Gorbachev slams Russia's ruling elite

2011-02-16 15:02

kalahari.com

Moscow - The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, on Wednesday launched a stinging attack on Russia's ruling elite, claiming the Kremlin had banned him from setting up a political party.

In an interview with Novaya Gazeta newspaper ahead of his 80th birthday on March 2, Gorbachev said he wanted to set up a social democratic party but the Kremlin's chief ideologue Vladislav Surkov warned it would not be registered.

"With my friends, I have an idea to set up a party. When Surkov found out, he asked: 'Why do you need this? In any case, we are not going to register your party'," Gorbachev said.

Surkov, Kremlin first deputy chief of staff, is credited with creating the centralised power system that has marked Russia under the rule of Vladimir Putin as well as coining the phrase "sovereign democracy".

"I replied: We will create a movement," Gorbachev said. "And we created it. But a movement is not a party and does not take part in elections. We need to have a social democratic party that does not depend on the authorities."

He accused the ruling class in Russia of showing indifference to its people and also lashed out at billionaire Roman Abramovich who has built up his fortune while staying well away from politics.

Still shouldering blame

"They (the ruling classes) are rich and debauched. Their ideal is to be something close to Abramovich. I scorn this idea. I am ashamed of this rich debauchery. I am ashamed for us and the country."

Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev remains a figure more admired in the West than in Russia, where many still blame him for triggering the collapse of a world power.

There is expected to be intense attention on his role in history as he gears up to mark his 80th birthday. Along with tycoon Alexander Lebedev, he is a part owner of the opposition Novaya Gazeta.

In the interview, Gorbachev complained that Russians were forgetting the achievements of his perestroika (rebuilding) and linked it to economic problems.

"Now they are forgetting what was done. They reduce perestroika to our problems, the empty shelves. But it was then that we created the (freedom) people enjoy now when they go to church, get visas, surf the net or buy newspapers," he said.

"And I forgot to mention - we avoided the catastrophe of a nuclear war. Now no one seems to particularly remember this."

- SAPA
Read more on:    mikhail gorbachev  |  russia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.