Gorbachev issues new book, laments illnesses

The Associated Press, Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 11:41am (PST)

MOSCOW (AP) — Mikhail Gorbachev says he's feeling the effects of old age, but aims to stay active as long as he can.

Speaking Tuesday at a presentation of his new book, the 81-year-old former Soviet leader said: "In the last few years I've begun to ail, and seriously. In the last five years I've had four operations."

"But I really will continue to work as long as I have the strength," he said, according to the Interfax news agency.

The book, titled "Alone With Myself," chronicles Gorbachev's life from his childhood to the 1991 demise of the Soviet Union. The book, dedicated to his late wife Raisa, is full of previously undisclosed personal details, including the story of their romance.

Raisa Gorbachev died in 1999 of leukemia.

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