Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to transform the Soviet Union ended the Cold War but inadvertently helped bring about his own country’s collapse, according to Russian news agencies. He is 91. According to the Associated Press, TASS, RIA Novosti and Interfax agencies cited the Central Clinical Hospital.
Gorbachev’s reign as the last Soviet prime minister from 1985 to 1991 was indelibly marked by two bywords: perestroika—literally “restructuring,” but referring to reform—and glasnost, or “openness,” symbols of an intent to shake off seven decades of turmoil. Authoritarian rule and fixed central planning. Hoping to return the Communist Party to its roots in Vladimir Lenin’s October Revolution of 1917, Gorbachev opened up the Soviet political system to broader political participation, public scrutiny, and a re-examination of the legacy of Joseph Stalin’s mass imprisonment and murder. National soul searching.