Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev Has Passed Away At Age 91
Breaking news: The former soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has passed away at age 91! Mikhail Gorbachev, full name Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, is a Soviet official who served as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's (CPSU) general secretary from 1985 to 1991.
In the years 1990–1991, he also served as President of the Soviet Union. He was also known for his work to make his country's government more democratic and its economy less centralized. This helped bring down communism and break up the Soviet Union in 1991.
But sadly, the state news agencies in Russia said that Gorbachev died after a long illness. Before this, he had been in and out of the hospital. Although his cause of death has not been made public, he was hospitalized in June due to kidney disease.
On Tuesday, tributes were paid to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev by a slew of world leaders. Gorbachev was called "a man with remarkable vision" by US Vice President Joe Biden, who was also at the event.
In making reference to a number of the initiatives taken by the previous leader of the Soviet Union, he said:
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"As leader of the USSR, he worked with President Reagan to reduce our two countries' nuclear arsenals, to the relief of people worldwide praying for an end to the nuclear arms race," Biden stated, adding that Gorbachev's reforms led to "a safer world and more freedom for millions of people."
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote on Twitter that Gorbachev's role in ending the Cold War and making way for a free Europe is something that will never be forgotten.
"I began these reforms and my guiding stars were freedom and democracy, without bloodshed. So the people would cease to be a herd led by a shepherd. They would become citizens."
On the other hand, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told RIA Novosti that Putin has conveyed his condolences to the family. On Wednesday, Putin will talk to Gorbachev's family and friends to tell them how sorry he is.
World leaders remember Mikhail Gorbachev following his death
Many people remembered him for trying to make major changes as soon as he took over as leader in order to make the system work better and more fairly. On the other hand, he will be laid to rest in Moscow's Novodevichy cemetery, which is home to many prominent Russians. It's unclear whether he'll be given a state funeral.