Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91 after a prolonged illness. He ended the Cold War, but he failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Russian news agency Sputnik has given this information. “Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev passed away this evening after a serious and prolonged illness,” the agency said on Tuesday, citing the Central Clinical Hospital.
Russian President Vladimir Putin condoled the death of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying the president would send a telegram to the former Soviet leader’s family and friends in the morning. Sputnik News Agency reported that Peskov said that, “President Putin has deeply mourned the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev. In the morning he will send a string of condolences to his family and friends.”
Gorbachev was the last leader of the USSR
Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the United Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was a dynamic Soviet leader who wanted to reform communist rule on the lines of democratic principles by giving freedom to citizens.
He recognized the policy of Glasnost, or freedom of speech, which was severely curtailed during the earlier regime.
Gorbachev also initiated a program of economic reform called perestroika or restructuring, which was necessary because the Soviet economy was suffering from both inflation and a lack of supply. Cultural freedom was given to the press and the artistic community during his time.
He introduced radical reforms to reduce the party’s control over the government machinery. Notably, thousands of political prisoners and their dissidents were released during his rule.
He is recognized by the success of the nuclear disarmament agreement with the United States that won him the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to The New York Times, Gorbachev’s first five years in power were years of significant achievements.
He presided over an arms deal with the United States that for the first time eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons, and began the withdrawal of most Soviet strategic nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe.
According to US media outlets, he withdrew Soviet forces from Afghanistan, a tacit acknowledgment that the 1979 invasion and nine years of occupation had failed.