Julian Borger*2 “How Gorbachev’s political legacy was destroyed by Putin” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/30/gorbachev-political-legacy-destroyed-by-putin

冒頭のセンテンスは、”Mikhail Gorbachev lived long enough to see everything he had tried to achieve crumble or get blown up.”

Gorbachev hoped to fundamentally change the mindset of a country that had never experienced democracy, having gone straight from Romanov to Bolshevik dictatorships. The last days of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev’s glasnost (openness) policy were more conducive to freedom of expression than Putin’s Russia where any hint of criticism can bring a jail term.

People have been imprisoned for ironically holding up a blank piece of card. Venediktov’s radio station Ekho Moskvy was closed down and the Jewish journalist found a pig’s head and antisemitic abuse left outside his door*3.

Gorbachev closed down the gulags; Putin’s leading opponent, Alexei Navalny, having survived poisoning, is currently languishing in a penal colony where he has been put in solitary confinement for the third time in a month*4.


Gorbachev was increasingly careful about what he said about Putin in public, and praised him for consolidating the Russian state after the chaos under Boris Yeltsin. But in 2011, he had a warning for what was to come.

“It’s perhaps understandable that during the initial phase he used certain authoritarian methods in his leadership, but using authoritarian methods as a policy for the future – that I think is wrong. I think that’s a mistake,” he said at a public event in the US*5.

“Wherever you go … you see that where you have leaders that rule for 20 years or more … the only thing that is important in such situations for those leaders and people around them is holding on to power,” he said. “I believe that this is something that is happening now in our country.”