Former Soviet President Gorbachev, 91, dies

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, died on Tuesday at the age of 91, according to the Russian news agency.

Sputnik News Agency citing the hospital stated that he died after a serious and long illness. "Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening after a serious and long illness," the agency citing the Central Clinical Hospital said on Tuesday.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the United Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was a young and dynamic soviet leader who wanted to reform the communist regime along the lines of democratic principles by giving some freedom to citizens.

When pro-democracy protests swept across the Soviet Union of communist Eastern Europe in 1989, Gorbachev refrained from using force.
He recognized the policy of Glasnost or freedom of speech which was severely curtailed during earlier regime.

He launched radical reforms meant to reduce party control of the government apparatus. Notably, thousands of political prisoners and their dissidents were released during his rule.

He is accredited with the success of the nuclear disarmament agreement with the United States of America which won him Nobel Peace Prize.

He withdrew Soviet forces from Afghanistan, a tacit admission that the invasion in 1979 and the nine-year occupation had been a failure, as per the US media outlet.


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