Mikhail Gorbachev

We launched perestroika [openness and restructuring] with our eyes open. We foresaw the complexity and the special nature of that process, realizing that it would shake up thoroughly our entire society. We were not wrong.... As for the difficulties—and they do exist—we accept them as a natural expression of contradictions inherent in a transition period.



Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian President, To reporters, London, April 1989

Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations

Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Born: March 2, 1931
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Profession: Writer

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a Russian and formerly Soviet politician. He was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, having been General Secretary of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991. He was the country's head of state from 1988 until 1991, serving as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Ideologically a socialist, he initially adhered to Marxism-Leninism although following the Soviet collapse moved toward social democracy.