The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview

For during these days, I was convinced anew how many of us there are in the world, and how we are united in the thirst for honor, dignity and truth.

...


NOTES
9.
A reference to the Soviet-American summit in Malta, where conservatives believed Gorbachev had made compromises—Trans.
10.
Gorbachev was detained at his dacha in the town of Foros in the Crimea—Trans.

61 Inside Gorbachev's Kremlin

YEGOR LIGACHEV

...

The real drama of perestroika was that the process of self-cleansing of our society begun in the depths of the Communist Party, not only slowed down, but was, I would say, distorted. In place of the old corrupt elements that for decades had been festering in the body of the Communist Party and the society at large, suddenly, in the space of a year or two, came even more horrible and more absolutely corrupt forces that stifled the healthy start made in the Party and the country after April 1985. Like the rapidly multiplying Colorado beetles, which in a moment eat up all the green potato shoots in a field, these proliferating parasitic forces quickly gobbled up all the sprouts of perestroika. As a result, the country, which had risen up to renew itself, lost its balance and faltered. And now we see the country already falling into the abyss of crisis.

What are these forces? What is their nature? Who is behind them, and why did they attain such free range at the time that the Communist Party, which had begun the self-cleansing process, was bound hand and foot like Gulliver, virtually deprived of the opportunity to wage an active political struggle?

To comprehend fully the bitterness of the cup from which our nation has drunk, we must investigate calmly and thoroughly how perestroika was born, how it began, developed, and ... disintegrated.

...

... I think that Gorbachev at first underestimated the social consequences of the destructive work of press, television, and radio. But the role of the media in the destabilization of the Baltics was very clear, as in the popular front press Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia became battering rams, shaking the pillars of socialism

-706-

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