Kremlin announcement: Putin stays away from funeral service for Mikhail Gorbachev

He was the last head of state in the Soviet Union, but the current leadership in the Kremlin obviously sees little reason to honor the achievements of the late Mikhail Gorbachev.

Kremlin announcement: Putin stays away from funeral service for Mikhail Gorbachev

He was the last head of state in the Soviet Union, but the current leadership in the Kremlin obviously sees little reason to honor the achievements of the late Mikhail Gorbachev. In any case, Russia's President Vladimir Putin will stay away from the funeral service next Saturday.

"We know that the main ceremony and funeral will take place on September 3 - but the president's schedule does not allow him to be there," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Putin has already gone to the Moscow hospital where Gorbachev died and laid flowers on the coffin [see tweet above]. In other words: Putin doesn't have the time or doesn't want to take it.

However, Peskov emphasized that the ceremony in the Moscow Hall of Columns will have "elements" of a state funeral. This includes an honor guard. The government is also helping to organize funerals and memorial services. After the funeral service, Gorbachev is to be buried in the New Maiden Cemetery for celebrities - next to his wife Raisa, who died in 1999. In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the largely cut flight connections, it is unclear whether international guests will come to the funeral in Moscow.

Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91. He led the Soviet Union as its last president from 1985 to 1991. While he enjoys great respect in the West for his policy of glasnost and perestroika and is considered a pioneer of German unity, Gorbachev is hardly appreciated in Russia. Above all, he is blamed for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

With material from AFP

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