WORD LISTS

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931–2022) Tribute List

December 9, 2022
Soviet politician Mikhail Gorbachev was the Soviet Union's 8th and final leader from 1985 to the country's dissolution in 1991. He hoped to preserve the Soviet state and its ideals, while enacting significant reforms essential for survival. His domestic policies of glasnost and perestroika improved freedom of speech and decentralized economic decision-making. With U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Gorbachev worked to limit nuclear weapons and end the Cold War. For these reforms, and support for other political changes in Europe, Gorbachev received numerous awards, including the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize. Our tribute list —through quotes, articles, and biographical details — illustrates how Gorbachev is considered one of the most significant figures of the second half of the 20th century.
reassess
"…The Moscow University gave me fundamental knowledge and an intellectual potential that determined my career. It was here that the long process of reassessing my country’s history, its present and its future began and continued over so many years..."
– Mikhail Gorbachev, The Gorbachev Foundation
politburo
Chernenko died on March 10, 1985, and the following day the Politburo elected Gorbachev general secretary of the CPSU.
Britannica
glasnost
Under his new policy of glasnost ("openness"), a major cultural thaw took place: freedoms of expression and of information were significantly expanded; the press and broadcasting were allowed unprecedented candour in their reportage and criticism; and the country’s legacy of Stalinist totalitarian rule was eventually completely repudiated by the government.
Britannica
totalitarian
Under his new policy of glasnost ("openness"), a major cultural thaw took place: freedoms of expression and of information were significantly expanded; the press and broadcasting were allowed unprecedented candour in their reportage and criticism; and the country’s legacy of Stalinist totalitarian rule was eventually completely repudiated by the government.
Britannica
confer
He was conferred more than 300 awards, diplomas, certificates of honor, and honorable distinctions.
The Gorbachev Foundation
squander
"We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them. The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every US president has to have a war."
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Evening Standard
ideological
" Ideological and political intolerance, even with the best and most sincere intentions, produces results that are the direct opposite of those intended."
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Study International
naive
"A humanity that already knows deep down that it must live in a united world and is responsible for future generations. It would be naive to think that the problems plaguing mankind today can be solved with means and methods which were applied, or seemed to work, in the past."
– Mikhail Gorbachev, RealLeaders
capricious
"History is a capricious creature. It depends on who writes it."
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Time
repression
"The guilt of Stalin and his immediate entourage before the Party and the people for the mass repressions and lawlessness they committed is enormous and unforgivable."
– Mikhail Gorbachev, A Documentary History of Communism in Russia: From Lenin to Gorbachev
visionary
Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, he was seen by many abroad, including President Ronald Reagan, as a visionary. But his legacy is complicated at home, where many viewed him as the man who engineered the collapse of the Soviet Union.
– David Greene, NPR
rapport
Gorbachev then set his sights on President Ronald Reagan. The Soviet leader was the world's cheerleader for communism, which Reagan considered evil. But the two men shared a belief they didn't need to point nuclear weapons at each other. Reaching for that shared goal gave them an unexpected rapport.
– David Greene, NPR
polemic
It is better to discuss things, to argue and engage in polemics than make perfidious plans of mutual destruction.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, The Guardian
perfidious
It is better to discuss things, to argue and engage in polemics than make perfidious plans of mutual destruction.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, The Guardian
paradigm
We desperately need to recognise that we are the guests, not the masters, of nature and adopt a new paradigm for development, based on the costs and benefits to all people, and bound by the limits of nature herself rather than the limits of technology and consumerism.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
ascent
Today, peace means the ascent from simple coexistence to cooperation and common creativity among countries and nations.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
indivisible
Peace is movement towards globality and universality of civilization. Never before has the idea that peace is indivisible been so true as it is now.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
conciliation
Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
ethical
And, ideally, peace means the absence of violence. It is an ethical value.
– Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

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