Gorbachev, Stefanini: “Doesn’t Putin go to funerals? Former president was his opposite”

For the senior advisor of ISPI, “the last president of the USSR was not a prophet at home, but his merits are those of openness to a freedom that his country had never had”

“It is no wonder Putin’s attitude in the face of Gorbachev’s death, which represented his exact opposite, having let the former Soviet republics freely choose their independence, while the current Russian president tries to bring the ‘Ukraine under the control of Moscow by force ”. Stefano Stefanini, senior advisor of the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), told Adnkronos, commenting on Putin’s cold homage to Gorbachev’s body and his decision not to attend the funeral of the former Russian president who died tomorrow last Tuesday.

“Gorbachev has achieved an impossible thing – adds Stefanini – an authentic peaceful coexistence between two opposing blocs for 40 years of cold war, together with the hope of economic and social improvement for the Russians that unfortunately he was not able to achieve, and this led to a general discontent of the Russians towards him. He was not a prophet at home, but his merits are those of Russia’s openness to a freedom that he had never had and to the outside world that he had never known. These are enormous merits, which transcend the failure of his economic reforms and the inability – which his critics reproach him – to keep the Soviet Union together ”.

“I lived a season in which Gorbachev brought a ray of hope – continues Stefanini, who was among other things NATO ambassador – while Putin proved the opposite, closing Russian society to freedom, passing from coexistence with the West. by comparison. Gorbachev left the communist system and ended practically without bloodshed. There were clashes in the Baltic states and also in the Caucasus, which must be seen against the backdrop of the enormity of the Soviet Union’s problems and the enormity of having granted freedom to the other republics, as well as to all the countries of Eastern Europe. This is also the opposite of what Putin is doing. It is therefore not surprising that, after having given formal recognition of what the last president and leader of the USSR, Putin did not want to pay homage to Gorbachev. Unfortunately, even in this he rode the wave of persistent unpopularity of Gorbachev at home “.

“To posterity the arduous sentence – concludes the ISPI adviser – The Russians will face the difficulties, including economic ones, that involved Gorbachev’s reforms, which after the very difficult 90s led to a situation of well-being that Russia did not know before, with the situation in which Putin will leave his country, which he has placed on a war plan. The level of freedom, including information, that existed in Gorbachev’s Moscow, which I personally met from 1990 to 1993, is unthinkable in the Putin’s contemporary Russia, where information is domesticated, bent and exploited by the propaganda and the wave of nationalism on which the regime rests. We know, also from the experience we have had in Italy and in Europe, that when a regime manages to controlling all propaganda tools also brings public opinion with it … at least until it bumps into some obstacle as autocrats often do “.

(by Cristiano Camera)