Shevardnadze, Eduard Amvrosiyevich

Shevardnadze, Eduard Amvrosiyevich

(ĕd`wärd shəv`ärdnäd`zyə), 1928–2014, Georgian politician and diplomat. Known for pragmatism rather than polemicism, Shevardnadze served as the head of the Georgian Communist party from 1972 to 1985 when Georgia was part of the Soviet Union, and became known as an anticorruption and free-market reformer. In 1985 he was appointed as the Soviet Union's foreign minister, and as such helped to create new foreign-policy initiatives in the Middle East and Europe that led to the end of the cold warcold war,
term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and prestige between the Western powers and the Communist bloc from the end of World War II until 1989. Of worldwide proportions, the conflict was tacit in the ideological differences between communism and
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. His implementation of Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich
, 1931–, Soviet political leader. Born in the agricultural region of Stavropol, Gorbachev studied law at Moscow State Univ., where in 1953 he married a philosophy student, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko (1932?–99).
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's policies included withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, making overtures to Israel, supporting the U.S.-led coalition in the First Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
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, developing new strategies for arms control, and making possible the democratization of Eastern Europe. He resigned in Dec., 1990, and warned that a hardline dictatorship was imminent. In Aug., 1991, he joined YeltsinYeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich
, 1931–2007, Soviet and Russian politician, president of Russia (1991–99). Born in Yekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk) and educated at the Urals Polytechnic Institute, Yeltsin began his career as a construction worker (1953–68).
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 in opposing the attempted coup against Gorbachev and then briefly served as foreign minister (Nov.–Dec., 1991) as the Soviet Union disintegrated.

After Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia's ouster in 1992, Shevardnadze became head of an interim government in Georgia, his homeland, and later that year he was elected parliament chairman (head of state). Shevardnadze won the presidency in a popular election in 1995 after surviving an assassination attempt earlier in the year; he was again a target of assassins in 1998. He was reelected in 2000 by an unexpectedly large margin, leading to charges of vote tampering. Unhappiness with his continued rule and seriously flawed parliamentary elections in 2003 led to post-election demonstrations in Nov., 2003, that forced his resignation.

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