Mikhail Gorbachev, who as the last ruler of the Soviet Union fought an insurmountable battle to rescue a declining empire but brought about extraordinary reforms that ended the Cold War, has died at the age of 91, Russian media reported on Tuesday, August 30th.
News organizations quoted a statement from the Central Clinical Hospital stating that he died after a long illness. No further details were released.
Although he led the government for less than seven years, Gorbachev unleashed an impressive series of changes. But they quickly outgrew it, resulting in the collapse of the Soviet state, the liberation of Eastern European nations from Russian rule, and the end of decades of nuclear tension between East and West.
JUST IN – Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, has died. pic.twitter.com/Y04KTemfPQ
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 30, 2022
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His authority was hopelessly undermined by a coup attempt against him in August 1991, and he spent his last months in office watching republic after republic declare independence, until he finally resigned on December 25th of the same year.
Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War, and spent the next several years collecting awards and accolades around the world. But he was detested in his country.
The Russians blamed him for the collapse of the Soviet Union, once a feared superpower whose territory fractured into 15 nations. The official Tass news agency reported that Gorbachev will be buried at Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery, where the remains of his wife lie.