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BREAKING: Russian Leader Dies of Natural Causes for First Time in Over Five Hundred Years

A poll asking "Which of these figures is Mikhail Gorbachev?" The results show that 64% chose a picture of Lenin, 12% chose a T-Rex, 3% chose Gorbachev, and 21% chose Elmo.
Source: Poll of Harvard Government Concentrators

MOSCOW, Russia — News that former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev died on August 30th was met with shock and sadness around the world – no place more so than his native Russia. Best known for liberal policies such as glasnost and a notable stint as a Pizza Hut spokesman, Gorbachev was a controversial figure due to his role in the dissolution of the Soviet Union as well as for his unwillingness to honor the “30 minutes or its free” rule. This made it all the more shocking when it was announced Tuesday that Mr. Gorbachev died at ninety-one and of natural causes – a first for any Russian leader since 1533, when Ivan the Guy with the Mean Kid left the throne to his son.

“This is a harsh blow to tradition” a spokesperson for the Russian Federation said in an official statement just minutes after Mr. Gorbachev’s death. “We were going to send someone over next week, but we totally underestimated the seriousness of his ailment. The Russian Federation takes full responsibility for this shortcoming, and we will work tirelessly to make sure it never happens again.”

Russians across the globe expressed confusion and outrage at this heinous offense to the proud Russian tradition of killing their best and brightest, and also their politicians. Americans, when asked for comment, said “Gorbachev was still alive?”

 “To be fair, I could have sworn we got him in the 90s,” said Vladimir Yankalov, former KGB podpolkovnik and current Novgorod dogcatcher, when asked for comment, “Whoops.”

“We just hope that this doesn’t overshadow all the great things he did,” said Mr. Gorbachev’s daughter, Ivanna, “He helped bring an end to a totalitarian government, was the world’s foremost demolition expert, and accomplished the impossible task of making Ronald Reagan look competent.”

Vice President of Russian Political Intelligence, Yiroy Karakov, was set to announce new policies yesterday, meant to prevent these sorts of needlessly clean deaths for political figures in the future. Unfortunately, he was found dead from poisoning just minutes before delivering his speech.

Gorbachev’s ghost is currently considering an offer to be a Harvard IOP fellow for the Fall of 2023.

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