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  1. #1
    Over 9000! Milchshake's Avatar
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    RIP Mikhail Gorbachev

    Mikhail Gorbachev, last leader of the former USSR has passed.
    Mikhail Gorbachev was a deeply consequential figure in the most important event of the latter part of the twentieth century, the collapse and fall of the Soviet empire. Everything could have gone much, much differently under another Soviet leader.

    The Soviet Union was in big trouble by the early 1980s. A half-century of Stalinist leadership had left it absolutely decrepit. Other than the brief Khrushchev thaw, when the premier decided to break from the worst parts of the Stalinism he had long supported, the USSR was dominated by old Stalinists who hated change. Brezhnev was rigid enough. But when he died in 1982, the Politburo just kept naming more ancient dudes to replace him. Neither Yuri Andropov nor Constantin Chernenko had any ability or desire to do anything but keep the Soviet Union on the path it had been on.

    They could not and would not see that the economy was a mess, corruption grew rampant and Afghanistan was a disaster. So when Chernenko died in 1985, the remaining Politburo realized someone under the age of 80 needed to lead. Support from the powerful Andrei Gromyko, it went to Gorbachev. Once Gorbachev consolidated power, he instituted his two-part program to revitalize the nation. The first was perestroika. This was to import an extremely limited set of quasi-free market principles to jolt the economy into working more properly.

    It’s almost impossible to overstate the pressure Gorbachev was under as the Soviet Union moved toward collapse. The Stalinist state was still alive. A whole lot of people had a lot invested in nothing changing. That was certainly true of Communist Party leadership and the military, but also reverberated through Soviet society. What would Gorbachev do when the walls start crumbling?

    When the Berlin Wall fell, in 1989, Gorbachev decided not to send in the military, a stark difference from Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the pressure on Poland during the Solidarity movement. From the perspective of human rights, this was the right thing to do. Arguably, Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize for this in 1990.

    Gorbachev found himself increasingly without a political home. The hardliners despised Gorbachev as a traitor. The reformers, led by Yeltsin, who loathed Gorbachev in a mutually held feeling of hatred, felt that he needed to go. Gorbachev was reelected party leader in 1990 and then made a deal with Yeltsin to privatize parts of the economy in order to save socialism but then abandoned it when the hardliners criticized it.

    In August 1991, Gorbachev and his family took a vacation at their dacha on the Crimean Sea. This was the time for the hardliners to throw Gorbachev out of power and try to save their nation. The so-called “Gang of Eight,” actually called the State Committee on the State of Emergency, overthrew Gorbachev in a coup.

    But the coup was a disaster.

    The people no longer feared the government. Tens of thousands of protestors came out in Moscow to protect Boris Yeltsin. Within a few days, the coup was over. But so was Gorbachev. He resigned as Communist Party General Secretary two days later.



    When Donald Trump attempted his coup on January 6, 2021, Gorbachev spoke out against it, saying that, “The storming of the Capitol was clearly planned in advance, and it’s obvious by whom.” Ah, if only the US media would just come out and say this.
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  2. #2
    He couldn't stand to see how Putin is destroying his homeland.

  3. #3
    He had a correct vision, but could not properly deliver it.

    He lifted the Iron Curtain and ended Cold War, but he also led USSR to ruin and disarray which eventually led to rise of Putin with his Make Russia Great Again vision that resonated with the populace after a decade of humiliation.
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  4. #4
    Did he accidentally fall out of a window?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Did he accidentally fall out of a window?
    Soviet/Russian top leaders were never offed, because that would set a dangerous precedent for the successors. They were "retired" and sidelined, but otherwise untouched.
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  6. #6
    Scarab Lord Ihavewaffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XDurionX View Post
    He couldn't stand to see how Putin is destroying his homeland.
    Gorbys homeland was the soviet union. Which gorby betrayed, why his only fans are westerners.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    Gorbys homeland was the soviet union. Which gorby betrayed, why his only fans are westerners.
    The Soviet Union was a dystopian nightmare which would have collapsed anyway. Gorby offered to do this in a dignified way.

