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Thousands Paid Ultimate Tribute To Last Soviet Leader “Mikhail Gorbachev”

 

Thousands of Russian people have paid their ultimate tribute to the last Soviet president “Mikhail Gorbachev”, who brought an end to the cold war.

Many people queued for hours to file past his coffin in a historic hall where former Soviet leaders lay in state.

But unfortunately, Gorbachev who oversaw the breakup of the USSR was not honoured with a state funeral.

Russia’s president “Vladimir Putin”, who has described the end of the union the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”, didn’t participate in the funeralservice.

Read Also: President Vladimir Putin will not attend late Gorbachev’s funeral¬†

According to the Kremlin’s official explanation: No space in his schedule.

As people made their way inside the Columned Hall of the House of Unions, sombre music played – a huge black and white portrait of late “Gorbachev” hanging from the balcony.

The former president was layed in an open coffin, flanked by a guard of honour. Whereas his daughter and other family members sat there as people lay flowers on him. Soon, there was a sea of red carnations.

Columned Hall is the place where that Mr Gorbachev’s predecessors, Soviet leaders like Lenin, Stalin and Brezhnev, lay in state too.

A lot of Russians have blamed “Mikhail Gorbachev” for launching reforms which caused economic pandemonium and under him the Soviet Union fall was collapsed.

But in the streets around the Hall of Unions, long lines of Muscovites – young and old – queued up to pay their respects.

“Gorbachev gave us hope, helped us dream of liberty,” Stanislav tells the BBC journalist. “I hope our society is not saying goodbye to liberty.”

“This is a farewell to the person who has done his utmost to save the country from authoritarianism, from backwardness,” says Olga, a pensioner and long-time Gorbachev fan.

Veteran liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky was among them, saying: “These people came to Gorbachev to say ‘Thank you Mr Gorbachev. You gave us a chance, but we lost this chance.”

As the former leader’s coffin was carried into the Novodevichy Cemetery, heading the funeral procession was his close friend and Nobel peace prize laureate “Dmitry Muratov”. The journalist held up a portrait of the late Soviet leader.

Lining the path to the grave were an assortment of wreaths – from Mr Gorbachev’s family, his comrades, government departments and foreign embassies.

When the coffin was lowered into the grave, a military band played the Russian national anthem and a gun salute rang out in his honour.

Gorbachev was buried closed to his wife “Raisa”, who died in 1999.

 

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