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Mikhail Gorbachev, (1932 - ) 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. He was the country's head of state from 1988 until 1991 (titled as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and as President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev led the Soviet Union into a new era by negotiating far-reaching nuclear arms reductions with the United States. In so doing, he was the main force in ending the Cold War peacefully, which then resulted in a united Germany and a united Europe. Fast-forward to 2017, and the world stands again at disunity, the brink of a new Cold War. How did we get here?