March 2 marks 85 years of Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and last President of the USSR; the only Soviet and Russian leader, who managed to find themselves after leaving power. Gorbachev established his Foundation, wrote books, went to lectures, advertised the bags and the pizza, despite the fact that the country that emerged after his resignation, the thesis of the irremovability of power is perhaps the key political principle. A President who can not run for President, says the journalist, “jellyfish” Andrey Kozenko.
“Very disturbing in the world, it is very difficult in Russia. And everything is interconnected”, — with these words begins the column by Mikhail Gorbachev, published in “Novaya Gazeta”. I re-read it several times. Had a good time that he took certain statements and paragraphs from the text and represented them in the performance of other political figures of our time. Under statements subscribed to many reasonable people, the opposition, State Duma deputies, senators and even acting heads of state. “I hope that our Western partners have seen that we must abandon the policy of isolation of Russia,” says Gorbachev. What is someone against?
And almost no resonance, though says he is a wonderful man. Historical. In just five years in power destroyed the Soviet Union, which redrew half of Europe, to stop two wars — the cold and the Afghan, who won the Nobel peace prize. Safely — well, almost — lost power and left himself, not the bronze monument. Such in Russia was not simple.
Under Gorbachev it was very interesting to live. The feeling of touching history every day. I realized this the first time grandma (to my ten years, I thought, was only concerned with neighbor’s a bitch and the number of pounds of me) in the details suddenly began to retell me the story about the meeting of Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik. Whose motorcade came first, who came, what they wore ties. Who said, finally.
The General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the summit in Reykjavik, 11 October 1986
Photo: Yuri Abramochkin / Sputnik / Scanpix
This dining political information was so unexpected that I remember it for a long time, came back to her — she finally understood: you live here the Great Patriotic war, then another 40 years to live in fear of a new war, during which guaranteed that no survivors will remain, and then turn on the TV October morning and find out — there will be no war, it was canceled at the highest level. You are no longer afraid.
I can describe this feeling, but feel it is impossible — no such baggage of years lived with this constant, blunt fear.
Here rely reservations about what was the other side of this era. Queue with grocery coupons in hand. A German tourist, landed in red square. The first nasty feeling of familiarity with the censorship, eliminate the program “Look” that we in the morning discussing with classmates. There was even a law banning criticism of the first and the last President of the USSR in the media — “About protection of honor and dignity of the USSR President” —it is finally demonstrated how the country has changed under Gorbachev and why there is no turning back.
Changes in these five years happened so much that they failed to be moral. At the same time the economy collapsed, and Gorbachev with frightening speed had gone from the object of people’s love to man, which all Soviet citizens hate. From the aircraft, arrived in August 1991 foros, came an elderly, rather bemused man in a strange jacket. This was the first time, formally to the incumbent head of state ceased to be after the fact.
His years in power — an amazing story. But his years after leaving the government no less amazing. Gorbachev in fact did not come for elective office; and with her almost all of his predecessors went straight to the cemetery (only Khrushchev svergnul and insulated at the cottage — memories of writing).
Gorbachev quietly in the shadows with his Nobel peace prize. Pretty quick wait times, when the hatred towards him had subsided, and the Russian people began to curse other people. He established his Fund, and it was so natural, like he’s some kind of another former U.S. President (and his nickname remained non-Soviet — GORBI), and not the man responsible for “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”. Gorbachev had the understanding of what happened with him and he had done. Wrote books, went to lectures. Starred in advertising suitcases — President, the leader of perestroika! Come on bags, though they are a prestigious brand — and it advertised pizza. Buried his beloved wife in 1999 — and for the first time in many years the Russian people have imbued him sympathy and compassion. Supported the democratic newspaper of the country — “New”. As if he was interested in some politics; but to be honest — someone remembers what he did his social democratic party in the first half of zero?
Mikhail Gorbachev at the presentation of his book “Gorbachev in life”, February 29, 2016
Photo: Ramil Sitdikov / Sputnik / Scanpix
In the basis of the political system of Russia for at least ten years — the idea of stable and irremovable power. The best minds of the state before the presidential election of 2008 was thinking how to rewrite or circumvent the Constitution, the incumbent President remained in power. If not Putin, everything will collapse; this thesis is still fundamental.
The pensioner, who turns today 85 years old and a couple days before it published this important column about the state of the world probably laughs when he hears all this.