Of the last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev died, according to the Russian news agency Tass, citing the Central Clinical Hospital. As Tass reports from Moscow late Tuesday evening, Gorbachev died at the age of 91. The agencies RIA Novosti and Interfax also reported his death.
“Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev passed away tonight after a serious and protracted illness,” the agency’s Central Clinical Hospital said.
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Interfax reported that Gorbachev was in the hospital for observation during the corona pandemic. However, he did not die of the corona virus, but of the consequences of old age and illness, it was said.
The world-renowned politician was considered one of the fathers of German unity and Paving the way for the end of the Cold War. East Germans in particular still revere “Gorbi”, as they call him, as a statesman who brought them freedom more than three decades ago.
In 1971 Gorbachev was elected a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and in 1985 he became Secretary General of the Central Committee. As head of government of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev proposed a course of liberalization it is called “Perestroika”..
In February 1990, Gorbachev was elected President of the USSR, becoming the first and last person to hold that position. In the same year, Gorbachev received the Nobel Peace Prize for his courageous reforms. The political process led to massive upheavals in all republics of the Soviet state and ultimately to the collapse of the communist empire. In December 1991, Gorbachev resigned as President.
Up until his death, Gorbachev had rendered outstanding service to his own political foundation in Moscow. The organization advocates democratic values and a rapprochement between Russia and the West.
Gorbachev wrote numerous books – most recently also about his disappointment with the Germans and the West. Specifically, he complained that new enemy images were being drawn against Russia. For health reasons, he did not travel to the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in autumn 2019. He has had to be hospitalized repeatedly over the past few years.
The politician was a co-owner of the newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”, which is critical of the Kremlin and repeatedly uncovers abuses in Russia. In recent years, Gorbachev has repeatedly asked Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin not to further restrict the freedom of the media and elections.
The statesman is buried in Moscow at the New Maiden Cemetery for celebrities – next to his wife Raisa. (dpa, Tsp)