Page Nav


Gradient Skin



Responsive Ad

Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, died at age 91

Image : Reuters Berita 24 English -   Mikhail Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91. He ended the Cold War without any bloodshed, but h...

Image : Reuters

Berita 24 English -  Mikhail Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91. He ended the Cold War without any bloodshed, but he was unable to stop the Soviet Union from falling apart.

Gorbachev was the last president of the Soviet Union. He made deals with the U.S. to cut back on weapons and formed partnerships with other Western countries to get rid of the Iron Curtain, which had divided Europe since World War II, and bring Germany back together.

But his internal reforms made the Soviet Union weaker until it fell apart. President Vladimir Putin has said that this was the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.

Russia's Central Clinical Hospital said, "Mikhail Gorbachev died tonight after a serious and long-lasting illness."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax that Putin sent his "deepest condolences" to the family. "Tomorrow, he will send a telegram to his family and friends to tell them how sorry he is," he said.

News agencies said that in 2018, Putin said that if he could, he would stop the Soviet Union from falling apart.

The leaders of the world were quick to honour him. Ursula von der Leyen, who is in charge of the European Commission, said that Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, had made it possible for Europe to be free.

Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, said that he had believed in "glasnost and perestroika," which mean "openness and restructuring," not just as words, but as the way forward for the people of the Soviet Union after so many years of isolation and lack.

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, said that Gorbachev's "tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example for us all." He said this because Putin invaded Ukraine.


After many years of tension and fighting during the Cold War, Gorbachev brought the Soviet Union closer to the West than at any time since World War II.

"He gave freedom to hundreds of millions of people in Russia and the countries around it, as well as to half of Europe," said Grigory Yavlinsky, who used to be the leader of the liberal opposition in Russia. "Few leaders in history have had such a strong effect on their time."

But by the end of his life, Gorbachev's legacy was ruined when the invasion of Ukraine led to Western sanctions against Moscow and politicians in both Russia and the West started talking about a new Cold War.

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

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

"We're all on our own now. But not everybody knows that, "Alexei Venediktov, who was in charge of a liberal radio station that shut down because of how it covered the war in Ukraine, said this.

When pro-democracy protests shook communist Eastern European countries in the Soviet bloc in 1989, Gorbachev didn't use force. This was different from previous Kremlin leaders, who had sent tanks to crush uprisings in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

But the protests made the 15 republics of the Soviet Union want more freedom, and over the next two years, the Soviet Union fell apart in a very chaotic way.

Gorbachev, who was briefly removed from power by party hardliners in a coup in August 1991, tried in vain to stop the collapse.


"The Gorbachev era is the era of perestroika, the era of hope, and the era of our entry into a missile-free world," Vladimir Shevchenko, who ran Gorbachev's protocol office when he was Soviet leader, said. "But there was one mistake: we did not know our country well."

He was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying, "Our union broke up, and that was both our tragedy and his tragedy."

In 1985, when he was only 54 years old, he became the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. He wanted to bring new life to the system by giving people limited political and economic freedoms, but his reforms got out of hand.

"He was a good man who did what was right. I think it was a tragedy that he was too good for the country he was in charge of "William Taubman, who wrote a biography of Gorbachev and is a professor emeritus at Amherst College in Massachusetts, said this.

Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost" made it possible for people to criticise the party and the government in ways that had never been possible before. However, it also gave nationalists the courage to push for independence in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and other places.

Many Russians never got over the chaos that Gorbachev's reforms caused. They thought that the drop in their living standards was too high a price to pay for democracy.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed official in a part of Ukraine that is now occupied by pro-Moscow forces, said that Gorbachev "deliberately led the (Soviet) Union to its demise" and called him a traitor.

After visiting Gorbachev in the hospital in June, a liberal economist named Ruslan Grinberg said, "He gave us all freedom, but we don't know what to do with it."

Reponsive Ads