Mikhail Gorbachev worked his way up in the Communist Party
to become general secretary in 1985 and president of the
Soviet Union in 1990. His reforms of glasnost, meaning more
open discussion of political and social issues, and perestroika,
the reorganization of the Soviet economic and political
system, were largely responsible for dismantling the Soviet
Union. He has received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Orders
of Lenin, the Red Banner of Labour, and the Badge of Honour.
After stepping down from power in 1991, he has served as
president of both the Gorbachev Foundation and Green Cross
International, where he works to create a sustainable future.
Gorbachev now leads the Union of Social-Domocrats.
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