Mikhail Gorbachev applauds at a concert held in Moscow this February to celebrate his 75th birthday (epa)
November 22, 2006 -- Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is recovering after undergoing an operation in Germany.
His foundation said Gorbachev underwent an operation on November 21 on the carotid artery, a key artery in the neck that supplies blood to the brain.
The 75-year-old Gorbachev was hospitalized on November 19.
Mikhail Gorbachev in RFE/RL's Moscow bureau in August 2001 (RFE/RL)
AN UNCERTAIN LEGACY: According to a recent Harris poll, some 59 percent of European Union residents regard former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev as the best Soviet/Russian leader. Just 12 percent named Russian President Vladimir Putin and 4 percent picked former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Within Russia, the situation is quite different, with only 12 percent of Russians saying they have a positive impression of Gorbachev in a recent poll. Gorbachev has been a frequent guest in RFE/RL's studios, offering his assessment of key domestic and international events.