Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership shows Vladimir Putin for what he is

An iron curtain has fallen along predictable east-west lines to frame reactions to the death of Mikhail Gorbachev.

However, both sides would have to admit that the 91-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate was something of a chance hero.

Even Moscow has accepted that he was responsible for ending the Cold War, but the last president of the Soviet Union is also bitterly angry that he failed to prevent the bloc from collapsing.

Gorbachev had no blueprint for destroying the empire that Vladimir Putin is so desperate to restore. As Gorbachev worked his way up, many floors were already dissolving under his feet.

The arms race with the West drained all of its vast resources, but the Communist Party was blind and deaf to such troubling realities. Gorbachev’s own intelligence agency was too keen to overlook such structural flaws. His country had survived the ravages of Stalin’s Great Terror and the catastrophic losses of World War II.

Gorbachev was famous for his resilience and realized that the USSR was being left behind. change came. A privileged elite could not rule forever while the world went on with them. “A tsar must behave like a tsar. And I don’t know,” he once said.

After becoming general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985 at the age of 54, he tried to overhaul the system by introducing limited political and economic freedoms. During the last snows of the Cold War, its sudden movements, whether intentional or not, triggered an avalanche.

His policies of “glasnost” (openness) and “perestroika” or reorganization opened the way for unimaginable freedom of expression and reform.

Gorbachev had the courage to criticize Putin’s candidacy for a third term

With the genie in the bottle, the Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and others seized their moment to strike for freedom. Gorbachev could not have been forgiven for breaking up these moves. He is credited with saving his country by unleashing the forces of openness and political pluralism.

The liberties he introduced were remarkable and unprecedented. His withdrawal from the arms race was also exceptional, paving the way for the first nuclear weapons restrictions that made the world a safer place.

It is sad considering that many of the compatriots who most admired him and upheld his values ​​had to flee Putin’s oppressive regime.

Gorbachev had the courage to criticize Putin’s candidacy for a third term. Today’s Russia, where the opposition is snuffed out, the media is silenced, and military might is “right,” is the polar opposite of “glasnost.”

Gorbachev held out his hand and looked ahead; Putin’s focus is both inward and backward.

There is much to suggest that Gorbachev will not even get a state funeral.

But even if it were offered, it’s not hard to imagine the value such a dedicated reformer could have placed on such an honor from such a repressive regime.

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/mikhail-gorbachevs-leadership-shows-vladimir-putin-up-for-what-he-is-41952255.html Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership shows Vladimir Putin for what he is

Fry Electronics Team

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