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Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet leader, dies aged 91

Mikhail Gorbachev transformed the map of Europe and presided over the end of the Cold War

Mikhail GorbachevMikhail Gorbachev is no more | OyeYeah News
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Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet leader, dies aged 91.

Mikhail Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91, Russian news agencies cited hospital officials as saying.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War Two and bring about the reunification of Germany.

Ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is regarded as one of the most influential politicians of the 20th Century.

Mikhail Gorbachev with former US president
Mikhail Gorbachev with former US president Ronald Reagan at a meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986. Photo: AP

After becoming the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in 1985, aged 54, he set out to revitalize the system by introducing limited political and economic freedoms, however, his reforms spun out of control.

He refrained from using force when pro-democracy protests swept across the Soviet bloc nations of communist Eastern Europe in 1989.

His moves were unlike earlier Kremlin leaders who had deployed tanks to crush uprisings in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

However, the demonstrations fuelled aspirations for autonomy in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, which led to the collapse over the next two years.

the authorSaman Siddiqui
Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.