Father of Perestroika Alexander Yakovlev Dies
After the conservatives in the party gained strength, he was removed from the Politburo and expelled in 1991, two days before the August coup against Gorbachev. From 1998 he led the Commission for the Rehabilitation of Repression Victims, clearing the names of those persecuted under Soviet rule.
Yakovlev was a doctor of history and a corresponding member of the Soviet Union’s Academy of Sciences. From 1969 to 1973, he headed the party’s Department of Ideology and Propaganda. In 1972, he published an article criticizing Russian chauvinism and Soviet anti-Semitism. After that, he was removed from his post and appointed Russia’s ambassador to Canada where he served till 1983. From 1983 to 1985 he headed the Russian Institute of World Economics and International Relations.
Yakovlev did a lot to liberalize the Soviet media, helped publish banned books and materials under the policy known as as glasnost.
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