First president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev wrote an open letter to Russian and U.S. presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, in which he called on the two leaders to assist in resolving the crisis in Ukraine. This was reported by Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov. He noted that Putin had read the letter, but added that he was not sure whether there would be a response or not.
Ushakov also said that Putin and Obama held a telephone conversation on Tuesday, but the presidents did not discuss the Ukrainian crisis.
According to media reports, in the letter, Gorbachev urged Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama to initiate talks in Ukraine.
"Vladimir Vladimirovich, Mr. Obama, I kindly ask you to find an opportunity to take a decisive step to help Ukraine step back on the path of peaceful development. I hope so much you can do that," the letter said. "We can not allow Ukrainians fight with the Ukrainians. This is terrible absurdity," Gorbachev wrote.
There is a Soviet anecdote: "During a job interview an experienced accountant was asked: what would be two plus two? The answer was: it depends how much you need it to be".