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Our secret allies - the peoples of Russia by eugene lyons

By eugene lyons

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Extra resources for Our secret allies - the peoples of Russia

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CHAPTER 3 HIRING THE BULLDOZER The resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev on December 25, 1991, will mark the end of a long-drawn-out and bitter struggle for power. It began not long after he was chosen as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on March 11, 1985, on the death of his predecessor Konstantin Chernenko. As the ruling party in a one-party state, the Communist Party’s leader was the person who ran the country. Right away Gorbachev began putting together his own team to take charge.

To Raisa, Mikhail Gorbachev is a man of destiny. Indeed many superstitious people have interpreted the distinctive birthmark on his head as an omen. But Mikhail and Raisa themselves believe they were once given a sign that he is special. When they were in their twenties, both had the same dream. They were in a deep, black well from which they were trying to get out, and they kept falling back. Finally they succeeded in escaping, and they saw in front of them a wide road and a huge bright sun. ”4 Gorbachev has come to see himself as the embodiment of providence.

I was privileged to experience the last days of the Soviet Union and what came after not just as a foreign observer but as a member by marriage of a Russian-Armenian family. The Suvorovs live in Siberia, where they experienced the excitement, hardships, and absurdities of those turbulent years and taught me the joys of summer at the dacha. My philologist wife Zhanna was a deputy in a regional soviet, and later, when we moved to Washington, she worked for the International Finance Corporation on the post-1991 project to privatize Russia.

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