It will no longer be possible to rule Russia “by intimidation”, and that is why the Russian authorities must abandon attempts to rule this way and launch “a new perestroika,” the former president of the Soviet Union, former general secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev, said in a public lecture last Saturday. The Kremlin, however, is confident that the country has had enough perestroikas.
It is the elections, according to him, that ensure the inflow of “new responsible people into all structures of power, including law enforcement ones,” the Kommersant daily writes. That is why he spoke critically about the way “they make appointments now”, giving up on elections, “finding devil knows what reasons for that and adducing unclear arguments”. The ex-president is particularly concerned about the abolishment of gubernatorial elections, in which he sees “delayed-action mines”.
Mikhail Gorbachev believes his main merit was in “putting much effort into perestroika” which he is confident “was cut short”, the newspaper stresses. But he is also sure that “there will be no return to the past,” and that is why he warns that “Vladimir Putin and others who believe one can get back to old methods and intimidate and rule by fear, must be well aware that nothing will come of that”. Having offered the authorities to launch a new perestroika, Gorbachev marked that the present day leaders “only want to retain the power”. This can be opposed only by united efforts of the society, whose task is “to rule out the split into leftists, rightists and others, to prevent a fight among them”.
Representatives of the ruling elite took the proposals of the former Soviet leader skeptically. “Hopefully, there we will have no other perestroika. We have enough of them,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “Mikhail Sergeyevich initiated a perestroika at one time. As a result we lost the country,” the secretary of the United Russia’s General Council, Sergei Neverov, believes. He also believes that it is the present policy that has “helped to preserve the state, solve the problem of poverty and stop criminals seeking the power – the consequences that the policy of Gorbachev had led to”.