Russian Chronicles
Russian Life|March/April 2021
Russian Chronicles
TAMARA EIDELMAN
Russian Chronicles

Mikhail Gorbachev

Born March 2, 1931

The rises and falls of the esteem in which Russians have held Mikhail Gorbachev over the years have been dizzying. As for the falls, Alexander Kerensky, head of the 1917 Provisional Government after the February Revolution, may be the only other figure in Russian history to experience a more precipitous plummet from wild adoration to bitter contempt.

The first reaction to Gorbachev was probably surprise. No – that’s too weak a word. In the spring of 1985, the Soviet people were utterly baffled, dumbfounded, and stunned: some were pleasantly amazed; others were absolutely appalled. Before the Politburo elected him to head the Communist Party in March 1985, no one had ever heard of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, or at least no one who didn’t follow the party’s inner workings (a rare breed).

This story is from the March/April 2021 edition of Russian Life.

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This story is from the March/April 2021 edition of Russian Life.

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