In an interview with Mark Franchetti from Britain’s Sunday Times, the Soviet Unions’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev was as honest as we have seen him, as he reflected on the end of the Cold War, and the reasons for new US-Russian tensions.
In remembering the the US reaction to the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Gorbachev admitted that…
“Under the table, the Americans were rubbing their hands with glee.”
“They thought, ‘Now we’re the boss of the world.’ They weren’t genuinely interested in helping Russia develop into a stable and strong democracy. They thought they’d cut Russia down to size. In the process, they’ve squandered the trust we’d built.”
American elation, for what the US perceived as a Cold War victory, was in Gorbachev’s opinion juxtaposed with a feeling of sorrow from the Russian side. Gorbachev said that Russians still feel sorry about the collapse, though few, including himself, would support the idea of bringing the Soviet Union back.
Please don’t go freaking out about how Russia wants to rebuild the Soviet Union. Gorbachev was expressing how a big possibility for reform was replaced instead with collapse, and a 90s decade of chaos and mass poverty…inspired by US neo-liberal economic shock treatment on the newly dissected Soviet Union.
“I regret that a great country with huge possibilities and resources vanished.”
“Most Russians think, like me, they don’t want it back, but they are deeply sorry that it collapsed.”
“My intention was always to reform it, never to destroy it.”
Looking at today’s geo-political flashpoint of Crimea, Gorbachev praised Putin’s move to protect, and allow the people of Crimea to peacefully determine their future after the violent coup in Kiev.
Gorbachev noted that it was justified by the people’s right to self-determination, adding that if put in the same situation, he would have done the same.
“I’m always with the free will of the people, and most in Crimea wanted to be reunited with Russia.”
Meanwhile in the US colony of Ukraine, where free speech is cherished and valued, Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, said that Kiev will now close Ukraine’s borders to Gorbachev and ask the European Union to follow in its steps.
In an interview with Govorit Moskva radio on Sunday, Geraschenko said…
“I can’t think of the last time he [Gorbachev] was here [in Ukraine]. He has nothing to do here. We will address our European partners on the diplomatic level and ask them to ban him from visiting Europe and to stop allocating money to his fund that fuels hatred between Russia and Ukraine.”