Photo Gallery: Gorbachev's Last Days
Corbis

Fotostrecke

Photo Gallery: Gorbachev's Last Days

The Gorbachev Files Secret Papers Reveal Truth Behind Soviet Collapse

Communist hardliners staged a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev 20 years ago, and the Soviet Union collapsed soon afterwards. Previously unknown documents, which SPIEGEL has obtained, show just how desperate the last Soviet leader was as he fought to retain power -- and how he begged Germany for money to save his country. 
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan