Anatoly Lukyanov, the last chairman of USSR's Supreme Soviet dies at 88
Anatoly Lukyanov, the last chairman of the USSR's Supreme Soviet and harsh critic of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms, died at the age of 88, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday.
He became chairman of the Supreme Soviet, the USSR's top legislative body, in 1990, succeeding Gorbachev who had been elected the first and only president of the former Soviet Union.
The leader of the Communist Party of Russia Gennady Zyuganov described him as "living the life of a true patriot," according to TASS state news agency.
Lukyanov was born on May 7, 1930, in the western Russian city of Smolensk. He worked at a munitions factory during World War II and only completed his school education after the end of the war. He went on to study law and swiftly climbed the ranks of the Soviet ruling institutions.
He publicly criticized Gorbachev's policies and was jailed after the 1991 "putsch" by Communist hardliners and security chiefs who attempted to seize power. Although not officially one of the putsch leaders, Lukyanov was arrested and held in jail until December 1992 for backing the coup.
From 1993 to 2003 Lukyanov served as a Communist Party lawmaker in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
(Cover: Communist-leaning legislators Anatoly Lukyanov (L) and Gennadi Zyuganov (R) attend session of Duma, 1994. /VCG Photo)