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, Lenta.ru 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."