Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram on Wednesday with deep condolences to the family and friends of Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and only USSR president who died at the age of 91 on Tuesday.
"Mikhail Gorbachev was a politician and statesman who played an influential role in world history," the telegram published on the Kremlin website reads. "He led this country in a period of radical changes, as well as large-scale challenges faced by foreign policy, economy and society. He felt reform was needed and strived to come up with his own solutions to the burning issues."
Gorbachev held the Soviet presidential post for six years. The politician proclaimed a new course almost immediately after his appointment as Secretary General of the Communist Party’s Central Committee in 1985, then he headed the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Gorbachev proposed to establish the post of president and abolished the Constitutional article on the leading role of the party. The Russian words of his invention, ‘perestroika’ and ‘glasnost’, entered many languages at the time. Gorbachev resigned as the President of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991 and that marked the end of the USSR.