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Former Soviet leader Gorbachev hospitalized, ‘determined to fight for life’

/ 11:27 AM October 10, 2014
Mikhail Gorbachev.  AP file  Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Mikhail Gorbachev. AP file Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW– Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, 83, has been hospitalized but is determined to fight for his life, Russian press agencies reported Thursday.

“My state of health has been moderate for a week and today I am in hospital. My health is deteriorating,” Gorbachev was cited as saying by Ria Novosti agency.

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“I’m hooked up to a monitor,” he added, without saying where or why he was hospitalized.

“You know my character. I am determined to fight for my life,” he told Interfax news agency.

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The last leader of the Soviet Union was hospitalized in June 2013 for a general check-up.

The Nobel Peace laureate has in recent years appeared tired during public appearances. He is diabetic, according to media reports.

Gorbachev became Soviet leader in 1985 and instituted the sweeping political and economic reforms that became known as glasnost (“openness”) and “perestroika” (rebuilding).

In 1991 his reforms gave the Moscow-controlled republics enough strength to declare independence, and for Russia together with Belarus and Ukraine to sign an agreement on the Soviet Union’s dissolution.

He has since lamented the Soviet Union’s collapse, explaining that his reforms were meant to save the crumbling country through modernization instead of breaking it apart.

Despite his broad global recognition, in recent years Gorbachev has played only a marginal role in Russian politics, though he has criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and called for him to give up power.

He presides over the Gorbachev Foundation for research and charitable programs.

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TAGS: Health, hospitalized, Mikhail Gorbachev, Politics, Russia, Soviet Union
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