The Cold War politician leader believes the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) he signed alongside Ronald Reagan in 1987 may have paved the way for an apocalypse.
Gorbachev, 88, slammed US President Donald Trump for pulling out of the INF treaty in August which had been set up to prevent a nuclear war unfolding in Europe.
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin then followed Trump’s lead by also withdrawing from the pact.
The move formally terminated the historic agreement that eliminated more than 2,000 missiles stationed around Europe.
In an interview with CNN, Gorbachev chillingly described the treaty collapse as “first steps towards destruction”.
He said: “Speakers and politicians, people understand that this, the New Cold War, must not be allowed.
“This might turn out to be a hot war that could mean the destruction of our entire civilisation.
“This must not be allowed.
“If this path goes further, then everything is possible. This must not be allowed.”
Earlier this year the US and Nato accused Russia of violating the pact by deploying a new mid-range cruise missile, something which Moscow has denied.
What is the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF)?
The INF treaty bans ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 kilometres (310 miles) to 5,500 kilometres (3,415 miles) and bans either side from stationing land-based missiles in Europe.
It was signed byUS president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to end the build-up or warheads in Europe.
The immediate effect eliminated the US’ Pershing II missiles and the Soveiet Union’s SS-20s – which was a key event in ending the Cold War.
Speaking about the collapse at the time, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “This is serious.
“The INF treaty has been a corner stone in arms control for decades. We have to be prepared for a world… with more Russian missiles.
He said: “This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles.”
Russia then began work on new hypersonic missiles and adopted a policy to avoid initiating disarmament talks with the US.
Putin said: “We will wait until our partners have matured enough to conduct an equal, meaningful dialogue with us on this important topic.”