Igor Boțan: Gorbachev didn’t focus on economic recovery and USSR disappeared

The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev pursued political reforms that took “chirping” out of the Soviet kitchens but this turned out to be demolishing for the “empire of evil”, the USSR, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate staged by IPN News Agency.

The expert noted that during the last part of his tenure, the Soviet leader had been overwhelmed by events. But the decision concerning pluripartidism and elimination of Article 6 concerning the role of the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the constitution was successfully implemented in that period. “The importance of the decision became evident when Gorbachev occupied the post of president of the Soviet Union, noting that the decision making center no longer belonged to the political bureau and that the whole intricate decision making system needed to be reviewed”.

Party nomenclature opposed perestroika but Gorbachev was supported by the citizens up to the last moment. This was seen at the elections of 1989. People’s fronts, those who pleaded for national renaissance, entered the national Parliaments. “In Russia, Yeltsin was supported by the people in his confrontation with Gorbachev. They were massively in favor of Yeltsin. This made Gorbachev realize that force cannot be applied in the confrontation”.

The speaker reminded of the referendum held on December 1, 1991 in Ukraine. This involved 82% of the citizens with the right to vote and over 90% of them voted for the independence of Ukraine. “The largest part of the population in Donbas and Luhansk, 54%, voted for the independence of Ukraine. What else could have been done if things went out of control?”.

The expert said that the denouncing of the treaty on the constitution of the Soviet Union of December 1924 and the creation of a new union of sovereign states in a formula that was fully different from that of the USSR were being prepared in 1987-88. “In this regard, the reaction of the GKCP (State Committee on the State of Emergency) was normal as there are conservative forces everywhere. With shaking hand, as we saw them on TV, they realized that this was the end of the Soviet Union and staged the putsch. After the putsch was ended, things started to follow a path that could no longer be reversed”.

Igor Boțan considers those who committed the bloodshed in Tbilisi and Vilnius wanted to provoke the army and to make it rise. “The military dictatorship was then established, but without Gorbachev and Yeltsin that time. But that didn’t work either and the end we know was reached... We must be grateful for the fact that Gorbachev failed to do the planned reform, for the way in which he adjusted himself”.

“On the other hand, we see the resentments of the Russians and President Putin who claim that the USSR actually lost the third world war, “the cold” one, owing to Gorbachev’s perestroika. We also see that the policies pursued by the former center during 30 years are actually revanchist in character”.

The public debate titled “Why are the nostalgic wrong when they attribute the role of demolisher of the USSR to Mikhail Gorbachev?” was the third installment of the series “100 years of the URSS and 31 years without the USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”. The project is implemented by IPN News Agency with the assistance of the German foundation “Hanns Seidel”.

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