Mikhail Gorbachev quotes

Born
2 March 1931, Privolnoye, North Caucasus Krai, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.

Occupation
Politician.

Mikhail Gorbachev is a Russian and former Soviet politician. He was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, having been General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991.

You cannot put Russia down on its knees and hold it there because Russia will ultimately pull out.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
Sometimes when you stand face to face with someone, you cannot see his face.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
What about Jesus Christ? I say that he was a precursor of idealists; a precursor of socialists.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
What we need is Star Peace and not Star Wars.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
I think God has some mechanism that he uses to punish those that make mistakes.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
The soviet people want full-blooded and unconditional democracy.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
I am a Communist, a convinced Communist! For some that may be a fantasy. But to me it is my main goal.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
The market came with the dawn of civilization and it is not an invention of capitalism. If it leads to improving the well-being of the people there is no contradiction with socialism.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
It is better to discuss things, to argue and engage in polemics than make perfidious plans of mutual destruction.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
We are not abandoning our convictions, our philosophy or traditions, nor do we urge anyone to abandon theirs.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
Democracy must learn to defend itself.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
The world will not accept dictatorship or domination.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
Democracy is the wholesome and pure air without which a socialist public organization cannot live a full-blooded life.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
I think we need more young people; we need to elect young people to government. We need to give them a chance, in the media, in politics, in democracy.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
It seems that the most important thing about Reagan was his anti-Communism and his reputation as a hawk who saw the Soviet Union as an ‘evil empire.’
– Mikhail Gorbachev
Every country should conduct its own reforms, should develop its own model, taking into account the experience of other countries, whether close neighbours or far away countries.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
I paid too heavy a price for perestroika.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
The market is not an invention of capitalism. It has existed for centuries. It is an invention of civilization.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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
Ex-Presidents of the United States get state subsidies. Not so in Russia. You get no government support.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
My life’s work has been accomplished. I did all that I could.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
A society should never become like a pond with stagnant water, without movement. That’s the most important thing.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
Political leaders still think things can be done through force, but that cannot solve terrorism. Backwardness is the breeding ground of terror, and that is what we have to fight.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
If not me, who? And if not now, when?
– Mikhail Gorbachev
Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
There should be competition and exchanges between different countries, but there are certainly certain universal values, and that is freedom and democracy.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
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.
– Mikhail Gorbachev
America must be the teacher of democracy, not the advertiser of the consumer society. It is unrealistic for the rest of the world to reach the American living standard.
– Mikhail Gorbachev