Letter: For Mr Yeltsin, the memory lingers on

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The Independent Online
Sir: As you say, Boris Yeltsin is tightening the screws on Mikhail Gorbachev, the man he succeeded and whom, initially, he treated generously (leading article, 'The trials of Mr Gorbachev', 12 October). His early magnanimity, however, was conditional on Mr Gorbachev's declared intention to stay out of politics: a temptation he has shown himself reluctant to resist.

Mr Yeltsin's actions may seem petty, and Western opinion still clings to the illusions of Gorbymania. On his side, Mr Yeltsin must find it hard to forget the long series of petty humiliations inflicted on him while Mr Gorbachev was in power, culminating in his being thrown into a river by a security unit.

There is a symbolic touch in the fact to which you draw attention: in October 1991, the Gorbachev Foundation is reported to have taken over the facilities of the Lenin Institute, where for many years six-month training courses for international terrorists were held. After all, Mr Gorbachev consistently claimed Lenin as his inspirer.

Yours faithfully,


London, W1

13 October