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Gorbachev’s home village remembers him well


PRIVOLNOYE, Russia (AP) — Residents of the far-away Russian village where he spent his youth have lauded Mikhail Gorbachev too as Moscow paid last respects to him. The Soviet Union’s reformist last leader grew up in Privolnoye. The village has a population of about 3,000 in southern Russia’s Stavropol region. Gorbachev was the son of peasants. He retained the region’s distinct accent until his last days and held onto a village-bred boy’s common touch. Gorbachev went away to Moscow around 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) to the north for university. He eventually returned to the region and began rising through the ranks of the communist system. Gorbachev died Tuesday at age 91. People in Privolnoye remembered him Saturday as someone who helped the village.

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