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Mikhail Gorbachev's death mourned as passing of rare leader


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Russia's open enemies praise the last leader of USSR. It speaks volumes.

Current leader of Russia disliked more than last leader of USSR, even by enemies. It speaks volumes.

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Russia's open enemies praise the last leader of USSR. It speaks volumes.

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It's said his incompetence in dealing with Chernobyl, is what lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Now Putin is repeating his failures by collapsing Russia through his incompetence, 30 years later.

You would have thought Russia would have learned a lesson after the collapse of the USSR.

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I was still in childhood when Gorbachev was the leader of Russia. I don't remember him for Pizza hut commercials or McDonalds in Russia. I remember him for helping to tear down the Berlin wall (My parents were stationed in Germany in the 80s), and trying to move Russia in a more positive direction away from the USSR. Sadly his positive steps that could have changed Russia into a more prosperous, peaceful and happy nation was ruined by Yeltsin, then followed by Putin.

In some ways now that I am older and have more knowledge of the politics of those times, I believe the US administration failed Russia in the late 80s and early 90s, because all the US politicians thought to themselves during those times was, "Russia is finally opened to democracy! No mur kommynism, yay 'Murica!" But the US wasn't full of the brightest bulbs in those times, and a GREAT opportunity to support a former foe into a more peaceful and valuable potential ally was absolutely and utterly missed. Thanks Reagan, thanks Bush Sr, thanks 80s crazy Christian conservatives.

When instead the US (and possibly other democratic nations) should have been more actively engaged in HELPING Russia stabilize their political system and government to prevent the corruption and kleptocracy that took place when the USSR state run companies were privatized.... in a rigged set up of the former USSR elite.

To this day, average Russians still appear as serfs to whomever is in power of the country. And now we have the Russia we know today, run by a miserable autocrat, trying to start a world war due to a desire to "take back" what never belonged to them in the first place. Contrary to popular belief a lot of the countries the USSR lost, were conquered nations of the old imperialist monarchy during WW1 when "conquering territory" and imperialist expansion was a widely accepted method of kingdoms and monarchs.

In modern times where monarchy is not considered a civilized method of leadership, Putin is trying to use those old ideas of imperialist expansion and colonization to bring back the "glory days" of old Russia. Nobody annexes countries any more Vlad, unless you want to be seen as another tyrannical dictator... oh wait.

A former US ambassador to Russia lamented how much Russia could have been a much better country than it is now if Gorbachev had been followed by better leadership and assistance. Russia would have been "just another European nation" and probably admired and respected a lot more than being the pariah state it is now.

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I like the 2nd picture. Here are two men who deserve honor and respect. 

Ehhhh I think a whole lot of Central American civilians would disagree. Ultimately, Gorbachev did his damnedest to keep the USSR alive, but at least he was smart enough to see the writing on the wall. For all his warts, he was actually willing to work with the West in a way his predecessors (and successors) weren’t, and that’s worthy of commendation. Would that Russia had leaders like him now; if they had, then maybe Ukrainians wouldn’t be stacking up Russian boys like cordwood.

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Gorbachev wanted to transition the Soviet Union into a peaceful and prosperous socialist democracy but was hijacked by capitalist vultures who sold off the Soviet infrastructure for profit and led to the rule of oligarchs.

The Soviet Union beat the capitalist world into space but after Gorbachev this legacy was dismantled.


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@BigYen: I totally agree. I didn't quote Gorbachev to smear him; I wanted to show that reasonable people can sincerely believe that Crimea belongs to Russia. I think we should accept the clearly expressed will of the Crimean people. They never wanted to be part of a Ukrainian state and the coup d'etat in Kiev in 2014 was the final straw.

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I see only one honorable man in these to photographs: Gorbachev. The other two in their poisoned their respective countries in their own ways.

That said, I believe the Soviet Union would have to break apart given its size, its climate and comparatively small population in proportion to its land size. The hugeness of Russia was created by the Czars when agriculture was everything and the land masters thousands of serfs at their disposal.

When I traveled in the Soviet Union I noted the lack of consumer goods, the more than occasional sloth, the heavy alcohol consumption and breakdowns in communication leading to arguments. None of this convinced me the Soviet Union was falling apart. In certain ways I thought the U.S. was worse than the Soviet Union--unemployment, homelessness and violence for instance.

Anyway I feel a certain loss not having met Gorbachov. I did meet Alexander Kerensky. But wish it was the other way around.

