Gallery: Mikhail Gorbachev in Estonia

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 91, visited Estonia in 1987.

Estonia was under Soviet occupation at the time and as such the Estonian SSR was one of the 15 constituent Soviet republics.

While on his official visit to Estonia, which took place in February 1987, Gorbachev visited (see gallery) the Marat production collective, a collective farm in Paide, and the Tallinn Polytechnic Institute (now Tallinn University of Technology - TalTech).

Widely seen as instigating reforms, under the taglines Perestroika (restructuring) and Glasnost' (openness), which were followed by, but not intended to result in, independence for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Gorbachev was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from March 1985 to August 1991.

He was also the first, and last, Soviet leader to have been born after the 1917 revolution. His wife, Raisa, passed away in 1999.

He was also reportedly a personal friend of Vaino Väljas, who was leader of the Communist Party of the Estonian SSR during the events leading up to Estonian independence, achieved in August 1991.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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