Mikhail Gorbachev, the first president of the USSR, turned 89 years old on March 2, 2020. Gorbachev is probably the most notorious politician in Russia, and many Russians still have mixed feelings about him.
Of course, we all wish him good health to be able to celebrate his 90th anniversary next year. However, as time goes by, he will inevitably become a myth character. When he passes away, he will become the character of the myth about a man, who managed to single-handedly destroy the most powerful empire in history, having accomplished either a heroic feat or a terrible act of betrayal.
According to opinion polls, more than 50 percent of Russians share a negative attitude about Gorbachev's role in the history of the USSR. A much smaller amount of Russians - ten percent - are grateful Gorbachev for destroying the Soviet Union that they despised. As many as eight percent of the polled said that they share a neutral attitude towards Mikhail Gorbachev.
It was Gorbachev who reprimanded the West for violating all agreements of his time. It was Gorbachev, who had every right to do so. Not so long ago, Mikhail Gorbachev said: "Crimea is Russia and let someone prove otherwise." When asked whether Putin had "imperialistic ambitions", taking into account the "annexation of the Crimea" and Russia's interference in the Syrian conflict, Gorbachev answered with a strong "no."
According to him, "firstly, in the Crimea there was a referendum that very clearly defined the will of its citizens. The Crimea is Russia, and let someone prove otherwise. In Syria, there is a fight against terrorism going on, and Russia is fulfilling its duty."
Commenting on the US position on Russia, Gorbachev calmly stated that "we have one fever - this is America and its claims to leadership." On the day of the 70th anniversary of the use of atomic weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ex-president of the USSR gave an interview to German newspaper Der Spiegel, in which he talked about why the world cannot achieve nuclear balance.
Gorbachev said that it would impossible to achieve balance regarding the non-proliferation and non-use of nuclear weapons, as long as one country has a defense budget that is larger than defense budgets of all other countries of the world.
Gorbachev believes that Vladimir Putin is enjoys the support of the Russian people partly because of their natural aspiration to ensure their safety.