Mikhail Gorbachev’s legacy

The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, died at the age of 91. Although he is often attributed with ending the Cold War and the fall of the Iron Curtain, Gorbachev’s legacy is not as pristine as some would like it to be.

According to UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, “Mikhail Gorbachev is one of those people who changed the world and unquestionably changed it for the better”.

However, Eastern European countries which suffered five decades of Soviet occupation and only regained independence when the Soviet Union collapsed have a less romanticised view of the former Soviet leader.

According to Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, it was a good thing that the reforms planned by Gorbachev did not end where he was aiming for them to end.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union, which was largely attributed to the last Soviet leader, was a result of the work of many people and organisations including Ronald Reagan, John Paul II and the Solidarity movement.