Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, died on Tuesday at the age of 91, hospital officials in Moscow said.
Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War Two and bring about the reunification of Germany.
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV: [SPEAKING RUSSIAN]
- Mikhail Gorbachev, who was lauded in the West as the man who helped bring down the Berlin Wall and end the Cold War without bloodshed, but was widely despised at home, has died. Russian news agencies reported he was 91. After decades of Cold War tension and confrontation, Gorbachev, the last Soviet president with a distinctive port-wine birthmark on his head, broke with the past. He helped to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe and bring about the reunification of Germany.
Gorbachev struck up a rapport with the West and with Ronald Reagan, the hawkish US President who had called the Soviet Union "the Evil Empire." Together they negotiated a landmark deal in 1987 to scrap intermediate-range nuclear missiles. And in the final months of his life, Gorbachev has seen much of his legacy destroyed, as President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has brought sanctions on Moscow and talks in both Russia and the West of a new Cold War.