Mikhail Gorbachev: Is the World Really Safer Without the Soviet Union?

A man waves a Russian flag during a rally November 21, 1988 (MF/AA/REUTERS Pictures)


Virtually all American commentary about the end of the Soviet Union extols what the West is believed to have gained from that historic event. On this twentieth anniversary of the breakup, The Nation presents three writers who focus instead on what may have been lost. Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader and first constitutional president, argues that a chance for a more secure and just world order was missed. Stephen F. Cohen, a historian and longtime Nation contributor, reminds readers of the political, economic and social costs to Russians themselves. And Vadim Nikitin, a US-educated Russian journalist, presents a new interpretation of pro-Soviet nostalgia.   —The Editors

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union twenty years ago, Western commentators have often celebrated it as though what disappeared from the world arena in December 1991 was the old Soviet Union, the USSR of Stalin and Brezhnev, rather than the reforming Soviet Union of perestroika. Moreover, discussion of its consequences has focused mostly on developments inside Russia. Equally important, however, have been the consequences for international relations, in particular lost alternatives for a truly new world order opened up by the end of the cold war.

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One Response to “Mikhail Gorbachev: Is the World Really Safer Without the Soviet Union?”

  1. sudhan Says:

    See what the US ruling military-industrial conglomerate has been doing since 1991! Father Bush unleashed the Gulf war in 1991 that Clinton continued but under a different guise. Then came Bush the Son who started the criminal wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan as there was no international restraining power as before. If the Soviet power were still intact, the American rulers would have thought twice before hurling millions of people in the hell of war and destruction. But the Soviet Union was gone and the field for predatory wars open for the American ruling elites and their imperial agenda.

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