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Death of Mikhail Gorbachev-The Unfollowed Leader

  • Published
    1st Sep, 2022

Context:

The death of Mikhail Gorbachev has allowed the world to revisit his instrumental role in ending the cold war at the same time failing to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A flawed Reformer:

  • The award of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize marked the role that Gorbachev, then Soviet president, had played in ending the Cold War without bloodshed. But the country later paid heavily for Gorbachev’s haughtiness. In the end, he was a drained and defeated man forced to step down. Although Gorbachev had a realistic assessment of Soviet society based on its history, he failed to elicit in his people a wish to walk alongside him. He was reduced to the leader of a non-existent country as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed into 15 separate states.

Gorbachev Legacy:

  • He rose to power steadily and his potential was recognized by the then prominent personalities like Yuri Andropov, the KGB boss, and Mikhail Suslov, the hardline ideologist, for each for their own reasons. Right after, taking over as the party secretary in Moscow, Gorbachev realized that communism could no longer be the ruling force in Soviet life.
  • He even tried his hands-on with the idea of a multi-party system. He also tried to pull a reluctant nation towards a market economy aimed at opening up the economy to private enterprise, removing subsidies, instituting market-driven pricing, and even creating a currency of value.
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