He led the Soviet Union from 1985 until it was dissolved in 1991 after he introduced several social and economic reforms that were more popular abroad than at home.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the Soviet Union, has died.
Russian state television reported on Tuesday night that Mr Gorbachev died in Moscow at the age of 91.
He led the Soviet Union as the general secretary of the Communist Party from 1985 until it was dissolved in 1991 after he introduced several social and economic reforms that were more popular abroad than at home.
Mr Gorbachev also won the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for his reforms, which sought to develop the economy and introduce a more liberal society through policies like perestroika and glasnost.
His reforms contributed significantly to the end of the Cold War, and subsequently the collapse of the Soviet Union, which former American President Ronald Reagan described as “an evil empire.”
Mr Gorbachev was also known for improving relations with the West, and entered arms control treaties with the United States that altered the course of the global arms race.
Many Russians vowed never to forgive Mr Gorbachev for eroding their nationalism, but the former Communist Party’s general secretary had been widely judged in other parts of the world as a successful leader who altered modern history for good.