Rome. The last Soviet leader said as the Cold War ended: “We don’t understand what happened in Europe at the end of the twentieth century without looking at the role of John Paul II.” People strolling through the snow-covered Red Square in Moscow on the evening of December 25, 1991 witnessed one of the pivotal moments of the 20th century: the Soviet red flag was lowered over the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the Russian federal tricolor. A few minutes ago, in fact, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation in a televised address to the nation, thus ending 74 years of Soviet history. In his memoirs, Gorbachev, now 90, bitterly recalled his inability to prevent the end of the Soviet Union. It is an event that upsets the global balance of power and sows the seeds of an ongoing tug of war between Russia and neighboring Ukraine. Gorbachev wrote: “I still regret not being able to put the ship under my command in calm waters, and not being able to complete the reform of the country.” Meanwhile, the Vatican Ostpolitik and Polish Pope Karol Wojtyla vied through Solidarnosc to conquer the Iron Curtain.
And the story has changed
For thirty years, political experts debated whether he could keep his position and save the Soviet Union. Some accuse Gorbachev, who took power in 1985, of not being able to prevent the Soviet split. He could have prevented this if he had moved more aggressively to modernize the state-regulated lean economy while maintaining stricter controls on the political system. “The collapse of the Soviet Union was one of those occasions in history that was thought so unimaginable that it became inevitable,” Dmitriy Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, told The Associated Press. “The Soviet Union, whatever its long-term prospects, was not destined to collapse when that happened.” But in the fall of 1991, worsening economic problems and the separatist demands of the Soviet republics made collapse far from certain. The failed August 1991 coup d’état by the Communist Old Guard provided a major stimulus, which greatly eroded Gorbachev’s power and encouraged more Soviet republics to seek independence.
While Gorbachev was desperate to negotiate a new “union treaty” between the republics to preserve the Soviet Union, he faced stiff resistance from his arch-rival, Russian Federation leader Boris Yeltsin, who was eager to take over the Kremlin and had support from other independent leaders of the Soviet republics. On December 8, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus met in a hunting lodge, announced the death of the Soviet Union and proclaimed the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Two weeks later, eight more Soviet republics joined the nascent alliance, offering Gorbachev a clear choice: to step down or try to avoid the country’s forcible disintegration. The Soviet leader analyzed the difficult dilemma in his memoirs, noting that an attempt to order the arrests of republican leaders could have led to a bloodbath between divided loyalties in the military and law enforcement. “If you decide to rely on part of the armed structures, this will inevitably lead to an acute political conflict fraught with blood and negative far-reaching consequences,” Gorbachev wrote.
“I couldn’t do it: I would have stopped being myself.” What would have happened if Gorbachev had resorted to force is hard to imagine later, notes Trinin of the Carnegie Center. “It could have ignited bloody events in Moscow and all over Russia, perhaps throughout the Soviet Union, or it might have reinforced some things,” he said. … abolished the most important element of inheritance; That is, the lack of widespread use of force.”
Ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, denounced that precisely from that moment the United States became “arrogant and self-absorbed”, promoting NATO’s eastward expansion. “How can we count on equal relations with the United States and the West from such a situation?” Gorbachev said in an interview with RIA Novosti on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his resignation. Thus, the former Secretary General of the PCUS relaunched the same considerations that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, insisted on NATO and Washington’s demand for “legally binding security guarantees” on military exercises and arms proliferation in Eastern Europe. In the interview, Gorbachev, 90, noted the “victorious position in the West, and especially in the United States,” after the end of the Soviet Union, in 1991. “They became arrogant and arrogant and declared victory in the Cold War,” he denounced. The winners, the ex-Soviet leader continued, the father of perestroika, “then decided to build a new empire hence the idea of NATO expansion.” Finally, Gorbachev welcomed the upcoming security talks between Moscow and Washington. , which is supposed to be held in Geneva and January, and expressed the hope, “I hope that it will bring results.”
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