Mikhail Gorbachev has come a very long way in his life. Not only to become the most powerful man in Russia, but also on his own political path.
He began life as a Leninist and rose through the ranks of the Communist Party. But he made history by reaching the highest office in Russia and becoming a Democrat.
It was one of the most important personal political journeys of the 20th century – a shift in faith that meant East and West could try to understand each other again.
Without Gorbachev, the Cold War might still be going on.
But those who came after him did not appreciate him.
He was blamed for the way the USSR broke up, and his most recent successor, Vladimir Putin, blamed him for almost everything.
In fact, Putin blamed Gorbachev, along with Tsar Nicholas II, for Russia’s “humiliation” to reverse what he believed to be his destiny.
There is something tragic about Gorbachev’s life. He took a leap of faith, and while it worked for some, it didn’t help enough lives.
The great theft of the country’s resources in the 1990s and the rise of the oligarchs were seen as the inevitable consequences of “capitalism”.
Putin is among those who have benefited the most from the theft – he is one of the richest men in the world.
The most tragic thing, however, is what Gorbachev had to witness in the last years of his life.
He tried to liberate his country only to see it revert to tyranny.
He tried to make peace only to see his successor wage war.
His legacy has not yet been reversed, but he must have wondered if it had.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6121451/mikhail-gorbachev-cold-war-douglas-murray/ Mikhail Gorbachev lived an extraordinary but tragic life – without him the Cold War might still last