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Putin not to attend Gorbachev's funeral: Kremlin

Putin not to attend Gorbachevs funeral: Kremlin

Moscow: Kremlin stated on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not attend the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's funeral, Agence France-Presse reported.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the funeral and farewell ceremony, which is scheduled on September 3, cannot be attended by the President due to his work schedule and added which was unfortunate.

Peskov further said that Putin had already paid his last respects to Gorbachev at the hospital, Central Clinical Hospital, where he died.

Gorbachev co-founded Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was critical of Kremlin and exposed human rights abuses in Russia multiple times, IANS reported.

Though Gorbachev is known for his efforts to bring the Cold War to a peaceful end, a large section of the Russian population saw the leader as the one who destroyed the Soviet Union. Gorbachev resigned as President of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the nation dissolved into 15 independent states.

It was late on Tuesday, the Central Clinical Hospital Gorbachev, aged 91, dead. The hospital stated, "This evening, after a serious and long illness, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev died." He will be buried next to his wife in Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery, where Russia's famous politicians, writers and composers rest.

Gorbachev is internationally respected for his statesmanship. He made noble efforts in making groundbreaking treaties with the United States in the 1980s for nuclear disarmament and arms control. He also worked for the unification of Germany. His policies in his home country, "glasnost" (openness) and "perestroika" (restructuring), had served freedom to millions. He received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for his bold reforms.

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TAGS:RussiaVladimir PutinfuneralSoviet UnionMikhail Gorbachev
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