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Last Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev is Dead.

The Last Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has died at the age of 91, according to Russian media

Mr Gorbachev, who took over in 1985, is best known for opening up the USSR and for his rapprochement with the West, but he was unable to prevent his country collapsing in 1991. 

His policy of ‘glasnost’ – free speech – allowed previously unthinkable criticism of the party and the state, but also emboldened nationalists who began to press for independence in the Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and elsewhere.

The hospital where he died said he had been suffering from a long and serious illness.

Many Russians never forgave Mr Gorbachev for the turbulence that his reforms unleashed, as they felt the subsequent plunge in their living standards was too high a price to pay for democracy.

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