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Russia

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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Russia

The Prigozhin Method: Inside Wagner Group's Russian Prison Recruitment

An inmate of the penal colony in the town of Kopeysk reveals the different ways convicts are recruited in the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, whose founder and Putin confidante Yevgeny Prigozhin personally sought the most violent criminals with vows to pay big sums and expunge their sentences.

Photo of a group of ​prisoners walking inside a penal colony in Mozzhukha, Russia

Prisoners at a penal colony in Mozzhukha, Russia

Yulya Krasnikova

The Wagner Group, also known as Wagner PMC, is a private military force with close links to Vladimir Putin. Officially, they do not exist. Their presence in Ukraine made headlines and caused concern as UN investigators and rights groups have accused the group of targeting civilians and conducting mass executions.

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The group first emerged in 2014, reportedly financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and associate of Putin. Videos emerged online of Prigozhin recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine in exchange for shortened sentences. Just last week a new video emerged of the execution of the Russian prisoner Evgeny Nuzhin who had joined Wagner and later surrendered to the Ukrainian army and testified against the Russians. The video in question shows Wagner recruits executing Nuzhin by smashing in his head with a sledgehammer.

Independent exiled Russian news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii was the first to report on the recruitment of convicts to the Wagner PMC in July from the St. Petersburg area, which has since expanded to penal colonies in the Ural, Siberia, the Far East, and even the Arctic Circle.

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