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MOSCOW — Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is dead at the age of 91. Gorbachev was instrumental in taking down the Berlin wall, after some prompting from President Reagan in 1987 in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end. Gorbachev helped take down the long-standing “Iron Curtain” separating Eastern communist states and Western noncommunist states.

Gorbachev’s efforts to democratize his country’s political system led to the downfall of communism in Europe and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

President Biden is paying tribute to Mikhail Gorbachev after news of the former Soviet leader’s death. In a statement Tuesday, Biden called him “a man of remarkable vision.”

Biden served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during Gorbachev’s time as Moscow’s leader.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Gorbachev’s “tireless commitment to opening up Soviet society remains an example to us all.” French President Emmanuel Macron called him “a man of peace” who “changed our common history.”

Current Russian President Vladimir Putin released a statement expressing his condolences.