Support The Moscow Times!

Gorbachev Denies Death Reports From Hacked Twitter Accounts

Gorbachev alive and well at 81 years old, at the Berlin launch of his book "Alone with Myself" in March 2013. SpreeTom

Whether he likes it or not, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is now in the business of resurrection. For the third time this year the former president of the Soviet Union has had to personally assure the world that he is alive and well after hackers spread rumors of his demise online.

"It's common knowledge. I'm incurable," Gorbachev said with a laugh when reached by phone Tuesday night, Itar-Tass reported.

Gorbachev is currently at a clinic in Germany undergoing a routine medical checkup.

The fallacious news appeared Tuesday night on the Twitter account of newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, who promptly deleted the message and released a retraction.

"We have already contacted the management of Twitter to receive the IP address of the hackers. As soon as this information is available, we will go to law enforcement with it," the site's head editor said.

Gorbachev has had two brushes with fictional death already this year. Rumors of his passing raced through social media in May, and then in August hackers posted erroneous news of the event on the Twitter accounts of RIA Novosti's International Press Center and the German-language RIA Novosti Deutsch, reported.

Following the second incident, Gorbachev personally asked newspaper Novaya Gazeta to find out who was spreading the rumors.

In a note published on the paper's website at the time, Gorbachev used an expletive to characterize the hackers and said that they were "hoping in vain. I'm alive and well. I understand that someone is either promoting their websites or carrying out the order of some government."

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.