Mikhail Gorbachev Dead at 91

Parade in Red Square
Parade in Red Square

Mikhail Gorbachev the former President of the Soviet Union is dead at 91.

Gorbachev is cited as the man who ended the Cold War without bloodshed.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, forged arms reduction deals with United States President Ronald Reagan.

He also forged partnerships with Western countries that saw the fall of the Iron Curtain as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had called it, which had divided Europe after the Second World War.

As change came to the Soviet Union, Gorbachew refused to use the Soviet military to stop the forces of the people. This was a change from previous Soviet Presidents who had sent tanks to crush uprisings in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The protests fuelled aspirations for autonomy in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, which disintegrated over the next two years in chaotic fashion.

That swept President Gorbachev from power.