Nikolai Ivanovich Ryzhkov (born in 1929) held governmental and party posts from 1975 before being brought into the Politburo and serving as prime minister 1985-1990 under Gorbachev. A low-profile technocrat, Ryzhkov was the author of unpopular economic reforms.
He was viewed as a more cautious and centralist reformer than Gorbachev. In 1990 he was nearly forced to resign, as a result of the admitted failure of his implementation of the perestroika economic reform programme, and he survived only with the support of Gorbachev.
He stepped down as Soviet premier following a serious heart attack in late December 1990. In June 1991, he unsuccessfully challenged Boris Yeltsin for the presidency of the Russian Federation.