Mikhail Gorbachev: Last Soviet leader to be laid to rest

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Four days after passing away at age 91, Mikhail Gorbachev, the final Soviet leader to bring the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion, will shortly be buried in Moscow. As per the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the funeral due to his work commitments.

But many people view this as a slight against the guy who managed the dissolution of the Soviet Union. When Gorbachev came to power in 1985, he enacted radical changes and opened the USSR to the outside world.

However, he was powerless to stop the union’s dissolution in 1991, and many Russians hold him responsible for the years of unrest that followed. He was well-liked outside of Russia, and UN Secretary General António Guterres claimed that he had “changed the course of history.”

The funeral service will start at 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT), according to the Gorbachev Foundation, with the public expressing their respects to Gorbachev.

Like numerous of his Soviet forebears, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leonid Brezhnev, he will lie in state in the ancient Columned Hall of the House of Unions.

Also read | Putin hasn’t forgiven Gorbachev yet 

Later on Saturday, Gorbachev will be laid to rest in Novodevichy, the biggest cemetery in Moscow and the final resting place of many notable Russians. His wife Raisa, who passed away from leukaemia in 1999, will be buried next to him.

“He deeply understood that reforms were necessary, he strove to offer his own solutions to urgent problems,” the Russian leader said.

On Thursday, he also discreetly placed flowers at Gorbachev’s casket.

As per the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow, the fact that Saturday’s event won’t be a state funeral indicates that the present Kremlin leadership has little interest in preserving Gorbachev’s legacy.

It was clearly known that the relationship between Gorbachev and Putin was tense.

Their last meeting, according to reports, was in 2006, and the Russian president once referred to the fall of the USSR as the “biggest geopolitical calamity of the century.”

Gorbachev most recently reportedly disapproved of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although having supported the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

His health had been deteriorating and he had been in and out of the hospital in recent years. He was admitted in June, according to news reports from throughout the world, after developing kidney problems.

Also WATCH | Gravitas: Putin will not attend Gorbachev’s funeral

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