HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” That line from President Ronald Reagan is perhaps the popular American memory of the Soviet Union’s eighth and final leader.
But Mikhail Gorbachev also infused reform that eventually led to the downfall of the communist empire. Gorbachev died Tuesday at the age of 91.
The son of peasants, he became the architect of Perestroika and Glasnost, or restructuring and openness. As the communist world order unraveled under his watch, Gorbachev garnered praise from much of the free world for his support of a landmark arms control agreement with the U-S, and for his rejection of force to stop the push for freedom in the Soviet bloc.
For this, he was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize. But he also endured blame from hardliners for the U.S.S.R’s fall from superpower status.
10 On Your Side was there when Gorbachev visited Virginia in 1993 touring the University of Richmond as well as Virginia Commonwealth University.
Watch the archived reports from 10 On Your Side below:
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.