Tag Archives: Gorbachev

Gorbachev Blasts Lack Of Press Freedom In Russia

In an interview with the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, former Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev expressed concern regarding the state of freedom of the press in his country. He was particularly dismayed at the murder of four journalists who worked for Novaya Gazeta, a publication that frequently has been critical of the policies of Prime Minister Vladmir Putin. Gorbachev gave the newspaper money to purchase computers, “some of them were stolen and destroyed in an attempt to get rid of the sensitive information on the hard drives.” Gorbachev expressed hope the investigations into the murder of reporters, but was pleased President Medvedev recently granted an interview to the newspaper.

Gorbachev believes the interview reflects a desire on the part of President Medvedev to restore a semblance of freedom of the press and to warn those who attack reporters. Gorbachev expressed his belief that freedom of the press will continue its progress and Russia is “moving in the right direction” on this issue.

Gorbachev and Colleague Begin New Party In Russia

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and billionaire Alexander Lebedev are preparing to initiate a new political party which will urge a stronger role for parliament in governing Russia together with legal and economic reforms. They want to create an independent media which is free to express views even those which contradict what Russian leaders are expressing. Lebedev, a former member of the state Duma describes himself as a “capitalist -idealist.” Both men have actively supported human rights spokespeople such as Anna Politkovskya who was murdered for standing up for the rights of the Russian people.

Gorbachev helped lead the way to dissolve the Soviet Union and pave the way for democracy in his country. Gorbachev has been careful not to publicly attack Prime Minister Putin but he has openly defended those who oppose the one party Russia Putin has attempted to create.

Russia desperately needs a new political party which stands for real democracy and offers a challenge to the one party mentality of Putin.

Bury Lenin-Tell Truth About Stalin!

Gorbachev, former leader of the now defunct Soviet Union. urged his nation to erect a memorial to honor those who were victims of the reign of terror that was so common under the dicatorship of Joseph Stalin. “Forgetfullness must be overcome, democracy and freedom must be strengthened” in the new Russia. Gorbachev’s idea of creating a memorial to those who were victims of Stalin’s brutality will probably not find warm support from Vladmir Putin who continually insists Russians should not feel guilty about what happened when Stalin ruled. It is increasingly common in Russian school curriculum for Stalin to be glorified as a great hero who led his nation to victory in WWII. Of course, lost in this glorification is Stalin’s incompetence and failure to heed warnings about an oncoming German attack in 1941.

Gorbachev made an important point by noting how Russia honors those who fought so gallantly in WWII but “as for the memory of people who fell into the millstone of Stalin’s repression, there is a great deal to be done.”

Mr. Gorbachev also suggested it is perhaps time for Lenin’s body to find a quiet resting place in the earth.

Gorbachev Urges Patience With New Russian Democracy

Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, urged a meeting of the World Political Forum, to have greater patience with Russia’s march toward democracy. In referring to recent tensions brought on by American insistence on missile bases in the Czech Republic and Poland, he said: “If you crucify us, we will be unable to cooperate with you. Russia is only halfway through to democratization progress now, but I expect the difference between Russis’s and the EU’s understanding of democracy and civil rights remain in the long run too.” Gorbachev urged Europeans to have more patience and to make greater efforts to understand the forces at play in Russia. His feelings were echoed by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary who noted, “The European Union has to build up a mutual conversation with Russia, instead of continuously judging its actions without an intention to understand them.”

Mikhail Gorbachev is a voice of reason, but even he is angry at the missile bases being built by the United States in nations adjacent to Russia. He emphasized that no Russian could accept the Bush claim the bases were there to protect Europe against an Iranian attack and also expressed hope Bush would not do anything as stupid as attacking Iran. There is little doubt Putin has seriously damaged democracy in Russia, but with a new president appearing on the scene this spring, there is hope a positive approach to Russia might reduce tensions. One easy way to assist the new president– who probably will be Dimity Medvedev– is to abandon the bases in Poland and the Czech Republic and take up Russia’s offer of creating a missile base which is under joint control of Russia and the United States.