Europe

Gorbachev in hospital after operation

  • FILE - In this July 21, 2015 file photo, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev gestures as he arrives to attend a meeting of Russian and German political scientists in Moscow, Russia. Gorbachev, 85, was in a hospital in Moscow for an operation on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

    FILE - In this July 21, 2015 file photo, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev gestures as he arrives to attend a meeting of Russian and German political scientists in Moscow, Russia. Gorbachev, 85, was in a hospital in Moscow for an operation on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is helped by an aide as he leaves after the launch ceremony for a book about him in Moscow, Russia. Gorbachev, 85, was in a Moscow hospital for a scheduled operation on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is helped by an aide as he leaves after the launch ceremony for a book about him in Moscow, Russia. Gorbachev, 85, was in a Moscow hospital for a scheduled operation on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)  (The Associated Press)

A spokesman for Mikhail Gorbachev says the 85-year-old former Soviet leader is in hospital for a scheduled operation.

Vladimir Polyakov told The Associated Press that Gorbachev was taken to a hospital in Moscow on Wednesday for a "planned, insignificant surgical intervention." He declined to give details, but said Gorbachev was eating normally and was expected to be discharged soon.

Russian media reported that Gorbachev was fitted with a pacemaker in the operation.

Gorbachev has suffered repeated health scares in recent years and in September he canceled a foreign trip on the advice of his doctors.

Since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the former president has run a foundation for political, social and economic studies.