Old Soviet Leader Appeals vs a Return to Cold War

Manila Bulletin, November 15, 2018 | Go to article overview

Old Soviet Leader Appeals vs a Return to Cold War


For many years after the end of World War II in 1945, the world lived in fear of nuclear devastation as the United States (US) and Russia led their respective blocs of nations in a Cold War that threatened to explode in a shooting war with every military and diplomatic crisis.

Each side amassed nuclear missiles aimed at each other's cities. It was only in 1987 that two world powers agreed to end their nuclear rivalry and signed an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty eliminating all short -- and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles. The treaty was signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev. Shortly afterwards, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) itself disbanded and the various Soviet republics attained independence from the Russian Federation.

Gorbachev is today a frail 87-year-old who was honored last week with a new documentary about his life, his reforms in the 1980s, and the arms control drive that ended the Cold War. He spoke briefly to the cinema audience in Moscow. "We must hold back," he said. "We have to continue the course we mapped. We have to ban war once and for all. Most important is to get rid of nuclear weapons."

Earlier last month in an article in the New York Times, Gorbachev had denounced a statement of US President Donald Trump that he planned to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in 1987. …

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