According to the Central Clinic Hospital in Moscow, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev has passed away after battling a prolonged kidney illness which he was placed on dialysis for sometime earlier this year.
Gorbachev was a Russian and former Soviet politician. The eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991. He was also the country’s head of state from 1988 until 1991, serving as the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and president of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Ideologically, Gorbachev initially adhered to Marxism–Leninism, and he had moved towards social democracy by the early 1990s.
In 1986, he and his advisers adopted glasnost as a political slogan, together with the term perestroika. Which gradually opened the Soviet Union, eventually presiding over its collapse in 1991. Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in bringing down Cold War tensions.
Gorbachev was also an outspoken critic of President Putin towards the end of his life. Writing for Times Magazine in 2016, he said “Right now it is mostly up to the authorities to make the first move. For them to carry on along the path of tightening the screws, passing laws to restrict people’s rights and freedoms, attacking the media and civil society organizations is destructive and will ultimately lead nowhere”, when broaching the subject of Russian citizens and government facing an exasperating separation. That situation has since worsened since the crackdown on dissent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 24th, 2022.
In July 2022, journalist Alexei Venediktov revealed that the former Soviet president was “upset” over how things have turned out in Ukraine.
“Gorbachev’s reforms – political, not economic – were all destroyed,” Venediktov said. “Nilch, zero, ashes.”