Very important historical figure and supposedly a humane person with strong convictions.
Unfortunately, the reactionary forces that have kept Russia entombed in authoritarian dictatorship for centuries did not take long to end the experiment. The mistake IMO really was the handoff to Yeltsin who was not up to the task of leading the country during this transformational period and opened the door to restore centralized control.
Gorbachev was a great example of a leader who put his own and his party's interests aside and worked relentlessly in the interest of his people. Boy, do we need world leaders like that now more than ever.