Mikhail Gorbachev is dead: the last leader of the USSR and father of perestroika was 91 years old

Protagonist of many changes in the world, from perestroika to the end of the Cold War, in 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Sick for some time, he will be buried in the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow, next to his wife Raissa

  Gorbachev-dead 1920 Mikhail Gorbachev marked an era Photo

Farewell to Mikhail Gorbachev: the last leader of the USSR, the man who led to the end of the Cold War and who marked an entire era - from perestroika to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, from nuclear disarmament, to withdrawal from Afghanistan - he died in hospital after a long illness. He was 91 years old and had been ill for some time and had been hospitalized since July, on dialysis. Now he will be buried next to his wife Raissa in the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow. - Photo

Mikhail Gorbachev, life in pictures - photogallery

THE LIFE - Before giving power to his rival Boris Ielstin, Gorbachev was the absolute protagonist of the end of the Cold War. He was born into a farming family on March 2, 1931 in a village in the southern region of Stavropol. Trained in the Communist youth of the Komsomol, he graduated in law in 1955. It was in those years that he joined the Communist Party and met his future wife Raissa Titarenko. In 1970 he became party secretary of Stavropol and ten years later he returned to Moscow as the youngest member of the Politburo, under the protection of the head of the KGB Yuri Andropov. He began to travel and establish relationships of esteem and trust with the West, starting with his meeting with Margaret Thatcher in 1984. The following year, March 11, 1985, he became general secretary of the Communist Party at the age of 54.

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CHANGE EVERYTHING - Gorbachev revolutionizes everything. In 1986 he dictated his watchwords, Glasnost (transparency) and Perestroika (restructuring), to reform the economy and bring the rule of law into a socialist republic. He meets Ronald Reagan in Iceland to reduce nuclear arsenals and signs a historic treaty. In March there are the first free elections in the USSR. On 9 October 1989 the Berlin Wall collapsed, symbol of the Cold War, and we witness the reunification of Germany, with its endorsement. Not only that: he decides the return of troops from Afghanistan, reconnects relations with China, interrupted for thirty years and meets Pope Wojtyla in the Vatican: he is the first Soviet leader to do so. On October 15, 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 'his leading role in the peace process', for his contribution to changes in relations between East and West, and above all for the 'greater openness brought into Soviet society which contributed to promote international trust '. In a few years he has changed the world.

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THE PASSAGE OF DELIVERIES - The following year the negotiations begun with Reagan on nuclear disarmament resumed with George Bush and rehabilitates the most well-known dissidents, such as physicist Andrei Sakharov, after eight years of confinement. But for him 1991 was dramatic: in August he was kidnapped for three days in the presidential villa in Crimea, the victim of a coup by the conservative communists stopped only by the resistance of the Russian president Boris Ieltsin. The latter, on 8 December, signs the birth of the CSI, the Community of Independent States, with Ukraine and Belarus: the USSR no longer exists. If Gorbachev's fame remains unchanged abroad, reforms at home prove slow and unpopular, in the face of his exuberant rival, Ielstin. Gorbachev leaves on Christmas day. There is no lack of those who blame him for sending tanks to Lithuania against the first aspirations for independence or the silence for too many days about the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.

THE SANREMO FESTIVAL - Since then he has dedicated himself to conferences and meetings on peace and the environment. But he does not disdain more worldly invitations. In Italy, for example, he arrives with Raissa as a guest of Fabio Fazio at the Sanremo Festival. She, a year younger, says that it was the music that made them known, the waltz to be precise. The Maurizio Costanzo Show also interviews him, some time later. He will write in Libero the journalist: “His wife had recently died and I knew that he loved a Neapolitan song. Demo Morselli's orchestra hinted at a few notes and Gorbachev's eyes filled with tears '. But the withdrawal from politics does not hold back his judgments. Gorbachev openly attacks Vladimir Putin for his authoritarian drift, but defends him in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, as a defender of Russian interests. Sick for some time, since July he was hospitalized and on dialysis: he died in hospital at 91 years of age. And he will now be buried alongside his wife Raissa, who passed away from leukemia in September 1999.

Source: oggi.it