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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora