Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev Celebrates His 90th Birthday

BIOGRAPHIES, 12 Apr 2021

Deutsche Welle - TRANSCEND Media Service

Former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev celebrates his 90th birthday.

Revered for helping end the Cold War, Gorbachev received birthday greetings from the Kremlin and other world leaders. But back home, Russians remain divided over his legacy.

2 Mar 2021 – Mikhail Gorbachev turned 90 today, with several world leaders sending well-wishes to the former leader of the Soviet Union.

The former leader of the Soviet Union and secretary-general of the Communist Party is considered by some as one of the greatest reformers of the 20th century — but remains a controversial figure at home.

How did he celebrate his birthday?

Still active, Gorbachev heads a political foundation and co-owns the Kremlin-critical newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.

He celebrated his birthday while staying in a hospital as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gorbachev was scheduled to have video calls with his aides and associates who gathered at his foundation to congratulate him.

He also spoke with world leaders and read messages from admirers worldwide.

What did world leaders say?

World leaders including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called to congratulate him.

“I take your day of honor as an opportunity to thank you once more for your personal commitment for the peaceful overcoming of the Cold War and the completion of German unity,” Merkel wrote in a letter to the former leader.

“Your important contribution to a reunification in freedom remains as unforgotten in Germany as your constant personal engagement for friendly relations between our two countries,” Merkel said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Gorbachev in a letter published by the Kremlin, hailing him as “one of the most outstanding statesmen of modern times who made a considerable impact on the history of our nation and the world.”

Putin also praised Gorbachev for continuing to work on international humanitarian projects.

How is he viewed in Russia?

Gorbachev is regarded internationally for his role in helping end the Cold War and launching reforms that ended the Communist monopoly on power.

Pro-democratic forces also see him as a symbol of freedom, as he has criticized repression under Russian President Vladimir Putin and warned against falling back into a dictatorship.

However, many Russians still hold him at least partially responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union that led to a devastating economic meltdown and years of political turmoil.

How does Gorbachev view his own legacy?

Speaking in an interview with the state-run Tass news agency published Tuesday, Gorbachev reaffirmed that there was no alternative to ending the Cold War and launching domestic political reforms.

“The main domestic achievement was to give freedom to the people and put an end to the totalitarian system. And the most important things on the international stage were ending the Cold War and conducting radical nuclear weapons cuts,” he continued.

Gorbachev continues to lament the August 1991 hardline coup staged by the Communist Party’s old guard that briefly ousted him and precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Asked if it’s still possible now to restore the Soviet Union, he answered that it’s necessary to focus on normalizing ties with its ex-Soviet neighbors and developing regional alliances.


Tags: , , ,

 

Share this article:


DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


There are no comments so far.

Join the discussion!

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.

*

code

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.