Covering Gorbachev

Wit, Wisdom, Warmth

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Mikhail Gorbachev died at the age of 91,  journalists around the world began sharing their Gorby stories, covering the last Soviet leader in Russia or abroad during the  three decades.

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They remember his temper and sense of humor, his sharp wit even in his later years, when he was willing to talk at length about his hopes and his regrets.

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Gorbachev came to power in 1985 with no less a goal than to transform the lives of the Soviet Union and its fellow citizens, who were still desperately poor.

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For an AP correspondent in Moscow at the time, “it was like covering the Games,” Andrew Cattell recalled.

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Journalists in Moscow had difficulty getting close to Gorbachev to ask these questions. When he went abroad, however, he was usually eager to press the body and talk to the press.

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"Gorbachev's wife, Raisa, made me feel a mixture of gratitude and shame at the miserable turnout," Rykman said.

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