Saturday, April 12, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Restoration of Something like USSR Ultimately ‘Inevitable,’ Gorbachev Aide Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 12 – Boris Slavin, an aide to former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, says that in his “personal” view, “sooner or later the restoration of a state like the USSR will be achieved,” although he said that “of course, this will not be a unification in the style of the Soviet Union.”

            He says that in 1991 “Gorbachev said that three men [the presidents of the RSFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Belarusian SSR] could not decide the fate of the country,” especially since there had been a referendum earlier that year in which 76 percent of the participants supported the preservation of the USSR (

            Slavin’s remarks came in response to suggestions by some Duma members that a case should be opened against Gorbachev for his role in the disintegration of the USSR.  According to his aide, Gorbachev is treating such suggestions “with humor” and as an effort by some to attract attention to themselves.

            Gorbachev wasn’t to blame for the USSR’s collapse, Slavin says, suggesting that people like Boris Yeltsin were far more responsible and implied that the Russian leader would  not be able to preserve his image as “a democratically inclined” person forever.  In addition, the Gorbachev aide says, charges are impossible given the 15-year statute of limitations.

            Slavin said that people need to realize that Gorbachev had no interest in destroying the country “which he headed.” Instead, his aide said, the Soviet president was prepared “to fight as is said to the last bullet.”

            He added that Gorbachev was pleased that Crimea had been absorbed by Russia especially since it was done by a referendum which showed that is what the people of the peninsula wanted.  In Slavin’s words, what has happened in Crimea is part of a more general “striving of the people to unity.”

            Consequently, Slavin concluded, a country encompassing what had been the Soviet Union will “sooner or later” re-emerge.

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