  8. #8
    The Undying Breccia's Avatar
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    Having lived through the Reagan years, I can only say: Gorbachev tried. Sadly, the story of his death and the legacy he leaves behind will be swallowed up by the war crimes of Putin's Ukraine invasion and of course the FBI going Will Smith on Trump in court. He deserved better.

  9. #9
    Scarab Lord Ihavewaffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XDurionX View Post
    The Soviet Union was a dystopian nightmare which would have collapsed anyway.
    You watch too many movies

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    Having lived through the Reagan years, I can only say: Gorbachev tried. Sadly, the story of his death and the legacy he leaves behind will be swallowed up by the war crimes of Putin's Ukraine invasion and of course the FBI going Will Smith on Trump in court. He deserved better.
    He was incompetent, so no, he didn't try.

  10. #10
    The Undying Breccia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    He was incompetent, so no, he didn't try.
    Um...I didn't say he succeeded. In English, "try" and "succeed" are different words.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by enigma77 View Post
    Did he accidentally fall out of a window?
    He was 91 so no.

  12. #12
    Over 9000! zealo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    Um...I didn't say he succeeded. In English, "try" and "succeed" are different words.
    You're talking to a Russian, regarding Gorbachev as a national traitor is a very commonly held viewpoint over there.

  13. #13
    Scarab Lord Ihavewaffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zealo View Post
    You're talking to a Russian, regarding Gorbachev as a national traitor is a very commonly held viewpoint over there.
    If u say I am Russian then that only proves u believe whatever u feel like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    Um...I didn't say he succeeded. In English, "try" and "succeed" are different words.
    No, try implies an actual attempt.


    He was incompetent, let himself be outplayed by that fat retarded drunk pig boris yeltsin, you couldn't fail harder than that..

  14. #14
    The Undying Breccia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    No, try implies an actual attempt.
    I'm starting to doubt that you actually have waffles.

    PBS already has a piece up about the legacy of Gorbachev, final leader of the Soviet Union. It includes some...unkind things he said about Putin, for example.

  15. #15
    Over 9000! zealo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    If u say I am Russian then that only proves u believe whatever u feel like.

    - - - Updated - - -



    No, try implies an actual attempt.


    He was incompetent, let himself be outplayed by that fat retarded drunk pig boris yeltsin, you couldn't fail harder than that..
    You're not nearly as subtle about where you're from as you think with your post history on these forums.

    Actually, I'll retract that, seems to be a Bulgarian with pro-Russia views judging from some digging in the Ukraine thread I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    You have 13000 Russians, we in Bulgaria has almost three times that, 31679 Russians, yet you don't hear us crying like little girls "the Russians are gonna invade!!!1111oneone"
    Maybe if you tried cooperation instead of confrontation? I mean you have no real reasons not to cooperate with Russia.
    Last edited by zealo; 2022-08-31 at 01:44 PM.

  16. #16
    Void Lord Doctor Amadeus's Avatar
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    Very educational post, speaking as someone who lived through his leadership, and Reagan. Not saying I was completely ignorant of all the information in the OP, but It certainly informs me of some perspective and facts I had forgotten.

    Not sure if I would call him an Angel or a Demon, seems like just a man who lived his life to the well old age of 91. He had an interesting life, and was an interesting person.
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  17. #17
    As an interesting parallel to recent events, he also oversaw a retreat from a war in Afghanistan that was bungled and handed to him by his predecessors.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    If u say I am Russian then that only proves u believe whatever u feel like.
    Where you from then? Wondering who, outside of Russia, would consider Gorbachev a traitor, or overall dislike him to that extent.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Okacz View Post
    Where you from then? Wondering who, outside of Russia, would consider Gorbachev a traitor, or overall dislike him to that extent.
    overall dislike for gorby is pretty strong in the baltics etc because of the brutal crackdowns.

  20. #20
    When civil unrest began to grow in East Germany in the 80s Gorbachev made it clear to the GDR government that Soviet Union will not intervene and uphold communist rule with its military as it did in earlier decades in countries of the eastern bloc. He did not want eastern bloc revolutions, but he also didn't fight against them as his predecessors did. He played a small part of why I live in freedom for a couple decades now.

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