Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Gorbachev
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Mikhail Gorbachev

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev addresses a group of 150 business executives in San Francisco, June 5, 1990. Russian news agencies reported that former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has died at 91, citing a statement from the Central Clinical Hospital. David Longstreath/AP hide caption

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David Longstreath/AP

The Berlin Wall went up almost overnight in 1961; in November 1989, it began to crumble. Ullstein Bild via Getty Images hide caption

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Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

Opinion: 30 Years After The Berlin Wall

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Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (left) and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush share a light moment together outside the White House in 1990. Could they be discussing chicken? Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

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Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images

Nancy Reagan (left) and Soviet first lady Raisa Gorbachev both smile politely during a tension-filled tea in Geneva in 1985, while their husbands discussed nuclear disarmament. Dieter Endlicher/AP hide caption

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Dieter Endlicher/AP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, 3rd from left, place candles to commemorate the victims of the Wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday. Markus Schreiber/AP hide caption

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Markus Schreiber/AP