Former President of the Soviet Union dies at 92, Russian news confirms

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UK Ambassador’s sadness

Sir Tony Brenton, former UK Ambassador to Russia from 2004–2008, has responded to Mikhail Gorbachev’s death, saying: “As I look back on history over my lifetime, undoubtedly the figure who has made the biggest difference to the state of the world today is Gorbachev.

“By introducing his reforms to the Soviet Union, by accident he destroyed communism and ended the Cold War.

“He was a very civilized man. I saw quite a lot of him when I was ambassador. He was a very avuncular father figure, who Russia would rather forget about him, and he was not the guy who impose Stalinist-type repression as some of his predecessors had been.

“He ended up as being rather sad about the way things in Russia were going.

“The reason for that sadness was his hope to integrate Russia into this broader European community of nations and that hope had visibly failed by the time I was ambassador.”

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