The funeral service for the former Soviet head of state took place on Saturday. There were also some prominent faces from politics.
Thousands of people bid farewell to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow on Saturday. Mourners walked past the open coffin flanked by guards of honor and laid flowers. Gorbachev’s daughter Irina and his two granddaughters sat next to the coffin. In contrast to previous Kremlin chiefs – such as his successor Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) – Gorbachev did not get a state funeral
Former President and Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev also attended the funeral ceremony at the House of Trade Unions near the Kremlin. A number of foreign politicians were also expected to attend the ceremony, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions against Russia over Russia’s military deployment in Ukraine.
Heads of state have entry bans
Without the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, numerous high-ranking politicians would have come to Moscow to pay their last respects to Gorbachev. Many politicians from Western countries, such as US President Joe Biden, were also unable to attend because the Russian side imposed entry bans on them in response to Western sanctions. In addition, Russian airspace is currently closed to aircraft from “unfriendly EU countries”.
Gorbachev died Tuesday at the age of 91. He was to be buried on Saturday at the Novodevichy Cemetery next to his wife Raisa. Gorbachev did not receive a state funeral, and President Vladimir Putin did not take part in the celebrations either. The Kremlin referred to the President’s busy schedule as justification.