Mikhaïl Gorbatchev et la fin de la Guerre froide

Au début de ce mois-ci, Mikhaïl Gorbatchev célébrait son 75ème anniversaire par un concert et une conférence dans les bureaux de sa fondation, à Moscou. Malheureusement, il n’est pas populaire auprès du peuple russe, qui lui fait porter la responsabilité de la perte de puissance soviétique. Mais, comme le disait Gorbatchev à ceux qui lui criaient des insultes : « N’oubliez pas que je suis celui qui vous a donné le droit de crier ».

Quand il est arrivé au pouvoir en 1985, Gorbatchev a essayé de discipliner le peuple soviétique pour dépasser les problèmes de stagnation économique. La discipline n'ayant pas permis de résoudre le problème, il a lancé la perestroïka (« restructuration »). Et quand les bureaucrates n’ont eu de cesse de contrarier ses ordres, il a utilisé la glasnost, ou discussion ouverte et la démocratisation. Mais dès que la glasnost permit au peuple de s’exprimer librement, nombreux sont ceux qui ont déclaré « vouloir abandonner » le système. En décembre 1991, l’Union soviétique cessa d’exister.

La politique étrangère de Gorbatchev, qu’il appelait « la nouvelle pensée », a également contribué à mettre un terme à la Guerre froide. Gorbatchev déclarait que la sécurité était un jeu où tout le monde pouvait prospérer via la coopération. Plutôt que d’essayer de construire le plus gros arsenal nucléaire possible, il a mis en place une doctrine de « suffisance » pour ne garder qu’une protection minimale. Il pensait également que le contrôle soviétique sur son empire en Europe de l’Est lui coûtait trop cher, n’apportant que peu de bénéfices en retour, et que l’invasion de l'Afghanistan était une coûteuse catastrophe.

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