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Mikhail Gorbachev’s funeral is on Saturday

The funeral of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the former Soviet Union, will be held next Saturday. He died last Tuesday at the age of 91 in a hospital in Moscow. This was reported by Russian news agencies, citing Gorbachev’s daughter and a spokesperson for his foundation.

The funeral will be open to the public, Tass news agency quoted Gorbachev Foundation press secretary Vladimir Polyakov as saying. Gorbachev will then be buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin will soon decide where Gorbachev will be awarded the state honor.

The RIA news agency later quoted Pavel Palazchenko, head of media relations at the Gorbachev Foundation, as saying that the Hall of Columns event would be organized by the Protocol Service Department of the Putin administration. He said, there is no information about whether this event will be considered as a state funeral or not.

After the opening of the Novodevichy Cemetery in the 16th century, influential politicians, intellectuals, poets and members of the royal family were buried there. Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s political rival and Russia’s first president, is also buried there. Gorbachev will be buried in this cemetery next to his wife Raisa. Raisa died in 1999.

Boris Yeltsin died in 2007. Successor President Vladimir Putin declared a day of national mourning for his death. It will be announced later whether Putin will attend Gorbachev’s funeral or not, Tass quoted Peskov as saying.

Putin sent a telegram of condolences to Gorbachev’s relatives earlier in the day on Wednesday. The Kremlin hailed Gorbachev as an outstanding global statesman who played a role in ending the Cold War. But the Kremlin believes he was very wrong about the prospect of rapprochement with the “bloodthirsty” West.

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