Thousands Attend Gorbachev Funeral

Photo: EPA [via BBC]

The Facts

  • On Sat., thousands of Russians attended the funeral of former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev who passed away last week. To accommodate the high number of attendees the two-hour ceremony was extended an additional two hours.

  • He was laid to rest next to his late wife Raisa at the Novodevichy cemetery, where several prominent Russian leaders have been buried, including the country's first post-Soviet president, Boris Yeltsin.

The Spin

Narrative A

Gorbachev and his willingness to stand up for democracy and freedom were well received across the world. His achievements, humility and the many awards and accolades he received for his statesmanship show his true character. It's shameful that, after all these years, he remains disliked and discarded by the people of his homeland.

Narrative B

Gorbachev wasn't a supporter of the western democratic model, but of the Soviet Union. Policies like glasnost and perestroika - that western media are trying to argue were democratic reforms - were designed to improve the USSR by fostering better communication and kickstarting Soviet institutions. We can only be thankful Gorbachev didn't understand the true consequences his reforms would eventually have.

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