• Created by: GCHIS
  • Created on: 21-11-19 12:58

Mikhail Gorbachev Background


  • Peasant background - grew up under Stalin, operated combine harvester on collective farm
  • Of mixed Russian and Ukranian heritage, born in Stavropol Krai
  • Joined the Communist party, initially worked for Komsomol, after Stalin's death, he was a key part of de-Stalinisation reforms
  • 1970 - first Stavropol Regional Committee Secretary
  • 1978 - Secretary of Central Committee, joined the Politburo in 1979
  • 1985 - Politburo elected him as general secretary, de facto head of government


  • Freedom of speech and press
  • Decentralise government and economy to improve efficiency
  • Committed to soviets and socialism, but need of significant reform - withdrew form Afghan war; summits with Ronald Reagan to end nuclear weapons race and cold war
  • Less focused on military - no interference when Eastern Block abandoned the Soviet Union 
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