Remembering Gorbachev

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Sep 19, 2022 | Vivekananda International Foundation

There is wide consensual acknowledgment of Michael Gorbachev’s global contributions – a peaceful end to the Cold War, reduced risk of use of nuclear weapons, freedom for Eastern Europe, and creation of an opportunity for the reunification of Germany without bloodshed. Amb Rajiv Sikri notes in his article for the Vivekananda International Foundation that as a young man influenced by the “thaw” created by Khrushchev in the mid-fifties, Gorbachev developed the conviction and determination to reform the Soviet Union, and a sound assessment of the reasons for the failure of earlier reform efforts. Yet this ferment did not percolate down to small towns and villages. Gorbachev opened too many fronts simultaneously, and was unable to control the course of events. Under Putin, the handpicked successor of Gorbachev’s rival Yeltsin, Russia appears to have finally given up its centuries-old effort to gain acceptance as a “European” country and is now focusing on forging a Eurasian identity.

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