February 4, 2023

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Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Gorbachev: Why have they had a “love-hate” relationship for years?

The current President of Russia, Vladimir PutinAnd the last leader Soviet Union, Mikhail GorbachevThere was a love-hate relationship over the years, fueled by criticism of democratic infiltration and aggressive foreign policy The Kremlin.

“All decisions cannot be in one person. No one has a monopoly on the truth,” Gorbachev said in an interview with the recently defunct daily Novaya Gazeta.

Gorbachev He was one of the biggest critics of the administration PutinNot only was he estranged for more than twenty years, he was also distinguished by his complete rejection of authoritarianism and his support for a pragmatic relationship with the West, particularly in the area of ​​nuclear disarmament.

Putin At times he did not hesitate to respond to criticism but, unlike other opposition leaders, he never dared to criticize a man of undeniable international prestige.

Odious comparisons

While the last Soviet leader was an iconic figure WestThere he was known as “Corby“, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and was a leader respected by both Second and Third World countries. Putin Enemy number one has become America And this European union.

Gorbachevwhose grandparents were victims of the Stalinist purges, attempted reform ussr It needs to be given a “human face”. Putin, who admits he never threw away his party card, is trying to rehabilitate Stalin’s image and forcefully revive the Soviet empire.

He went down in history for being the first to be knocked down iron curtain And to conclude Cold WarThe second disagrees with its decision and wants to review the internationally recognized borders since 1991.

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Gorbachev was a partner “Novaya Gazeta“, whose director received a Nobel Prize, this did not prevent the Russian authorities from later removing the masthead. Putin He is known to be hostile to journalists.

Further, Putin Raised to power by his main rival GorbachevFirst Democratic President Russia, Boris YeltsinIn return for guarantees to him and his family, the oligarchs were his treasurer, Roman Abramovich.

Save the Soviet Union

Putin Always blamed Gorbachev He failed to reform the planned economy in time, the key to saving the Soviet system.

“We had to fight more firmly, consistently and courageously for the territorial integrity of our state, and not bury our heads in the sand and leave our asses in the air,” Putin said.

In comparison, he maintains the status quo Russia The end of the 90s of the last century “was more dramatic than the last years of the Soviet Union”.

“As a result of the 1998 crisis, the economy would have collapsed and the social sphere was at zero. Army ceased to exist. We ran into the aggression of international terrorism, separatism and civil war. Y Russia was on the brink of collapse,” he asserted.

To avoid it, Putin It launched an anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya, imposed vertical power, shut down the most important media and restricted the most basic freedoms.

According to historians, the most independent period in the country’s history was the five-year period from 1988, in the midst of “perestroika” and “glasnost” (restructuring and openness), to the bombing. White House By order of Yeltsin in 1993.

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The Kremlin’s monopoly of power

After several attempts to return to the political scene with a social democratic project, Gorbachev He was a leftist in the opposition until government fraud in the 2011 assembly elections unleashed the biggest anti-government protests in 20 years.

Therefore, he did not hesitate to take sides in support of the opposition led by the young Alexei Navalny with very bad phrases in the Kremlin.Russia United is a bad copy of the CPSU (Communist Party of the USSR).

“The best course of action is for the officials to tender their resignations,” he asserted and demanded the annulment of the election for fraud.

In the months and years that followed, he did not hesitate to call for an end to “authoritarian tendencies” in Russian politics and accused Putin of believing in himself as God. Russia “This was mainly due to rising prices of oil and gas in the international market.”

He demanded and insisted on constitutional reform to create “genuine democracy” through a referendum that would put an end to “authoritarianism” once and for all. Putin It is necessary to abandon the search for a “fifth column” that does not exist in Russian society.

months later, Putin Again The Kremlin He did the opposite for four years as Prime Minister.

He first enacted laws restricting freedom of assembly and classed the people’s new enemies — opponents, journalists and activists — as foreign agents, then promulgated a constitution that allowed him to remain in power until 2036 through a dubious referendum.

Putin, Lord of War

Current Russian military campaign Ukraine It separated them again two days after it started Gorbachev Fund Calls were made for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the commencement of peace negotiations.

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A descendant of Ukrainians, his company’s brief highlights that “nothing in the world is and cannot be more valuable than human life.”

Gorbachev Ordered withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan (1989). Putin has used forces in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and many other countries since 1999 Ukraine.