Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev dies at 91
Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, died at the age 91 on Tuesday.
When pro-democracy protests rocked Soviet bloc nations in communist Eastern Europe in 1989, Gorbachev refrained from using force.
Gorbachev - who was briefly deposed in an August 1991 coup by party hardliners - struggled vainly to prevent that collapse.
On becoming general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in 1985, aged just 54, he had set out to revitalise the system.
last Soviet president, forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers.