Alexey Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader who is currently in prison, has reacted to the death of Mikhail Gorbachev, calling him “one of the few leaders who did not use power for personal profit and enrichment,” as per Navalny’s Telegram channel.
“Prison radio reported the death of Mikhail Gorbachev. It was under his rule that the last political prisoners were released in the USSR. The fact that today people like me find out about his death through loudspeakers in their prison cells perfectly characterises the transformation of my country initiated by this outstanding man.” Navalny noted that his attitude toward Gorbachev “evolved from savage irritation to sad respect.”
“When it turned out that those "radical democrats" I adored were mostly thieves and hypocrites, Gorbachev remained one of the very few who did not use power and opportunities for personal gain and enrichment.
He stepped down peacefully and voluntarily, respecting the will of his constituents. This alone is a great feat by the standards of the former USSR. I am sure that his life and history, which were pivotal to the events of the late XX century, will be evaluated far more favourably by posterity than by contemporaries. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mikhail Gorbachev.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and co-founder of Novaya Gazeta, passed away yesterday evening at the age of 91. It is reported he has been suffering from a kidney disease in recent years. He will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery next to his wife Raisa, the date of his burial is to be determined later.