A man who shamefully drives humanity

As a Soviet teenager who grew up in Lviv, western Ukraine, in the mid-1980s, I was happy.

I went to a new school near home, and it was comfortable, although I had to go in deep mud because the road to school was not over yet. At that time, there were many unfinished construction projects, because the money in the Soviet central planning system had obviously run out.

My family was fine. We had a washing machine and my dad was driving a car in Lada. With five of my schoolmates, we shared one skateboard and a tennis racket. With my small cassette player, we ran our disco, although as a school DJ I had restrictions on playing western music. I was lucky to be able to differentiate myself by wearing blue jeans and sneakers, unlike some of my friends whose wardrobe only had bulky school uniforms.

About once a week, my mother sent me to a local state-run grocery store. The shelves were empty, but on certain days they sold pieces of butter. The first 20 people from a long line outside the store can receive one pack at a time.

Around mid-June, my family had the first fresh vegetables. My grandmother had a large garden outside the city. She was not allowed to sell it for a profit – she could be considered too bourgeois – but for a few months we had fresh greens and vegetables on the table.

Listening to old Kremlin leaders talk on television was a big part of the Soviet Union’s growth. The next day at school we were asked to repeat what they said. Indoctrination in this mode has been so successful because most of us have been happy to follow this routine. But in the mid-1980s, the speeches of the leaders became boring, and the words of the country’s senior presidents – Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko – were indistinguishable and confusing.

I was 17 years old when Chernenko died on March 10, 1985. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromiko recommended Mikhail Gorbachev as the next Secretary General of the Communist Party. Gromiko’s recommendation played an important role in the Communist leadership. In a one-party system, when Gorbachev became the leader of the Communist Party, it was as if he had become president.

Many people were puzzled by how Gorbachev started. Before him, people could be imprisoned for public statements criticizing them. I think he was still talking about communist leadership, but he was also prepared to deal with the problems that plagued society. Behind the unfinished construction projects and the lack of food, Gorbachev saw some fundamental problems and criticized the leadership.

This was followed by a policy that was duplicated PerestroikaOr “restructuring”. Gorbachev first used the term in 1986 when visiting a state-owned car manufacturing site in the Urals. It became his new economic doctrine, which allowed for more independent action and introduced many similar market reforms. Its aim was not, as Gorbachev saw at the time, to put an end to the command economy, but to make it operate more effectively by adopting elements of a liberal economy.

In July 1987, Gorbachev introduced a law that allowed state-owned companies to negotiate their own contracts, set production levels based on demand, and take some responsibility for costs. In May 1988, the Soviet Communist Party allowed people, like my grandmother, to run their own businesses and sell productions at affordable prices.

Gorbachev speaks at a press conference after the Soviet-American summit in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986. Wikipedia

His next steps were more radical. In May 1988, the Soviet Communist Party allowed people, like my grandmother, to run their own businesses and sell productions at affordable prices. Then, for the first time in the country’s history, foreigners were allowed to invest in the Soviet economy.

Public life in the country also recovered dramatically with the introduction of Gorbachev sound In the national psyche. This term was not really his. On December 5, 1965, an event known as the Glasnost protest took place in Moscow, a moment considered to be the main turning point in the rise of the Soviet citizens’ rights movement.

During the march, demonstrators in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, led by Soviet dissidents, demanded access to a closed court for writers Andrei Sinavsky and Julia Daniel. After the new communist leader has adopted a term coined by dissidents as his own shock throughout the system. soundOr openness quickly became his political mantra and it needed to It gave the Soviet people the opportunity to openly and openly discuss the problems of the system, as well as the darkest periods of the Soviet past – as there was much to talk about.

I grew up only 30 kilometers from the far western borders of the USSR, until I was 19 I never met a foreigner. Gorbachev’s reforms led to the partial opening of borders. It gave me the opportunity to meet my first foreign friends – exchange students, entrepreneurs investing in new joint ventures, and artists who have come to perform for the first time.

I could start reading western newspapers and listening to foreign radio stations. I quickly learned from my new friends that a pair of blue jeans is not cool enough to know how to wear them as a free man. I found out too sound It was not equated with freedom of expression, and in a free market economy, public institutions always seemed to be ashamed. Eventually, it became clear that the liberal reforms introduced by Gorbachev could not be successful in a one-party system.

These years, from 1985 to 1991, were the last stage in the life of the Soviet Union. It was the moment when the last of the Communist Party and the Soviet leader, Gorbachev, tried to reform the old system. It made the country’s economic life more efficient, expanded political participation, opened the public to debate and introduced a new way of thinking about international affairs.

Andrei Sakharov, a prominent Soviet human rights critic, was admitted to Moscow shortly after receiving a personal phone call from Gorbachev saying he had been released after nearly seven years of internal exile for challenging power. In March 1989, Sakharov was elected to the new Parliament, a newly formed People’s Assembly led by the democratic opposition. Wikipedia

Gorbachev forever changed state power and cultural models in Soviet society, but in a desperate attempt to save the old communist regime, he ultimately failed to realize that it was completely corrupt and could no longer be repaired. In the end, it ultimately destroyed what he hoped to improve and freed me and hundreds of millions of people. For the first time in our lives, what we did with this recently gained freedom was entirely up to us.

This new freedom, which we suddenly felt, inspired the people of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to declare their independence from Moscow. The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, urging East and West Germany to unite and end the Cold War. Citizens of Eastern European countries such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania protested and were released. Other countries, such as Ukraine, followed suit by declaring their independence from Kremlin power.

However, the collapse of the Soviet system caused great turmoil in many Eastern European countries and former Soviet republics. This led to an increase in crime, rampant corruption and the emergence of organized crime. Regardless, the strong Soviet state was withdrawn. He died.

Some thank Gorbachev for his collapsed engineering and describe him as an extreme thinker who rules a great world power, while others blame him for his misfortunes in the years after 1989-1991. Annual mega events.

TIME magazine cover for January 1990. That year, Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering role in the peace process that ended four decades of Cold War. Flickr

Now, at the age of 90 and in quarantine, looking back on Gorbachev’s six years in power and talking to reporters about Zoom, he seems ready to admit mistakes, including continuing to do so. For a long time there was an attempt to reform the Communist Party. He also admits that it was Overconfidence and arrogance are to blame – not many politicians today can do that. However, he still sometimes felt as if he wanted to be able to transform the Soviet system into a better union.

When asked about freedom recently, he said the process was not over. He said there are some people who are uncomfortable with freedom. It was not entirely clear whether he was referring to the current Russian leadership. Following the truth, he did not always seem ready to follow it to the end.

Today, I pay tribute to Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, who at the time was important for the most comprehensive change and allowed many people in the world to follow him.

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