Mikhail Gorbachev was the eighth and the last leader of the former Soviet Union. From 1988 until the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991, he reigned as the supreme leader of the former world power. He played a pivotal role in the termination of the Cold War through his policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies dissolved the powers of the Communist party for reorientation of Soviet strategic aims. However, the same policies inadvertently led to an upsurge of regional nationalist and anti-communist movements which eventually resulted in the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Despite his failure to save the USSR, Gorbachev maintains that his policies were necessary to evoke reforms in the state. This Nobel Peace laureate was decorated with several accolades by Soviet Union as well as recognitions from abroad namely Indira Gandhi Prize, Otto Hahn Peace Medal, Ronald Reagan Freedom Award, Order of Honour, Order of the Badge of Honour and many more. Being a global statesman, Gorbachev expressed and shared his views on politics, society, economy, peace etc through his writings, articles, speeches and observations. Read through these quotes by Gorbachev.
I don't think Russia is setting this as a goal; I don't think this should be Russia's goal. I think even the United States doesn't need to be a superpower. China doesn't need to be a superpower. It's a different world.
I couldn't wait to get to the most powerful position, because I thought then I would be able to fix problems that only the leader can fix. But when I got there, I realized we needed revolutionary change.
Sometimes it's difficult to accept, to recognise one's own mistakes, but one must do it. I was guilty of overconfidence and arrogance, and I was punished for that.
A society should never become like a pond with stagnant water, without movement. That's the most important thing.
If current technological processes continue without change, the environment will change, and we, the human species, will either have to mutate or even die, to disappear, as many species have disappeared.
The world will not accept dictatorship or domination.
Without perestroika, the cold war simply would not have ended. But the world could not continue developing as it had, with the stark menace of nuclear war ever present.
We could only solve our problems by cooperating with other countries. It would have been paradoxical not to cooperate. And therefore we needed to put an end to the Iron Curtain, to change the nature of international relations, to rid them of ideological confrontation, and particularly to end the arms race.
Sometimes people ask me why I began perestroika. Were the causes basically domestic or foreign? The domestic reasons were undoubtedly the main ones, but the danger of nuclear war was so serious that it was a no less significant factor.
Imagine a country that flies into space, launches Sputniks, creates such a defense system, and it can't resolve the problem of women's pantyhose. There's no toothpaste, no soap powder, not the basic necessities of life. It was incredible and humiliating to work in such a government.
On the day I became Soviet leader, in March 1985, I had a special meeting with the leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries and told them: 'You are independent, and we are independent. You are responsible for your policies, we are responsible for ours. We will not intervene in your affairs, I promise you.'
I grew up in a family of peasants, and it was there that I saw the way that, for example, our wheat fields suffered as a result of dust storms, water erosion and wind erosion; I saw the effect of that on life - on human life.