News analysis

Mikhail Gorbachev dies at 91: Beacon of hope leaves divided legacy

The former president of the Soviet Union was admired in the West but despised by political leaders at home. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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LONDON - Few people embodied both the hopes and failures of their country better than Mr Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union.

He came to power far too late to save the Soviet empire from disintegration, and left power far too early to have any practical impact on the Russia that emerged from the rubble.

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