Former Top Gorbachev Aide Vladimir Ivashko Dead at 62
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) _ Vladimir Ivashko, a former top aide to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and head of Ukraine’s Communist Party, died Monday. He was 62.
Ukrainian state television said Ivashko died after a long illness. It didn’t elaborate or say where he died.
Ivashko was born in 1932 in Poltava, in southern Ukraine. After graduating from the Kharkiv Mining Institute, he worked as an industrial manager and then a communist party official.
He became the head of Ukraine’s Communist Party in 1989, and was elected speaker of the Ukrainian parliament the following year.
In 1990, Gorbachev called Ivashko to Moscow as deputy secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Ivashko favored democratic changes in the party and supported Gorbachev’s moves against die-hard Communist officials.
He did not join the plotters of the August 1991 hard-line coup, which briefly ousted Gorbachev, but lost his job in the collapse of communism that followed.