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This is a short summary of the history of the 7 people that appear in the Russian Leaders collection.

Gorbachev

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Mikhail Gorbachev was the last head of state of the USSR, serving from 1988 until its collapse in 1991.

Gorbachev's attempts at reform as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

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Yeltsin

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Boris Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.

The Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems. By the time he left office, Yeltsin had an approval rating of two percent by some estimates.

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Brezhnev

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Leonid Brezhnev was twice Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (head of state), from May 7, 1960 to July 15, 1964. He also served from June 16, 1977 to his death on November 10, 1982. He served the second longest in that position.

Brezhnev was the one who ordered the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, in order to halt Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring political liberalization reforms.

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Kruschev

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Nikita Khrushchev served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964.

Khrushchev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the world's early space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev.

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Putin

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Vladimir Putin was the second President of Russia and is the current Prime Minister of Russia as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus.

Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive Presidential term. After the victory of his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in the 2008 presidential elections, he was then nominated by the latter to be Russia's Prime Minister; Putin took the post on 8 May 2008.

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Stalin

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Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. In the years following Lenin's death in 1924, he rose to become the leader of the Soviet Union.

During the late 1930s, Stalin launched the Great Purge (also known as the "Great Terror"), a campaign to purge the Communist Party of people accused of sabotage, terrorism, or treachery; he extended it to the military and other sectors of Soviet society. Targets were often executed, imprisoned in Gulag labor camps or exiled. In the years following, millions of ethnic minorities were also deported.

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Lenin

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Vladimir Lenin was the Bolshevik Leader of the 1917 October Revolution, and the first Head of State of the Soviet Union.

His contribution to political science, Leninism, is his development and interpretation of urban Marxist theory, fitted to the agrarian Russian Empire of 1917, reversing the economics–politics Marxist prescription in allowing for a dynamic revolution led by a professional vanguard party.

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