Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Communist leader of Soviet Russia, has written a letter published in two Russian newspapers that gives a damning indictment of Russia’s current leadership.”It is difficult to get away from the feeling that the Russian authorities have neither the political will nor the readiness to find a real way out,” writes 80-year-old Gorbachev, according to a translation by Reuters.
“They are limited to cosmetic measures and more often to resounding declarations and the imitation of reform: apparently powerful personal and corporate interests depend on the preservation of the status quo.”
Gorbachev goes on to question the very future of Russia.
“The unwillingness to start reform or the desire to have partial change is often explained by the fear of losing power and the desire to prevent a new collapse of Russia,” he wrote.
“But it is the very absence of change which threatens to provoke instability and put the future of the country in question.”
The article doesn’t mention Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or President Dimitry Medvedev by name, but takes not-so-subtle swipes at them, criticising Medvedev’s lack of reform and called the president “a new Russian Monarch”.
The letter comes as Putin and Medvedev prepare to announce which one of the two will run for President in 2012. Putin was president until 2008, when he stepped down as he had come to the limit of the term times legally allowed. He handpicked Medvedev to replace him, but was widely expected to return to the position.
Recent reports suggested that Putin was not going to run, as he felt he would was better able to control the country while not in office.
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