Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who served from 1985 to 1991, has passed away at the age of 91.
Russian state media stated that Gorbachev passed away after a protracted illness.
“Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening following a serious and extended illness,” the Central Clinical Hospital reported, according to RIA Novosti Tuesday.
The man who was instrumental in ending the Cold War by instituting political and economic changes in the Soviet Union was in poor health.
Trump’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, informed RIA Novosti that President Putin of Russia has sent his sympathies.
According to RIA Novosti, Putin plans to send a message to Gorbachev’s loved ones on Wednesday.
Joe Biden, vice president of the United States, called Gorbachev “a man of tremendous vision” in a statement released Tuesday.
“As leader of the USSR, he worked with President Reagan to lower our two countries’ nuclear arsenals, to the relief of people worldwide yearning for an end to the nuclear arms race,” Biden said, adding that Gorbachev’s reforms led to “a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people.”
Gorbachev was asked on Larry King how he wanted history to evaluate him.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the legacy of Gorbachev’s involvement in ending the Cold War “paved the way for a free Europe.”
With his outgoing, charismatic attitude, Gorbachev shattered the mold for Soviet leaders who until then had largely been aloof, frigid individuals. Almost from the outset of his administration, he sought for fundamental improvements, so the system would run more efficiently and more democratically. Because of this, “glasnost” (openness) and “perestroika” (restructuring) became the two most important words of the Gorbachev era (restructuring).
“I initiated these reforms and my guiding stars were freedom and democracy, without violence. This means that the people will no longer function as a flock headed by a herder. Their status would be upgraded to that of a citizen, “Eventually, he explained.
According to RIA Novosti, which cited the Gorbachev Foundation, he will be laid to rest at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, alongside his wife.