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News Forum - Former Soviet Union premier Mikhail Gorbachev dies aged 91


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Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev died last night aged 91. The Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow stated, “Gorbachev died this evening after a serious and long illness.” He will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife Raisa, who died in 1999. Tributes have been poured in for the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner. UN chief Antonio Guterres said Gorbachev changed the course of history. “Mikhail Gorbachev was a one-of-a kind statesman. The world has lost a towering global leader, committed multilateralist, and tireless advocate for peace.” European Union President Ursula von der Leyen hailed him as a […]

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It is difficult to know what to say about Gorbachev; he is/was both a huge and minor figure at the same time.

"Gorbachev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 until its collapse in 1991 and is largely recognized for trying to reform the Soviet system by allowing some political and economic freedom and for bringing decades of a Cold War to an end."

That in itself is quite an achievement; simply becoming a member of the Politburo was quite an accomplishment, much less reaching the top, and doing so at 54 years old is incredible. Moreover, making it that far while at the same time understanding that as a system/philosophy of Governance, Communism was a dead-end, demonstrated an intellect and vision above and beyond normal. Finally, implementing the policy of Glasnost and opening Freedom of Speech to people who never really had it before was courageous as hell.

"His policy of glasnost, or openness, allowed people to criticize the government in a way that had been previously unthinkable. But it also unleashed nationalist sentiments in many regions of the country which eventually led to its collapse."

He also let it all collapse, contrary to what Leaders are supposed to do. In this sense, he was small and weak, a man who made it all the way to the top, only to trip and fall within sight of the finish line.

Russia’s state media has cast Gorbachev in the role of the enemy. It has variously portrayed him as a CIA stooge and the man responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union – “the greatest political catastrophe of the 20th century,” Putin said.

Putin was and is wrong. VERY, VERY Wrong.

Communism, especially Communism as practiced in Russia/USSR, was a cancer on the planet and good riddance.

At the end of the day, we all owe Gorbachev for presiding over the demise of the USSR without too much conflict, much less without another World War. For that, I say 'Hat's off to you, Mr Gorbachev'.

RIP, Sir


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