Mikhail Gorbachev Dies at 91

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who played a pivotal role in ending the Cold War, died Tuesday at the age of 91.

Citing the hospital that treated him, he said he died of a "serious and prolonged illness".

Gorbachev's trademark policies of glasnost and perestroika helped open up the Soviet economy and liberalize society in the late 1980s

face his past and confront Western leaders on gun control.

He also oversaw the withdrawal of Soviet troops for about a decade.

military campaign in Afghanistan, as well as the way the USSR handled Chernobyl.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, he was seen by many foreigners

including President Ronald Reagan, as a visionary.

But his legacy is complicated at home, where many considered him the man who brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union.