Mikhail Gorbachev has been all over the news lately. First there was the announcement he was joining forces with his alleged political protege, the billionaire banker Alexander Lebedev, to form a new political party supportive of “less state capitalism,” legal and economic reforms. (that plan seems to have petered out as of late). Then came the sit-down with President Medvedev over the recent killings of human-rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Novaya Gazeta correspondent Anastasia Baburova–and the larger issue of violence towards Kremlin critics–during which this analyst says Medvedev “distanced himself from his own underlings.” (The Huffington Post cited the meeting as evidence of a possible “split in the Kremlin.” And earlier this month, before his criticism of United Russia was quoted in the Russian press–“We will never again return to being a single-party (state), though they will try to pull us in that direction,” he said, according to RIA Novosti–Gorbachev was on hand at the annual Cinema for Peace gala in Berlin, where he presented Leonardo DiCaprio with an International Green Award for his environmentalist documentary, “The 11th Hour.”
But the kicker surely awaits us: next month, Gorbachev will give a speech at Eureka College in Illinois, the alma mater of one Ronald Reagan, in celebration of the second annual Ronald Reagan Day Dinner, and “to launch the college’s Ronald W. Reagan Society to support the school’s programs that carry forward the Reagan legacy.” The college has graciously decided to open up this historic event to the public–for $250 per ticket.