Mikhail Gorbachev: Mourners’ tribute to the last Soviet leader

Mikhail Gorbachev: Mourners’ tribute to the last Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev: Mourners’ tribute to the last Soviet leader

Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. Photo: Collected

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Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. Photo: Collected

Mourners pay their last respects to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union and the key architect of the peaceful end to the Cold War, in the Russian capital Moscow. After the death of one of the world leaders who turned 91 on Tuesday, he is scheduled to be buried in Moscow’s largest cemetery on Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not attending the funeral due to his busy schedule, the Kremlin said, despite long lines of people paying their last respects to the Soviet leader. The media reported this information to the BBC.

However, the absence of President Putin at this funeral ceremony is seen as a kind of ‘rebuke’. It was under Gorbachev that the Soviet Union collapsed, in what Putin has called ‘the biggest geopolitical disaster of this century’.

Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985 and called for reforms in the Soviet Union that opened the vast continent to the world. But he was unable to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which in the eyes of many Russians made him culpable for the subsequent turmoil.

But he is a respected figure outside of Russia. In the words of the UN Secretary General, he was a ‘man who changed the course of history’, while in the words of US President Joe Biden, ‘he was a rare leader’.

Along with other Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev, long queues of people formed to pay their respects after the remains of Mikhail Gorbachev were placed in the columned hall of the historic House of Union in Moscow. Later today, he will be buried next to his wife Raisa’s grave in Novodevichy, Moscow’s largest cemetery.

But although he did not attend the funeral, President Putin expressed deep respect for the memory of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, saying he had “a huge influence on the course of history”. He also said, ‘He understood where reforms were necessary and solved complex problems himself’. Putin paid his respects by laying flowers on Gorbachev’s coffin on Thursday.

The fact that Saturday’s funeral was not a state event means that the current Kremlin leadership has little interest in honoring Mikhail Gorbachev.


The article is in Bengali

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