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A Look Back: Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s 2006 visit to Southwest Florida

Germany Obit Gorbachev
Markus Schreiber/AP
Flowers and a candle are placed at a bust of the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Axel Springer Publisher House in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Russian news agencies are reporting that former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has died at 91. The Tass, RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies cited the Central Clinical Hospital.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev died Tuesday at the age of 91 after a long illness.

As the only person to hold the title of President of the former Soviet Union, Gorbachev worked closely with President Ronald Reagan on key arms control deals that brought down the temperature of the Cold War. The 1990 Nobel Peace Prize recipient also oversaw the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Eastern Central Europe.

In March 2006, Gorbachev visited Southwest Florida and spoke before a crowd of thousands at Florida Gulf Coast University.

His address highlighted terrorism, poverty, and environmental issues as the world’s biggest threats and he encouraged the U.S. to be more inclusive and more involved in global affairs.

During that visit, he also spoke with former host of WGCU-FM’s Gulf Coast Life Russell Lewis. Click the “Listen” button at the top of the page to hear that conversation in full.

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