Last Soviet leader Gorbachev in hospital

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, 88, is in hospital for unknown reasons.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, 88, is in hospital for unknown reasons.

The Soviet Union's last leader Mikhail Gorbachev is in hospital, according to Russian state media reports.

"I am in a hospital, already for a long time," Gorbachev said in comments carried by state news outlet RIA Novosti on Thursday.

The reason for his hospitalisation has not been disclosed.

Gorbachev, 88, was instrumental in fostering the Soviet Union's transformation into 15 independent states in the early 1990s as the planned economy teetered on the verge of collapse.

Gorbachev plans to soon publish a book, the report said.

"At the slightest opportunity I work, with help or participation by friends," he was quoted as saying.

Australian Associated Press