Putin denies Gorbachev a state funeral and will stay away

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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via video link in Moscow, Russia Aug. 31, 2022. Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS EDITORIAL ATTENTION – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

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MOSCOW, Sept. 1 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will miss the funeral of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Gorbachev, idolized in the West for allowing Eastern Europe to escape Soviet communist control but unloved at home by the chaos his “perestroika” reforms unleashed, will be buried on Saturday after a public ceremony at the Columns Hall in Moscow.

In the main hall, within sight of the Kremlin, the funerals of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev were held. Gorbachev will be given a military honor guard, but his funeral will not be a state funeral.

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State television showed on Thursday that Putin solemnly laid red roses next to Gorbachev’s coffin — left open as is customary in Russia — at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, where he died on Tuesday at the age of 91.

Putin made a sign of the cross in the Russian Orthodox fashion before briefly touching the rim of the coffin.

“Unfortunately, the president’s work schedule does not allow him to do this on September 3, so he decided to do it today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He said Gorbachev’s ceremony would have “elements” of a state funeral, and that the state helped organize it.

Nevertheless, it will be a stark contrast to Yeltsin’s funeral, who played a major role in sidelining Gorbachev when the Soviet Union fell apart and singled out Putin, a career KGB intelligence officer, as the man best suited. was to succeed him.

When Yeltsin died in 2007, Putin declared a national day of mourning and attended a grand state funeral with world leaders at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

Russia’s intervention in Ukraine appears to be aimed at at least partially reversing the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Gorbachev failed to prevent in 1991.

Gorbachev’s decision to let the post-war communist Soviet bloc countries do their own thing and reunite East and West Germany helped spark nationalist movements within the 15 Soviet republics that he was unable to suppress.

Five years after taking power in 2000, Putin called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century”.

It took Putin more than 15 hours after Gorbachev’s death to publish a low-key condolence message saying Gorbachev had a “huge impact on the course of world history” and “deeply understood that reforms were necessary” to address the problems of the Soviet Union in 1980.

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Peter Graff

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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