History, traditions
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

Mikhail Gorbachev, father of perestroika, celebrates 75th birthday

The first and the last President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev celebrates his 75th birthday today. Mr. Gorbachev is going to celebrate his anniversary without any pompous festivities. The ex-president will have dinner with his family and friends in one of Moscow restaurants. “It will all be simple, but there will be good snacks,” Itar Tass quoted Gorbachev as saying. “My biggest dream at the moment is to get drunk for my 75th birthday. No matter what it may lead to ,” Gorbachev said.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and former Foreign Secretary of Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher will be the only foreign guests invited for the celebration of Mr. Gorbachev’s 75th birthday. USA ’s 41st President George Bush Sr. has sent a video message of congratulations to Moscow.

Mikhail Gorbachev has gone down in history as a politician who put an end to the Cold War era, demolished the Berlin wall and destroyed the dictatorship of communism. “I made the right choices in my political career. As for perestroika, I think that we should have made the choice that we actually made. I would do it now too to the benefit of freedom and democratic changes,” Gorbachev said in one of his recent radio interviews.

Speaking about the collapse of the Soviet Union , the first President of the USSR reproached Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin for telling lies. Yeltsin particularly said that Gorbachev had not been trapped in a Ukrainian residence during the coup of 1991. According to Yeltsin, Gorbachev was aware of the conspiracy and of the imminent collapse of the world's biggest superpower. “These are all lies. Yeltsin amnestied those who organized the anti-state coup,” Gorbachev said in an interview with the Sobesednik newspaper.

It is worthy of note that the majority of Russians have not evaluated Mikhail Gorbachev’s contribution to world history. According to recent opinion polls, most of Russian citizens treat Gorbachev’s personality negatively. “Happy reformers do not exist,” Gorbachev says. He is perfectly aware of Russian people’s negative attitude to him. “However, I can say that I have never felt as much freedom as in the 15 years after the end of my stay in power. I can do what I want, I can say what I want and think what I want, if I want to, of course. It turns out that it’s a big rarity – to be free and independent,” Gorbachev said in an interview with the Trud newspaper.

“It may seem strange, but I still have this quality of trust. I continue to trust other people even if I know something bad about them. I still trust them although I have had very big disappointments in my life. I have been betrayed not only by politicians, but by my friends as well whom I have been friends with for many years,” the former president of the USSR said.

Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. He was awarded “The German of the Century” title after the unification of Germany. Nowadays Gorbachev chairs his foundation of social, economic and political research. Mikhail Gorbachev is an honourary member of over 30 universities of the world.

“The history of the 20th century is full of monstrous manifestations of political amorality. However, the challenges at the end of the 20th century resulted in a certain connection between politics and morality. There is only one way out of the current world order crisis. One should step on the way of establishing the world based on rights but not violence. The new world order needs to observe the natural, ethnic and cultural variety. The new world order will not appear itself. It will happen if the international community takes targeted efforts and uses all resources and knowledge for it. I pin great hopes on the young generation at this point.

“I try to approach the work of President Vladimir Putin objectively. I do not turn a blind eye on negative sides, although I do not underestimate the positive accomplishments. Putin has managed to overcome chaos and instability in the country, which is his historical achievement. Putin resorts to authoritarian methods at times. I would not agree with those reproaching the president for establishing the authoritarian regime in Russia. There is no such regime in the country and I think it will never be created here. Even traditionally democratic countries use authoritarian methods sometimes,” Mikhail Gorbachev said.

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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