- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

MOSCOW (AP) - Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has presented a new book about his life and times ahead of his 85th birthday.

The 700-page book called “Gorbachev in Life” is a collection of memoirs, interviews, letters, documents and articles by him and others.

In presenting the book on Monday, Gorbachev said: “The more I think about my life, the more I see that the biggest and most important events took place unexpectedly. Absolutely.”

After assuming the Soviet leadership in 1985, he introduced the policies of glasnost and perestroika aimed at allowing greater openness and reform in the communist country. Instead, he oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Gorbachev said he hopes the book will help Russians understand their current history.

Gorbachev turns 85 on Wednesday.

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