The Black Madonna 34: Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyvich Gorbachev was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union. He launched the policies of glasnost and perestroika, allowed free speech and established elected legislatures at every level of power. His goal was not the destruction of the Soviet Union or the dismantling of the communist state, it was to modernize and reform the country. The communist system was a dictatorship with little regard for human rights yes, but Gorbachev insisted that there were many positive aspects that were worth saving.
“We were too late with our reforms… The Soviet Union offered lots of prospects to those who lived there, and it could have had a future if it had modernized and adapted to new challenges. Yes, I regret its collapse very much” he said in an interview in 2011.
Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War.