Nationalists seek Duma recognition of Gorbachev’s, Yeltsin’s past actions as criminal

File photo: Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Boris Yeltsin (left) and the USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev (right) in the presidium of the 4th congress of people's deputies. © 
Sergey Guneev
Russian populist nationalist party LDPR has prepared a draft parliamentary address denouncing previous political activities of last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and first Russian President Boris Yeltsin as “criminal and destructive.”

The collapse of the USSR, ethnic strife, numerous armed conflicts, increased mortality and disease, the growing number of people with alcoholism and drug addiction, the disastrous plunge in living standards of millions of people – nothing of this has happened simply by chance,” reads the draft prepared by Liberal Democrats and published by TASS on Tuesday.

These were results of self-contradicting and inconsistent decisions and actions taken and realized by the leaders of our country – first by Mikhail Gorbachev and later by Boris Yeltsin. The deterioration of the situation in the country was a result of the negative policies of Perestroika and Yeltsin’s reforms,” the lawmakers wrote in their address.

READ MORE: Gorbachev urges Russians to unite in the face of ongoing economic crisis

Flamboyant LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said in press comments that he expected the Communist MPs in the State Duma to support the motion, but added that its final fate would be decided by the parliamentary majority United Russia party.

The Communist Party and Fair Russia have not issued immediate comments on LDPR’s draft address. A top MP representing the center-left opposition party Fair Russia told RIA Novosti that most likely his colleagues would not support LDPR’s address.

The community itself must give political and historical appraisals to what these people have done,” the parliamentary deputy head of Fair Russia, MP Mikhail Yemelyanov, said.

Gorbachev has dismissed the initiative as an attempt to increase tensions in the Russian community and promised not to take any reciprocal steps against its sponsors. However, he also told RIA Novosti that in his opinion the Liberal Democrats should be dissolved over actions that create strife among citizens.

The Yeltsin family has not yet reacted to the news.

Earlier this year, famous Russian movie director Nikita Mikhalkov said in a press interview that in his opinion Gorbachev and Yeltsin had “committed a real crime” because their policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mikhalkov also suggested recognizing these crimes at the state level.

Gorbachev replied by telling the film director “to mind his own business.”

READ MORE: ‘Mind your own business’ – Gorbachev snaps at Russian director accusing him of ‘criminal policies’

In May last year, a leading Russian NGO founded and headed by Gorbachev released a report urging the authorities “to launch a new Perestroika.” In particular, it said that Russia should decentralize power, stimulate political competition and abandon the policy of confrontation with Western nations. The researchers called upon Russia to return to “Perestroika values” in order to revitalize democratic alternatives.