Current and former world leaders took to social media to praise the late Soviet leader for ending the Cold War
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter following the announcement of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s death at the age of 91 on Tuesday, tweeting out a eulogy to the man she called a “trusted and respected leader.”
Gorbachev “played a crucial role to end the Cold War and bring down the Iron Curtain,” von der Leyen wrote, adding that this “opened the way for a free Europe.”
While Gorbachev’s policies resulted in the fall of the Soviet Union, the late president’s tenure was marked by a thawing of relations with the West, and a handful of other Western leaders joined von der Leyen in mourning his passing.
Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised “the courage and integrity he showed in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion,” taking time to fit in a jab at Russian President Vladimir Putin before concluding that Gorbachev’s “commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all.”
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called him a “champion of democracy” and a “man who changed the history of the 20th century,” mourning the loss of his “farsightedness and his serenity of judgment.”