Reports: Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev dies at 91


(NewsNation) —  Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has died after a long illness, according to Russian news reports. Gorbachev turned 91 this year.

Gorbachev, who became the Soviet leader in 1985, ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, Reuters reports.

The last USSR leader left office in 1991 after watching republic after republic declare independence.

Some believe Gorbachev may have had a greater impact on the second part of the 20th century than any other political figure, but many Russians disliked him and blamed him for the fall of the Soviet Union.

FILE – Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev waves from the Red Square tribune during a Revolution Day celebration, in Moscow, Soviet Union, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1989. Russian news agencies are reporting that former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has died at 91. The Tass, RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies cited the Central Clinical Hospital. (AP Photo/Boris Yurchenko, File)

“I see myself as a man who started the reforms that were necessary for the country and for Europe and the world,” Gorbachev told The AP in a 1992 interview shortly after he left office.

“I am often asked, would I have started it all again if I had to repeat it? Yes, indeed. And with more persistence and determination,” he said.

For his role in ending the Cold War, Gorbachev received many awards from all over the world, including the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize.

According to Russian news agency Tass, Gorbachev will be buried next to his wife at Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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