Talk:Mikhail Gorbachev

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Former good article nominee Mikhail Gorbachev was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
October 13, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed


The title says 'Gorbachev', The full name says 'Gorbachyov'. The latter is more accurate (Горбачёв, not Горбачeв). Anyhow, it should be the same everywhere, and clarification should be added to the article under 'Name'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Please, see Wikipedia:Romanization_of_Russian#People for the Wikipedia convention on this. In brief, "Gorbachev" should be used as this is the form which Gorbachev uses in his English-language works and also the form generally used in the English-language media. Spacepotato (talk) 20:15, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:Romanization_of_Russian#People clearly shows that "Gorbachev" is faulty and should not be used anywhere. Hence this article should be moved. /BP (talk) 16:16, 19 January 2013 (UTC)


How much money does he have? How does Gorbachev make his living? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

He does commercials for Pizza Hut, Louis Vuitton, and German Railways. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 08:27, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Accolades and Prizes[edit]

It is ironic that a man seen as the cause (inability to prevent the crisis)of fall of USSR was given Nobel peace prize and other prizes..(might have happened prior to dissolution of the Union but is very close to the date of dissolution). Clearly these Nobel prizes are given only for what western europe considers peace. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 31 December 2008 (UTC)


It's not a very good photo of the man. Any chance of a better one?  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 09:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I saw a picture of him taken in 2008. It was on this article and even used for the front picture for some time, but then somebody must have changed it back to the previous picture of Gorbachev and removed the one taken in 2008 from the article. I am not absoluteley sure about this, I'll have to check edit history first.--Mart572 (talk) 04:48, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Someone keeps putting back the older, fuzzier photo. Please discuss here before replacing the photo again. Rees11 (talk) 21:53, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

This article really ought to be protected, the picture of Gorbachev should not be a foot. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 16 March 2011 (UTC)


Could somebody who cares about this article please watchlist it and watch for vandalism? I just spent about 15 minutes fixing some old stuff that would have taken a few seconds if spotted immediately. (I'm already maintaining several hundred neuroscience articles and don't really want to take on new ones.) Looie496 (talk) 03:43, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


It is from at least 1993 and it looks like somone turned up a screen grab of him speaking to the USSR from the Kremlin on Soviet TV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Duffy2032 (talkcontribs) 14:55, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Adding to my previous comment (sorry I forgot to sign it), he does speeches at colleges here in the US all the time, theres gotta be a picture of one of those out there instead of this.--Duffy2032 (talk) 14:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
You would think so but, alas, one has not been found. This is the best solution that we have. Happyme22 (talk) 17:07, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Was versus is[edit]

Normally, on Wikipedia articles, when the lede reads Name was blah blah blah, you know the subject is dead. Gorbachev isn't dead. Maybe "Gorachev is a former... blah blah..."? (talk) 23:21, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Gorbachev had no successors in his political offices[edit]

The CIS is not a sovereign state, therefore not a successor to the USSR. The USSR (in theory) has 15 successors states. GoodDay (talk) 22:57, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

In otherwords: The CIS secretary is not the successor to the USSR General Secretary & the Presidency of Russia is not the successor to the USSR Presidency. GoodDay (talk) 23:00, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

The Commonwealth of Independent States article says the Creation Agreement (Соглашение) establishes the CIS as a "successor entity" to the USSR. I can't check the source because the web page is 404. But at least here in the US most people would not think of CIS as being the successor to the USSR, and would not consider, say, Russia and Ukraine to be part of the same "state." So I'm fine with this change. Rees11 (talk) 02:06, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
The CIS is not a sovereign state, therefore not a successor. GoodDay (talk) 16:22, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, what do you expect from the globalization idiots, who also call Europe a state. They will only STFU when there is only one global country left, that country decides to hate his kind, and he doesn’t have anywhere to flee to anymore. Fuckin’ cattle they are. — (talk) 21:57, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes he DOES have a successor, Since the Russian Federation as an entity, and by UN definition, is the international successor (read: replacement) of the USSR, wouldn't that make Boris Yeltsin the successor? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:49, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Gorbachev had no successor as USSR President. Yelstin was President of the Russian Federation. These wer 2 different offices. GoodDay (talk) 14:46, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Since the Russian Federation is the legal successor state of the USSR, Gorbachev's successor was Yeltsin. This isn't an instance where one nation was destroyed and then another later created in its place. The USSR government in the Kremlin simply ended one day, and the next day, that of Russia began. Jsc1973 (talk) 12:01, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Wrong. Russian Federation was one of 15 republics of the USSR and Yeltsin was already a president of it while Gorbachev was the president of the Union. Viktor Š 20:25, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

How to keep an NPOV[edit]

Given that Gorbachev is generally credited with the move towards democracy, and won the Nobel peace prize etc, it seems to me reasonable, to give a balanced picture, to say much more about his political life in the sixties and seventies. What was his attitude to the Russian interventions in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia in 1968, to the Russian war in Afghanistan etc? Johncmullen1960 (talk) 07:10, 10 November 2009 (UTC)


