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Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union who helped end the Cold War without bloodshed, has died in hospital on Tuesday, August 30. He was 91.
Staff at the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow said the statesman died on Tuesday night “after a serious and protracted disease.” No other details were given.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed “deep sympathies” over Gorbachev’s death, a Kremlin spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that Putin, a former KGB agent who had an ambiguous relationship with Gorbachev, will send a telegram of condolences to the late leader’s family and friends on Wednesday morning.
The official news agency TASS reported Gorbachev will be buried at Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife.
The world reacts
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Gorbachev was “a one-of-a kind statesman who changed the course of history.”
Guterres said the former Soviet leader did more than any other individual to bring about a peaceful end to the Cold War.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also hailed Gorbachev as a “trusted and respected” leader who helped bring down the Iron Curtain, while French President Emmanuel Macron said “his commitment to peace in Europe changed our common history.”