‘A true man of peace’: what the papers say about the death of Mikhail Gorbachev | Mikhail Gorbachev

The familar face of Mikhail Gorbachev looks out from the front pages as many of Wednesday’s papers marked his death by heaping praise on the man who helped bring about the end of the cold war.

The Guardian has a large picture of the former Soviet leader and the headline “Mikhail Gorbachev 1931-2022: Soviet leader who ended the cold war dies aged 91”.

The front page report says Gorbachev would always be associated with his attempts to reform the old USSR “a process that he ultimately lost control of, leading to the country’s collapse”.

Guardian front page 31 August
Photograph: Guardian

The Times has very similar treatment with a large photograph of Gorbachev in his heyday and a report head “Gorbachev, USSR’s last leader, dies at 91”.

It notes that he won the Nobel peace prize in 1990 for his efforts to end the arms race with the United States, but was “widely hated” by Russians who resented their loss of superpower status and a collapse in living standards.

The Telegraph says “Gorbachev dies at 91” and its page one report says he was a “charming and modernising” figure hailed in the west while his reforms ended “sparking a sharp economic decline that set off nationalism in across the region and allowed the oligarchs” to gain control of state-owned assets.

The Metro is the only UK paper to lead on the news in the early editions and has the headline “World mourns a true man of peace”.

The German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine has the front page headline “Michail Gorbatschow gestorben” (“Mikhail Gorbachev has died”) and describes him in glowing terms for his role in the fall of the Berlin Wall paving the way for German reunification.

“The world-renowned politician was considered one of the fathers of German unity and a pioneer for the end of the Cold War,” it reports. “East Germans in particular still revere ‘Gorbi’, as they call him, as a statesman who brought them freedom more than three decades ago.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine
Frankfurter Allgemeine Photograph: Frankfurter Allgemeine

In Spain, El Mundo has the story on its front page with the headline “Gorbachov, el líder que abrió Rusia al mundo” (“Gorbachov, the leader who opened Russia to the world, dies”.

The Sun makes room for a small story on its front page and describes the late Soviet president as “peacemaker” who helped end the cold war. “Gorby dies at 91”, says the headline.

The Express also has a small spot on the front with the headline “Gorbachev, who end the Cold War, dies”.

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