Translated by Julia Rakhmetova and Rhod Mackenzie, via Russia Insider
Nikolai Starikov, a famous Russian historian, writer and politician, was interviewed by the popular AiF weekly on the occasion of the last Soviet President’s 85th Birthday.
At the start of perestroika, I was fifteen. In 1987 I entered an engineering and economic college. By the time I graduated, there was neither an economy, nor a chemical industry – the fields I studied in. Many people like me were forced to sell newspapers in suburban electric trains. I hardly can forgive Gorbachev for that.
Nor can I forgive him for the fact that several students among my classmates and from other classes died from drug overdoses; that some of my acquaintances were killed in ethnic conflicts that spread throughout the country; that others went on the bottle because they couldn’t find a job due to the ‘reforms’.
I also can’t forgive Gorbachev for withdrawing our officers from Germany to the middle of nowhere and leaving them homeless, nor for betraying our allies, beginning with those from Afghanistan and ending with Cuba.
Gorbachev destroyed the economic bloc we formed with our allies – the Comecon – transferring their ruble exchanges to USD. He disbanded the military and political bloc – the Warsaw Pact – which was absolutely unnecessary. Was he really so naïve as to believe that NATO would be disbanded as well after that?
Did the USSR experience in 1985 the problems that it didn’t have back to 1941? Why did we manage to resist back then, failing now? And how did China, which had the same development model as we but lagged far behind us, succeed in achieving fantastic results, while the USSR broke down? Saying, that the Soviet Union didn’t have any prospects is to deny reality.
Gorbachev didn’t fight to keep the USSR from falling apart, but to save his own influence. If not, as the legitimate president of the Soviet Union, controlling powerful secret agencies and the army, in December 1991 he could have had the three conspirators in the Belavezha Forest arrested. Instead, he announced his resignation…
So I don’t see anything positive in this person. And most people were disappointed in him by the year of 1991.
Originally appeared in Russian in Argumenty i Fakty.
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I was born and raised in the United States. When taught history in school we were told that this man was a hero. We never were taught about the “flip side” of his reform movement. I will take this into consideration.
This is a truth that near every Russian knows & near every Non-Russian does not !
The power of Western spin glorified the lie that was ‘Gorby’ as the great reformer that made peace with the US – What actually happened is an embarrassment.
Lenin was the original Western stooge funded by Jacbob Schiff & clan to remove the Czar & conveniently die in weakness. Post Stalin, Khrushchev tried to destroy the Soviet Union & post Brezhnev the mistakes of every Soviet leader are legend & the pig-faced king crook Yeltsin tried his damndest to destroy the country handing its wealth to the Morgan, Rockefeller cabal BUT Russia has a habit of finding truly great leaders in the darkest hours.
Right now the West will struggle to outlast Putin’s tenure !
Lenin was besides Stalin the biggest statesman of his century. Where do you get that he was a stooge. Asa “stooge” he never would have founded a socialist state ans less financed by some notorious big capitalists. This is bollocks.
I disagree. Your “allies” were leaches sucking Russian blood and would run away if there was any threat coming from outside – you could NEVER rely on them.
A very poignant insight into the Post Soviet collapse. One that needs to be remembered when we hear the claims for western economic superiority. Claims which are now seen as false. Europeans would do well to take heed of this salutary message from Russia in the current light of US driven TTIP.
Most Russians have already learnt this lesson.
If anyone has any questions about the model of economic salvation bestowed by the US look no further than Ukraine today…
When Mikhail Sergeyevich came to power, I was twenty three. Behind the “Iron Curtain”, he has been widely accepted as an icon of hope. An icon, really. Since official “nomenklatura” members went mad every time his name (or “perestroika” and “glasnost” words, too) was even mentioned in public. Gorbachev’s political naivety combined with the unacceptable stupidity of August Coup protagonists led to the final catastrophe.
The unbelievable incompetence of “inner party” (or Politburo) was the cause for the words like “peace”, “humanity” or “socialism” were understood as propaganda buzz-words, ridiculed and mocked. Humanitarian disaster caused by “The Collapse” were the reward for Communist party’s betrayal of all of us.
Mikhail Sergeyevich is just a sad figure, an unknowing accomplice not the main perpetrator. His recent activities on the fields on environmental rhetoric is a proof he is realising that.
The dismantling of USSR started with Khrushchev. The revisionists needed 40 years to do that. Gorbashev was only the last in the queue, who switched off the light. He did exactly the precisely necessary thing in each moment to undo USSR. He never was and never is innocent. He is a traitor and far away from being “incompetent.
It’s a task for historians, to find the distinction. May they will make it before the whole history is rewritten.