, one of the factors that affected Gorbachev”s actions as head of state was that he made decisions under the strong influence of his wife Raisa Maximovna.
According to Nikolai Ryzhkov, the last chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, one of Gorbachev”s main mistakes was to combine economic restructuring with political restructuring, although painful reforms can only be successful with a strong government, as in China.
According to the French newspaper Le Temps, “Gorbachev”s personality among the population is associated with food shortages, long queues, disastrous economic reforms and an extraordinary drop in living standards.
According to the publicist A. A. Zinoviev, one of the first to perceive perestroika negatively, nicknamed it “katastroika” and published a book with this title in 1988, “Gorbachev”s leadership has actually taken the path of betrayal and capitulation to the West.
The American political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote:
Russia, until recently the builder of a great territorial power and leader of an ideological bloc of satellite states whose territory stretched to the very center of Europe and even, at one time, to the South China Sea, has become a troubled nation-state with no free geographical access to the outside world and potentially vulnerable to weakening conflicts with its neighbors on its western, southern, and eastern flanks. Only the uninhabitable and inaccessible northern expanses, almost permanently frozen in ice and covered with snow, seem geopolitically safe.
According to Duma deputy Sergei Neverov, Gorbachev almost lost Russia”s sovereignty, and “this largely explains why Mikhail Sergeevich is much more respected in the West than in his homeland.
Alla Yaroshinskaya, political scientist and People”s Deputy of the “Gorbachev” convocation, believes that Gorbachev relied excessively on a “given word” and an “emotional component,” which were not supported by any serious international documents. In her opinion, present-day Russia still suffers from this.
As Professor Sergei Chernyakhovsky of Moscow State University”s Political Science Department notes, modern Russian society has a certain attitude toward Gorbachev, with the vast majority treating him with contempt, “polls show that a large number of people consider it beneath their dignity to assess his activities. These are those who say: I don”t have any attitude, that is, with disdain.
At one time some Chinese researchers put forward the version that Gorbachev was the main culprit for the collapse of the USSR. However, in the mid-1990s, scientists began to study other factors, often citing as the cause the lack of reforms under Leonid Brezhnev, who led the country from 1964 to 1982.
Since the Belovezh agreement and everything that followed it were unlawful and anti-constitutional, Mikhail Gorbachev as president, as the guarantor of the constitution and the rule of law, was obliged immediately after he learned about the Belovezh collusion not only to protest the document signed by the heads of the three republics, but also to demand that the Prosecutor General”s Office open a criminal case against them.
Time magazine included Mikhail Gorbachev in the “Leaders and Revolutionaries” category of one hundred outstanding people of the 20th century.
On October 3, 2020, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the unification of the GDR and the FRG, in which Gorbachev played a key role, a monument was unveiled to him on the town hall square of Dessau-Roslau (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany). Sculptor Bernd Goebel.
Gorbachev”s wife, R. M. Gorbacheva, in 1991 personally negotiated with the American publisher R. Murdoch to publish her book of “musings” with an honorarium of $3 million. Publicist S. Kara-Murza suggested that this was a bribe in disguise, since the proceeds from publishing the book hardly covered the fee.
In 2008, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Gorbachev presented the first 5 books of his own multi-volume collection of works, which will include all of his publications from the 1960s through the early 1990s. As of the beginning of 2018, 28 volumes of the collection have been published.
In August 2014, Gorbachev”s book Alone with Myself was published in Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Swedish.
In November 2014, Gorbachev”s new book, Life After the Kremlin, was published.
On February 29, 2016, the Gorbachev Foundation hosted the presentation of a new book, Gorbachev in Life.
Since the second half of the 1980s, the image of Mikhail Gorbachev, the facts of his biography and the results of his activities have become part of mass culture. Gorbachev was the subject of films, songs, ditties, jokes, feuilletons and parodies. For example, at different times he was parodied by Mikhail Yevdokimov, Mikhail Zadornov, Gennady Hazanov, Vladimir Vinokur, Mikhail Grushevsky, Maxim Galkin. The character of Gorbachev was used in the TV program “Puppets”, aired in the second half of the 1990s – early 2000s, in this program Gorbachev was voiced by actors Sergei Bezrukov. Gorbachev was mentioned in domestic and foreign feature films, including Brat 2 (“Gorbachev Surrendered Your Homeland to the Americans to Party Pretty”), Criminal Choice by Henry (“Have You Read Chekhov?” – “He”s My Favorite Russian After Gorbachev”) and others. The thirteenth episode of the seventh season of the Simpsons cartoon series “Two Bad Neighbors” played up the relationship between Gorbachev and George Bush Sr.
In the late 1980s, images of Gorbachev were placed on posters, banners, billboards, and street signs. Gorbachev”s portrait was placed on the screensaver of one of the first Soviet computer games, Perestroika. Gorbachev is also one of the protagonists in the computer games Crisis in the Kremlin (1991) and Crisis in the Kremlin (2017). Artists Alexander Kosolapov and Peter Max created works depicting Gorbachev in the pop art style. They made sets of Gorby Dol matryoshkas that included five figures with portraits of Soviet political figures (in order from the largest to the smallest): Gorbachev, Leonid Brezhnev, Nikita Khrushchev, Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin. Images of Gorbachev were minted on coins and badges and printed on stamps. So, in 1989 USSR Post issued a small sheet dedicated to the official visit of Gorbachev to FRG (CFA No. 6074). In the same year the Malta Post Office issued a special stamp with portraits of Gorbachev and George W. Bush to commemorate their meeting in Malta in December 1989 (Mi
Gorbachev was the main character (anti-hero) of the songs:
At the beginning of his career, Andrei Razin, the producer of the group “Laskovyi Mai”, pretended to be Mikhail Gorbachev”s nephew. Thus, in 1988 he recorded a song “Uncle Misha,” the lyrics of which contain numerous references of the lyrical hero to Gorbachev as his own uncle.
According to journalist Alexei Mazhaev, part of society perceived the line “And the humpbacked leader mocks” from the song “Atas” by the band Lube (1989) as referring to the personality of Gorbachev.
In 1995, musician Igor Kezlya, under the stage name “Mr. Daduda,” recorded a techno-style song, “Dadu-introduction,” with the voice of writer-satirist Mikhail Zadornov, who parodied Gorbachev. For the preparation of this song, a video recording of Zadornov”s performance with the feuilleton “Dadu-dadu” was used, which mocked Gorbachev”s illiterate use of the rules of Russian language in public speeches. In the fall of 1995, for two months, the song “Dadu vnedrozh” was at the top of the Russian charts.
The image of Gorbachev is used in the satirical video clip for the song “Gorbachev” (2008) by the Russian music band AnJ. According to the plot of the video, Gorbachev as the fictional character Conan the Barbarian fights the zombie Stalin. The song was included on the album, with the help of which the band planned to promote itself in the American music market.
On December 30, 2016, Russian musician Enjoykin uploaded to his YouTube channel the video “New Year (feat. Mikhail Gorbachev),” which uses footage from a 1989 recording of Mikhail Gorbachev”s New Year”s greeting.