But Gorbachev was the first and last person to hold the title of Soviet president, unlike any other. After him, the Cold War and the Soviet Union no longer existed. And unlike the hardened men who were buried in his own grave or in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, Gorbachev will be buried next to his wife Raisa Gorbacheva at the Novodevichy Cemetery.
Until Raisa stepped onto the world stage, most of the wives of Soviet leaders were uncouth women, trapped in the shadows of public life. Suddenly she becomes her self-confident, well-educated woman, participating in her husband’s mission to transform Soviet society, a heroine to some citizens and an object of contempt by others. became.
As Gorbachev rose to the position of Soviet leader, he always put Raisa first and spoke with her on the phone several times a day, he said. The most traumatic moment in their public and personal lives came in August 1991, when hardliners staged a coup against Gorbachev and his reformers and sequestered the couple in a residence in Crimea. did. They were released three days after her, but Raisa suffered a stroke. In July 1999, she was diagnosed with leukemia and flew to Germany for her treatment.Two months later, a few days before her 46th wedding anniversary, she died at the age of 67.
I reported on Raisa’s memorial service held at the Russian Cultural Foundation, just one of the many civic groups she supported.Her husband and her only child Irina, Raisa’s sister Tatiana, sat sadly by her coffin.
That day I spoke with some of the people who came to pay their respects to Raisa… Thank God there are women like her!”
She was asked how she would describe the former president. “Romantic, very human, naive, good sense of humor, pacifist, modesty, all these traits are not needed in politics.”
One of the greatest gifts Mikhail Gorbachev gave his fellow Russians was to free them from the stereotypes of the Soviet Union and inspire them to live their lives on the basis of their individual freedom. Discuss what you want to talk about.
He himself was a real person, a “Cherovek”, as the Russians say, and so was his life partner Raisa.