Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s final leader, dies

Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet president who took down the Iron Curtain

He felt he belonged to a generation of children of World War II

"Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening after a severe and prolonged illness,"

He was born in 1931 in Privolnoye, a village in southern Russia.

Gorbachev, a son of a poor farming family, had arrived on the world stage.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, he was seen by many abroad, including President Ronald Reagan, as a visionary