The death of former president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, was announced on August 30, 2022, by Russia’s state-run news. Gorbachev was the last of the Soviet leaders and has become one of the most important figures in the twentieth century. With the United States and the Soviets in a long Cold War coming out of World War II, his impact in breaking down the Iron Curtain cannot be overstated. And of course, Russia is in the news currently, making a global impact with its attack on Ukraine. Current Russian President Vladimir Putin is a major figure in today’s headlines. We will explore all of these topics as Maps101 takes a look at Russia and the Soviet Union this week.