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Putin Reacts to Death of Gorbachev, Last Soviet Leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his deepest condolences at the news of the death of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax news agency.

The statement came within an hour of the announcement that Mr Gorbachev had died, aged 91.

The two Russian leaders clashed ideoligically, with one report claiming earlier this year that Mr Gorbachev believed his life’s work has been undone by Mr Putin.

Mr Putin, who has led Russia in some capacity for more than two decades, was serving as a KGB officer in what was then East Germany for much of Mr Gorbachev’s reign. Though Mr Putin said he did not support the unsuccessful coup to remove Mr Gorbachev from office in 1991, much of his tenure has appeared aimed at reversing many of Mr Gorbachev’s policies.

Mr Putin considered the dissolution of the Soviet Union a humiliation, and has aggressively attempted to expand Russia’s influence and territory in Eastern Europe in recent years — a push that has culminated in the ongoing invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

A number of American political leaders, including Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Rep Dean Phillips of Minnesota favourably constrasted Mr Gorbachev with Mr Putin in their statements on Mr Gorbachev’s passing on Tuesday, with Mr Leahy saying that Mr Gorbachev “believed in a modern Russia and would never be the war criminal that Putin is.”

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, wrote on Twitter that “in a time of Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, his tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all.”

But Mr Gorbachev’s popularity in his native Russia did not nearly equal his popularity in the West. A 2017 poll found that just 15 per cent of Russians held a favourable opinion of the final Soviet president, who was born into a peasant family of mixed Russian and Ukrainian heritage in the Stavropol Krai region of the Soviet Union.

  • Richard says:

    The world has lost one of the greatest leaders who ended the Cold War and no-one noticed. Putin is trying to undue Russia and make it the worse than it was before as the communist regime.

    As all great leaders, Gorbachev is not recognized as being the greatest and peaceful individual who changed the world for better and who with single decision ended tyranny of soviet communist state imposed over central and eastern europe countries and former soviet republic states.

    Now, psychopath putin is trying to rewrite the history and ‘restore’ russia communist regime.

    • Erleebird says:

      I agree with you about Gorbachev’s place in history. I have admired his stance on peace long before the Berlin wall came down. He WAS definitely one of the world’s great leaders who left a substantial legacy behind!

  • PUTIN says:

    Yes. Yes I killed that nigga

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