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InterNations
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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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Kremlin Kids, Inc: How The Children Of Russia's Elite Keep Busy Avoiding The War

The offspring of Russia's elite were used to luxury loft apartments, expensive cars and carefree living. So how did Putin's mobilization for new troops impact them? As independent Russian news platform Vazhnyye Istorii found out, life essentially continues as normal.

A mansion in central Moscow

Sergei Karpukhin/TASS via ZUMA
Ekaterina Fomina

There's a famous quote about war by the late Russian General Alexander Lebed that is universally true: “Let me recruit a platoon of the children of the elite, and the war will be over in a day.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Vazhnyye Istorii, as one of the few remaining independent Russian news platforms, decided to investigate what the offspring of the Russian elite thought about Russia's "partial mobilization" that was announced in late September, and whether any of them had been called up.

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