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Goodbye Mr. Perestroika: World's Front Pages Bid Adieu To Mikhail Gorbachev

International newspapers pay homage to the last of the USSR leaders.

Goodbye Mr. Perestroika: World's Front Pages Bid Adieu To Mikhail Gorbachev

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev waves at a Russian book launch event in 2015.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, died Tuesday from a long illness at the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow, at age 91. His six years at the head of the USSR, from 1985 to 1991, were notably marked by his role in bringing the Cold War to an end, changing the course of world history.

Born in 1931 in a poor peasant family of Russian and Ukrainian heritage in Privolnoye, Gorbachev grew up in the aftermath of the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 and under the rule of Joseph Stalin. After rising through the ranks of the Communist party, Gorbachev’s reforms ushered in a period of perestroika (“restructuring”) and glasnost (“openness”), contributing to the mostly peaceful end to the Cold War and eventually, the fall of the USSR.


Tributes have been pouring in from politicians and leaders across the world: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called Gorbachev "a one-of-a-kind statesman" while U.S. President Joe Biden paid tribute to a "rare leader" who worked for a better future.

At the same time, international commentators noted that his death came amid Russia’s current war against Ukraine, and renewed dangers of global conflict and nuclear perils, putting a new dark twist to his “ambivalent legacy,” as French daily Le Monde puts it.

Here’s how international outlets featured his passing on their front pages:

U.S. - The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Brazil - Estadao

"The last leader of the Soviet Union dies at 91" — Estadao

Switzerland - Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“Mikhail Gorbachev dies at 91” — Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Spain - ABC

“Goodbye mister perestroika” — ABC

Italy - Corriere Della Sera

“Farewell Gorbachev who changed the world”— Corriere Della Sera

UK - The Guardian

The Guardian

Austria - Kleine Zeitung

"This man wrote the history of the world" — Kleine Zeitung

Peru - El Comercio

“Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR who ended the Cold War, dies” — El Comercio

Ireland - Irish Independent

Irish Independent

Germany - Frankfurter Allgemeine

“Mikhail Gorbachev dies” — Frankfurter Allgemeine

Argentina - Clarin

"Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader who changed the world map” — Clarin

Canada - Toronto Star

Toronto Star

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Geopolitics

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023

Before heading to South Sudan to continue his highly anticipated trip to Africa, the pontiff was in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he delivered a powerful speech, in a country where 40 million Catholics live.

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — You may know the famous Joseph Stalin quote: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?” Pope Francis still has no military divisions to his name, but he uses his voice, and he does so wisely — sometimes speaking up when no one else would dare.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Belgian Congo, a region plundered and martyred, before and after its independence in 1960), Francis has chosen to speak loudly. Congo is a country with 110 million inhabitants, immensely rich in minerals, but populated by poor people and victims of brutal wars.

That land is essential to the planetary ecosystem, and yet for too long, the world has not seen it for its true value.

The words of this 86-year-old pope, who now moves around in a wheelchair, deserve our attention. He undoubtedly said what a billion Africans are thinking: "Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!"

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