Sunday, January 30, 2022

USSR Didn’t So Much Fall Apart as Fail, and Putin’s Goals Point to Russia’s Demise for Same Reason, Landsbergis Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 10 – Thirty years ago, the Soviet Union did not so much fall apart as fail because of its own “moral failure and depravity” being a system based “on violence rather than faith in humanity” and committed to the principle that “we will make you happy by force,” Vytautas Landsbergis says.

            Putin and his regime, the products of the siloviki of the Soviet Union, want to restore that system with all its defects by force, the leader of the Lithuanian independence movement says. But Ukrainians will resist. Consequently, “if Putin attacks Ukraine, this will mean the end for Russia and possibly for Europe or even for humanity” ( in Russian at

            That is because if the Kremlin leader gets away with an attack now, he will feel free to attack others, Landsbergis says. And sooner or later, the countries of the West that don’t want to live under the heel of Moscow will resist. Russia is in a weak position because of changing energy needs and global warming, and is rapidly falling under the control of China.

            Putin and company imagine themselves to be “masters of the situation and even perhaps dictators at the world level. But the end of Russia will be sad.”

            Looking back to 1991, Landsbergis says that in order to understand what happened, it is necessary to understand the most important thing about Gorbachev. He “was not a real statesman or an outstanding personality. He was chosen by the KGB structures and specifically by Yury Andropov” who gave him his marching orders.

            Andropov told him that “you will lead because we need certain changes. These changes can help us preserve Soviet power and deceive the West suggesting that the country is really changing. They thought up the word ‘perestroika.’” Until he lost control of the situation, “Gorbachev fulfilled this role extremely successfully.”

            “But when things reached the essentials like freedom and dignity of people and nations, he was not able to cope because he was the product of the former KGB system.”


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