Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, marks 90th birthday on Zoom

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, was set to throw a Zoom party in quarantine to celebrate his 90th birthday on Tuesday, as President Vladimir Putin hailed him as an “outstanding statesman” who influenced the course of history. Gorbachev, who championed arms control and democracy-oriented reforms as Soviet leader in the 1980s, is widely credited with helping end the Cold War. His critics in Russia blame him for what they regard as the unnecessary and painful breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Gorbachev has been in quarantine in hospital for months as a precaution during the coronavirus pandemic, and will host a virtual party with close friends and staff from his foundation, Gorbachev’s spokesman Vladimir Polyakov said. “We’ll raise our glasses,” he said. “We’ll gather here and he’ll be there and we’ll see each other and make toasts.” Polyakov said messages of congratulations had rolled in from world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Putin, who has lamented the Soviet breakup, sent Gorbachev a congratulatory telegram, which was published on the Kremlin website. “You rightfully belong to the galaxy of bright, extraordinary people, outstanding statesmen of our time who have had a significant influence on the course of domestic and world history,” said Putin.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, marks 90th birthday on Zoom
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, was set to throw a Zoom party in quarantine to celebrate his 90th birthday on Tuesday, as President Vladimir Putin hailed him as an “outstanding statesman” who influenced the course of history. Gorbachev, who championed arms control and democracy-oriented reforms as Soviet leader in the 1980s, is widely credited with helping end the Cold War. His critics in Russia blame him for what they regard as the unnecessary and painful breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Gorbachev has been in quarantine in hospital for months as a precaution during the coronavirus pandemic, and will host a virtual party with close friends and staff from his foundation, Gorbachev’s spokesman Vladimir Polyakov said. “We’ll raise our glasses,” he said. “We’ll gather here and he’ll be there and we’ll see each other and make toasts.” Polyakov said messages of congratulations had rolled in from world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Putin, who has lamented the Soviet breakup, sent Gorbachev a congratulatory telegram, which was published on the Kremlin website. “You rightfully belong to the galaxy of bright, extraordinary people, outstanding statesmen of our time who have had a significant influence on the course of domestic and world history,” said Putin.