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Last leader of USSR calls for fair elections

February 29, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Mikhail Gorbachev also stressed that Russia has to overcome the consequences of Stalinism
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Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev

© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said on Monday Russia needs honest elections.

"People should be given a chance to vote free and make a choice, like we did back in 1989 for the first time in our history," Gorbachev said.

"If the election is fair… those who come to power to make money, deceive and so on, will not be there," he said.

Freedom as major achievement

 

Mikhail Gorbachev said he believes that freedom is his top achievement.

"The most important is freedom and glasnost (meaning openness)," Gorbachev told reporters presenting the 700-page memoires ahead of his 85th birthday that he marks on March 2.

Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said he will hold true to the ideas of perestroika - the policy of restructuring the Soviet political and economic system during the 1980s.

"I was and remain faithful to that idea and the choice that I made," he stressed. The former Soviet leader said if he had remained at the helm of the state he would have carried out reforms "in evolutional way and without any shocks."

Gorbachev also called to overcome consequences of Joseph Stalin’s policy for the society. "I say directly - Stalinism needs to be overcome. Millions perished because of Stalin."

The book 'Gorbachev in Person,' published by the Gorbachev Foundation, features his quotations, memoires, interviews, letters and articles. The book chronicles contacts down the years with advisers and aides, cultural activists, journalists, entrepreneurs and hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. The book covers all stages in the life of the former president, describing his childhood, student life, ascent to power, as well as attempts to explain reasons behind the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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