Sun, 25 September 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev dies aged 91

Update : 31 Aug 2022, 10:23

The last leader of the Soviet Union, former president Mikhail Gorbachev, has died aged 91, Russian news agencies reported on August 30.

Gorbachev died following a “serious and long-term illness”, the hospital said, according to the report. He will be buried at Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow, alongside his wife Raisa Gorbachev.

Gorbachev was in power between 1985 and 1991 and helped bring US-Soviet relations out of a deep freeze.

He forged arms reduction deals with the US and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War II and bring about the reunification of Germany.

When pro-democracy protests swept across the Soviet bloc nations of communist Eastern Europe in 1989, Gorbachev refrained from using force, unlike previous Kremlin leaders who had sent tanks to crush uprisings in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

But the protests fuelled aspirations for autonomy in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, which disintegrated over the next two years in chaotic fashion. Gorbachev struggled in vain to prevent that collapse.

Gorbachev won the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Cold War and spent his later years collecting accolades and awards from all corners of the world.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin issued only a short statement via the Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, who told the Interfax news service that Putin expressed “his deepest condolences” over Gorbachev’s death. Putin made no mention of Gorbachev’s historical role, with Peskov adding only that the president would send the late Soviet premier’s relatives a telegram on Wednesday morning.

Reaction in Russian state media on Tuesday was also muted.




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