The end of Mikhail Gorbachev, an unheroic hero

By Nina Bachkatov

A deluge of comments has been published since the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, passed away on 30 August. No doubts he was different from his predecessors, notably by his approach of power and image well before P.R. invaded political action. After his election as general secretary of the Soviet Union Communist Party, in March 1985, Soviet media had published his official pictures, in line with decades old traditions of portraying leaders with smooth faces defying age – and reality. Gorbachev immediately banned the practice, ordering his pictures to show the characteristic red spots on his scalp.

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