(b. near Novosibirsk, 29 Sept. 1920)
Russian; Secretary of Central Committee of CPSU 1983–90, Deputy to USSR Supreme Soviet 1966–89, People's Deputy of the USSR 1989–91 A graduate engineer, Ligachev trained at the Higher Party School and from 1949 worked in the Comsomol and then the party apparatus, mostly in Siberia, where he was First Secretary of the Tomsk Regional Committee 1965–83. He was a full member of the Central Committee from 1976, but only gained prominence when Andropov brought him to Moscow as head of the party's Organizational Work department and Secretary of the Central Committee in 1983. Initially a close colleague of Gorbachev, he gained full Politbureau membership when Gorbachev became General Secretary in April 1985 and became ‘second secretary’, supervising ideology and party organization. A teetotaller and puritan, he promoted the anti-alcohol campaign of 1985–6, which badly misfired. He became increasingly critical of the pace and extent of reform under Gorbachev, especially of the ‘excesses’ of glasnost in the rewriting of history. Hence from September 1988 his responsibilities were narrowed to agricultural reform. He continued to resist Westernization and ‘hasty’ change and in August 1990 retired from all his posts after the 26th Congress. In 1993 he published his memoirs, Inside Gorbachev's Kremlin.