dpatopbilder - 03.09.2022, Russland, Moskau: Menschen nehmen Abschied am offenen Sarg des ehemaligen sowjetischen Präsidenten Michail Gorbatschow in der Säulenhalle des Hauses der Gewerkschaften vorbei, während einer offiziellen Zeremonie. Gorbatschow, der am Dienstag (30.08.2022) im Alter von 91 Jahren verstorben ist, wird auf dem Moskauer Nowodewitschi-Friedhof neben seiner Frau Raisa beigesetzt. Die Abschiedszeremonie findet in der Säulenhalle des Hauses der Gewerkschaften statt, einer ikonischen Villa in der Nähe des Kremls, die seit der Sowjetzeit als Ort für Staatsbegräbnisse dient. Foto: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Hundreds of Russians said goodbye to Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday. The funeral service for the former Soviet president in Moscow took place without much pomp – and without Russian President Vladimir Putin either. He had previously claimed that there were scheduling difficulties.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was on site. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban also attended the commemoration. Both laid flowers on the coffin. Putin said goodbye to Gorbachev’s coffin on Thursday and placed red roses there.

Other officials from the state were absent from the funeral service. On the other hand, some opposition representatives who are still in the country were present in Moscow.

Gorbachev, who is considered an important pioneer of German unity, died in Moscow on Tuesday at the age of 91 after a long and serious illness. He led the Soviet Union as its last president from 1985 to 1991.

In Russia, Gorbachev is held responsible by many for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with it the decline in Russia’s greatness. Accordingly, no national day of mourning was declared for Gorbachev.

Nevertheless, hundreds of Russians lined up in front of the Trade Union House in Moscow on Saturday to bid farewell to the former Soviet president. Inside, Gorbachev’s body was laid out in the columned hall, with a large photo of the deceased hanging over the coffin.

Many mourners brought flowers and laid them in front of the open coffin. Among the mourners were Gorbachev’s daughter and other family members.

Gorbachev is to be buried next to his wife Raissa in the celebrity cemetery at the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow in the early afternoon. Unlike after the death of Boris Yeltsin, there is no state funeral for the former head of state and party.

In Berlin, for example, the flags flew at half-mast. On Saturday, the day of the funeral service and funeral in Moscow, the federal flag and the European flag hung in front of the Chancellery with mourning flags.

In memory of Gorbachev as an honorary citizen of Berlin, the federal state had also ordered mourning flags to be displayed. According to Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD), Gorbachev’s services “for the political change in the GDR” should be appropriately acknowledged.

“By signing the Two Plus Four Treaty, he paved the way for German reunification and a united Berlin.” Flags also flew at half-mast in several other federal states on Saturday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid tribute to the late former Soviet president in a phone call with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin on Saturday. According to the Kremlin, Erdogan referred to his “significant role” in Russia’s recent history and in the world.