The Last Leader of the Soviet Union Dead At 91
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, often associated with pushing perestroika and glasnost, died at the age of 91. His death was announced by Russian news agencies -- without a cause of death attached to any of the reports.
His radical reforms led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, although Gorbachev did not foresee nor seemingly want the rise of nationalistic, authoritarian Vladimir Putin.
In his six years as General-Secretary of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev challenged the old guard to change the tenor of Russia, hoping to bring about a more positive future.
His Lasting Legacy
While Gorbachev is thought by scholars to have remained a Marxist-Leninist Socialist, he wished to use creative thinking to tackle the needed reforms need to prevent the Soviet Union from becoming a Third World country and better serve its people.
While the old guard of the Soviet Union quickly regained a hold of power in Russia with Putin becoming an autocrat with his inner circle of warlords and oligarchs -- Gorbachev's courage for change at least gave Russia a chance to change.