World Leaders Pay Tribute To Gorbachev, The Last Soviet Leader Who Opened The Country To Reforms

World Leaders Pay Tribute To Gorbachev, The Last Soviet Leader Who Opened The Country To Reforms

August 31, 2022

World leaders paid tribute to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev who died in Moscow on Tuesday at the age of 91.

He had been suffering from a long and serious illness, reports quoting hospital staff said.

Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet Union, from which modern Russia emerged, and is best known for opening up the USSR to the world with sweeping reforms known as Glasnost and Perestroika.

He was instrumental in ending the Cold War, and worked with his U.S. counterpart Ronald Reagan to cut down nuclear arsenals in custody of the two major powers.

Gorbachev was the recipient of a wide range of awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

Ideologically, Gorbachev initially adhered to Marxism-Leninism, but moved towards social democracy by the early 1990s. But he was unable to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and resigned presidency.

He will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife Raisa, Tass news agency reports.

US President Joe Biden hailed Gorbachev as “a man of remarkable vision.”

“After decades of brutal political repression, he embraced democratic reforms. He believed in glasnost and perestroika – openness and restructuring – not as mere slogans, but as the path forward for the people of the Soviet Union after so many years of isolation and deprivation,” he said in a statement

Biden described Gorbachev as a rare leader who took the courage to risk his entire career to achieve a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people.

Former US Secretary of State James Baker, who negotiated the reunification of Germany with Gorbachev in 1990, said his efforts had ensured the peaceful conclusion of the Cold War.

He will be remembered for all time as a hero who dismantled the communist system despite what it meant for his own power, according to former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

UN Secretary General António Guterres said Gorbachev “changed the course of history.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin has expressed his “deep sympathies” over the death of Gorbachev, who became a strong critic of Putin in recent years.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Gorbachev as a “courageous reformer.”

“When you look at what he did to make Europe whole, free to give freedom to the countries of the former Soviet Union, it was a quite extraordinary thing,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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