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Putin and Z-cult leaders won't hold a state funeral for him, and western leaders (or Cold War winners?) are unlikely, some unable, to visit Russia now.

I believe that he deserves some recognition. He's a Cold War loser, but loser with dignity. Without him, the Soviet Union might still exist but as a big version of present-day North Korea, or might have ceased to exist earlier like a big version of the Yugoslavia through armed conflicts, mass killings and devastations.

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The irony of Gorbachev is this: we now celebrate the man for what he FAILED to do; for what his FAILURES brought about.

Gorby tried with all his heart to salvage the USSR, to keep it going, empire and all (minus Afghanistan, which he quickly abandoned), until the economic and social policies he misguidedly enacted grew beyond his control and led to the exact OPPOSITE of his aims: the total COLLAPSE of his beloved Soviet Union, and the end of a need for a General Secretary Gorbachev in the process!

As bad as the USSR was for its people, it provided some measure of stability. Gorby's policies removed that stability, and also took away their "pride" in being a "world power", so it's little wonder that Russians despise him for it. They now hate Yeltsin, whom they lionized at one time. And soon, the same dislike will be felt for all the destruction the vile (ras)PUTIN is presently set to bring to the Russians...some things never change!

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Gorby brought McDonald's to Russia.

to end a long, nasty and brutish chapter of WW2's wasteful Cold War that still continues to smolder on with Putin's brutal attack on Ukraine and the as yet unclear provocative machinations of forces on Russia's western borders that history will one day reveal while recording that Putin was the worst and Gorby the best of a miserable post-Stalinist bunch.
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Mikhail Gorbachev is the type of leader that both Russia and China need right now. A man not interested in conflict, brinkmanship or conquest, but in partnership, openness and peace as the way forward. Sadly Russia and china both have leaders opposite to Gorbachev leading them and those around them into disaster.

Mikhail will be remembered fondly by the former soviet states now free and independent, and by the West that has so much respect for his vision and courage to move forward in a way foreign to those who lead before him. Russia and the world have lost a brilliant man.

I look forward to the day Russia erects statues in his honor.

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I'm 29, didn't get to know Mr Gorbachev in power at his height. Just from what I learnt, respect to a man who put an end to a forever proxy war costing millions of innocent lives.

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What an outstanding great man and courageous politician of his time. He brought political freedom to many people in his and neighboring countries, including me, knowing very well that it it all at very high costs to his own country. Thank you and rest now in peace, Mr Gorbachev. The free world and especially all who profited behind the Iron curtain, in the former USSR and the formerly allied Eastern European block countries, will always remember and honor your political legacy.

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A few things you won’t be hearing much in the outpouring of grief for Mr Gorbachev:

'While Crimea had previously been joined to Ukraine based on the Soviet laws, which means [Communist Party] laws, without asking the people, now the people themselves have decided to correct that mistake.'

– Gorbachev to The Moscow Times.

'I am always on the side of the will of the people and most people in Crimea wanted to be reunited with Russia. (…) If I had been in the same situation, I would have acted in the same way.'

–  Gorbachev to the Sunday Times, May 22, 2016

'In November 2014, in Germany, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev affirmed that Vladimir Putin was the politician who best defends the interests of Russia.

“America has lost its way in the depths of the jungle and is dragging us with it (…) it is dragging us into a new Cold War, openly trying to follow its brilliant idea of ​​always wanting to triumph (…). We only hear about sanctions from America and the European Union against Russia. Have they lost their minds?”'

– Interfax

‘KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has banned former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev from entry for the next five years over his support for Russia’s seizure of Crimea, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) said on Thursday. A spokesman for Gorbachev pointed to his response to Russian state media earlier this week when asked about a possible Ukraine travel ban. “Fine, I don’t go there and I will not go there,” he said.’

– Reuters, 26 May 2016

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My pre-teen was at the height of the fall of the iron curtain and Mr. Gorbachev was the iconic leader of that time! How could I ever forget such a selfless leader? Lucky were we who were able to enter puberty with great role models like him, and many others in the field of sports and entertainment.

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I like the 2nd picture. Here are two men who deserve honor and respect. Where are such men today? The media and the Deep State ensure such one's are eliminated from influence before they can bring peace. Trump slipped through their net and we enjoyed 4 years of global peace and prosperity.

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Gorby brought McDonald's to Russia.

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Loved in the west but largely ignored or even despised at home. Even in his home district of Stavropol.

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