Mikhail Gorbachev, the Last Soviet President who ended Cold War, Passes Away at age of 91

Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev Passes Away: Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the erstwhile Soviet Union, passed away at the age of 91. Gorbachev played a crucial role in ending the Cold War but couldn’t avoid the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991.

Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev

Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev Passes Away: Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the erstwhile Soviet Union, passed away at the age of 91.Earlier, his office had issued a statement saying that he was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Moscow. Mr Gorbachev played a crucial role in ending the Cold War without any bloodshed. Gorbachev served as the President of the Soviet Union from 15th March 1990 to 25th December 1991 until the dissolution of the USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He also served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991.

The news about the demise of the Last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was confirmed by the Russian News Agency Sputnik on Tuesday. The agency cited sources from the Central Clinical Hospital where he was undergoing treatment saying "Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening after a serious and long illness.”

Highlights from Political Career

Many experts who have studied USSR and its fall have said that Gorbachev was ideologically inclined towardMarxism–Leninism during the initial phase of his political life. However, after assuming office in 1985, he moved towards Social Democracy undertaking major reforms within the USSR and even with the world outside.

Internal Reforms and Glasnost: Internally within USSR, he adopted the policy of Glasnost or freedom of speech, which was a major change in the Communist Unionwhich earlier regimes had put severe restrictions on.As part of political reforms within the USSR, he also released thousands of political prisoners and their dissidents in his tenure. He also implemented institutional changes to reduce party control of the government apparatus. In 1989, when pro-democracy protests erupted in Eastern EuropeCountries that were part of the Soviet Union, Mr Gorbachev refrained from using force to quell the protests. However, this eventually weakened the Union and led to its collapse in 1991.

Opened Up USSR to the World: Another key policy of Mikhail Gorbachev which is hailed is his foreign policy which opened up the Communist Republic to the World. Reaching out to the west, Gorbachev forged arms reduction deals with the United States and their western allies. He also played a key role in removing the Iron Curtain which had divided Europe since World War II.

Perestroika: This was an economic reform and reconstruction programme aimed at restructuring the Soviet economy which was suffering heavily from inflation and supply shortages. The policy offered greater autonomy in production and other market-like reforms. As part of his economic restructuring,Gorbachev allowed the loosening of price control and encouraged more entrepreneurism by removing restrictions on private businesses.

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