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Ronald Reagan Counterpart Mikhail Gorbechev, the Last Leader of the Soviet Union, Dead at 91

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbechev passed away on Tuesday. He was 91 and died after “a long and grave illness.

Gorbechev was the Soviet leader from 1985 until 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved.

It was President Ronald Reagan who is credited with pushing the Soviet Union to its downfall. Reagan’s defense strategy and his diplomacy were vital factors in ending the Cold War.

Gorbechev later attended Ronald Reagan’s funeral in Washington DC.

And Gorbechev opened the Soviet Union to companies like Pizza Hut.

USA Today reported:

One of the major global political figures of the second half of the 20th century, Gorbachev presented a more modern, friendlier face to the rest of the world than that of his predecessors atop the Soviet regime, even if he didn’t intend to have it fall apart.

Ultimately, he was pushed by democratic activists led by Moscow’s mayor, Boris Yeltsin, to abolish the Communist Party, eliminating a totalitarian regime that had taken over Eastern Europe and spread communism worldwide.

Gorbachev served as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in effect its leader, and in 1990 he became the Soviet Union’s first president.

Under his rule, the Soviets began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 1988, ending a disastrous 10-year military campaign that saw 15,000 Soviet soldiers and about 1 million Afghan civilians killed.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his efforts at arms control in which he and President Ronald Reagan agreed to the first reductions in nuclear stockpiles between the two nations.

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