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Mikhail Gorbachev (1987: Bombs Over Kabul)

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Mikhail Gorbachev (1987: Bombs Over Kabul)

Mikhail Gorbachev (March 2, 1931 - ) was General Secretary of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1987, then from 1988 to 1990. He was succeeded by Petya Yakolev during the 1987 missile campaign and overthrown, and briefly regained power until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, an event known as the "Sunday Meltdown".

1987: Bombs Over Kabul

On August 27, 1987, at around 11:30, four men broke into his office, forced him to strip and write a note authorizing a missile attack on the capital of Afghanistan, and locked him in a wardrobe, gagged him with his own tie and bound him with duct tape. Gorbachev spent several hours inside, to the point where he went into a state of extreme panic. He was found by a security guard at around 2:00, and weeks later went on to support the U.S. during Operation Amontillado. He would later go on to (controversially) win the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a private ceremony at the White House on June 6, 1992, for his actions during Operation Amontillado and Operation Hamlet.

"Sunday Meltdown"

The USSR had originally planned to hold a 1989 election to nominate a new General Secretary; Nikolai Ryzhkov and Nikolai Tikhonov were the runners up. However, due to personal conflicts within the Presidium, the election was cancelled and postponed until 1993. On October 28, 1990, five months after contracting Hepatitis E (the strain was apparently present on the section of duct tape used to cover his mouth), Gorbachev publicly broadcast a speech announcing the deformation of the Soviet Union. By sunset, Russia was under the rule of Alexander Rutskoy.

Later life

In April 1991, Gorbachev began a six-month tour of the United States, starting in San Francisco and ending in Newark, New Jersey. During his stay, he became a guest professor of socio-economics at Stanford University and was awarded an honorary master's degree. On May 30, he went into septic shock in his Texarkana, Texas hotel room. The tour was postponed for several weeks until July 8, when he made a speech at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

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