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.
- 2 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 3 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
#JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
UK election candidates: 'Nasty party' Ukip faces fresh questions on eve of vote
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party's the right choice for you
Ohio 'Shawshank Redemption' fugitive Frank Freshwater arrested after 56 years on the run
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General election live: Booths open at 7am across the country on polling day
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...