Goodbye Mr. Perestroika: World's Front Pages Bid Adieu To Mikhail Gorbachev
International newspapers pay homage to the last of the USSR leaders.
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
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
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
Germany - Frankfurter Allgemeine
“Mikhail Gorbachev dies” — Frankfurter Allgemeine
Argentina - Clarin
"Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader who changed the world map” — Clarin
Canada - Toronto Star
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