I may be wrong but I get the impression that all the books quoted are about one particular period in his life, and the only book to talk about his whole life is .... his own autobiography! This needs fixing,IMHO. Johncmullen1960 (talk) 07:12, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Why No section on Criticism of Gorbachov?[edit]

Why is there no section on criticism of Gorbachov ?Gorbachov is regarded by communists and anti imperialists as a traitor,Judas and scab but the article makes no mention of this.Wikipedia comes across as right wing liberal —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure he is regarded by some remaining communists, such as yourself, as a traitor. But we would need a source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:44, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm just trying to figure out what a "right wing liberal" is. --Khajidha (talk) 20:53, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
@Khajidha: In European parlance, a right-wing liberal is (among others) someone advocating pure market capitalism with little to no state intervention, like e.g. the German Free Democratic Party (Germany). I suppose this is meant here. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 14:38, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, in American parlance the two terms are used to denote two different (virtually opposite) positions. --Khajidha (talk) 23:32, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree with comment; personally, I admire Gorbachev, but I have some very open-minded Russian friends, who can't help but feel he may have caused Russia and the former Soviet Union in general more harm than good -- Spettro9 (talk) 02:52, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I think he's a brave guy but I am afraid he's deeply gullible, and the West, along with people like Yeltsin, used his gullibility to achieve their own aims (Not that they are bad). In some senses, the current iron-fist tendency of Chinese authorities (being extended to Hong Kong) can be attributed to Gorbachev's failure. Had his reforms succeed, he would have set a good example for the Chinese Communist Party, into a reform balancing between economic and political aspects. Now, because of fear of collapse, the Chinese Communist Party seems (ironically?) dooming itself into another Soviet Union (or even Romania), bringing down China in the process, and the West will prevail ultimately. -- Patrickov (talk) 09:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
It is quite clear from the primary sources (see Masterpieces of History, cited below) that Gorbachev was, at least at the start, a committed communist, who sincerely believed that the workers valued what he saw as the "achievements of socialism" and would freely vote for the CPSU when given the chance. It came as quite a shock to him and many of his supporters in the leadership when the PUWP was nearly wiped out in the first post-Roundtable Polish parliamentary election, and on the heels of that, to have many of the CPSU's membership crossing out their own candidates in the elections for the first Congress of People's Deputies. Chernyaev comments in his private diary about his perceptions of Gorbachev's naivete. Gorbachev was also clearly committed, from the very beginning, to the principle of nonintervention in the fraternal countries (and the current administration still pays lip service to this position today); the first statement of the principal comes at a meeting of WTO party leaders following K. Chernenko's funeral, but the leaders of those countries generally don't act as if they believe this. (The only significant example of intervention that seems to be documented -- and it's a political intervention, not a military one -- is his suggestion to the CC SED that they really ought to get rid of Honecker.) Between 1985 and 1988, the leaders of the fraternal parties are constantly checking with Moscow for approval of major policy decisions; by late 1989 they are finally at the point of informing the Kremlin rather than asking permission.
The editors of that book, on the basis of their research, lay a great deal of the blame for the collapse of the USSR on the Bush administration, both because of the nearly-year-long "pause" in 1989 and because of substantive changes in policy between Reagan and Bush. By their narrative, if the Bush administration had not been dominated by hawks (Scowcroft, Cheney, Rice et al., not to mention Bush himself), and had instead responded to Soviet arms reduction proposals, Gorbachev might have been able to turn the USSR's economy around before it totally collapsed. Many of the proposed arms deals were simply left on the table at the end of the Reagan administration, never pursued by Bush when there was still a chance to complete them, and died with the USSR. 121a0012 (talk) 01:51, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Nobel prize[edit]

It's written in the preamble: "Gorbachev's attempts at reform as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For these efforts, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990". From this passage one could think that Gorbachev was awarded for dissolution of his own country, kind of tricky. -- (talk) 09:20, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

He basically was. Zloyvolsheb (talk) 05:44, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Why not writing the facts about this? Gorbachev betrayed the soviet union and destroyed independence of Russia. For that heroic act of high treason resulting in Chechnya war, raise of the Russian mafia in the nineties, fluctuation of the elite to Europe and USA, poverty and destabilization of the country. In 1991 the Russian constitution was composed under the supervision of Paul Wolfowitz. The whole operation was done under the cloak of bringing democracy to the soviets.

Just ask yourself, why is Gorbachev living in London if he is supposed to be a national hero? Why was he celebrating his 80th anniversary in London?

American agents infiltrated the whole duma for a known fact. Their names are published. USA directly sponsors over 600 organizations in Russia to control the country. Putin is bounded by the constitution (composed by the USA) and cannot do anything about that, except for pointing out facts. Research the facts and you will know why US politicians love Putin so much!

The Talk page is not for ranting about the article subject, it's for discussing the article.MisterCSharp (talk) 12:56, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

New Subsection[edit]

I created a new subsection of the 'Post presidency' section: 'Criticism of the Vladimir Putin's government'. It didn't seem to fit in exactly where it was, so while I was adding some of his more recent criticism of Putin, I just spun it off into a subsection.--L1A1 FAL (talk) 18:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

New World Order and Global Government[edit]

Gorbachev seems to call for a global soviet style government. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

UFO connection (UFOs, UAP, UAPs, USOs)[edit]

Can we please add to the article what connections Gorbachev had to comments about UFOs, possibly related to USA President Ronald Reagan, and Wiki- links to any "main" articles about that?


