Voices Pope Francis: 'I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it'

Is he doomed to play the role of Mikhail Gorbachev to an organisation long as secretive as the Kremlin?


When the Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989, there was talk of a golden age of peace and prosperity. The reality has proved more difficult. With hindsight, was all that euphoria misplaced? Steve Crawshaw reflects on a turbulent decade of democracy, year by year

Loved by Russia at last, Raisa is buried

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, the former Soviet leader who taught Russians to be true to themselves, wept openly yesterday at the funeral of his wife, Raisa.

Leading Article: A woman of substance, and a symbol for Russia

RAISA GORBACHEV, wife of the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, was praised in the West for her elegance, and for the contrast to all the frumpiness that came before. She was the public face of Gorbachev's reforms; her self-confidence and modernity seemed to embody all the changes that her husband was trying, against all the odds, to introduce. Nobody had seen anything quite like it before.

First lady Russia finally learnt to love dies at 67

RUSSIANS WOULD be the first to admit their strange national propensity for envying others their success, yet pitying them in misfortune. That was how they treated Raisa Gorbachev, who died of leukaemia in a German hospital yesterday.

Comeback for Gorbachev no longer fantasy

WITH MIKHAIL GORBACHEV'Spolicy of glasnost (openness), the Kremlin leader from 1985 to 1991 held a mirror up to Russians and made them look at themselves. Brainwashed by Soviet propaganda, manybelieved they lived in the greatest country in the world. The mirror showed them they were capable of terrible cruelty to their fellows, they drank too much, their economic system was hopelessly inefficient and their bureaucrats were corrupt. They hated the man who made them face the truth.

Obituary: Raisa Gorbachev

FOR A few years in the middle and late 1980s, Raisa Gorbachev was a global celebrity, her country's attempted transformation made flesh. From the moment she first appeared on the international stage during her husband's 1984 visit to Britain and was hailed as a Soviet version of the Princess of Wales, she was a figure of fascination.

Raisa Gorbachev close to death

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV is by his wife's bed night and day, praying for a miracle. Raisa Gorbachev is hovering at death's jaws at the Munster clinic where she has been receiving treatment for leukaemia for nearly two months.

Farewell to a Morris Minor of the heavens

I shall miss Mir hugely. It made space human, unpredictable and therefore interesting.

Ailing Raisa treated in West

RAISA GORBACHEV, the glittering first lady during the last days of the Soviet Union, is seriously ill in hospital in Germany, her husband's spokesman said yesterday. Mikhail Gorbachev was at his wife's bedside in Munster, Germany, where she arrived on Monday for medical tests after deciding to be treated abroad.

Golf: Parnevik in pursuit of perfection

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Obituaries: Marshal Viktor Chebrikov

VIKTOR CHEBRIKOV'S rise in the Soviet state and party apparatus was a model of the patronage system, especially with Leonid Brezhnev in power.

The Balkans Truce: History - Wars start in pomp but end in tents or

WARS END, as they begin, in a myriad settings. They may start with a proclamation in parliament or a sneak invasion, with the drumroll despatch of a great army or the tiniest guerrilla skirmish. They can end in great hotels, in courthouses and schoolhouses, in railway carriages, and aboard ships. But most often perhaps, as the one over Kosovo is about to do, in a tent.

Works of Lenin hid Yeltsin's bottles

BORIS YELTSIN may have hoped to go down in history as a great reformer but future generations are likely to remember him as a hero with tragic flaws.

The last comrade

The spaceman who went up a Soviet and came back a Russian ... and lived to star in the film. By Robin Buss

The Independent Archive: 8 April 1989 - Royal invitation confirms accord

The Queen has been invited to visit the Soviet Union. Anthony Bevins and Rupert Cornwell report
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