News / Europe

Some Russian Deputies Request Gorbachev Investigation Over Soviet Break-up

Russian President Putin listens to former President of the Soviet Union Gorbachev during news conference in Schleswig, Germany, December 21, 2004.
Russian President Putin listens to former President of the Soviet Union Gorbachev during news conference in Schleswig, Germany, December 21, 2004.
Reuters
A small group of lawmakers have asked Russia's top prosecutor to investigate whether the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, should face treason charges over his role in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
 
Gorbachev dismissed the request as an act of publicity-seeking and said there were no grounds to charge him.
 
It follows a surge of patriotism since Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last month, which has revived nostalgia among some Russians for the Soviet Union and boosted President Vladimir Putin's popularity ratings.
 
The seven-page request for an investigation says Gorbachev and other senior Soviet officials violated the law and the will of the people by letting the republics that made up the Soviet Union declare independence and break away.
 
“As a result of these criminal actions, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a global superpower, was destroyed and ceased existing as a geopolitical reality,” the letter says.
 
Signed by five lawmakers including two members of the United Russia party loyal to Putin, it was sent to Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika on Wednesday.
 
The Prosecutor General's office declined comment but said it generally takes up to 10 days to decide whether to start an investigation.

 
This photo shows former U.S. President Ronald Reagan at his first meeting with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland, 1985.This photo shows former U.S. President Ronald Reagan at his first meeting with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland, 1985.
x
This photo shows former U.S. President Ronald Reagan at his first meeting with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland, 1985.
This photo shows former U.S. President Ronald Reagan at his first meeting with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland, 1985.
​Gorbachev is celebrated in the West for his policies of “perestroika” (restructuring) and glasnost” (openness) and not resorting to widespread use of force to hold the Soviet Union together.
 
But many Russians blame him for the superpower's collapse and some hanker for what they see as the relative stability of Soviet times.
 
“The catastrophic consequences have manifested themselves throughout the years since the collapse of the USSR, in Russia as well as on the territory of the (other) former Soviet republics,” the lawmakers wrote, describing the crisis in Ukraine as among the consequences.
 
The 83-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said: “Such calls only reflect how certain lawmakers seek their own PR and like being talked about, but the request is completely ill-considered and absolutely unjustified from the point of view of historic facts.”
 
Gorbachev has repeatedly criticized Putin and his treatment of political dissent, saying Russia needs a new system of governance.
 
He also co-publishes an independent newspaper that is critical of the Kremlin.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Q Dallas from: Dallas, TX USA
April 11, 2014 12:15 PM
Now with the Crimea election over, let's hope Prosecutor General Chaika is more flexible. Gorby is on board with those results.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid