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World

Gorbachev was no saint. But he was a kind of hero

31 August 2022

8:08 AM

31 August 2022

8:08 AM

Mikhail Gorbachev is dead at the age of 91, and in a way I feel orphaned. I became fascinated by what was still then the Soviet Union in its late years of sclerosis, when one moribund geriatric at the top of the system succeeded another (the dark joke at the time went as follows: a KGB guard stopped someone at one of the state funerals and asked him if he had a pass – ‘oh,’ came the reply, ‘I’ve got a season ticket’).

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