Gorbachev, Putin praise Mandela's life
World leaders continued to recall Mandela on Friday.
“I knew Nelson Mandela very well,” former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev told the Interfax news agency on Friday. “He was an amazing man, who lived a hard and long life. One-third of his life took place in very harsh conditions. He contributed a huge amount to the fight against the consequences of apartheid. He did a lot for mankind, and he will be remembered not only by the people of his country, but also by people worldwide.”
Gorbachev went on to say that Mandela set “a great example for thinking people.”
“He was an amazing, clever, and talented statesman,” Gorbachev said. “He told me many times that the perestroika in the U.S.S.R. did a lot to help his country get rid of apartheid.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a note of condolence to Jacob Zuma, the South African president, noting that “having endured difficult sufferings, Mandela remained faithful to the ideals of humanism and justice until the end of his life.”