Former President of Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev passed away on Tuesday aged 91 years, informed the Russian news agency.
Gorbachev is known as the man who ended Cold War, but he failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sputnik News Agency cited the hospital to report the he had died after a serious and long illness.
The agency reported, “Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening after a serious and long illness,” citing the Central Clinical Hospital.
Gorbachev was the last leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was a young and dynamic soviet leader with the vision to reform the communist regime on the lines of democratic principles by giving some freedom to the citizens.
He refrained from using force even when pro-democracy protests took over the Soviet Union of communist Eastern Europe in 1989.
Gorbachev had recognized the policy of Glasnost or freedom of speech which had been severely curtailed during the previous regime. He began a program of economic reform called Perestroika or restructuring which was necessitated by the Soviet economy suffering from hidden inflation and supply shortages. During his regime, the press and artistic community enjoyed cultural freedom as well.
The last USSR President, Gorbachev lauched several radical reforms meant to reduce party control of the government apparatus. Thousands of political prisoners and dissidents were released from imprisonment under him.
He is also credited with the success of the nuclear disarmament agreement with the United States of America winning him the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to the New York Times, the first five years of Gorbachev’s rule witnessed significant accomplishments. He presided over an arms agreement with the United States to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons for the first time.
Gorbachev also began the withdrawal of most Soviet tactical nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe. He withdrew Soviet forces from Afghanistan, an admission that the invasion in 1979 and the nine-year occupation had been a failure, US media outlets reported.