Gorbachev in 1987. Alamy Stock Photo
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Putin will not attend Mikhail Gorbachev funeral due to 'work schedule'

Gorbachev’s funeral ceremony will be held on Saturday in Moscow.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR Putin will not attend the funeral of the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev due to scheduling issues, his spokesman said.

“The farewell ceremony and funeral will take place on September 3 but unfortunately the president’s work schedule will not allow him (to attend),” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Peskov said that Putin had paid his last respects to Gorbachev at the hospital where he died on Tuesday, aged 91.

Russian state TV showed Putin placing a bouquet of red roses near Gorbachev’s open casket in a big empty hall before pausing for a moment of silence.

Gorbachev’s funeral ceremony will be held on Saturday in the Moscow Hall of Columns, historically used for funeral services of high officials, including Joseph Stalin in 1953.

The same day, Gorbachev will be buried at the prestigious Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow next to his wife Raisa, who died in 1999.

Peskov said that there will be “elements of a state funeral” for Gorbachev, including a guard of honour, and that the ceremony will be organised with the help of the state.

© AFP 2022

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