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Mikhail Gorbachev, the final president of the Soviet Union, dies at age 91

Mikhail Gorbachev, one of the great leaders of the 20th century and the man who transformed history by bringing about the fall of the Soviet Union, passed away in Moscow at the age of 91.

Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday that Gorbachev had passed away at a major hospital in Moscow “after a serious and protracted illness.”

The final living leader of the Cold War, Gorbachev served as president from 1985 to 1991 and was instrumental in thawing icy relations between the US and the Soviet Union.

His reforms as the leader of the Soviet Union changed his nation and enabled Eastern Europe to break free from Soviet authority, making his life one of the most significant of its era.

He was lauded in the West for the changes he brought about and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, but many Russians despised him for ending their nation’s status as a powerhouse.

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and began an offensive in Ukraine earlier this year, tensions between the Kremlin and the White House reached Cold War levels, and he spent much of the last two decades on the political periphery, occasionally calling for the Kremlin and the White House to mend relations.