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Russian President Vladimir Putin not to attend Gorbachev's funeral, says Kremlin

Gorbachev's funeral that is scheduled to be held on Saturday will take place in the famous Hall of Columns inside Moscow's House of Unions, the same place where Josef Stalin's body was put on display following his death in 1953. The service will be open to the public and Gorbachev will then be buried at Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin not to attend Gorbachev's funeral, says Kremlin AJR
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First Published Sep 1, 2022, 5:07 PM IST

Kremlin on Thursday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend Saturday's funeral for the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, adding that he had paid tribute to the former President earlier today. The Kremlin also clarified that Putin will not be able to attend the event due to schedule constraints. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Putin on Thursday visited and laid a wreath at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital, where Gorbachev died on Tuesday, to pay his respects to the Soviet leader. 

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"Unfortunately, the president's work schedule will not allow him to do this on Sept. 3, so he decided to do it today," Peskov said.

The spokesman also said the funeral would have "elements" of a state funeral, including a guard of honour. He added that the state was helping with the organisation.

Gorbachev's funeral that is scheduled to be held on Saturday will take place in the famous Hall of Columns inside Moscow's House of Unions, the same place where Josef Stalin's body was put on display following his death in 1953. The service will be open to the public and Gorbachev will then be buried at Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery. 

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Earlier, Gorbachev had criticised the Russian President for controversially invading Ukraine. In a statement this year Gorbachev had said, "There is nothing more precious in the world than human lives. Negotiations and dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and recognition of interests are the only possible way to resolve the most acute contradictions and problems."

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader who was also behind the end of the Cold War without any bloodshed died on Tuesday at the age of 91. However, the leader was unable to prevent the fall of the Soviet Union.

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