Former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev struggled to hold back his tears as he accompanied the remains of his wife, Raisa, back to Moscow Tuesday.
Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's last president, displayed the sorrow of a bereaved husband when he arrived at Russia's Vnukovo Airport.
The former Soviet first lady died Monday from leukemia at age 67.
"We left here more than two months ago with big hopes and confidence. Such hope was still with us even three or four days ago. Now, all has gone," Gorbachev said.
"It was a terrible illness. The doctors did everything in their power, and even the best medication could not help. I am worried all the time by one thought -- did I do all I could?" Gorbachev said, surrounded by his daughter's family and other well-wishers.
"It has been a very difficult time, but we must hold up," said Gorbachev, who was at his wife's side when she died in the early hours of Monday after weeks of treatment by German specialists in the battle against blood cancer.