Former Soviet leader Mikheil Gorbachev, who came to power 25 years ago, may be a hero in much of the Western world for his role in ending the Cold War. At home, however, his legacy is more complicated. RFE/RL correspondent Kevin O'Flynn asked Muscovites for impressions of their history-making former leader.
Tatyana Yegorova, 40, English-language teacher at International University, which was set up by Gorbachev in 1991: "You know that, at a certain stage, it was very positive. There was a lot of progress; it was a completely different world. I rate that very positively, although if you look at it through the eyes of experts in various areas there were also major minuses."
Ivan Medintsev, 55, biologist: "I am positive and negative about Gorbachev. Positive because things began to change. Negative because they didn't go the right way -- because Russia, out of all the countries in the CIS, ended up in a dead end. It could have been completely different. That's why I'm half positive, half negative."
Valentin Botkin, 79, former engineer: "I consider Gorbachev the initiator of the collapse of the Soviet Union and view him unfavorably because the downfall of the union was a big tragedy. It was not only due to him. The downfall of the union was brought about because of the constant atmosphere of 'odobryamstvo' -- or sticking your hand up and agreeing to everything -- and the failings of the ruling party."
Nina Ivanova, 79, former factory worker: "What do you mean Gorbachev? First of all, he was cultured, I liked him. He made a good impression when he met with President [sic] Thatcher. Straight away, I thought, handsome. I want to say that I liked his Raisa, She was the first lady, beautiful, reserved, cultured, quiet, calm, and she dressed stylishly."
Mikhail Shchegalkov, 27, computer programmer: "I don't think about him. That wasn't my time; I was little then. I can't say what I think of him, I don't. I don't know much about the history of his politics....
"[What I know is] mainly negative and not positive. Mainly that that he started reforms and did not follow them through to the end, that he cast things aside half-done. That's the main thing."