Who Is Mikhail Gorbachev's Daughter?

On August 30, 2022, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev died after suffering from an undisclosed disease, Reuters reported. The 91-year-old is remembered for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War and lifting the Iron Curtain that separated Eastern Europe from the West. These accomplishments earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, just one year before he stepped down as the leader of the Soviet government after six short years (via Politico).

Gorbachev's impact on the world in such a short amount of time was profound. And in his personal life, too, he was equally inspiring. Gorbachev was known to dote on his wife, Raisa Gorbacheva, who was a visible confidante to her husband throughout his career. After her death in 1999, the former Soviet Union president dedicated a series of memoirs to his late wife, writing about the loneliness he felt without her by his side (via BBC).

Gorbachev also maintained a close relationship with his only daughter, Irina Virganskaya-Gorbacheva. But who is she, and what is she known for?

Irina Virganskaya-Gorbacheva carries on her father's legacy

Irina Virganskaya-Gorbacheva may not be as famous as Mikhail Gorbachev, but in some ways, she's followed in his footsteps. She told Russia Beyond in 2011 that she grew up hearing her father discuss his work at the end of each day, which continued to some extent even after he became the leader of the Soviet Union. Rather than pursuing law or politics like her father, however, she pursued medical studies against her parents' wishes. After graduating, she went on to work at a hospital cardiology center.

While working as a busy doctor, Virganskaya-Gorbacheva and her first husband had two daughters, who would go on to make a name for themselves as Moscow socialites in the early 2000s (via The New York Times). Her work-family balancing act mimicked her father's in many ways.

In the late '90s, she further followed in her father's footsteps. After her mother fell ill, Virganskaya-Gorbacheva was tapped by her father to be the vice president of his organization, The Gorbachev Foundation, which, according to her interview with Russia Beyond, aims to help children who have leukemia — the same form of cancer that killed her mother, per The Washington Post. According to the foundation's website, Virganskaya-Gorbacheva still serves as vice president today.