Putin is 'too healthy' says CIA director amid illness rumours
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Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov, who is in touch with the veteran politician, said the former Soviet President was “upset” over the current situation in relation to the war in Ukraine. Mr Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985.
He instigated a policy of political freedom and openness known as Glasnost and economic reforms known as Perestroika.
Mr Gorbachev established good relations with the West and allowed for open discussions of politics and Soviet history and held multiparty elections.
However this period was characterised by increased nationalism in the constituent Soviet republics, one of the numerous factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991.
Mr Gorbachev, who grew up in the Stalinist period is now aged 91, and has not commented publicly about what the Kremlin refers to as the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
However in an interview with Russian Forbes Mr Venediktov, editor of independent Ekho Moscow Radio, said Mr Gorbachev was sad to see how current events were unfolding.
He said: “Gorbachev’s reforms – political, not economic – were all destroyed.
“Nilch, zero, ashes. When Gorbachev was leaving, there were 4,000 NATO Response Forces in Europe – four thousand.
“Now NATO has announced 300,000 people by the end of next year, so today there are 40,000 – and will be 300,000.
“I can tell you that he is upset.
“Of course, he understands that […] this was his life’s work. Freedoms were brought by Gorbachev.
“Everyone forgot who gave freedom to the Russian Orthodox Church? Who was it? Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.
“The freedom of press, the first media law, who brought it?
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“Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev. Private property? Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.
“So what would [Gorbachev] be able to say now?”
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