Gorbachev Remains Slippery on Putin

gorbachev1203.jpgOne day he overwhelmingly supports the Russian president, the next day he hosts big press events to launch an Anna Politkovskaya book. In between he shows up in Louis Vuitton luggage ads with surreptitious and ambiguous messages about the Litvinenko affair. Say what you will about former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, but he has a unique ability to remain slippery in a political environment that tends to staple people down in either pro- or anti-government camps. But the latest comments out of Gorby, which admittedly I am a little late in getting to, show a distinctly more harsh side. According to the New York Times, the author of perestroika was quite disgusted by the banning of Kasyanov’s presidential candidacy. He said that the election’s result was “predictable from the outset” and “predetermined by the enormous role that Vladimir Putin played.” He also took aim at Russia’s flawed democratic institutions: “Something is wrong with our elections, and our electoral system needs a major adjustment.