Marvin Kalb: ‘Gorbachev saw the West as a partner’
Colleague of the famous Walter Cronkite and correspondent, from 1960, of the American television channel CBS in Moscow where he personally knew Nikita Khroutchev, Marvin Kalb, 92, explains to the time what he remembers from the last leader of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev.
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Le Temps: What do you remember of Mikhail Gorbachev?
Marvin Kalb: Gorbachev tried to do the impossible: to reform a broken system that was impossible to reform. He came to power in 1985, determined to reform the Soviet Union, but he himself realized that communism as a system could not be reformed. It had to be ended.
How did he manage to rise to power while the Cold War was still going on?
He was young when all the big shots of the Soviet regime were old dinosaurs. He had a vision, unlike a ossified clique. It was open to the West. Today, many Russians fear the West and see it as a potential enemy. Gorbachev, on the contrary, saw him as a possible partner in modernizing Russia. He was a great man, one of the greatest of the 20th century, who ended the Cold War and helped dissolve the Soviet Union more than anyone else.
Read also: “In Geneva in 1985, Gorbachev even quoted the Bible”, says his interpreter
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