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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 7:37 am    Post subject: *********** Reply with quote

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Last edited by Kent F. Kruhoeffer on Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Buck Turgidson



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never seen Gorbachev as the hero many others seem to (in the West). I think he was young and bright enough to realize that the Soviet Union was in serious trouble in the 1980s. The centrally planned economy was simply unable to finance communist regimes all over the globe and at the same time provide basic necessities to its own people. You are in Russia, just ask people what it was like during Perestroika. Meanwhile, he faced Reagan who was totally committed to out-spend the Soviets in the arms race. Gorbachev was shaped by events rather than the other way around.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 7:11 am    Post subject: reply to Buck Reply with quote

Hello Buck,

Yes, you are correct that the years of Perestroika were no picnic for ordinary Russians. Many people lost their jobs, the suicide rate skyrocketed, and many Russians felt deeply betrayed by Gorbachev for "selling out" the Fatherland. There's no denying that.

Today, however, opinions about Gorbachev seem to have mellowed somewhat within the Russian population at large. Among my students here at Linguamir, for example, opinions are divided, but generally rather positive in terms of their appraisals of Gorbi and his legacy. Keep in mind that the vast majority of students who study here belong to the upper and upper-middle classes, and have benefitted tremendously from the new freedoms and market reforms begun by Mr. Gorbachev.

Many of them own their own businesses, or manage a business. Most of them have travelled abroad as well, and they understand that this would have been impossible in the "old" days.

Of course, if you were to poll a group of pensioners, or unemployed miners, you would most certainly hear lots of VERY negative comments about the man in question.

For me, the bottom line is this: Freedom for Russia was an expensive proposition. Very expensive. Some Russians have taken advantage of that freedom ... and understand that what they have now is better than what they had then. It all depends on who you're asking.

Whether Mr. Gorbachev actually "shaped events", or was, as you suggest, "shaped by them", one thing seems clear to me: Mr. Gorbachev was, at the very least, "the seed" which spawned the democratic "tree" that Russia is today. For that reason alone, he is a hero in my eyes.

As always, 'thanks' Buck, for sharing your views Exclamation

Best wishes,
kEnT
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 11:41 am    Post subject: Gorby Reply with quote

Personally I would be very careful about making sweeping generalisations about Reform and Change until thedust of history has settled. Certainly many people have suffered as a result of the changes. I am also concerned that the world is not as safe as it was ehen we had two superpoers. Now we have one and........ Look at the result !!!!
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 1:57 pm    Post subject: Thanks, Albulbul Reply with quote

Dear Albulbul,

Nice to see you waaaaay down here on the Russia Forum. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your views. Cool

I agree with your comments about the 'dust of history' not having fully settled yet. It's a scary new world out there.

Btw ... In my original post, only the first 3 paragraphs are presented as "facts". The comments and reply that follow are based purely on my own personal opinions.

RegardsAsAlways,
kEnT
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Buck Turgidson



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2003 6:27 pm    Post subject: Another candidate Reply with quote

In my opinion history will show that Yeltsin was actually more significant than Gorby. Try to overlook his later buffoon image as president. During the last years of the Soviet Union it was Yeltsin who was the real renegade; demanding faster, more far reaching reform. By the end, he was the nemesis of Gorby. When Gorbachev was kidnapped during the 1991 coup, it was Yeltsin who stood up against the reactionaries.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2003 5:12 am    Post subject: Yep, Boris 'rocks' too ! Reply with quote

Hi Buck Cool

Yep, you're right again. Boris rocks. I never really minded his 'silly' public image. For me, it represented a refreshing change from his stone-faced predecessors. I really loved watching him together with Clinton, laughing and dancing and flirting with the girls.

To be honest, I wrote the Gorbachev tribute after reading a story about him on BBC online. It reminded me of how the world had fogotten about him, and it made me a little sad.

When they do the same for Mr. Yeltsin, I'll write another tribute. Laughing

Regards,
KeNt
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Buck Turgidson



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2003 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I don't want to be too critical of Gorby. He was certainly a better alternative to Brezhnev. Rolling Eyes

In Putin, Russia has a more traditional "stone faced" leader. Russians I talked to had a neutral to positive opinion of him.
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