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The legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev

The last Soviet leader has died aged 91. Meanwhile the war in Ukraine enters a new phase and Sweden votes.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has died at the age of 91 in Moscow. He was credited with bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end and ushering in an era of openness and reform in the Soviet Union, which ultimately led to its collapse.

Emily Tamkin in Washington DC is joined by Megan Gibson and Alix Kroeger in London to consider Gorbachev’s legacy and reactions to his death in Russia and around the world, as well as his relationship with Putin. They also discuss the latest from Ukraine, where the battle for Kherson has begun.

Then, the far-right Sweden Democrats have surged ahead in the country’s polls before a general election on 11 September. The team discuss what is behind the party’s popularity and why the centre-right bloc is now ready to cooperate with them to challenge the Social Democrats, led by the prime minister, Magdalena Andersson.

In You Ask Us a listener asks about the significance of flooding in Pakistan.

If you have a You Ask Us question for the international team, email podcasts@newstatesman.co.uk.

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Further reading:

Philippa Nuttall says that even Pakistan’s devastating floods won’t inspire a green revolution.

Emily Tamkin writes that Mikhail Gorbachev tried to unite the impossible – his failure was heroic.

Megan Gibson on the Nordic leaders’ fight against far-right misogyny.

Katie Stallard on the beginning of the battle for Kherson.

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