Misty MH (talk) 09:39, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Ceausescu & Gorbachev 1985.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Gorbachev's religious affiliation[edit]

I have no way to understand what Alexei II's statement might have to do with Gorbachev's religious beliefs and why it might be important in the article about Gorbachev, especially since Gorbachev himself claimed he is an atheist (and therefore has no relation to any religious organisation). It is very common in the Russian language to use the name of God, it doesn't have anything to do with a religious affiliation, it's just a usual figure of speech, or, rather, a usual metaphor, and no more.

I'd suggest to remove the statement of Alexei II from the section. This statement may be important, but not in this article. - (talk) 19:59, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Indeed; thanks for catching this. I've removed the statement. If we were to listen to Orthodox patriarchs, we'd have to assume that there are no atheists whatsoever; everyone would be "on their way to Christianity", just on different stages!—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); January 28, 2013; 20:11 (UTC)

Gorbachev clearly stated that he is and always has been atheist; I see no reason to doubt this statement. The infobox should be updated to say that he is atheist, not of "undetermined" religion. Cooper0 (talk) 16:46, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Masterpieces of History[edit]

The book Masterpieces of History: 1989, which came out a few years ago from the National Security Archive and Central European University Press, is a veritable treasure trove of (mostly) primary-source documents from the Gorbachev era, including minutes of Central Committee and Politburo meetings and the personal notes of close Gorbachev aides like Anatoly Chernyaev. It should at least be mentioned as a further-reference work for those interested in the late Soviet era. (Gorbachev's apparent naivete during this period is especially striking, even to his own aides and supporters. This has to be counterbalanced with the U.S. intelligence establishment's total misreading of him and of the situation in Eastern Europe more generally, as is also documented in the book.) While WP articles aren't supposed to directly cite primary-source material, the editors have provided a headnote to each document explaining the context and summarizing its significance, which has sufficient distance (and remove of time) from the primary-source material to warrant citation. (Russian, Polish, and German source documents are translated.) 121a0012 (talk) 06:46, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

General Secretary of the CPSU[edit]

Presidency of the USSR[edit]

Dissolution of the Soviet Union[edit]

Crisis of the Union: 1990–1991[edit]
  • para beginning "The book Alpha – the KGB's Top Secret Unit ...."
  • changed "Viktor Achalov" (broken link) to "Vladislav Achalov"
Discussion: I can find no reference to a Viktor Achalov involved in the August coup; the likeliest candidate is General Vladislav Achalov. The error may be a confusion between Vladislav Achalov and Viktor Astapov. I am not an expert on this period, so I am open to correction. D A Patriarche, BSc (talk) (talk) 03:01, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Heritage Foundation self-promotion[edit]

I have removed a couple sentences from the foreign policy section. They promoted Heritage Foundation employee Michael Johns, and also briefly criticized Gorbachev's policy toward Ethiopia, but without any meaningful explanation. I removed those sentences for three reasons: 1. Most importantly, because the Heritage Foundation (both the source and the subject of the sentences) is a propaganda outlet below the standards of Wikipedia. 2. Because they were poorly written and had little to do with the rest of the paragraph. 3. Because they seemed to be self-promotion: they were much more focused on talking about Michael Johns than Mikhail Gorbachev. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:38, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Impossible date; should be changed[edit]

The section Presidency of the USSR says that Gorbachev was elected to the post by the Congress of People's Deputies on 11 March 1985. Since the preceding paragraph tells us that the Congress itself was created in 1989, this is clearly nonsense. The 1985 date appears to be when Gorbachev was named General Secretary of the CPSU, a different office altogether. Both the infobox of this article and the separate article on the President of the Soviet Union indicate that the date should be 15 March 1990. Some registered user should fix this. (talk) 00:46, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Dissolution of the Soviet Union section clearly biased and missing sources[edit]

The text boldy gives statements such as (but not limited) the following without citing any sources or facts:

"Glasnost hastened awareness of the national sovereignty problem. The free flow of information had been so completely suppressed for so long in the Soviet Union that many of the ruling class had all but forgotten that the Soviet Union was an empire conquered through military force. Thus, the extreme degree of local desire for independent control of their own affairs took these leaders by surprise, and the leaders were unprepared for the depth of the long pent-up feelings that were released."

Describing the Soviet Union as an "Empire" is not in any away a factual statement and thus has no place in an encyclopedic article.

Hugovazquezperales (talk) 16:19, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Regardless of sources, that tone looks more like WP:NOTESSAY rather than encyclopedic. It could be commented out/hidden until refactored. Brandmeistertalk 17:32, 3 November 2016 (UTC)


There is no mention of the Chernobyl desaster. Gorbachev decided not to inform the public about the desaster until it was reported by other countries. This has cost many 1000 lifes as it would have been of utmost importance to immediately evacuate the local population. That did not happen. --Thereisnofreename (talk) 10:21, 29 November 2016 (UTC)