Archive for the ‘Gorbachev’ Category

Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

March 5, 2009

President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia’s government needs new people in top positions, a signal that he wants more clout in leadership circles dominated by allies of his predecessor Vladimir Putin.


Russia‘s worst economic crisis in a decade has produced signs of strain in Medvedev’s tandem rule with Putin, now prime minister. Medvedev has repeatedly questioned the government’s response to the crisis in remarks seen as veiled criticism of Putin, who is responsible for the economy.

Meeting with potential candidates for senior government jobs, Medvedev said the failure to regularly rotate top officials has eroded the government’s efficiency.

“We can’t move forward because the personnel reshuffle, the emergence of new people, has been very slow,” Medvedev said. “We keep shuffling the same deck of cards.”

Medvedev met with several dozen officials, academics and public activists who recently had been pinpointed by the Kremlin as potential candidates for senior government jobs. He said his administration has singled out 1,000 potential candidates for government jobs and will continue reviewing the list regularly.

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Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”


By DAN PERRY, Associated Press Writer

 In some of his strongest criticism of his successors, Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday likened Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party to the worst of the communists he once led and helped bring down, and said Russia is today a country where the parliament and the judiciary are not fully free.

In an interview with The Associated Press some 20 years after the Soviet empire started its rapid collapse on his tumultuous watch, Gorbachev also said the global economic crisis showed capitalism should be tempered with elements of the socialist system he played such a critical role in sweeping away.

The last Soviet leader was interviewed in the offices of his Gorbachev Foundation, a think tank founded in 1992 to promote “democratic values and moral, humanistic principles” — as well as, some say, Gorbachev himself. A little aged and more heavyset perhaps, Gorbachev, 78, seemed feisty, friendly and often reminiscent of the man who once ruled one of two superpowers on Earth.

Gorbachev is a paradoxical figure even after all these years — widely credited around the world with a historic convulsion he admits he did not intend. He sought to fix communism, not destroy it, and in the interview said that while he was willing to let Eastern Europe go its own way he very much hoped the republics that formed the Soviet Union would stay united.

“I was a resolute opponent of the breakup of the union,” said Gorbachev, who was forced to step down on Dec. 25, 1991, as the country he led ceased to exist.

He still holds out hope that one day Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus will join with Russia in forming a new union.

He seemed to view the global meltdown as partly the result of years of Western hubris and excess.

“The American media trumpeted … about the victory in the Cold War, that socialism is down. This disease of extreme self-confidence led to it — the (belief) that things would always go on this way. And it did last long … I think that now everyone is learning a hard lesson.”

“It is necessary to overcome these mistakes of super-consumerism, of super-profits.” he said. “We have to think about finding — through the G20 or other institutions — new models of development (and) cooperation.”

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Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during an interview ... 
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 5, 2009. In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Gorbachev likened Vladamir Putin’s United Russia Party to the communists he once led and helped bring down, and said Russia is today a country where the parliament and the judiciary are not fully free.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)