Nearly half of Russians think there were no positives to Gorbachev era, poll finds

Nearly half of Russians think there were no positives to Gorbachev era, poll finds
Gorbachev’s biggest achievements, the poll found, were considered by respondents to be the ending of the Cold War and the democratic freedoms that he brought to the USSR.
By Henry Kirby in London March 3, 2016

Nearly half of Russians believe that there were no positives to the tenure of former general secretary of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, a poll has found.

March 2 marked the 85th birthday of the Soviet Union’s last leader, who from 1985 to 1991 oversaw the USSR’s partial liberalisation and eventual dissolution.

Russian opinions of the former general secretary and, briefly, president of the Soviet Union are varied, according to a poll by Moscow-based VTsIOM, with respondents considering him both a well-intentioned patriot and a leader bereft of achievements in equal measure.

47% of respondents believe there were no positives to his time presiding over the Soviet Union. Only five years earlier, this figure was only 4%, indicating a huge shift in opinion on Gorbachev since the poll was last conducted in 2011.

Gorbachev famously sought to reform the USSR from the ground up via Perestroika, a programme of market liberalization which arguably accelerated the existing disintegration of the USSR’s bloated and mismanaged state economy, despite its progressive aims. 5% of respondents cited Perestroika as one of Gorbachev’s main failings, while 36% blamed him directly for the collapse of the USSR. 10% said that he led the country into economic decline.

The majority of respondents appeared able to put the ineffectiveness of Gorbachev’s initiatives aside, though, with 46% admitting that he had the USSR’s best interests at heart, despite his failings.

Others remembered Gorbachev less fondly, with 24% of respondents accusing him of being a criminal who deliberately destroyed the Soviet Union. Only 12% described him as a brave reformist.

Gorbachev’s biggest achievements, the poll found, were considered by respondents to be the ending of the Cold War, at 6%, and the democratic freedoms that he brought to the USSR, at 5%.

Data

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss