Why Putin should learn from the legacy of Gorbachev - The Yorkshire Post says

Tributes have been pouring in for Mikhail Gorbachev, after the former Soviet leader died at the age of 91.

Mr Gorbachev was instrumental in helping bring an end to the Cold War, improving relations between the West and the Soviet Union. He was the last General Secretary of the

Communist Party of the Soviet Union as Russia embraced glasnost, openness. His efforts were recognised with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

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The former Soviet leader was a titan of diplomacy, whose actions brought down the Iron Curtain.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, died at the age of 91.Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, died at the age of 91.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, died at the age of 91.

Mr Gorbachev, like former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, loved to argue. In fact, Mrs Thatcher’s former press secretary Bernard Ingham described the first meeting between the two as them going at “each other hammer and tongs”.

“It was a meeting of argumentative minds,” he said. “They loved arguing and they went on and on.”

However, from the onset of that relationship it was clear that Mr Gorbachev wanted reform and was someone who the West could “do business with”.

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But while these two political heavyweights loved to argue, they had an underlying respect for each other.

It is a stark contrast to the current Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has dragged his country into an ugly war with Ukraine.

As Mr Ingham, who was born and raised in Yorkshire, says Eastern Europe was liberated because of Mr Gorbachev’s refusal to take military action.

He said: “The lesson for the future is if you want to make progress, and I don’t think they do in the Kremlin, then there are people in the West now, who will make progress with you but it’s progress towards peace and not world domination.”

Mr Gorbachev’s legacy should be a reminder to the Putin regime that aggression isn’t the way forward.