Mikhail Gorbachev: Last Soviet leader to be buried

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader who brought the Cold War to a peaceful end, will be buried in Moscow on Saturday - four days after he died.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the funeral because of his work schedule, the Kremlin says.

Last Soviet leader to be buried

However, this is widely seen as a snub to the man who oversaw the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Mr Gorbachev took power in 1985, introducing bold reforms and opening the USSR to the world.

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But he was unable to prevent the collapse of the union in 1991, and many Russians blame him for the years of turmoil that ensued.

Outside Russia, he was widely respected, with the UN Secretary General António Guterres saying he had "changed the course of history", and US President Joe Biden calling him a "rare leader".

The Gorbachev Foundation says the funeral ceremony will begin at 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT), with members of the public paying their last respects

But in the new Russia that emerged after 1991, he was on the fringes of politics, focusing on educational and humanitarian projects.

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