Mikhail Gorbachev survived his wife Raisa, who died of leukemia in 1999, to the age of 23. The dying Soviet leader spent his last years at a dacha in a rented house with a garden near Moscow.
“I advised Putin to leave. The clans around him had to be exterminated.” Footage of a turning point in Gorbachev’s life.
He had a personal secretary, a cook and a driver at his disposal. Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky gives insight into the fate of Gorbachev’s life in his documentary on Gorbachev, Gorbčov.ráj. He visited the politician at his dacha, filmed him, talked to him.
For example, in the film Mikhail Gorbachev complains that even his grandchildren do not visit him very often. He says with a smile that he got the house he lives in from the state as well. He had difficulty walking with the help of a walker and spoke slowly.
Last year, even before the invasion of Ukraine, Mansky told Aktuálně.cz what Gorbachev thought of the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in an interview.
“I think his feelings are mixed. Gorbachev supports and defends Putin in many ways, but he doesn’t like destroying democratic institutions and freedoms. The inability to access independent information, as usual, he obeys.” He still watches only state television and print newspapers, but with the exception of Novaya Gazeta, he is more or less on the side of Putin and his regime. Gorbachev doesn’t use the internet, computers or smartphones at all. So in his situation, it’s hard not to be immune to the propaganda and distortions pouring out of the official media,” said Mansky. explained.
I don’t know what Gorbachev was thinking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Because he made no statement about it, and it is not clear whether he was fully aware of this fact at the end of his life. On March 26th, it issued a statement calling for a ceasefire and ceasefire. However, Gorbachev himself did not share this position.
alternately praise and criticize
While the world remembers the last president of the Soviet Union as the man who made democratic change possible in Central and Eastern Europe, many Russians blame him for the collapse of the state and his reforms. mainly associated with economic difficulties in the early 90s.
The test of Gorbachev’s popularity at the time was his participation in the 1996 presidential election. He received only 386,000 of his votes (0.5%), decisively ending his political career. In 2008, he announced the formation of the Independent Democratic Party of Russia, but its founding conference was never held.
Regarding Putin, Gorbachev alternated between praise and criticism. He said the Russian election was undemocratic and manipulated, while denouncing US support for Georgia and Ukraine. In 2014, during the war in Donbass, he said Western powers were pursuing a triumphalist policy against Russia.Two years later, Ukraine banned entry into his territory.
Who will attend the funeral?
The annexation of Crimea by Russia was marked by the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a correction of an error. In his opinion, this was his 1954 transfer of the peninsula to Ukraine. Gorbachev said in 2014 that the international community “must accept this fact and begin to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.”
In 2011, Gorbachev criticized Putin in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel. He compared the president’s United Russia Party to the Communist Party and said Russia was still alive with elements of the system created by Stalin.
Due to the situation created by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Western economic sanctions against Russia (and vice versa), it is currently unclear who will be from abroad at Gorbachev’s funeral and who the Kremlin will allow to travel. . The only certainty is that unlike the previous General Secretary of the Communist Party, he will not be buried next to the Kremlin wall in Moscow’s Red Square. Rest as he wants. Next to his wife at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.
Video: Trailer of the movie Gorbčov.ráj by Vitaliy Manský
Movie Gorbachev. Paradise premiered at the Jihlava Festival and is set to hit cinemas in November. | | Video: Hypermarket Films