Moscow residents skeptical of Gorbachev's legacy

STORY: "He did not fix his mistakes. He passed away without fixing them. And us - we are hostages of his stupidity. What can I say? God rest his soul, may God not judge him too severely," said Moscow resident Natalya Salimunkhina.

"I have a negative view of Mikhail Gorbachev's time in power. He did a lot of damaging things to our country. We are the ones facing the consequences," said Moscow resident Larisa Kalashnikova.

Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, died at the age of 91 in a Moscow hospital on Tuesday after two years of serious illness.

In six heady years between 1985 and 1991, he forged arms treaties with the United States, and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War Two and bring about the reunification of Germany.

But his internal reforms, combining economic and political liberalization, helped weaken the Soviet Union (USSR) to the point where it fell apart - a moment that President Vladimir Putin once called the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.