Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Михаил Горбачёв aka Gorby

The Obama roadshow rolls into Russia and it's good to see Mikhail Gorbachev back on the scene because i always had a bit of a soft spot for the last ever Soviet leader.
It always seemed to me that the whole Soviet Union break up thing was a situation that kind of got away from him and before he realised what was happening, it had snowballed and he had done himself out of a job.
He has to take the credit of meeting up with the acrimonious Ronald Reagan and his equally odious sidekick Margaret Thatcher at summit conferences and playing a major part in ending the Cold War as well as introducing the policies of Perestroika and Glasnost to the Soviet Union.
These new freedoms in Russia quickly led to a string of revolutions within the Soviet republics and Eastern Europe throughout 1989 as the Soviet grip over Eastern Europe loosened and effectively ended the Cold War.
It may have earned Gorbachev the Nobel Peace Prize but as the USSR crumbled, his powers were transferred to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and he had little choice but to dissolve the Soviet Union.
I guess history will show that it was his plan all along but i'm not so sure it was. I was always left with the impression as he tried unsuccessfully to scramble around to keep the imploding USSR together, events just overtook him and as he cleared his desk that final day in 1991, he would have looked around and thought 'How the hell did this happen?'


Nog said...

Whatever his intentions, he did much good for mankind.

Falling on a bruise said...

Very true nog, he did do much good and thoroughly deserved his nobel peace prize however he managed to get there.
I am just always interested and look out for how events are explained a few years down the line and how some points are wrongly emphasised and some conveniently forgotten.

Aaron said...

I've always heard that Gorbachev didn't intend for or want the USSR to collapse, he just wanted to reform and things larger than him took control. I've never heard anywhere that it was his plan to have it all fall apart.