Comeback for Gorbachev no longer fantasy
Tuesday 21 September 1999
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mr Gorbachev, idolised in the West for helping to end the Cold War, became one of the most unpopular politicians in his homeland. Many Russians blamed him for destroying an empire they remembered with increasing nostalgia. In 1996, when he stood in the presidential election against Boris Yeltsin, he won only a humiliating 1 per cent of the vote.
But over time, Russians have come to reassess Mr Gorbachev. They remember he gave them freedom. They have also had the opportunity to compare him with Mr Yeltsin, a champion of democracy but a flawed character who unleashed war in the Caucasus and is now mired in allegations of corruption.
It is probably too early to say whether Mr Gorbachev has any political prospects in Russia, after he gets over his grieving. He is likely to return to work at his private think-tank, the Gorbachev Foundation.
But the public mood has changed. If Mr Gorbachev were to stand in an election today, perhaps not for the presidency but for a seat in the State Duma, the chances are that more than 1 per cent of Russians would give him their votes.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
£45000 per annum + pension,medical: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable gl...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...