The truth about Mikhail Gorbachev’s late wife

Mikhail Gorbachev died on August 30 at the age of 91, the Associated Press reported, marking the end of one of the West’s most significant chapters. As general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between 1985 and 1991, Gorbachev served as the last leader of the political bloc and presided over the end of the Cold War that dissolved the Soviet empire after almost 70 years. While Gorbachev is often seen through positive lenses in the West because of his role, he is often criticized in his home country for enacting reforms across the Soviet Union that are more closely aligned with United States policies, the Washington Post reported.

Regardless of the sides, Gorbachev differed in many ways from other Russian leaders, both before and after his time. Unlike current President Vladimir Putin, who prefers to keep his family out of the limelight, Gorbachev saw no need to hide his intentions to give priority to his wife Raisa Gorbachova and daughter Irina, the BBC noted. Gorbachev often took Raisa to official events, a practice then largely unknown in the Soviet Union, the Washington Post noted. Gorbachev also felt that he needed no favors to raise his child with privilege. “My parents never enrolled me in a special school for the children of party officials,” Irina told Russia Beyond in 2011. “I went to an ordinary school.”

All in all, Gorbachev made history during his years in power – and Gorbacheva had no small part in it.

Mikhail Gorbachev valued Raisa’s political advice

See also  The Emotional Path Ben Affleck reportedly honored Jennifer Lopez's children in his wedding speech

Raisa Gorbacheva was no ordinary first lady. Gorbacheva met Mikhail Gorbachev while he was studying philosophy at Moscow State University, where the future leader of the Soviet Union was studying law, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1987. Gorbacheva continued her studies and later earned a degree from the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, which allowed her to their alma mater, according to Robert P. Watson’s “The Presidents’ Wives: Reassessing the Office of First Lady.”

Gorbachev saw education as a priority. “We were happy. Happy with our youth and our hopes for the future,” she said, according to the Gorbachev Foundation website. “Even just being alive. That we study at the university. We appreciated that.” Gorbacheva made history not because she married Gorbachev, but because she had a voice in her role as one of the Fuhrer’s most trusted advisors, the Washington Post noted.

Gorbachova is often credited with influencing his political decisions. “We believe Raisa was a strong partner to her husband and an important voice in the friendship our two countries forged in the 1980s,” former US First Lady Nancy Reagan said in a post. Raisa died of leukemia in 1999, and Gorbachev continued to sing about her throughout his widowhood. “My life has lost its primary meaning,” he wrote in the 2013 chapter of his memoir (via BBC). “I’ve never had such an acute sense of loneliness.”