Mikhail Gorbachev, The Last President of the Soviet Union


Mikhail Gorbachev is a Russian politician who served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991, and as the President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. He was the last leader of the Soviet Union before it dissolved in December 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev passed away at the age of 91 on Tuesday 30 August 2022.

Mikhail Gorbachev played a significant role in the Cold War as the last leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. He initiated a series of reforms known as perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) aimed at modernizing the Soviet economy and political system, and promoting greater transparency and openness in Soviet society. Gorbachev also pursued a policy of détente with the United States and other Western powers, which helped to ease tensions and reduce the risk of nuclear war.

The collapse of the Soviet Union had a profound impact on the world. It marked the end of the Cold War and the bipolar international system that had defined world politics for several decades. It also led to the emergence of a new world order characterized by American dominance, globalization, and the spread of democracy and free-market capitalism. The collapse of the Soviet Union also had significant consequences for the former Soviet republics, many of which experienced political instability, economic upheaval, and social turmoil in the years that followed.

Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that the communications system in the Soviet Union was failing because it was a reflection of the broader problems facing the Soviet economy and society. The Soviet Union was lagging behind the West in terms of technological innovation and infrastructure development, which hindered its ability to compete in the global economy. Gorbachev recognized that reforming the communications system was critical to modernizing the Soviet economy and promoting greater efficiency and productivity. By acknowledging the shortcomings of the communications system, Gorbachev sought to catalyze reforms and spur innovation in this critical area.


When the late Gorbachev served as President in the 1980s, he sparked two crucial policies called Perestroika and Glasnost.

Perestroika means a change or reform to support the modernization of the economy as well as the society in the country.

“Obviously comrade. We have to change, all of us,” Gorbachev said in a speech in early 1986.

Meanwhile, Perestroika was rebuilding the Soviet Union which at that time suffered setbacks, especially in the economy.

He also provided free speech through Glasnost’s policies. In the policy, there is no longer a ban on its citizens from criticizing the country and the Russian Communist Party.

Glasnost became the end of censorship and blocking on the media including foreign media in the Soviets. Mikhail Gorbachev also decided that Eastern European countries could be free from the rules of his country.

Gorbachev’s policies were also welcomed by the Soviet and Western people. However, his policy also received condemnation from various circles in his country who wanted the old Soviet policies to continue to be carried out.

He was even accused of being the cause of the destruction of the Soviet Union which was once a giant state of the world.

Even so, the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev was instrumental in ending the Cold War between the United States and the Soviets.

Instead of holding the status quo in order to continue the Cold War, Gorbachev pursued a peaceful path with the Western side. He even further strengthened relations with some leaders of Western countries. Such as the then Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl and the President of the United States Ronald Reagan.

But the more he tried to make the Soviets open during his leadership from 1985-1991, his position became more cornered. It was the Communist Party official, Boris Yeltsin, who dismissed him from the presidency.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s name seemed to be forgotten when the Soviet Union collapsed and changed to the Russian Federative Republic in 1991.

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