Gorbachev mourns loss of honest rival

MOSCOW -- When Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Soviet Union an "evil empire" some saw it as political theater, a cold warrior's script. Yet former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Sunday the American president was sincere -- an honest rival and a friend.

By the end of the superpower rivalry, the leaders had formed a partnership that steered their superpower nations away from the brink of nuclear war and toward the end of Moscow's empire.

Both men feared their countries were heading for an atomic conflict and their complicated negotiations helped shift course away from potential catastrophe, said Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Prize for his work in reforming the Soviet Union …

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