Hundreds of Russians said goodbye to Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday. The memorial service for the former Soviet President in Moscow took place without much pomp – and without Russian President Vladimir Putin either. He had previously claimed that there were scheduling difficulties.
Gorbachev, who is considered an important pioneer of German unity, died on Tuesday at the age of 91. He led the Soviet Union as its last president from 1985 to 1991. In Russia, Gorbachev is held responsible by many for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with it the decline in Russia's greatness.
Accordingly, no national day of mourning was declared for Gorbachev. Nevertheless, hundreds of Russians lined up in front of the Trade Union House in Moscow on Saturday to bid farewell to the former Soviet President. Gorbachev's body was laid out inside, with a large photo of the deceased hanging above it. Many mourners brought flowers and laid them in front of the open coffin.