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Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet leader who ended the Cold War, dead at 91

Blackadder1916

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Probably best that he not hang around for the next chapter in the Russian story.



Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet leader who ended the Cold War, dead at 91​

Forged partnerships with West to remove Iron Curtain but failed to prevent collapse of Soviet Union
Thomson Reuters ยท Posted: Aug 30, 2022 4:43 PM ET | Last Updated: 14 minutes ago

Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, has died at the age of 91, Russian news agencies cited hospital officials as saying on Tuesday.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since the Second World War and bring about the reunification of Germany.

"Mikhail Gorbachev passed away tonight after a serious and protracted disease," Interfax news agency cited Russia's Central Clinical Hospital as saying in a statement.

The Russian Embassy in Canada confirmed his death to CBC News in an email statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed "his deepest condolences" on Gorbachev's death, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Interfax.
"Tomorrow he will send a telegram of condolences to his family and friends," he said.

Putin in 2005 called the collapse of the Soviet Union the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century and in 2018 said he would reverse it if he could.

After decades of Cold War tension and confrontation, Gorbachev brought the Soviet Union closer to the West than at any point since the Second World War.
But he saw that work marred in the final months of his life, as Putin's invasion of Ukraine brought Western sanctions crashing down on Moscow, as politicians in both Russia and the West began to speak openly of a new Cold War.

"Gorbachev died in a symbolic way when his life's work, freedom, was effectively destroyed by Putin," said Andrei Kolesnikov, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

He will be buried in Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife, Raisa, who died in 1999, said Tass news agency, citing the foundation that the former Soviet leader set up once he left office.
 

Staff Weenie

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I realize he was quite elderly and ill, but did anyone else wonder if he was eliminated to prevent some sort of anti-Putin rallying point?
 

OldSolduer

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I realize he was quite elderly and ill, but did anyone else wonder if he was eliminated to prevent some sort of anti-Putin rallying point?
I doubt that.

If it were to be proven he was murdered by Putin henchmen I think there would be a reaction of some sort
 

Colin Parkinson

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I suspect there's a not-insignificant bit of the population that's still bitter at the loss of USSR 1.0, blaming him.
There is, the last portion of the USSR was gradually downward slope of inefficiency, but it also provided for a fairly comfortable life with minimal threat of being arrested or killed by the government, and access to rudimentary healthcare and decent education. Likely the best they had life since WWII. The 1990 was mayhem and some blame him, but I think he tried his best to turn a headlong crash into a fairly gentle crashing landing. He was hoping the Soviet system would be sustained and the USSR would remain intact.
 

lenaitch

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There is, the last portion of the USSR was gradually downward slope of inefficiency, but it also provided for a fairly comfortable life with minimal threat of being arrested or killed by the government, and access to rudimentary healthcare and decent education. Likely the best they had life since WWII. The 1990 was mayhem and some blame him, but I think he tried his best to turn a headlong crash into a fairly gentle crashing landing. He was hoping the Soviet system would be sustained and the USSR would remain intact.
I think he had hoped the sclerotic and ossified Soviet systems would be better able and willing to support the reforms.
 
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